“Everybody on the floor, everybody on the floor, on the floo-oor”, if you were a teen in the nineties you might remember this song by Tokyo Ghetto Pussy (I kid you not, some pretty freaky stuff happened back then). You really have to check out the Youtube video and it’s suggestions if you’re in for a trip, I spent way too much time when I should have been writing on this post instead.The mem’ries… Anyway, tiles should go on the floor, that’s how I got here in the first place, that’s what I wanted to write about, so here it is.
Before we could start the actual tiling a few minor things still had to be done. First thing on the list was the frame for the shower, which was basically the bath tub revisited:
Once that was done the next step was to fill up any major unevenness in the floor. I did this with a mixture of 1 part cement, 10 parts sand and half a part water (commonly known as “stabilisé” here, but I don’t know and don’t seem to find the English word for it; Update: Thanks to Maaike from Ons occasiehuisje I now know how to translate this, the correct word is “cement stabilized sand”):
Now we had a floor that didn’t have any major unevenness any more, so it was time to really level the floor. For this I used a ready-to-use mix that just needed water to be ready for use. Just pour it on the floor, use an old squeegee to spread it and let it level itself and dry:
Now this was a bit tricky, as a lot more of the mixture went into it than I had anticipated. You also should work in smaller layers if you want to fill up large differences, so this could take you a while. Luckily it’s only a small surface to cover.
And then you’re ready to start tiling! We had opted for tiles in a format of 60X60 cm (or 23.5″X23.5″), which had me curse for a few reasons (you’ll find out soon enough). For starters, these tiles are too large and heavy to carry them up the stairs per package, so I had to open them downstairs and take them up two at a time. This also meant finding a tile cutter large enough to handle these suckers to be able to cut them as needed.
Now for the actual tiling. As usual, I informed myself before starting, and then some more, so I knew perfectly what to do: put adhesive on the tile and on the floor as well (another consequence of the tile size) with a notched spreader having square teeth of 1 cm, and then try to get them level. Off we went:
And that first tile went ok, or so it seemed:
Bravely we went on, placing tile after tile, cutting them half of the time:
And to finish things off, grout. This one had us cursing in no time as well. I figured it would be little work to finish the grout that evening, little did I know what I put us into! First it didn’t get fluid enough to really flow in between the tiles, then it did but we covered an area way too large to be able to finish in time, resulting in both Chrisje and me on our knees, scrubbing off all excess grout on the tiles until very late at night. Yes that’s right, to prevent the grout from drying up completely on the tiles and thus never coming off again, we had to keep on going. I honestly still believe not all tiles survived without any marks… Lucky for us there’s a minor speckle in the tiles, so it doesn’t really show, but that’s an experience I don’t want to revisit!
But hey, just look at it, doesn’t it make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, knowing no animals were hurt during the placing process? It’s not nearly half as bad as I feared it would turn out now, isn’t it?
And for those that can’t be bothered clicking the Youtube link, here it is in all it’s glory:
I found I work best with some pumping beats on, do you have any preferences in music when DIY’ing? Or links between something you did and a song? You’re welcome to share it with us in the comments!