Over the course of the past two winters in the cabin I have mulled over a few different solutions. The original floor was a pair of sheets of concrete board. This was approved of by the chimney inspector who said it would meet WETT code (although other parts of my setup need to be changed if I want that certification).
This was okay as a base layer, but it became apparent that it wasn't a permanent solution. It was dusty and challenging to clean. Spider cracks appeared as we walked over it, and it absorbed water.
It did have the fortunate positioning to be able to dry out quickly, as it was right under the hot, dry stove.
I headed to the hardware store thinking that my easiest solution would be to lather on multiple layers of concrete paint. As often happens though, my arrival there caused me to start mulling other options. I finally settled on the idea of simply dry laying floor tiles in the space. I had a raised border around the stove, so that locked in the tiles for me.
I purchased three boxes of on-sale tiles for cheap. I made sure they were a standard 12"x12" tile so that they could easily be replaced if any broke. My assumption is that with them layed dry, any dust that does get between them will actually assist in levelling them for me in the long term. They should still be okay with getting wet and then drying out on their own due to the nearby stove. We will see how it goes in the long term.
Trying to cheap out, I purchased "nippers" to try to break off small bits of tile and shape them to the space I wanted to put them in. Unfortunately, these only worked for the smallest of adjustments, and were unusable for cutting an entire tile. I hoped to do that with a scoring tool I had bought, but this also proved impossible to do properly.
Finally I opted to just buy a wet tile saw online that was less than the cost of a rental. I figured it was good for a single use in the worst case scenario.
|Uncut tiles go down quick!|
|My first challenging piece.|
The saw worked a charm, but it must be said that it is a messy affair. Be prepared to be coated in sticky, wet dust. Thankfully it was a sauna night that night.
|Now things are coming together!|
|Loving one another's company :)|
And finally, the finished project. I'll keep you posted how the dry lay tiles end up working. I couldn't find too many links to other people trying to do it this way.
|I wouldn't go back there when it's running!|