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Preparing to tile the kitchen floor

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
Abraham Lincoln

Monday morning. Julian, Pedro and Samuel are preparing to tile the kitchen floor. Do this correctly and the heart of the house will beat strong and brilliant.

To help, this past Friday, Ron and Steven sorted the two designs of the floor tile. Steven explains the sorting to Julian — all the horizontal tiles are stacked in the kitchen, to be laid in the kitchen. All the speckled and mottled tiles are stacked in the garage, to be used in the mudroom and mudroom bath, and the pantry and pantry hall.

Where do we put the center line? Where do we cut tile?

Above, Julian and Pedro calculate the center line of the kitchen. Samuel observes. Look closely at the concrete floor. The squares of dark lines are ghost images of the first floor installed when Emerald Hill was built.

Julian, striped shirt, measures out each tile across the kitchen floor at the platform for the cooktop. The red tiles are samples that Steven and Jacquela are considering for the backsplash.
Julian, striped shirt, measures out each tile across the kitchen floor at the platform for the cooktop. The red tiles are samples that Steven and Jacquela are considering for the backsplash.
With the laser switched on to square each run of tile, Julian, left, and Pedro, right, measure for tile at the back end of the platform the island cabinets.
With the laser switched on to square each run of tile, Julian, left, and Pedro, right, measure for tile at the back end of the platform the island cabinets.
Pedro and Julian lay out each tile, long axis, full tile at the break between the family room and where the kitchen floor begins, working toward the cooktop cabinet and window wall. When this is done, Julian calculates the number of full tiles that will be needed to complete the floor -- 68. Then they count the tiles stacked on the wood platforms -- 62. Steven shows Julian and Pedro the stack of "transitional tiles" already sorted in the garage -- tiles that include some part of both tile designs -- linear and mottled/speckled. These will be used to transition to the entirely speckled/mottled floors in the mudroom and pantry wings off the kitchen.
Pedro and Julian lay out each tile, long axis, full tile at the break between the family room and where the kitchen floor begins, working toward the cooktop cabinet and window wall. When this is done, Julian calculates the number of full tiles that will be needed to complete the floor — 68. Then they count the tiles stacked on the wood platforms — 62. Steven shows Julian and Pedro the stack of “transitional tiles” already sorted in the garage — tiles that include some part of both tile designs — linear and mottled/speckled. These will be used to transition to the entirely speckled/mottled floors in the mudroom and pantry wings off the kitchen. Manuel, at right, blue shirt, is removing the shims from under the cabinet platforms. It’s safe to remove the shims because Basem nailed and screwed the platforms into position, using the shims to prop the platforms level when setting them up for nails and screws.
Manuel scrapes the last of the old cement off the slab floor -- cement left behind when demo removed the orange saltillo tiles from the kitchen floor that came with Emerald Hill.
Manuel scrapes the last of the old cement off the slab floor — cement left behind when demo removed the orange saltillo tiles from the kitchen floor that came with Emerald Hill.

 

 

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