In the evenings we manage to motivate ourselves to tackle some projects. It would seem that we are inching our way closer and closer to our basement reno, literally taking it one step at a time as we make our way down the stair case. So after finishing the stairs, clearly it only seemed logical to make our next project about the landing at the bottom of the stairs.
After pulling up the hideous orange linoleum back in October the bottom of the stairs was looking pretty hairy with just bare concrete exposed. We weren't sure if we wanted to continue with laminate wood flooring, or if we wanted to try our hand at tiling. After mulling it over we decided it might be nice to tackle some tiling, the space is small and it would be a nice change.
After doing our research we learned that we had to remove the left over linoleum glue before tiling. We used an adhesive remover appropriately called "The Glue Buster" and it did not disappoint, though it left our basement smelling something fierce (hence the mandatory breathing respirator).
We also found out that we needed to lay a protective barrier before tiling. When tiling on concrete it is recommended to use this orange underlay, especially if you can already see cracks in your concrete which of course we had. This underlay prevents cracking of your tiles over time due to changes in the concrete. At $7.49 a sq/ft this underlay wasn't cheap, but we really didn't want to deal with cracked tiles down the road.
Speaking of tiles, these are the ones that we chose for the area. Since it is a small area we talked about the idea of doing marble, but none of the marble samples really "spoke" to us at the store. We wanted something that wouldn't show dirt right away, especially since this is a high traffic area that has to endure muddy snowboard boots, wet dog feet and just everyday walk through to the backyard door. We also liked that these tiles were rectangle, meaning we'd have to use less of them. They seemed neutral enough that they'd match years of possible wall colour changes too. They were about $68 a box, 8 in a box and the tile size was 12 in. x 24 in.
We rented a tile saw from Home Depot, which set us back a little more then we were hoping but it was necessary ( too bad we found out a close relative OWNS a tile saw a few weeks later). It was so worth it, we were able to make smooth cuts without damaging any tiles. It was about $70 to rent for 4 hours.
And then the fun really began. We'll update soon on how the grouting and sealing went, and how it all looks finished! No more bare concrete for our families' tootsies... well okay, the whole basement is bare concrete right now so technically our tootsies still have some enduring to do but this is a start!