Tag Archives: Tiling a foyer

As we Enter the House, Foyer and Hall…

26 Jul

The house originally had a travertine floor in the foyer and hall that we were going to keep until all the new tile that was installed really showed up the flaws in this floor.  I think it just looked good at the time compared to the rest of the house!  The travertine had not been professionally done and the cuts were uneven, grout lines too big and again uneven, so it was replaced with new travertine.  We still wanted that look, just wanted to spruce it up a little.  The old tile came out in chunks and the subfloor was awful and uneven and required leveling compound, which is why in the ‘Between’ pictures it looks like fresh concrete had been poured!   In the foyer we decided to add to the design by inlaying the wood in a diamond design to border the tiles.  The banisters were original and were white painted wood square balusters.  They were in good shape and were super sturdy, needless to say, very hard to remove!  This was a decision we vacillated on for a while, because they were still good and the look was fine, but a little dated.  We really wanted to go with wrought iron banisters.  After researching this for a while I happened upon a contractor who does beautiful work (See my preferred contractors on the Home Renovations tab).  He hand forges the material and custom makes the design.  We had several ideas in mind as to what look we wanted and as we met with him, he pulled out his spiral composition notebook and began to drawing it right there on the spot!  He said we could tweak it in any way as he was building the piece.  We decided to go with a flowing design rather than individual balusters.  We were very pleased with the product.  It is heavy and thick metal and should last a lifetime.  He is incorporating the same design into our new front door which is still in work.  Here are the pictures showing the progression from start to finish of the foyer and the front hall.

A Travertine Reboot…

15 Apr

This was a decision that came a little late in the game because when we got the house everything looked so bad that the travertine in the hall and foyer looked great so we thought let’s keep it.  It was one less thing to have to do so that was our original plan but after all the other new flooring was installed the existing tiles looked bad.  To begin with they were not installed with the precision and expertise that Chris has with his work.  The more familiar you become with floor installation the more noticeable these things are.  First off travertine has a much smaller grout line than does ceramic or porcelain tile or even slate.  It is typically installed with a 1/16 or a 1/8 inch grout line, very tiny, and unsanded grout is used instead of the typical sanded grout.  The more we looked at the existing floor the more we thought we would regret keeping it.  Everything else is new and fresh and done right but this floor had huge grout lines and it was uneven.  If you stood at the bedroom door and looked down the hall to the kitchen you could see the waviness in the lines and the cuts were uneven.  There would be a 4 inch piece on one side and on the other side would be a little chip so we decided to 86 the floors and do it right.  When the tile crew tore out the old tile the foyer came out as expected.  You could see some residue from the previous thin set but it was pretty much a flat surface.  The hallway, on the other hand, came out in huge chunks.  It looked like the surface of the moon and just awful.  They had to pour a concrete layer as well as leveling compound to adjust for all of the unevenness – just a huge ordeal.  Here are the pictures of the ‘before’ travertine, the concrete floor of the ‘betweens’ and the new ‘after’.

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