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baseboard - tiles & wooden floors

updated sat 17 feb 01


Katie Cordrey on fri 16 feb 01

I have used tiles as baseboard in houses like my own, with both concrete
slab and wooden floors. The trick is not to grout under the tiles in a home
(or room) with a wooden floor. I advise that you mount the tiles with
mortar, not tile adhesive. They seem to adhere better and the mortar gives
you some wiggle room for depth and spacing adjustment. You can easily grout
between the tiles then fill the space underneath with a flexible sanded
caulking made for that purpose. Because the caulking is flexible, it allows
for movement of the wood floor. Because the caulking is sanded, it looks
like grout, and unless you crawl around on your hands and knees and poke at
it, you'll never know the difference. You can also have the caulking
colored to match colored grout. I did this for tiles on my kitchen walls
that serve as a quasi backsplash. (Really, I just liked how they looked.)
In that case, the grout was rose-colored. I took a sample into my builder's
supply and they ordered the caulking to match. Because it was in a very
tactile area, I specified a lower sand content than for the baseboard
areas. I used it below the tiles, where they meet the counter tops AND
above because I could get a nice bead with the caulking gun. That was more
attractive as a finish than my inept efforts with grout. I've been living
with these installations for several years now and no falling grout or
caulk, but lots of compliments.

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Wednesday, February 14, 2001 4:01 PM
Subject: Re: "baseboard"

Thanks to Helen, Snail, Dave F. and several

We call baseboard "skirting board" in the UK. In
our Victorian house, it is about six inches

I cannot imagine using tiles on the skirting
board though. Or was the tile to replace the
wooden board? If so, the floor would have to be
solid (concrete or similar) and not a hung
wooden floor. The movement of wood would be too
much and the grout or other filler between the
floor and the tile skirting would crack and fall

Janet Kaiser
The Chapel of Art . Capel Celfyddyd
Criccieth LL52 0EA, GB-Wales Tel: (01766) 523570

> Oh, my, we do get into difficulties with
transatlantic vocabulary
> items!

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