As I have told your earlier, our house has amazing terracotta floors in most of the rooms which we want to keep. Being at this stage of the project, I can tell you, it hasn’t been easy decision to keep. The pressure is on as it just would make your renovation so much easier to rip off the floors. The problems we have faced have been mostly structural, of course. The basement floor turned out to be built so poorly, that it didn’t make any sense to leave it like that. The concrete layer was very very thin, and when jumping on it, the floor started to bend. The painful choice I had to do here, was to remove the old moroccan influenced terracotta tiles from our TV room. Everywhere else in the basement the floor material was not worth of saving. And of course rebuilding the entire basement floor was now the extra cost, that we didn’t have calculated in the budget.
The other issues we have had with keeping the terracotta floor tiles, has been with the other floors next to them. The floors where we have decided to renew the tiles, will also have underfloor heating. Therefor it’s tricky to make the surfaces even, as the piping of the underfloor heating needs a lot of space. The architect thankfully totally agrees, that you just simply can’t solve the problem with thresholds. So they have really paid attention to the floor structure and how to keep the floor level even everywhere.
The building method of the floors in Spain can be really basic. Of course I knew this, but it still surprised me how basic! In the basement it would been ok to just add concrete on top of the soil, no insulation layer what so ever. You only have to visit couple of houses here, and when you enter the basement they can be very moist and smelly. And this is only because the floors and walls that are facing the soil, have not insulated properly. Adding the proper moisture and thermal insulation under the concrete will be an extra cost. But what can you do, we can’t take a risk and live in the house that is not done according to the normal European standards.
The other difference of building methods, when talking about the floors, were found in the wet areas. The shower area is really the only space where you have to have the floor drain here in Spain. In Finland we always have drains in all of the toilets and wet areas. I found it amazing that you can have here a bathtub, washbasin and toilet, and no floor drain. At least my kids can easily cause a flood when having a bath. So where does the water go if you don’t have a floor drain? We want to know where exactly the water goes in our house, so therefor the floor drains will be ordered with extra cost to the toilets, bathrooms, but also to the pantry where we have the dishwashers, and to the laundry room too. This way our house will be healthy and for sure we will not suffer any health problems caused by water leaks or damps.