Saturday, November 28, 2009

Kitchen Floor Tiles!!

We finally got to work on our kitchen floor. You see, until today, our floor looked like this:

This is because there used to be cabinets over there. Now the corner will house the refrigerator, which awaits patiently in the dining area. Some of the other tiles we had to remove because they got damaged. It's very easy to get them damaged - you don't have to even touch them. But don't get me started on Saltillo tiles - which is what these tiles are. Suffice to say that if you ever consider installing new floors in your house, do yourself a favor and do NOT install Saltillo tiles. Any other floor would be better, I assure you. Anyway, we prepared the floor by removing the tiles and parts of the grout, and now they're ready to accept the new tiles. First, set them up, to see if they look okay:

Now, attach with mortar. We got some cement, and at first tried to use it mixed with sand. Didn't work - it dried out too quickly, and was too tough to squeeze out from under the tile. Since the tile is not flat - neither at the underside nor at the top - you have to make adjustments with the mortar, so soft mortar works better. This is why we had to remove what we started, and do it over, this time without any sand, just straight cement. We found that the tile also needs to be completely soaked, otherwise it would suck up all the water from the cement and dry it out really quickly. Well, this is what it looks like now:

Now we need to wait for it to dry, which should take 1-2 weeks or so, seal it - since it's unglazed tile - and grout it. We also have to do the part under the stove, because the stove is now standing were there used to be cabinets.

When we were done with the tile, we went to the garden and thinned our mustard greens. From the thinning, I made these open sandwiches:

They were good! Mustard greens have a distinct flavor that I like. I tossed them with some balsamic vinaigrette and put them on some lightly toasted bread, topped them with some avocado salad (avocado, diced tomato, toasted walnuts, lime juice, garlic powder, salt), and finished with some crumbled feta. Our first garden crop was delicious!

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