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The 80:20 rule

May 3, 2012

Have you noticed that the 80:20 rule applies also to building or renovating? Think about changing the wallpaper. 80% of the time goes into tearing the old wallpaper off, plastering over the holes in the wall, and then there are the never ending works for the floor and ceiling lists. The actual wallpapering is only a marginal part of the whole project.

Laying floor tiles is not much different. The actual mortar/tile-laying related work is only 20% of the fun. The rest makes up the other 80%. Let me walk you backwards in the process…

But lets first gaze at the beautiful result: the floor tiles and the compass mosaic (which increases the percentages of this project to a mathematically impossible 120%!).

Surprising how curved the straight lines appear on the photo taken with a Sony digital camera. Now the hallway is ready for the delivery the stairs (after painting all the walls as well).

Because I decided to use white joint filler for the mosaic and dark grey one for the other tiles I had to split the joint filling over two days. First I did the joint filling for the dark floor tiles and only the next day I did the joint filling for the mosaic. If I would have done it in one go, it most likely would have turned into one grey/white mess.

Before I could even start with laying the tiles I marked the two sides of the mosaic compass with laser precision. I put down the mosaic first and started to lay the floor tiles from the mosaic outwards. Below is a photo of the laser marker but you can’t really see the laser beam.

And before you actually mark where to lay the floor tiles you need to naturally know first how to lay them: sideways, long side towards the light, aligned on the edge with the wall to avoid cutting unnecessarily often floor tiles into pieces, and so on. I spent an incredibly amount of two hours playing around with multiple configurations. I came finally to the conclusion that I’m aligning the mosaic with the center of the door and coincidentally with the door to the bathroom.

So, the 80:20 rule applies also to laying floor tiles. And if you add a lovely mosaic it to it, it adds an additional twist to the whole equation.

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