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Bungalow Kitchen: A Slate Floor

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This past week and weekend I’ve been busy cracking the whip over April, our slate slave. Mwahahahahahaha!

Okay, only kind of. I helped.

Preparing and laying the slate has been a long process. Not because it’s been terribly hard, but because we tend to be slow, even with time saving things like Ditra — our slate underlayment — also known as “the Orange Stuff” are in play.

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Schluter-DITRA is a waterproof, vapor barrier that is supposed to help support the tile while keeping it stabilized in place.  It goes in really easily.  Just cut to length and then thin set it down.

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“We” followed the directions and used a modified thin set to put down the Ditra. The key is to get a good bond between the subfloor and the underlayment. Once April spread the thin set, I followed with a trowel and pushed the Ditra down into the thin set. We lack pictures of this part of the process so instead I have another picture of April with a funny face.

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In that picture she’s talking to Niel, our Dentist in Waiting, who is just standing about refusing to help…

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(Niel did graciously carry up several boxes of slate for which we are grateful considering how freakin’ heavy slate is. Thank you Niel, but why do you want to leave us?)

Once the Ditra was in, and we determined where/how we wanted to set the slate (i.e. on a diagonal because “we can do it” and “how hard can it be?”)

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Then we marked off the middle of the room and April bravely started slopping out and spreading a new layer of unmodified thin set (per Ditra instructions for our tiles).

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Fill the waffles of the Ditra and then add more thin set above to enable a good notch.

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See, I did help…I squished thin set into the waffles while April notched, lay, and fit the slate. What can I say, we work at different paces. :)

I also helped with the spacers.

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And I told April things like, “no don’t worry about it, it’s good enough. What? What are you doing? Why are you taking up that tile?”

And she would respond with, “Catherine it’s not level, it’s not perfect, it needs to be perfect.”

C– “Um, it’s natural stone, it’s NOT perfect.”
A– “Well we’re going to make it as perfect as possible.”
C– “I think it’s fine. I’m good with it, really stop pulling up the tile.”
A– “No, I want this to be beautiful, now go cut a tile and get out of my way. I DO IT!”

Meanwhile I let April “DO IT!” and Robear was kind enough to snap most of these pictures.

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Except of course the one of her. I took that one while April was setting and pulling up tile.

Day 1 of slate floors ended with a third of the floor covered and a curse upon whoever thought we should do a diagonal. (Unless it was me, then we are now retracting the curse.)

–Cath

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