Just as a quick review, the layers to the floor are as follows:
- well sanded, rough-cut hemlock 1-by sub-floor
- Homasote (for more information on this product, see my post here)
- slate tiles placed into a cement mortar bed
- grout in between the tiles
- AFM Safecoat’s Grout Sealer
- AFM Safecoat’s Mexeseal Tile Sealant
And now the details!
The Homasote was both glued and screwed down. In looking for an appropriate adhesive, I spoke at length with the gentleman from the natural building supply company we were working with. He highly recommended a product called Solvent Free Titebond Multi-Purpose Flooring Adhesive. He explained that it works very much like a traditional adhesive, is comparable to AFM’s adhesive, as far as chemical exposure goes, but at half the price. We went with it and have no complaints. I was out of the area when it was being applied and stayed away for a while afterward, but any fumes that it did create seemed to clear quickly and it did not cause any on-going health problems for us. We have a can leftover and do plan on using it again in the future.
For both the mortar bed and the grout, we went with the standard options available at our local hardware store. We did check and try to get the cement with the least additives, etc. We felt like the traditional products would be fairly safe, once cured, especially it would be mostly covered by tile and then well sealed.
Now that we’ve seen the process first-hand, we both agree that we’d feel comfortable attempting future tiling projects ourselves.
These pictures were taken shortly after it was sealed. The finish did become less glossy over time and more like the matte finish that you would tend to expect of a slate floor. Of course, it’s never again been as clean as it was in these pictures either!