Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Oruh Baffroom Advainchur, Part Tuwelvuh

Keeping our momentum from last weekend going, this weekend we laid the floor tile. And like each step of this project has proven thus far, the job was both easier and harder than we anticipated and took quite a bit more time than we'd anticipated.

We knew in advance that we wanted to lay our tile in a diagonal pattern despite the fact that this would be, as I suggested, a pain in the ass to accomplish. It was, but I knew that if we could pull it off the results would be worth it.

Trouble was, tiling diagonally meant a lot more cutting of tiles. Compounding this was the fact that our cheap ass tile-cutter couldn't hack the floor tiles we'd chosen. We tested it with two Friday evening and while the cutter successfully split them, it did so in the wrong direction and without clean lines. Rather than waste more tile on practicing, we opted to drop $40 and rent a proper high-end tile saw, the kind with water and everything. It sliced right through the tiles like a water-cooled tile-cutter through tile, creating perfect, clean cuts.

After that we mixed up some mortar and began slapping them down in the pre-determined pattern. Well, I say pre-determined. We'd really only laid out a couple rows to show where some of the half-tiles would lay. After that it was pretty much wild west tile improvisation territory. Still, while I was laying tile down, the wife was running back and forth to the saw to bring me whatever size tile I needed to fit a given space. And, because I was using my tile spacers correctly, these were pretty much uniform pieces that made for a nice and evenly-spaced diagonal pattern.

Even with all the things going right for us, there were wrongs being accomplished all the same. Not only did I have to lay tile down into the raked mortar and make sure they were evenly spaced, creating parallel lines, I was also supposed to make sure they were all of the same height within that mortar. For the first half of the room, I did pretty well with this. After a long break, though, we came back for the second half--i.e. the more chaotic half--and keeping track of heights and depths took a back seat to filling holes before the mortar dried. The finished job was deceivingly good-looking, though, and it wasn't until we reexamined it Sunday morning that we found the trouble-spots.

One purchase of a tile puck later and we were able to find which tiles were the biggest offenders. Those we pried up, scraped off all the mortar on the floor beneath them, and then laid fresh new tiles down in their place. The finished product looks very nice. Sure, if you want to be nitpicky, there are some flaws here and there, but we tried to arrange for most of those to be covered up by baseboard.

Now we just have to grout it. And baseboard it. And put in the "terlet" and the sink. I have a feeling there will be much plumbing in my future next weekend.

1 comment:

Kate said...

I think the angled tiles was worth the extra effort. Looks beautiful!