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                                   Building Our House in the Caribbean

                                                                                       Step 69 - Tiling the Whale Deck

This is our second exterior patio to tile.  We learned a lot from the first patio, so we are putting in more effort to
         level the patio before the first tile is laid.  This patio was perfectly level, but we want a slope on it to ensure rain drains off.

  Before we started, we pressure-washed the patio and cleaned it with muriatic acid.  Then Clada chippered out any cut nails or
  broken tapcons and patched the holes with a concrete filler.  Next, we determined the slope that we wanted, and then installed edge
  that gave us the correct starting floor height. Chip used a grinder to remove high spots.  Then he used a 12-foot screed to check for
  level and filled in the edges where needed to get the patio level.  This process took lots of time and grueling labor. 
  WDK1  WDK2  WDK3
The patio is read for the next phase, which is applying a coat of thinset so the mortar will properly adhere to the concrete.

    WDK4  WDK5  WDK6
 Chip mixes up thinset with Acryl 60, then sponges a small area since it is windy outside, and quickly trowels on the thinset.

       WDK7  Chip and Clada took turns applying the thinset so we didn't abuse our knees.

                                   WDK8 WDK9
Whale Deck1
             Next we applied mortar to ensure we had an adequate slope so water would drain from the Whale Deck.

        Whale Deck2  Whale Deck3  Whale
                   We were ready to start tiling, so first we did the layout to ensure we had decent sized tiles on the edges.

                          Whale Deck5  Whale Deck6
                               This patio has 2 whale mosaics that Chip made last Fall, so that complicated tile layout. 

Whale Deck7 Whale Deck8 Whale Deck9 
 We have learned how to work together tiling, with each of us taking turns getting on our knees.  We are laying Turkish travertine.

  We had to redo the cistern lid so it was stronger and wouldn't corrode.  Whale Deck10 

              Deck11  Whale Deck12 
               Chip laid out the swimming Humpback whale and traced the outline on the background tile for cutting and grinding.

   Whale Deck15    
         Installation was a slow, precise process since the mosaic is made of granite, marble and slate, all of which are different heights.

              Deck16 Whale Deck17 Whale Deck18
                    Chip has cut the tiles for the outline of the breaching whale mosaic, and we're working our way to the edge.

WD21                      WD22
               Chip cleans the edges of the second mosaic whale.                We use buckets to keep Zuni off of the deck while we finish it up.

              Installed  Zuni installed
                                                      Here's the completed whale.  Chip says we should do a mosaic of Zuni, too!

                                                                WE'VE FINISHED TILING THE SECOND UPSTAIRS DECK.                                       

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