Sometimes great things come from small things and this entryway project was exactly like that. This very small yet interesting project started almost by accident.
I had completed a tile job a few months before and had some high quality porcelain tile left over. It was nice tile so I was hesitant to toss it out but after moving the pile around my shop for several months I finally decided to throw it away. While loading my pickup with miscellaneous construction garbage – and this great tile – one of my neighbors stopped by for a chat about some of my recent projects.
I showed him the great left over tile that I was throwing away and asked him if he had any interest in taking it off my hands – for free. He said he was actually thinking about replacing his existing tile landing at his house because although it had been redone just a few years ago, it had cracked. We went over and took a look at his landing and decided the scrap tile might be a perfect solution.
I told my neighbor “you come up with any design you want, and I’ll bring that to life.” He came up with an idea and sketched out the idea within a couple of days. As soon as I looked at the sketches, I knew it was going to be a very challenging project, but I also knew it would be a rewarding project I would be proud to put the Corvus name on.
We took the final sketch and imported it into a graphics design program to make the focal point of the design work within the existing space and fine tune the look of the project to fit the available space of the entryway. This was going to be a highly customized undertaking that was going to be all about the details.
Because every tile had to be custom cut, I printed out the final design from the program to create a stencil to trace the outline on each tile. After all of the painstaking tile cutting, I laid it out in a mock-up on the entry floor. Then we were ready to overcome our next challenge – the flexing and moving sub floor.
The existing tile landing that we were replacing had been installed just a few years earlier but had already cracked down the center. This fracture made me realize that we needed to find a way to somehow decouple the substrate from the finished tile surface to prevent the same problem from cropping up again.
I decided to go with a Schluter-DITRA™ tile underlay for this job. Working with DITRA™ was surprisingly simple. The only thing you need to remember is to use unmodified thinset mortar when setting tile over this substrate, because modified thinset would take a very long time to cure. We also decided to use QuartzLock™ urethane grout for the floor because it expands and contracts when the floor flexes under foot traffic and could help prevent future cracking.
In the end the project came out great! My neighbor is thrilled and can’t wait to show it off to anyone that stops by. This is a great example of how custom work can really amp up the appeal of your home and how a small change can make a big difference in the look of your home.