Finishing and Upgrading The First Apartment In The Philippines

balcony area

Today we had a bit of a reshuffling things about as we had a few visitors but Bindoy in Negros including the Mayors daughter who dropped them off. As they have gone off to do other things today I decided to start looking at the work around the apartment needing doing and also what we can upgrade.

The glass bladed windows at the front of the house although great with the airflow we are seeing a lot of dust blowing up from the road as well as the early morning stereo from the house opposite. So we will be taking these windows out soon and replacing with sealed sliding units instead with the added benefit of tinted glass to keep heat off the front of the house (already a long overhang you can’t see in the photo).

The balcony area is still needing tiling something I had put off for several reasons the main ones being I was tempted to use a wood deck but have instead opted for tiling in the end. A word of warning though if the tiles you install are likely to get wet and people wear flop flops make sure there is some sort of non slip surface. The ones we bought are designed to be non slip the reason being the flip flops compress water on the nice smooth tiles and you can go flying along as if your on ice. Have had it happen to me a couple of times where people put smooth tiles on outdoor steps.

The other thing as you can see with the tiling area is that its fairly dusty as well as in direct sunlight. I splash the concrete down before tiling to stop the adhesive drying out too quick and also advisable to soak the tiles in a bucket as well to help give a longer dry out time which could result in tiles lifting.

Kera mix is a brand I highly recommend locally as it sticks like glue, easy to mix and quick to work with you can be walking on the floor within three and a half hours. Locals will often mix it with normal cement to save money but personally I find one sack does around twenty tiles depending on the floor level and its about P200 per sack depending where you go. Which suits my needs as l will get a load of tiles one day and enough adhesive to do the job and then get more tiles and adhesive when I feel like doing it. Generally have slipped into a more laid back way of living as to be honest stuff like this there is no rush as I am currently using the apartment as my office (unless we have guests). Later on though it will likely be turned back into an apartment which is why these upgrades and finishing works are on going.

tiling balcony areaI did get a batch of the tiles down tonight and due to where the balcony is suited only worth doing at night because the concrete has sun on it all day which could cause problems earlier in the day including the fact of working in direct sunlight being rather uncomfortable. We had some steel that had come up from the pillar supports from the ground floor that I had to grind off with an angle grinder as well as sloppy concrete (known as snots in the UK) that all had to be chipped away. Sloping the tiles slightly away from the wall and door will also help get rid of any rainwater as although there is an overhang a side wind and heavy rain will still get the balcony wet.

Tiles got a bit dusty as I went due to avoiding standing on them while taking the mix across the top, not always practical but was only laying twenty tiles tonight so just did the mix in a bucket and worked round the new tiles. A good sponge is all you need to clean it up mind as going over all the gaps to make sure they are clean for grouting later is also a lot easier when the adhesive is wet.

I decided to get on with these today as the peso-peso we are building needs the glass panel next and where we buy glass is closed due to the holiday (believe there is even a bank holiday tomorrow).