Wednesday, August 10, 2011

WIP - False Creek Remodel - Part 9

They say that good fences make good neighbours.  Never was this truer than in a condominium complex.  Have a look at the rules and regulations for any strata organization and you'll see a long list of things you can and cannot do to your suite, and most of them have to do with how what you want to do will affect your neighbour.

Flooring materials often top these lists.  Anyone who has ever lived below an apartment with hardwood floors will attest that the sound of high heels on hardwood is not dissimilar to the sound of a jack-hammer at 7am on a Sunday morning. So I'm quite familiar with acoustic insulation for engineered flooring, but this is the first time I've come across the need for it under tile.  But the strata required it, so in it went!

The roll of material in the photo above is called EasyMat.  It's a tile underlay, fracture membrane and acoustic insulator all in one.The Easy may simply rolls out and is cut to fit the room.  Installation couldn't be simpler.  The acoustic membrane just meant the tile installation would be a little thicker than normal, which turned out to a good thing since the tiles would be butting up against the thicker engineered hardwood.

Now, I know what you're thinking.  "Underlay?  Really?  Get to the tile!"  Before I do, remember this:  Any installation is only going to be as good as the preparation that preceded it.  Whether it's cabinetry, paint or tiles, if the foundation is no good the finished product will suffer.  Remember that the next time you're feeling impatient for the finished product.

This is the tile we've specified for the foyer, hallways and bathroom.  Its a 12" x 24" porcelain tile that is a dead ringer for a Classico travertine.  It looks way better installed than it does on its own ... and it looked great on its own!  It's been installed in a "lock" pattern, also known as "brick".  The grout was selected to match the tile as closely as possible which gives the whole area a beautiful continuity.

If you look closely on the right hand side of the photo, you'll also see two grooves running along the face of the closet.  These are for the guide tracks for our bi-pass doors. True, we could have simply screwed the guides to the surface of the tile, but setting them into the tile looks sleeker.

Next up is the tile for the backsplash ... an elongated (2" x 16") matte white subway tile.  Pretty simple, but we wanted to keep the backsplash quiet for a couple reasons.  Because the kitchen is very exposed to the rest of the suite, we want the kitchen to become part of the room, not dominate it.  We've achieved this by controlling which features of the kitchen blend in, and which stand out.  The visually quiet countertops and subway tiles allow two things to take centre stage:  the cabinetry and ...

... the marble tile we're inserting as a border in the splash.  This is just a teaser and I won't show it to you again until the big reveal!

The rest of this week will see base and door trims being installed, along with the carpet in the back bedroom and the bi-pass closet doors.  The dust is beginning to settle!

WIP: False Creek Remodel is an actual remodel project that I'm blogging in real time.  To see all the entries in this series just click the FOLLOW ME buttons at the top right of this page.  If there's any part of the project you're interested in, leave me a note in the comments section.


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