Share our trials and tribulations as we build our new home - a custom Dominico by Fairmont Homes NSW

Friday, January 25, 2013

Update: Tiling, Stairs, Floors and Doors

Apologies for the delay between posts, however without access to the house it is hard to update regularly.

Mick was lucky enough to have a site inspection recently and was able to see our tiles! Our Ensuite feature wall is just amazing, though unfortunately the main wet area tiles don't show up well in photos. The tiling isn't complete in these pics, but they give a glimpse:

Entry Tiles - Not a fan of the cut tiles on the right, but it was done to ensure the tiles are centered on the door. In hind-sight we probably should have used the smaller format tile we used on the balcony. (Apologies for the iPhone pic)

Entry Tiles. (Apologies for the iPhone pic)

Powder Room


Powder Room


Main Bathroom

Main Bathroom

Main Bathroom - Can't wait to see the niche when the tiling is done and the bath is in!

Ensuite (how's that feature wall!)


Ensuite shower bench

Also, we have stairs! Whilst not ideal that they were installed before the flooring, they are a great thing to see:
Stair case - Bottom tread is maple. The rest of the stairs are to be carpeted.

And, we have some doors and skirting:

Media Room sliding door (wish we had selected a more interesting profile...or any profile for that matter!)

Laundry door and window (door to be painted white to match the rest if the trim and windows)

Formal living and dining

Kitchen (the door on the left is to the Study and the one on the right, the Laundry)

Photo taken from the Kitchen/Meals facing the front of the house

Lastly, we have finally decided on the flooring. It has been ordered and is due for install 4 February. We are laying solid Sydney Blue Gum timber (honestly, why did we even try and fight it?) throughout the entire downstairs with the exception of the wet areas, garage and raised platform of the media room. I know we were toying with cheaper options, however the pre-finished Asian timber, such as Kempas, is not ethically sourced, may not wear/last as well and doesn't look as good. We could install a laminate or bamboo (there are some really great-looking options out there now and they are magnificently hard-wearing and easy/cheap to install), but they don't quite compare to solid hard-wood, which we see as an investment. Solid timber can be re-finished if ever needed, which is why we're having them installed underneath the kitchen. You'd remodel the kitchen before ripping up those boards!  The company we're using for the supply, install and finishing is Sydney Flooring and the boards we are getting are: wide-plank, Australiana-grade Sydney Blue Gum, which is to be top-nailed, installed on battens, sanded on site and given a semi-gloss finish. Here is a pic of solid Sydney Blue Gum flooring:

Source: Sydney Flooring

Flooring Plan

Currently our kitchen is due for install the week starting 11 Feb. We hope to have an inspection just prior. As always, we'll keep you posted...


  1. Ash I love it! All of it!

    I really love your entry tiles, reminds me of my university (which is mostly sandstone)! In no time you'll probably stop even noticing the way the right side tiles are cut.

    That en-suite wall is absolutely spectacular. Also loving that bench seat in the shower. I really wish we had got something like that, or a niche at the very least.

    Your floors are going to be beautiful. I really think the difference in quality will be so worth it.

    Looking so good! Your updates are always appreciated by Daniel and I. I don't think I could have handled being locked out like you guys, I'm too much of a control freak for that haha.

    1. Thanks Lauren and Daniel!

      I must admit that we really do struggle with the lockout, especially given we are both control freaks. But, we have no choice so we channel our energy into other areas...and whinge when things aren't done right (our poor builder lol!).

      As always, thanks so much for your wonderful comments :)


  2. The house looks like it's powering along now! Your tiles look fantastic and I'm positive you will never regret the extra expense of a true timber floor. It's going to look stunning! x KL

    1. Thanks so much KL! I cannot wait to see the floors and for the whole thing to be done :)

  3. Looking great,especially love the feature tiles in the en suite!

    Do you have to let the floorboards acclimatize to the house before installing? We are looking at solid timber too, black-butt in particular, and have been told we will need to have them in the house up to 4 weeks before installation. This is a shame cause we are doing it after handover and means we wont be able to move properly in for a while!

    1. Thank you :)

      With regards to acclimatisation it depends on the timber type/age, where it is stored and where it is going. Sydney flooring keep the boards in their warehouse for quite a while and we're not that far away from their warehouse. But they did say that if they were to install them quite a distance away or somewhere with a vastly different climate such as the coast, they would acclimatise the boards. They also said that some traditional layers adhere to the "old school" methods which involved acclimatisation even if not necessarily needed these days. But you really need to leave the call up to the layer (or the supplier of the warranty!).

      One more thing to consider, if you're having it done after you've moved in, the stain/glue smells to high heaven! ...Or, at least it did the last time we had it done which admittedly was quite a while ago (11years!). We had to move out for several days while it was being done.

      Good luck!

  4. Ash its looking amazing!!! Love your floor boards!!


    1. Thanks Sands!

      Hopefully not too long til keys....for both of us :-D

  5. Hoping you get this after so long :)
    Can you tell me how you managed to get the floorboards underneath the island when it was done after handover? We ave only been offered the scotia option to date which I dislike. Thanks!

    1. Hi Lisa. The unfinished boards were laid before cabinetry install and covered for the remainder of the build. After handover we had the boards polished. So the section that run under the kitchen cabinetry would be raw. Fairmont were kind enough to allow us to deal directly with the installer, Sydney Flooring, because they are licenced. With the tightening of laws around building sites however, I'm not sure any project home builder will allow this any more. But your builder should at least offer timber flooring, if done through them, to be installed under cabinetry as long as you let them know before the cabinetry is ordered (final flooring height affects cabinetry sizing). Good luck! Ash.