Tuesday, May 24, 2011

More tile work

The nice weather is officially here, so I spent alot of the last weekend outside, plus the lawn is growing 2" a day, so that means plenty of mowing to do. I did get a little bit done in the house though. The bathroom floor is all grouted and ready to be sealed. I also installed the tile on the fireplace base, surround and overmantle. I still need to get that tile grouted, but that will be a quick and easy job.

Here is the tilework on the overmantle. The untiled area is where the TV bracket will mount.

To cut the curved pieces, I made a template out of cardboard, traced it on the tile, then used my angle grinder with a 4" diamond wheel. Then I sanded out any imperfections. Marble is actually relatively easy to shape and sand.

The tile around the fireplace insert was really easy, no cut edges of tile are visible, they are all covered up by the mantle and the insert. I pretty much just had to roughly cut the tiles to size and set them in place.

Here is a close up of the grouted floor. Once I seal it, the grout will darken up some.

Another pic of the floor

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bathroom floor tile

As usual, this project ended up taking about 2 months longer than expected. A good month and a half of that was due to the fact I had to order the tile twice. My first mistake was going with a company I found on the internet. They seemed to have a good website, and the important part was they were a little cheaper than the other places that I could find that sold Green Onyx tile. The problems started immediately, the website claimed they ship within 48 hours, so after 5 days of not even getting an acknowledgement of my paid order, I decided to email them and ask for a shipping date. Another couple days went by before they responded "shipping today". After another week I emailed again asking for a tracking number and a day later actually got one, but the tile hadn't even shipped yet. So, another week goes by and I finally get the tile, I excitedly open the boxes and was discouraged to see the very poor packaging they used. I knew the tile was extremely fragile, and as I wiped the packing peanuts away, my fears were confirmed. The first tile was chipped, I lifted it up, the next tile was chipped, lifted that one up, next one was cracked. All the way to the bottom of the box, chipped and broken tiles. I immediately called the company, however, like the previous times I tried calling, no answer. I then emailed them, and several days later they said they would file a claim with UPS and ship me new tiles. Another week later I decided to email and ask when they were shipping them, I got the same response as the first time "shipping today". I waited 3-4 days and asked for a tracking number. No response. another day, I emailed again with the same question. Again no response. At this point I couldn't wait any longer, I decided to order from another company, and within 3 days I recieved 20 new tiles ("only" 2 of them were broken). So anyway, now I could finally get to work. I chose 13 of the best tiles, as each Green Onyx tile is very unique as you can see in the pics below. The other cool thing about them is if you hold them up to light, you can see though them like stained glass. Not that this matters when mortaring them down on a floor though!

The first thing I did was dry fit the entire bathroom floor. I had to make a lot of cuts to make the design, I wanted to make sure every tile fit perfectly before I started putting them down permanently. (In the end this worked against me because I was off a little bit on my alignment, so when I got to the last few tiles I had to recut new ones.) After I dry fit every tile, I had to move them back out of the bathroom so I could clean the floor and start the installation.

I started the installation in the center of the room with 9 square feet of Onxy. After the onyx was down, I put a 1-1/4" border of Emperador Dark marble. The rest of the room would be Crema Ivy marble.

I didn't take many pics during the installation because I was worried my mud would set up before I got all the tile down. This next pic was where I ended up before I had to start recutting the tiles. When I got to the door opening I was about 3/8" off of where I should have been.

After recutting the tiles, I got them installed (you can see the green plastic spacers I used to make sure my grout lines were all the same witdth) and now the last step will be to grout the tiles and install the baseboards and trim.

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