Now that the walls are in pretty decent shape, it’s time to turn our attention back to the floor. This weekend, we made progress on the flooring under the tile.
First, the Ditra went down over the concrete slab. The Ditra will help with a couple of challenges with this floor. First, it provides an uncoupling layer between the cracked slab and the tile that will be laid above it, so if there’s any movement in the crack in the future, it won’t cause the tiles to crack. It also provides a waterproofing membrane, and vapor barrier under the tile.
The upper surface has a waffle texture, with undercut dovetail squares, and the bottom surface has a fleecy backing for adhering to thinset between the Ditra and the concrete.
After we laid the Ditra (and the thinset dried overnight), we started playing with the tile layout. A few of the tiles, maybe a third or so of the square footage, are cut and ready to go. The starting point for the tile pattern is the triangular half tile that is centered in the doorway. We’ll build the pattern from there. That will be a pain when we actually lay the tile, because we want to work our way out of the room, but for setting the pattern it works better this way.
I think the average tile color is darker than the tile that we brought home to look at initially. Only a few are as light as it was. I was a little surprised by how dark they are, but I think it will look good when it’s done.
After playing with the layout a bit, we took the tiles out and started the next step in installation, which is the radiant heat. We used a 3×5′ mat from Laticrete which will lay under the floor where people will walk/stand. It didn’t seem necessary go to the additional complexity of installing it under where the sink bowl will be.
The mat is self-sticking, so with just a little wiggling and adjustment, we got it down where it needed to go. The wires come up in the lower left corner, and are run up behind the wall to the thermostat, which will be next to the light switch and GFI outlet. I forgot to take a picture of that, oops.
Once the wires were run, we were ready to cover it up. It took quite a lot of thinset to bury it completely, and fill the undercut waffle pattern in the Ditra to anchor it down.
The next step will be tiling over it!
We also started thinking about paint colors. Sherwin Williams is having a 40% off sale next weekend, so I’d like to decide by then what color I want to paint the walls. If I really can’t, I can of course buy untinted paint on sale and tint it when I decide, but deadlines are good for me.
I laid out a few pieces of tile in the family room to look at paint cards against. The walls used to be SW Sleepy Blue, which is the same color as the family room. I like it, but I think I want something a little darker in the new half bath, and I’m not absolutely wedded to going with the same color card.
So back to the drawing board.
Ok, maybe not that far back. How about one of these?
Colors from three of these four cards have been used somewhere else in the house already. It turns out I’m pretty predictable.
We’re thinking about something from the middle (4th) row, probably on one of the two more blue cards. Sleepy Blue is the 2nd from top, on the leftmost card. Decisions, decisions.
Laying and grouting the tile are the only two steps left before we can install the new toilet. Then we can re-hang the door, and be able to use the bathroom again a little bit. That will save us a lot of walking upstairs!