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Tiling A Floor

So after all of the back and forth about the floor – I decided to go with Travertine.

For 2 Reasons:

1. It was cheaper.

2. If it ever got chipped – it would be less obvious since the stone is the same or similar color all the way through.

I then decided that since I’m practically counting down the hours until this room needs to be done – I thought I would look into how much it would cost to get this floor installed by a professional. I’m not going to lie, I secretly was intimidated by 480SF of tiling something and keeping it level. So I walked into Home Depot and they wanted $12.00 SF to INSTALL. Not including the product, not including gold nuggets – just to install the tile. If I’m doing my math right (which is always questionable) then $12.00 by 480SF = $5,760.00. R U Kidding? So I called the team that installed the radiant floor heat. They were fabulous and tried to work with me – but the truth is I didn’t budget to have someone do any work for me…. so they just couldn’t get low enough for me to be able to pay them for their time. Dang it! I tried….

With those two big decisions under my belt, it is time to install. Because tiling is so repetitive – and I already posted about about tiling in my fireplace post here I’m not going to bore you with the step by step details. ┬áTiling the floor was exactly the same except I had to use a Flex Mortar and a Flex Grout because the Hardi-Backer was a little wobblier then I would have liked and with the radiant floor heat I wanted to make sure than no hot/cold transition cracked the mortar or grout.

With that – Here are pictures from laying the floor. It took 2 full days and a couples evenings to get it done. So plan for twice as long as you think it will take. Someone also told me that to tile, the total cost of the project will be about 2x the cost of the product. WRONG. I paid like 5x and that was installing it myself.

Here is how it’s done in summary:

Pour out some Mortar – should be the consistency of pancake batter.

Just a dollop.

Use a trowel to get all the mortar even. You don’t want too much to build up in any one spot because all the tiles need to be even so people don’t trip over corners.

Don’t forget your spacers.

and a smile. <3 Because it’s really really hard work.

Here is the project as it progressed.

And then I finished by the door & grouted. Here is a picture of some grouted tiles and un-grouted for comparison.

Here is the whole floor grouted. Looks a lot better with the gaps filled.

and then I sealed the floor and that was it!

All done. I’m really glad. I was in a lot of pain by the end of this, I know I’m on a budget, the one thing I’m going to spring for next time is a really good pair of knee pads. My knees are black and blue and hurt to the touch. Here is a photo of my poor finger that the skin rubbed off of from the mortar trowel. It was a lot of hard work and I pushed through it to be done. Phew! SO glad to be done.

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