Saturday, November 10, 2007

    Tai-el, part II

    The tile saga continues:

    The entryway required a bit more prep before I could get to actually laying the tile down. The subfloor in the entry is concrete, so I couldn't just screw some Hardi-backer down. It needed to be fastened to the concrete with the same thin set mortar that we are using for the tiles. Before I could do that though, there was some old mastic all over the floor that had been used in the condos previous life to glue 1/4 inch particle board down that the carpet sat on top of. This required a lot of chipping. Then I had to make all the cuts to the Hardi-backer to make sure that they all fit before starting with the mortar, since I didn't want the mortar to solidify as I made cuts as I went. Once I made the cuts, I spread the mortar (it took about 35 lbs) and placed the boards. Then once those had set, I was finally able to lay the tiles.

    Am I done yet? Nope.

    There is still the issue of cutting the tiles. Kersten's grandfather offered us the use of a tile saw, which was great, so on Monday night we went out to his storage unit to pick it up. He said it was heavy but I was completely unprepared for this thing. I had rented a tile saw before, but a rental saw is usually a few years old at the oldest. This thing is at least 20 years old and is HEAVY duty. In a previous life it was used by US Steel to cut through core samples for their mining activities, and it must weigh at least 200 lbs (her grandfather was/is a geologist). The saw collapsed a cart, so to save the garage floor, I had to heft the thing off by myself; it was all I could do to move it about 3 feet inside the garage. It ended up on two sawhorses in my parents' side yard.

    I made about 90% of the cuts and then went to the condo and installed them.

    Because slate tiles is essentially compressed dirt, it makes a really muddy mess. Now the installed tile needs to be cleaned, sealed and grouted. My goal is to have the tile all the way complete by the end of Saturday...

    ...which means stay tuned for Tai-el III.

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