Saturday, April 24, 2010


Did I say 1200 slate-look tiles? No, it should have been more than 1800!

What we learned:
The tiles are great to work with and attach firmly with three small dots at the upper edge of the tile with Carpenters wood glue. Take care that the glue does not run down the tile before you attach it as it may reach the lower level of tiles. I selected the edges that I wanted to show but to be honest I don't think it was necessary.

If you are making a large amount of tiles it is best to make more than you need and mix the batches so that you do not have any distinctive areas of tile that seem similar. In the photo you can see that I have a large roof. Your roof is likely not as large so don't be discouraged by the number of tiles that need to be made.

We worked from the centre of the area bottom row first of course as they overlap. Do not trust your eye but draw lines so you will keep your tiles straight. We also ruled lines up from the bottom row to provide a check that we were keeping the joint lines even. You will note the alternate rows are offset so draw that guide line as well. Don't miss this step as it will help you to work quickly and if you have a helper one can put glue on while the other puts them in place. Bruce and I spent some nice hours listening to jazz late night on the radio and working together.

Make sure the tiles on the edge of the roof are given a little extra glue as when it is complete you need to mark the edge before cutting it with a mat knife/box cutter. You can imagine the extra pressure on the edge when you cut so allow for that when you affix the edge tile.

When we were working on individual tiles to fit around the little dormers we used a mat knife. The tiles on the roof edge have been cut with sissors. The Spackle does not shatter when it is cut. We will retouch any white on the tiles with grey paint when we are finished.

The ridge capping tiles have to be done and I will post again once we have worked how best to do it. Bruce is toying with the idea of making copper gutters made of copper water pipe but the jury is out on whether it is practical.


The dormer shows the tile cut to fit. The copper roof caps will be aged as will the tiles. I have a curtain on this window as there is nothing behind it. The opposite side houses the attic bathroom.

Bruce painting the roof before beginning to tile. This colour is the same base colour as the tiles.

Bruce glueing tiles. We are very good at it now!

This view shows the back of house show the tiles trimmed. The tiles have been trimmed on the upper edge but not on the lower edge.

View of the opposite side trimmed. The room that you see will be the childrens' room. I am looking forward to getting back to dressing the rooms.

If anyone has questions we are always happy to help if the directions are not clear.

Spring is well and truly here in Vancouver and I have had a wonderful time in the garden,

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


This will be the best view of the little attic bathroom as in the near future we will only be able to see it through a small dormer window. The bath, basin and stool are part of a Chrysnbon kit. The little shelf above the sink has the supports that were part of the toilet.

On the shelf you will see a candle holder, bead bottle and bead vase, a clock and also a clear jar with lid all made of buttons, a shell from my collection and a postcard. On the sink there is a fimo soap and a button for a glass soap holder.

Once again I arranged everything on a piece of rigid packaging plastic. I did make a mistake as I wanted the candlestick to be on the right but the only way you can see it when the roof is enclosed is in the mirror and everything is reversed.

Under the sink is a waste basket made from a filigree tube. I have four from the thrift store. They seem to be a cover for something but I have never seen them again.

The stool beside the tub has a large book on it created by covering a block of wood with paper from a magazine. The picture is part of an antique map and the bead jar has a tiny Chanel label on it.

To enable you to see more of the room I placed a large mirror in a horizontal position on the wall. This was made from a picture frame the decorative edge suggests a fleur- de-lys. I painted the decorative edge with silver enamel paint to tie in with the chrome fixtures on the vanity and tub.

You may notice the Napoleonic foot soldier that came from a military game painted and used as a door stop.

The wall paper is a small toile de jouy that has a little bright yellow colour in the gentleman's trousers. I painted the tub and the underside of the sink the same colour and tried to have the dried seed pod/flower absorb the yellow colour... somehow it resisted the strong yellow colour but I have accepted it as is!

I glued a section of a baby's white sock to the tub to create the soft fall of a very fluffy white towel.

The bath seems to be sitting in the middle of nowhere but when the roof is on the bath will actually be sitting up against the dormer window.

This was all a bit of fun as despite my fever for finishing slate tiles I needed to finish the bathroom and glue everything solidly before the base for the roof tiles closes this corner of the house.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


This closeup gives you an idea of how the "wood look" tiles turned out.
We were experimenting to make slate tiles but thought this may be helpful for anyone who wants to make singles or shakes.
You will notice by the white showing on the tiles that we did not finish them once we realized they did not have the look we wanted.
A small wire brush was used to rake the Spackle (dry wall/sheet rock filler) surface to give the appearance of wood grain.

The photo is enlarged so the raking looks distinctive but on the roof looks very authentic. You would need to try different colours and a bit of aging as well.

Bristol board is mat board. Also I would mention that the stone floors we made using a similar technique have stayed flat without any warping or lifting and look the same as when we installed them. The house had been in storage until January since the year 2002.

We would be happy to expand if anyone has any questions.


Imagine, 1200 slate-look tiles to make plus the ridge tiles! I think they are going to look authentic so there is no lack of enthusiasm to have them finished. We made the sandstone flooring with a similar technique that I detailed earlier.

We used grey 1 1/2 m.( 1/16") Bristol art board.

Step 1. Skim the board with drywall/spackle.
Step 2. Paint the dry spackle with your colour of choice.
Step 3. Mottle the board with dabs of white paint - quickly soften dabs using an old sock or tee-shirt fabric.
Step 4. Cut tiles into size. We chose 25x38m. (1"x 1 1/2") an laid the tile horizontally. Take about a third of the tiles and run a screwdriver along the edge to create more dimension - see white portions that are being repainted.
Step 5. Soften the cut edges of your tile by rubbing against a rubber gardening glove and repaint the white portions of the tile taking care not to have a build up of paint on the edges. Lay out on newspaper to dry. Dust each tile by wiping with a soft cloth. Now you are ready to draw guide lines on the appropriately coloured undercoat of the roof.

This is not difficult and I fell into an almost manic desire to finish the tiles. However now that the roof is prepared there are lots of things to be considered before we (my reliable and enthusiastic sidekick husband) can finally attach the top floor that includes the roof.

Note: During the experimentation to create the slate look we stumbled upon a wood look result by softly raking the spackle. If it was painted brown or even weathered grey it would make a very nice wood shingle. I have a photo of the result if anyone is interested.