Thursday, April 16, 2009

Journal Posting - Timberframe Stone Flooring

People often say to me "how do you decide what to use with so many options available"? I guess it could be considered a blessing and a curse - to have so many options available. Design is one part creativity with three parts of logic or requirements. Yes, there are many options out there, but the solution to a design problem is steered or guided by the project's parameters.

And so it is with our tile flooring selections for Lawry's Timber frame home. Lawry will have wonderful radiant heating installed under his floors. The "sandwich" of materials that will make up the heating system adds quite a bit of thickness to our floor and will dictate how much space we will have available for our top finish. At this point we need to select materials that are no thicker than 1".

As Lawry and I shopped this week for stone flooring we were only considering materials of 1" or less. This eliminated a few items such as the cobblestone that we were initially considering. (Lawry's great find is cobblestones that have been reclaimed from the City of Cleveland - how cool would that be??)

Who knew that there have been studies that show walking on cobblestones activates acupoints in the feet?? A beautiful floor and health benefits - what could be better? Lawry - trendsetter that he is!!!

Alas, cobblestones are too thick for our 1" floor requirement. We considered slicing them but I believe at this point we have ruled that out.

There are some wonderful reclaimed terra cotta pavers (picture above) from various spots in Europe. They are recoved from old farmhouses, barns, and town squares. Again, we run into thickness issues and cannot use most of what we have found. They are just thick enough to be a problem.

Our current, but not final, picks are; for the kitchen - a lovely Saltillo paver tile that Lawry has used before and that he likes very much, a gothic tumbled travertine for the Master Bath floors and shower walls, and a sandstone paver from Lost Creek Stone for the Screened Porch, Cooking Porch, and adjacent Laundry Room.

Gothic travertine and handmolded Seneca Tile with black slate

Seneca Tiles are made here locally and one option is for us to visit the factory and find seconds in the "field of dreams" that we can work into the master floor and walls. Seneca Tiles are beautiful, rustic hand molded tiles - I have them in my kitchen and greenhouse. Love them!

Lawry taking notes on our selections

As we consider our flooring materials, we are also looking at our countertops as they will be large, visible areas in our rooms and we want them to coordinate well. With our current flooring selections, a black slate looks very nice and I think that it will be an excellent material for the timber frame style.

Great stone shopping this week. Feels like we may need to see just one or two more materials before we make the final decision. There is a time crunch and the contractor needs to know our final material thickness numbers very soon, so it's down to the wire time.
We have a few more details to work out - I will keep you posted on our progress.

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