Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Flagstone Kitchen Floor - Part 3

About a third of the way into the kitchen flooring project, I burned out on kitchen flooring. I made a deal with my wife "If you'll finish the kitchen floor, I'll do the plumbing." She cut and fit the remaining 2/3's of the stones for the floor, and mortared most of them down with thinset. Before she finished cutting and fitting all of the stones, we had to go on another expedition to find some more stone. The picture on the left shows what it typically looks like when we find it. Next spring, these same stones won't be here on the creek bank... tree roots, freezing water, and gully washers break them up and move them further down stream every year. Copperheads and poison ivy are par for the course, so we try to be careful when turning over rocks for the first time.

With just a few more stones to glue down, the stonemason paid us a visit, and gave us some advice for grouting the floor. Rather than take his advice on how to best apply the grout, we hired him to grout the seams! There were several more stones to mortar to the floor, so we let him do that too! Right off the bat, he was able to get the stones a lot flatter than we were, making us look bad. (but not too bad!)

Before he started grouting the seams, the mason told us that he had one big concern. He felt that the joints were too tight to allow enough grout to get into the seams. With just a tiny amount of grout in the seams, he thought it would not be strong enough to stay put. His suggestion... grind out the seams with our angle grinder, using a wider diamond encrusted masonary blade. A week earlier, my wife had worn out the first set of motor brushes in our angle grinder... fortunately I had ordered another set of brushes and they showed up before the stone mason began this next step. (in the mean time I had filed off the limit stops on the motor brushes, to get a few more hours of life out of them!)

The stone mason has been grinding most of the joints, but that's my wife in the first picture grinding some of the joints while he's gone. This is a super dusty job. The results are nothing short of amazing, and the joints are very consistent. Below is a before and after picture of the flagstone flooring. No doubt, the stone mason's suggestion will give us a more durable and better looking floor.

By the way... all of these stones were cut and trimmed with solar power!


Blogger mcjiggity said...

gorgeous once again...

(Just another faithful reader of your blog.)

You can add me to the list of people that have told you "I am going to do that one day"

Timberframing books - bought+read
Timberframing class - taken

The time and money to actually pursue such a dream... priceless.

October 14, 2008 at 11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Thomas .... since the stone mason finished up your job that your wife was going to do ... do you get to have the plumber finish the plumbing??


October 14, 2008 at 3:31 PM  
Blogger oldmilwaukee said...

Joel, that thought has seriously crossed my mind. Actually, I'm almost done with the Drain-Waste-Vent part of the plumbing, so it would be a good point to let a plumber take over the supply lines. :) Been working on developing a water well too, but I've had some help from a neighbor with that project.

McJiggity..... ahhh, money is important, but time is the key. I will say it again... if I had it to do over again, I would have bitten off less to chew. No regrets mind you. I just wish half of it was done, instead of having all of it "half done."

October 14, 2008 at 3:40 PM  
Blogger mcjiggity said...

It must be easy to walk into your place and find your motivation again when you step back and look at all you have done.

Your blog has certainly left an impression on me. Very inspirational. My wife will probably curse you some day. :)

October 14, 2008 at 4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anita-Jack said...

The 'before' pictures are impressive; but, you have to admit the 'after' pictures look better. Guess there are certain things we need to leave to the pros. However, there is no denying all the hard work you and Rhonda put into the floors prior to the pro showing up. Was it a coincidence he stopped by or did someone text him a 'SOS' message? ha. Nothing like going on a hunt for kitchen stones with cooperheads lurking around. Looks great....good job Rhonda!

October 15, 2008 at 7:23 PM  
Anonymous Linoleum said...

What a very good idea, this is a very useful blog, thank you for posting....

December 8, 2008 at 5:45 AM  

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