Tile in the Den

The back room with the awful pink carpet used to be a porch and was enclosed at some point early on at my house. Since it has a concrete slab underneath, I thought tile might make a good replacement for the carpet (I wasn’t the first to think this: when I pulled up the carpet there was tile like they use in schools already under there). With the dogs coming in and out of the backyard through that room, it picks up a lot of dirt and even hardwood floors would probably get scratched up from the grit.

Susan had plans to do something similar in her kitchen at her old house. She even bought some terracotta colored ceramic tile for the project. But she moved before she could start on that and moved the tile with her to the new house. After the bathrooms I felt the next most urgent project was putting the tile down and Susan agreed to let me buy her tile from her at a discount. Unfortunately there were 241 square feet of den and only 231 square feet of tile. tilefloor.jpg I might have been able to buy some more which may or may not have matched (it wouldn’t have to match exactly anyway), but decided to put in a brown rectangle of contrasting tile in the middle of the room. Mom and I sat down and figured out how we could do the pattern and Mom picked out the tile (pretty close to my bathroom tile). At first we were going to get 16-inch tile, but the brown 16-inch tile was slightly different in size than the terracotta 16-inch tile. So they wouldn’t line up.

We wound up using 13-inch tiles with an angled pattern that turned out better anyway. Miguel did a great job in keeping the rectangle symetrical. The brown rectangle was laid out by lining up the angled squares as diamonds. It is 7 diamonds by 6 diamonds. Each inside corner has the same notched out brown piece you see in the picture below and he cut some of the terracotta tiles to fit inside the border. tilefloor2.jpg In fact, of the 30 tiles in the middle of the rectangle, only 12 of them weren’t cut (Mom says this would not have happened except that she showed Miguel how he needed to do this to keep it symetrical). Then he had to cut the terracotta tile around the rectangle to make it come out in a grid consistent with the middle red tiles. And once he got to the walls, there was more cutting. They worked all day on it and finished tonight at about 9. There were just three terracotta tiles left over. They will grout tomorrow with a nutmeg color of grout that Mom picked out (the second picture shows the finished product with the grout).

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