Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ground Floor Fiddling

As I was assembling the ground floor/base, I remembered some tile samples I'd been given a few years ago. One of them looked to be perfect for the entrance to the Bohemian Inn. The tiles are quarter-inch cubes, which wasn't so perfect, but I had an idea.

I took the tiles off the backing board. Luckily, they were firmly attached to the net backing, so they stay in formation. I had to take a couple rows from the right side to make the pad come out right. It's a little messy, but this part of the tiles will be under the stairs, so it doesn't really matter. Here is the final design. It's glued to a piece of cardboard larger than the tiles and grouted with a brick red grout. In this photo, the left side has been sealed with a semi-gloss polycrylic. It makes the colors pop. I think once it's in place and the floor gets sealed, I'll switch to a satin finish.

I made a frame, stained it, and glued it around the tiles. The smaller clamps are holding shims, also glued.
While the glue was setting (E6000), I drew lines on the floor with a fine point indelible marker to indicate 6" planks and stained it with some old walnut stain I found on the shelf. You can see the hole that will receive the tile section. That is Alois behind the bar. He will be the proprietor when the inn is open for business.
About the bar: I wasn't fond of the mahogany red. Now that it is near the walnut floor, I really don't like it. I'd rather it be a walnut or even a dark oak, but that may be asking a bit much. In any event, I have to figure out how to dull the red. Luckily there are finished panels on the backside that I can experiment on.

The next photo shows the base face down with more shims being glued under the floor. I think with those in place, the tile section in its frame should fit flush with the floor. It worked during the dry fit. Notice the brace to the left of the hole. I was afraid it might be under the tile, but it worked out just fine.
While everything was drying, Alois climbed up to the second floor to check out where the new stairway opening will go. To fit the new floor layout, the stairs will make a quarter turn counter-clockwise and move against the far wall. I assured him we would do another dry fit before cutting the hole.
By the way, I used my Dremel Trio for the first time today to cut the hole for the tile. I was please with the results. The cut was a little bit wavy, but a little attention with an eXacto knife and emery board smoothed it out. A perfect fit.

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