After I picked up these barstools to mate up with the bar I found last winter, I finally had an idea for a color scheme for the basement floor. I've been planning to re-do the floor since we moved in, but I needed time to come up with the right inspiration for colors and pattern. The original old brown tiles have seen better days and they make the room look too dark. So I decided to put down new 12-inch tiles in a combination of red, black, and gray (the white tiles show too much dirt, as I've learned in our kitchen).
I got the black and gray tiles at the local big box hardware store, but the lipstick red tiles were special ordered. Here's a shot of the new tiles in progress.
I used some graph paper to play around with patterns and finally decided on this approach. The gray will dominate, with equal parts red and black. I like the zig-zag pattern for this room.
I've gotten pretty far, but there are still a couple corners to finish in the big room, and then I need to nail in new quarter-round baseboard trim to give it a finished look. These are Armstrong tiles, and if you try carrying a box of them, you'll appreciate the name "arm strong." The glue comes in a five-gallon bucket, and you use a trowel with teeth to create a grooved base of glue. And the glue sticks like crazy!
I'm gluing right on top of the old floor, which may have asbestos in the tiles, so that's another reason why I want the old floor covered up. Once I finish this room I have a hallway, another bedroom, and an area in the unfinished part of the basement devoted to the dryer/man cave.
It's not too hard to get started on a project like this. I like to find the center of the room and strike a chalk line to split the room lengthwise. Then you start laying the first row along that line, with the edges of the tiles butted up to the chalk line, and go from there. I'm somewhat spatially challenged in that I have to really study the drawing and double check that I'm laying the right color down to keep the pattern going. I didn't stick entirely with my drawing - if you study the photo below you'll see that the red/black pattern is reversed in one diagonal. I like the variation.
You really have to be careful not to get too much glue under a tile or it will squirt up through the cracks between the tiles, and then you have to wipe up the excess glue and try to avoid stepping in it. If you walk on the tiles before the glue has dried, they will slide around so you either lay them so you have an escape pathway, or you walk very gingerly. I still end up pushing tiles together, and that leads to more clean up of excess glue. I'm wearing a pair of old shoes I intend to throw out when I done laying the tiles.