As I have already mentioned a number of times, we are planning on using much of the salvaged plank floors throughout Pardy House as a shabby chic floor surface, hopefully more chic then shabby! But that being said, the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room floors have been an off and on question mark for months now. Would we use laminate flooring, ceramic, stone, marble?
Even though the house is not yet fully completed on the outside-- some detail work and roof tarring must still be completed--- I believe in having everything ready for when carpenters and contractors are ready. They will never be waiting on us; at least that is how my plan is laid out. We have already gone and ordered or bought all the flooring for the house and I must say we’re pleased.
The issue of ceramic or stone tiles on an older floor surface has been a much debated one between Leann and I, as well as with various tile-layers/contractors. In the end we decided, regardless of the always present risk of grout damage and tile fracture over time and have selected tiles for five small rooms at Pardy House in which water would be present: the kitchen, sunroom, laundry room, and both bathrooms. The trick for successful tile laying, as I’ve known for some time, is to screw your floor surfaces tight. If you don’t have a strong subfloor then your floor will crack over time. Movement--often noted through squeaking and creaking in the floors--- means there is movement and thus anything laid down on top of that floor will move. Tiles floors have to be placed on a solid substrate (subfloor).
Most of the floors in our home are made up of two layers of one inch thick, pine beams, running perpendicular to each other. So the subfloor is currently a two inch thick floor surface nailed onto our 130 year old floor joists. It is a strong surface that is quite level, but to reinforce this surface we will screw every 4-6 inches on every floor beam.
Atop this solid subfloor surface will be placed Ditra or similar material. Ditra and like products, compensate for the expansion and contraction of subfloors. This is a likely scenario in most homes, but especially an older property. By allowing independent movement between the tiles and substrate through Ditra’s unique uncoupling system, your tile should “sit” above the wood floor surface and have no point of direct contact with the floor. Over your Ditra will be spread your mortar (mud) and then the tiles are ready to be set.
As a side note, tile size also affects long-term floor deterioration rates. The smaller the tile, generally the more imperfect your floor can be since the smaller tile can more readily contour to an uneven surface. Most of the flooring tiles and stones we have selected are small-- either sheet tile made of 2x2inch tile, or individual 6x6inch. Our Kitchen is the only exception to this where 18x18ich ceramic is to be laid. We hope the kitchen choice won’t backfire!
From here we will have someone set and grout or tiles, which can take 1-2 days per room. But we can’t really get into that detail yet as the tile isn’t yet being laid-- fingers crossed it’s soon!