Jun 21, 2014

Slate floor, Day 3

Day three of the slate installation was all about details. Challenging areas with for example difficult access (e.g. the area underneath the circular staircase) were left to be finished last. To be precise, however, Harri did install some of the pieces around the staircase already during the first day. This was important from the tactical perspective, as leaving them to dry for few days enabled him to lean on them while installing the rest. Sounds like the voice of experience, doesn't it? 

Harri at work

Of course, not all of the pieces of slate fit next to each other perfectly right away. In these occasions where the match is not natural, a bit of persuasion with a grinder and a slate hammer is required.

Some evidence of past persuasion

Basically, you start by drawing the outline of the required cut. Next you use a grinder to create a general cut line. Importantly, the cut line does not go all the way through the stone but rather facilitates breaking of a slate correctly. Last you break the piece with a hammer, which gives the stone a more natural break line visually complementing the non-modified slates.

Man vs. slate

It took Harri and his assistant Pekka 22 hours to install all 30 square meters of slate floor. Next, a careful wash is needed as the floor looks and is filthy. Afterwards, Pekka can start seaming the floor, and finally apply a protective coat on top.

We would like to thank Liuskemestarit not only for the slate but also for the installation service they provided. If you are interested in a slate floor for in or outside areas, we'd be glad to give them our warm recommendation!

The very last missing piece

In the last post we showed you some of the testing Pekka conducted in order to find the exactly right tone for the seam. We have already chosen the slate we prefer but now there is the tone of the seam to be decided also. But this is not the end of it..

Spectrum of titanium oxide concentrations

You can also apply a toner on top of your chosen slate. The toner is not necessarily required, but it will work as a protective layer and helps to keep the slate clean. There are several different finishes to choose from. So of course, here as well Pekka did some testing with products kindly provided by Liuskemestarit.

Top left corner: No protection
Top right corner: Lantania, Avo
Bottom: Lantania, Twinsebin.M

Of the above choices, we liked the Lantania Avo -protector the most. It turns the tone slightly darker vs. the original, but does not result in a "wet-look", which was not an option for us from the very beginning. Also, Avo seems to have a bonus effect when compared to the look created by the Twinsebin.M. It hides away tiny little grains of dirt from the stone surface (something which seems to be characteristic to this type of slate) resulting in visually more homogenous look.

Natural vs. Lantania Avo

Finally, the flip side of the coin. Peak on the backyard shows that it is simply a disaster. Luckily, we are still in good terms with our very understanding and supportive neighbours.

The dark side of renovation

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