Questions from new guy on first time tiling job--PLEASE

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Old 01-13-16, 06:35 PM
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Questions from new guy on first time tiling job--PLEASE

Hello,

I am new to DIY.

This is my very first tiling job. I love tile floors and I'll take tile any day over carpet. However, I am quickly understanding why having it done cost so much.


Project: I am replacing the floor tile on a small 75" x 40" Half-Bath with Ceramic 12 x 12 x 1/4 mosaic. (Replacing it because grout failed after underlayment got wet. There was no cement board
or mortar under the old tile. House was built late 70 early 80's.)

Finished room will retain original tiled walls. The original floor tile fit "under" the wall tiles.

Due to various sub-floor repairs, the finished floor tile will now need to butt against wall tile vice underneath. Note: I spent hours ensuring sub-floor is solid and correct.

But there are problems.

- The bottom of the tiled walls are not perfectly straight which results in irregular gaps.

- There is also a varying 1/4" MAX gap along the perimeter between wall the Hardi-Backer, again due to wall irregularities.

Questions:

1) Do I fill the gap between the Hardi-Backer with mortar prior to tiling? If mortar is not the answer, what do I use? My concerns are not having a flat surface at edge when tiling, and not being able to fill
Junction between existing wall tile and new floor tile when grouting.

2)When tiling, how do I address the irregularities between wall tile and new floor tile?

3)And, the guy at Big Box store said a One-Time Grout is available that requires no follow-on maintenance (I.e. sealing etc.). Does it work or is it a GIMICK?

4)Any advice or guidance would be most appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Selbsmachen
 
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Old 01-13-16, 07:09 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

Back up a bit, tell us what you have done to the subfloor in the first place. What did you take out, what are the size of the joists, how far are they apart and what is the distance between joist supports underneath the bathroom? Then tell us what is the plywood/OSB thickness?

Then further explain how the wall tile could be off such that there is waves in it. I don't understand that at all. Did you chip some of the tiles when removing the old floor?

Did you set your hardiebacker in a mortar bed before fastening it down?

Feel free to upload pictures to assist with your description. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...your-post.html Keep in mind that pictures need to be scaled down for web quality and uploaded one at a time. If you upload a lot of pictures as a new member there may be a slight delay in your answers as they may have to be approved.
 
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Old 01-24-16, 09:16 AM
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RE: Questions from new goy on first-time tiling job--PLEASE

Hello,

I did not tile the walls. It was there when I bought the place. Floor tile came up due to wet 1/2 inch underlayment. ( I dont know what type of underlayment it is but it absorbes water well and swells.) I removed all of it. The 3/4 plywood subfloor was sound with exception of stain. I sistered joists directly under bathroom (40in pcs) and replaced underlayment with 1/2 inch plywood for total of 1 1/4in thickness. Screwed it into 3/4 in subfloor only-avoiding joist. In order to gain required height I laid 1/2 inch Hardi-backer vice 1/4 in modified thin-set and screwed it down using Hardi-Screws. I then filled, taped, and sealed all gaps with thinset.

All this sits on 2x12 wooden 15 ft Joist that are 16 oc, When I ran numbers
on johnbridge Deflection/Tile Calculator it indicated my choice of 2x2x12 ceramic tile could be used.

It gets better. I laid all tiles out for dry run and discovered floor did not meet 1/4 in 10 ft or 1/16th in 1 foot criteria. So, I poured it with 50# bag of Lowes SLU. It DID NOT do the magic shown in video. It is worse, has low spots and I can make a noticable scratch in it with my fingernail which I'm told means it needs to come up as it is unstable for tiling. If correct, how should I proceed? Calling a Contractor is not an option.

Thanks.
Selbsmachen


Back up a bit, tell us what you have done to the subfloor in the first place. What did you take out, what are the size of the joists, how far are they apart and what is the distance between joist supports underneath the bathroom? Then tell us what is the plywood/OSB thickness?

Then further explain how the wall tile could be off such that there is waves in it. I don't understand that at all. Did you chip some of the tiles when removing the old floor?

Did you set your hardiebacker in a mortar bed before fastening it down?
 
