Saturday, October 18, 2008

Flagstone Floor - Part 4

There's very little evidence that I'm doing anything but taking pictures at our house site. Unfortunately, with the exception of a few PVC drains sticking up through the floor, this first picture does nothing to dispel that myth. Here you can see the mason grouting the joints in our kitchen floor, with my wife in the background, cleaning off the sandstone before the grout stains become permanent.

Natural sandstone (technically, ours is siltstone) is more porous than most slate or man-made porcelain tiles, and therefore more apt to staining during the grouting process. Possibly, one could seal the stones before grouting, but the sealant might hinder the grout from sticking in the seams. With this in mind, my wife searched for and found a product that promises to solve the dilemma.

Known commercially as Grout Easy, this chemical mixture is applied (with a brush) to the stones immediately before the grouting process. The gaps between the stones are grouted, and then the unwanted grout as well as the underlying layer of grout-easy are removed once the grout hazes over.

The product helps tremendousy, but it is not a panacea. The right side of the large square stone in middle of this last picture was partially covered with Grout Easy. After cleaning, you can see where the grout easy was and where the grout easy was not. Even after using the Grout Easy, it looks as though we have a slight haze on all of our stones. I'm going to accept my wife's not-so-subtle invitation now to stop typing, and start scrubbing.

By the way, I've just noticed that this is my 150th blog posting! Yee-haw.


Blogger Bigshow said...

I'm beginning to think that if a job does not present itself in the guise of a 'pile', then its not worth working on.

October 20, 2008 at 10:25 PM  
Blogger brad_bb said...

So how much weight do you suppose that timber framed floor is holding up? Did you figure that in when the floor joists were designed? The joints look great! You're house is definitely unique. I wonder what the market price would be compared to what you'll have invested. I'm guessing that you'll have more invested, but like most of us nutty craftsman, we all do that because it's a labor of love.

October 22, 2008 at 2:06 PM  
Blogger oldmilwaukee said...


We used twenty 50 pound bags of thinset, so that's 1000 pounds of thinset alone! I think the stones weigh roughly another 2000 to 3000 pounds. Hardibacker was about 500 pounds. Lots of weight. Support is provided by oak 6x8's, 11 feet span on 40" centers, with pine 2x4's going the other way on 1 foot centers, with a layer of 3/4 plywood above that. So far, no sag and no bounce! (I can feel small vibration when I jump on it though)

Bigshow, yes we find piles everywhere on this project. :) Love your humor. Dark, cynical, rough, subtle, and hilarious as far as I can tell from your blog.

November 12, 2008 at 10:23 AM  
Anonymous Corie Drane said...

I saw this Grout Easy in a commercial store in New York last week. We're doing a renovation and we asked some services for assistance in installing sandstones in our living room but I think there's a little delay. So... I did the cleaning myself but haven't tried chemical mixtures on the floor. I think I might wanna try that product. Hmmm...

March 8, 2011 at 8:57 PM  

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