My idea turned out very nicely for this one room. But what about the other floors? For the other first floor room, what would become the kitchen, my sister decided she wanted the same faux tile I had used in my last dollhouse.
This made flooring this room a breeze.
For the two second floor bedrooms, we again explored several different flooring ideas, keeping in mind that it should be compatible with little rugs. I suggested I could get thin strips of basswood and lay them down like I did on the first floor and then stain them mahogany. But my sister had what turned out to be an outstanding idea.
She figured out she could use her Cricut to cut 1/12 scale wood tiles from thin cherry veneer that could then be laid down in a parquet-like pattern. She scaled them down from a full-size tile making these about 7/8 of an inch square, 121 tiles per sheet of veneer. She sent me a sheet of cut tiles to see if it would work.
I also needed to figure out how to attach them to the floor. We discussed gluing them, but I was afraid the thin veneer edges might curl over time if I did not have a uniform layer of glue. My sister then suggested double-sided tape and exploring this idea, I came across the perfect adhesive tool—carpet tape.
Once I got the tiles in the mail and had bought the tape, I mocked up a flooring sample to investigate the next question; how to finish them?
I obtained two different stains and sent this photo to my sister.
She asked what about natural, so I added a third middle section with just polyurethane applied. I then placed these “floor” samples in their two rooms so we could see how they would look with the paint schemes selected. Natural was the clear winner and it accentuated the “parquet-like” pattern.
I then did some math and figured out between the two bedrooms that we needed approximately 463.15 sq. in. which translated to exactly 605 tiles (five sheets). She got busy cutting and once I received them in the mail…
…I got busy flooring.
The first step was to lay down strips of carpet tape. I initially wanted to buy three- or four-inch-wide carpet tape so I would not have to accurately align so many individual strips but all I could find was a roll that was less than 1.5 inches wide. This actually proved fortuitous as you will shortly learn.
At first, I temporarily placed the walls where they would be so I would know where the two rooms would meet and where the threshold would be. Then peeling off the protective backing one row at a time, I began to lay down tiles.
In no time, I had the first six rows and the threshold between rooms which I cut from some of the same veneer.
As I worked row by row, I did discover that it was hard to keep my fingers from sticking to the exposed portions of the tape while placing each tile. I realized if I had bought even three-inch-wide tape, I would have had a much harder time. So, I was actually glad that I had a narrower tape as it minimized the amount of exposed tape my fingers might get stuck to.
I decided to repeat the same process in the other room and once I got the six rows done, I decided to go ahead and finish it since it was a smaller room.
In case you do not know, the devise at the top is a brayer roller typically used in print making but for my uses, ensured the carpet tape was attached tightly and smoothly to the floor and then rolled over the tiles to ensure they were securely attached to the tape.
With the smaller room finished, I moved back to the larger room. At this point, I also regained my large worktable in the playroom after having finished my winter puzzling season. The first step was again to lay down the rows of carpet tape.
At this point, I had become fairly proficient at precisely laying down the tiles. However, in those instances where I either misaligned the tile slightly or found it constantly curling up from repeated repositionings, I figured out that I could carefully cut along the edge of the tile with my X-ACTO knife to remove the tile along with the tape. I then attached a new tile directly to the tape, ensured it was secure, then cut it from the tape, removed the backing, and then applied it to the spot where I had just removed the misaligned tile.
Before long, I had completed the second room.
I then removed the floor from the doll house (I had not glued it down yet) and took it outside for the sanding step. This consisted of first sanding with the 220-grit sanding block followed by the 400-grit sanding block. As I removed the dust and ran my hands over the floor, I could tell I had a nice smooth surface.
I then applied the first coat of polyurethane, sanded lightly with the 400-grit sanding block, then applied two more coats of polyurethane, for a total of three coats.
It seemed to turn out very nicely and once I reinstalled the floor, with glue this time, it seemed even nicer married to the previously painted walls.
Completing this step meant that we had covered two of the three floors. But what about the third floor?
To Be Continued…