Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Mini Masonry

Work continues!  It's been a long while, however progress has been made.  In between Christmas, New Year, wild weather and numerous other adventures, I have been working on the downstairs floors.  For the kitchen I settled on random stone paving from Richard Stacey's line of mini bricks, pavings and facings.  These were very easy to work with.  I used a fine tooth razor saw, cut them half way through and then snapped along the line.  The edges can be sanded to round them off like worn stone or the surface can be worn down to give the impression of the footsteps of ages.  The greatest challenge with this style of floor is placement.  My usually logical, must have strict order thinking fought me brain cell by brain cell the whole way.  It's like doing a jigsaw puzzle when you don't have a picture to follow and immense fun!!

Once the floor is laid, you give the stones a coat of 50/50 water and pva glue.  This makes it easier to wipe off the excess paste when you start mortaring.  I discovered that it also gives the stone a nice sheen like a floor polished by decades of mopping and scrubbing.

Wall gaps in the room corners were filled in with more grout and a piece of balsa laid in the doorway to provide framework for the mortar and simulate a threshold.  It's starting to come together as a room.  Can't wait to get some fixtures and fittings in there.

Richard Stacey's mortar was used.  It comes in powder form and you mix it with water and a tiny touch of pva which slows the drying time, something you appreciate when you have to get the excess wiped off before it adheres to your stone.  You work in small sections at a time, applying and wiping off.  Various application methods are recommended, like using a damp cloth, however I found the trusty old finger worked best!  Just take care not to overdo it, my first time at mortaring gave me quite a graze on the fingertips as the rough mortar scrapped off sensitive skin!!  Putting on a cotton glove solves this, but I prefer bare hands.  Onward and upward!  The walnut flooring has been laid next door and stairs are now in progress.  Shall share pics soon.