4x8" blue/white tiles installed on kitchen floor in Nashua, New Hampshire

cracking floor tile removal sweep floor clean after tile demo install Ditra over subfloor trowel thinset over Ditra layout of tile setting 4x8 tiles set over Ditra tiles installed in hallway finished floor tile in foyer grouted

Remove cracked tiles, install rustic brick tile

Customer initially called because she had tile floor installed in kitchen of her Nashua home less than a year ago and already she was seeing problems with cracked tiles popping loose on her kitchen floor. When I arrived, I lifted a tile up bare-handed and revealed tile installed over wood by previous contractor. Worse so, it was set over Luan that was merely stapled down. So the vibrations of foot traffic over flapping wood caused the tiles to break the bond and come loose and start cracking.

We removed the problematic tiles. Customer didn't really care for the "Builder beige" color of the original tiles. And rather than the fake stone look, wanted something with more character. So, we went tile shopping and came across a blue/white rustic, brick 4x8" tile that she immediately fell in love with. I thought a random pattern layout for tile would break monotany of traditional brickset running bond and give even more intrigue to the flow of the rooms to be tiled.

After removing tile and luan, we installed Schluter Ditra crack isolation membrane over the subfloor. Then we did a preliminary dry lay run of the tile to show the homeowner what the layout would look like at ending perimeters of each room.

The tiles were back-buttered and set using a rapid setting thinset mortar. That way within hours of us putting the tile down the homeowner, her children and dogs could still walk over the tile that afternoon after we had left from working.

First day tiling, we set all the field tile and next day we did the cuts. Then, we grouted using Mapei Ultracolor in their "Acorn" color, which gave a contrast to bring out the sort of vintage, old-age style look of the brick tile design. After all, the customer worked at a museum and wanted her new tile floor to look like a contemporary art gallery showroom.

Next on her to-do list is the countertops and a tile backsplash. We'll see you soon...

↵ other tile projects by Matt Cupan
Matt Cupan TileWorks
221 Hanover Street
Manchester, NH


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