Published at Wednesday, 16 January 2019. Kitchen Floors. By Gerda Andersen.
Once you’ve decided on your focal point, snap a chalk line down the center of the subfloor near that starting point. You willl use it to gauge whether the tiles are placed in alignment. It is also helpful to snap a second chalk line that crosses the first at right angles. This is where you will lay your first tile. If you have never laid a tile floor before, try out the pattern with unglued tiles laid over about a quarter or so of the floor. It will help you plan how to lay the tiles most efficiently, and estimate where cuts will be needed.
Wood floors are an old-house staple—but in the harsh environment of the kitchen, wood will splinter, flake, and warp when exposed repeatedly to water. That's why early Americans quickly learned to seal wood floors with whatever was available, from homemade paint to wax and tung oil. Similarly, Victorian homeowners jumped at the chance to install water-resistant materials like linoleum and mosaic tile as soon as they became widely available in the last quarter of the 19th century.
All three resilients come in a range of colors and textural patterns—marbleized, flecked, confetti, swirl—making them ideal camouflage for wear and tear. They are also excellent mediums for creating custom floor designs, especially since all three are available as both tiles and sheet goods (see page 76 for more). While cork always seems to maintain its essential character even when tinted, linoleum and VCT have been mimicking each other in terms of color, pattern, and use for nearly 100 years.
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