Important points about tiled steps.
Here are some steps Matthew recently, (November 2007) fixed in a large domestic project.
As usual, the steps had to be re-screeded to ensure all the risers were the same height.
You will notice that a solid green oak balustrade and final fix skirting/architrave etc is already fixed. Whatever you do, NEVER allow cement in any form, especially grout of any kind, near new oak, It will stain it a horrible dunn green colour which will completely ruin it. We made sure all the adjacent oak surfaces were protected by masking tape before we would even attempt to grout anything on this job.
A chrome L shaped trim has been chosen to finish the nosing of the tread.
Although there seems little wrong with the step tiling, we would have preferred to fix a darker non slip nosing tile set within the base tile, as a strip across the treads. This would make it clear there was a step and introduce a non slip edge to each tread.
However, the client has lit every other step, which will at least define the steps in the dark
See the difference a matching grout colour can make to a floor. Lighter grouting gives a much softer look to a floor but you must use the correct grout and make sure it is sealed properly and well maintained. We have always used a grout improver when laying our floors but even when this is done they can still pick up dirt. We now recommend that all floors are sealed and consequently kept clean and maintained with an appropriate product for this purpose. Another good idea is to have a substantial and constantly damp, coconut mat or similar, outside any exterior entrance, this will remove a huge amount of dirt and grit from footware which can damage any seal you apply to the floor and joints.
We will often fit a custom matwell at the doorway for just this purpose, they stop mats from skidding about and seem to simply, look right. The one below is in my own hall, it's about four years old now and the mat needs changing for a new one, but it still looks okay, and the funny thing is, people really do stop, and wipe their feet on it. They add about forty pounds, (for the brass trim and matting), to a job and a little extra cutting for us, but they do add a great deal to the uniqueness and 'custom fitted' look of the floor.
I heard a very trendy phrase for what gets floors dirty recently, 'Particle Migration' is apparantly the culprit!
Multi Size Kitchen Floor.
This kitchen floor was fixed in a multi size 60x40, 40x40, 40x20 and 20x20 combination porcelain tile.
The floor was then grouted in a limestone grout which blended in perfectly with the tile.
The customer also wanted a matwell as the doors come straight in from the garden.