Posted by Zyra at 6:19:00 PM
I went with an engineered flooring for the treads. 3/8" x 4 3/4" random planks. The flavor is Maple Sedona and the contrast between the Red Mahogany nosing proved to be excellent to my eye. I put down an 1/8" foam under-layment, directly stapled to the plywood substrate. I needed to make up an 1/8" inch to match the height of the nosing so it worked out perfectly. The stairs feel solid under foot.
Posted by Zyra at 8:48:00 PM
I went a little intricate with the fireplace detail. A hint of my other California sets. It's harder than it looks to cut this stuff and then set it without breaking it before it's down.
Grouted and Sealed. It went together nicely. It consisted of - slate, black and red granite, 2 Lightstream Jewel 2x2's and Red Clay Quarry grout.
Posted by Zyra at 7:44:00 PM
The living room is coming together. I can see now how I'm going to customize each section. The front, as you see here, came out nice I think as it gets the contrast benefit of being large pieces in a diagonal pattern. In addition, I have just created the detail that will go in front of the fireplace. Check back.
Posted by Zyra at 8:04:00 AM
My house is pretty cut up in terms of angles generated by the floor plan layout. But, I'm using it to my creative advantage. I'm off-setting every transition to a different room with a change of pattern, a unique detail that obtains a center piece, a "Jewel." Jewels are 2" x 2" glass tiles infused with color. Below is the transition out the slider to the back yard. This pattern is just dry-set - not cemented down yet.
Posted by Zyra at 2:59:00 PM
Another day of just setting full pieces. Well, 4 hours worth anyway... A 3.5 half hour bike ride in the heat the day before slowed me down! I've decided on a grout color and a seal finish. I'll keep it quiet until I get that far. I'm about to the wall, so I'll have to break out the machine again and do some cuts. I think I'm going to go trick though and change to a diagonal pattern soon.
Posted by Zyra at 9:05:00 PM
Finally started the family room today. I picked up speed as there was/is plenty of full pieces to set, so I just mixed mud and set all day. I changed to a diagonal pattern after the step down exiting the entry and I snapped a line from the point of the jewel accent tile through the living room. The first piece followed by the day's set is below!
Posted by Zyra at 8:57:00 PM
Today I finished cutting and dry-setting the rest of the pieces left to complete the entry... Well, it has been a learning experience in a few ways. One, I'm remembering how long this kind of work can last when you only get to do it on the weekends. Two, re-learning the tricks and techniques within both cutting and setting. Three, remembering how fun and satisfying it is!
Posted by Zyra at 7:53:00 PM
This saw is made for slicing through slate tile like through butter. This is an Imer Combi 250V. Great for 16" X 16"material as I can throw the full pieces up on the deck with no problem. As you can see it rotates and cuts bevels up to 45 degrees. It came in to play as I did the detail for the steps' down. I put a 45 bevel followed by a square cut half way down the bevel to give the tread a bold look. It is truly a beast & was well worth the investment if you have any desire to work with big slate. The American flag decal and my stenciled initial were custom touches by me! My entry was cut in a day & then I spent Sunday setting the cut pieces. A full weekend of work, but I can see my vision coming to life before my eyes. Exciting!
I snapped a line from outside the front door, in the center of the front door step patio, through the front door, to the center of the staircase. This is the line of the diagonal pattern in the entry of the house. It works perfect with not only the entry of the house, but outside the front door where the custom fractal will be. I think I'm going to be happy with the colors.
Posted by Zyra at 8:52:00 PM
Finally, the floor base is prepped and ready for a custom slate design to be created & laid over this bare cement. A closeup:
A bit farther view...see all the gray as opposed to previous pix?
And a far shot of the kitchen...see that evil tile peeking out from under the fridge? I'll have to deal with that later, but avoided the situation & heavy lifting for now!
Yes indeed, that hammer was the animal the the doctor ordered. It was painful and tedious all at the same time, but from the first pass I got the results I was looking for. The light at the end of the tunnel was there, faint. A solid day and a half on that wrist vibrating, shoulder jerking machine...
I now have a pure substrate for the new slate to rest. Now the post dust deep cleaning begins. Then a trip to an Art festival!
Posted by Zyra at 9:06:00 AM
I rented this beast from Home Depot to scrape the thinset from the concrete slab in the kitchen area.
Well, this floor stripper didn't work. Too wimpy. As it turns out, the thinset was double thick due to previous owner re-tiling the kitchen without starting fresh. So, I had to use a 21 lb. Makita Roto Hammer with a floor scraping bit. It did the trick and did me in after 2 days of operating it. Pics to follow.