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Recent Projects - Ceramic Install

For this ceramic job, the tiles in the laundry room, powder room, and entrance were all the same and the homeowner wanted it replaced. When asking for clarification, we were told they didnít want a plain ceramic install and wanted something you do not see in a lot of homes. We decided it was best to present our creativity first as there was a lot of room for interpretation. Hereís what we said we would do.

Ceramic Install picture 1

This was definitely the most challenging part of this ceramic install with the custom pieces to fit around this staircase. Note that the mosaic pattern has three lines that are whiter and then a gray line prior to grouting. The white lines represent a score which was cut into the tile but it doesnít go completely through the tile. We were using 1/8 spacing for this floor and when we put two blades in the saw, we were able to accomplish this pattern by setting the depth of the cut so it wouldnít cut entirely through the tile. Mosaic was not available in this tile so all our mosaic border tiles were made in this fashion. While it looks like mosaic, it is 2Ē strips of 20Ē tiles. Mosaic is never perfectly straight but doing it this way ensures that it is.

The score is deep enough for grout and youíll never see the difference when the floor is grouted. A cardboard template was used to make the half round and Iíd love to tell you we got this right on the first attempt but the weight of the center cut out broke as we had out cut about 98% complete.

We have cut custom tiles for customers in our shop while they wait. If you make a template, we can make the difficult cuts for you while you wait if youíre not equipped to do this.

Ceramic Install picture 2

You would never know those were not individual pieces after the ceramic floor was grouted.

Ceramic Install picture 3

The ceramic tile tied in nicely with the oak staircase. The grout failed after about a month along the edge where the tile meets the bottom riser. While all other risers are glued to your treads, the bottom one sits on the plywood floor and the ĺĒ plywood riser had a little play in it across this span which caused our grout to fail.

When we do a ceramic tile job, we donít use about 10% of the grout and recommend that it be stored somewhere which makes grout matching a lot easier if a tile is damaged and has to be replaced. Itís a good practice to follow if you are doing your own ceramic. In this case, we reinforced the bottom stringer and we had our grout so we were good to go.

Grout a few years old can be difficult to match if you didnít save a little. The grout is never exactly the same color as that little color patch on the box. A good trick I use when trying to match grout color is to remove a little bit of the grout from the floor and take it with you when you purchase your grout. Pick up a small container of the pre-mixed grout and look around the edges where the cover seals the container. You may have to examine several containers but you will often see a small amount of dried grout here from a sloppy pour or a little that oozed out from overfill. That will be the exact color of the grout product when it is dry.

If this isnít possible to find, then trial and error is best by putting a little grout on a board and let it dry to see if it will match your grout color.

Ceramic Install picture 4

The homeowner had some of the tile left over from the ceramic in the kitchen so we were able to create a nice transition between the entranceway and the kitchen.

Ceramic Install picture 5

Square corner pieces for the border are more esthetically appealing for corners than butting two border corner pieces together.

Ceramic Install picture 6

Elbows should be cut for any other angles that are not 90 degrees if you are going to attempt a pattern like this.

Ceramic Install picture 7

And our ceramic floor renovation is complete. Before we started this job, we discussed the possibility of using a different color tile for the mosaic tiles. However, this is ok for large rooms but would make this entranceway look smaller. Our recommendation was to use the same color throughout so the perception of the size of the entranceway was not compromised.

Iím not sure if hiding the shedding hair from the Golden Retriever was a consideration in ceramic tile color choice.

Ceramic Install picture 8

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