We are very happy and proud to announce that our big mosaic floor in the extension now is finished. The actual tiling part of the job was completed a couple of months ago but we only put down a first layer of grout to bind it all together at that stage. We have been busy building, insulating and painting the different wall sections since then but this week all of that work was finished and we could move onto the final stage of the floor.
As some of you might remember the floor design is built around the elements, Air for the East, Fire for the South, Water for the West and Earth for the North. In the middle we have a star and slightly off centre a tree that all the elements originate from.
To follow on with this theme we decided to do the skirting boards in the same colours as the floor design, slowly blending from one to the other all the way around the room like a giant colour wheel. We did not want to spend a lot of money on special skirting boards but went ahead and bought some 6” x 1” planks. We used a router to create a nice shape to the top of each plank and painted them with glazing paints from IKEA blending one colour into the next. It took about three layers but the nice thing about this paint is that you are still able to see the grain of the wood through it.
The skirting boards were put in place before we put down the final layer of grout. We then cleaned the floor thoroughly scraping tile adhesive, bonding splashes and spilled paint from each tile, before cleaning the whole floor with warm water. We mixed up a rather loose grout mixture and pushed it under the skirting board in the slightly bigger gaps. On a mosaic floor of this size, 39 square meters, it is difficult to get a perfectly flat and even finish so you are bound to have some slight variations in the fit of the skirting boards. It is easy to sort that out at this stage. We like it that the floor is not perfectly flat as it makes in nice to walk on. In nature there are very few perfectly flat surfaces. We applied grout to half the floor at a time and let it dry for about three hours until the surface of the tiles looked matt and dry, after which we used slightly damp cloths to wipe the floor, removing the excess grout but leaving a very neat and full finish in the gaps between the tiles. On some of the floor it was enough to do this once and in some places we needed to do two wipe overs. We then let the floor dry and polished the surface with dry cloths to make it clean and shiny.
We are very happy with the result. If you are a regular reader of our blog you will know that we use mainly salvaged tiles from skips and friends and it is very satisfying to think that something beautiful can be created from materials mostly destined for landfill. You can read about all our mosaic projects in the category ‘Mosaics’.
We are now in the process of cleaning the whole space from building dust, moving in, building book cases and creating soft furnishings for our built in sofa. It is lovely to be at this stage of the build and see the results of all our efforts over the last year come together.