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Old 01-24-16, 09:33 AM
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Excellent up until the self leveling compound. On the bright side, it only sounds like a $35 error. If it flakes, then you probably added too much or too little water. It could also be an Old bag. Unfortunatley, with a liberal return policy who knows how long that bag was laying around before you bought it. Happened to me once, I tried to use some bedding mud I had laying around for a season in a shed. Acted the same, you could drag a knife through it and it would flake off. Get a floor scraper or stiff putty knife and get it all up (the slc that is).

Did you prime the backer board before you poured the self leveling compound? As you found out, Self leveling means that it will not hold a peak and it will slump. It does not mean it does all the work for you. Determine the low spots and mark them with a pencil. Push the compound around to take the low spots and feather at the edges. It sets up fairly quickly, so you can work it as you go. It loses its shine as it hardens so you can time things. Use a 4 ft level as a screen board to pull excess height off the top of the pour. Just remember to wash your level immediately.
 
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Old 01-24-16, 10:32 AM
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czizzi,
Thanks.
Yes I did use the primer, put down 2 coats. First one primer to water (1:3) was sucked dry and not tacky. So followed directions and Tech Support with a 2nd one (1:2) was applied and it left a gloss with tackiness.

The SLU I used was TEC Skill Set. I contacted their Technical Support prior to install asking for any specifics since I was putting on Hardi Backer.

Not implying I'm not a fault but Is/are there better brands maybe? I am pretty anal when it comes to directions, I read and re-read. Could have been an old bag. The display pile to chose from had been th'm ere for some time. According to data sheet it has a 1 year life with proper storage.

Any words of wisdom will certainly be welcomed. Of course my wife offered up that perhaps we (as I) could put down linolium (sp) instead.

I'm headed for to collect my battery of scrapers.

Thanks.
Selbsmachen
 
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Old 01-24-16, 10:45 AM
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Have never used TEC brand, but it is relatively new to Lowes so if that is where you bought it, I doubt it was bad product. I have used Level Quick from HDepot and levelers from Mapei purchased at a tile store. I mix in a cement tub until it looks like loose pancake batter and then scoop from there to where I want it to go. Then trowel it until I am happy. Scrap any high spots in the morning with a stiff putty knife. What is the deepest valley you are trying to fill?
 
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Old 01-24-16, 12:38 PM
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Low spots were 3/16 to 1/4 before I applied the SLU. Chart on SLU package showed estimate of 22-26 ft at 1/4 inch. Job "in progess" is 22 sq ft, I damed everything so there was no overflow. Oh well, it still needs to come out. You can bet I'll be doing some research on date markings if there is such a thing.
Thanks again.
Selbsmachen
 
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Old 02-07-16, 01:09 PM
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czizzi,

Update: 07FEB16:

Round 2. Floor is now FLAT.

I have 2 additional questions:

I am using ceramic tile 12x12x1/4 inch sheets containing 36 2x2 squares.

1)How far from the walls do I set the tiles? Space will be filled with caulk. Is one type/brand caulk better than the other to use?
2)I need to trim the door trim so the tile will go under it. How much do I trim? The tile is 1/4 inch thick and as I understand it, it will sit on 3/16 inch thinset. Do I trim it 1/2 inch?

Any advice/recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

Selbsmachen
 
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Old 02-07-16, 02:00 PM
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What kind of wall base molding are you using? Leave 1/4" at walls, don't caulk or grout, cover with base molding.

For the door casing, Lay a piece of tile upside down against the casing. If you have an jamb saw, lay the say flat on the tile and start cutting. If not, take your carpenter pencil and lay it on the tile and scribe a line. Your mortar will add maybe an 1/8" or so just need to get enough clearance to slide the tile under. Don't need to be overly wide on the cut. I actually use an oscillating multi tool that I lay on the tile, angled up slightly, draw and initial cut and then go from there.
 
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Old 02-07-16, 02:14 PM
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Thanks.

I have a oscillating multi tool I will use. I had not known or thought about molding. Is this something that is held on by adhesive? What type of material is it? Probably a basic question, but I am new to all this.

Appreciate the feedback.

Selbsmachen
 
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Old 02-14-16, 04:12 AM
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Another question: I don't know the trade name of the ceramic tiles I'm setting. They are 12x12x1/4 inch sheets containing 36 2x2 squares connected with wax tabs.

Is there a certain way these should be set?

Video's I've been able to find picture 12x12 whole tiles being "hinged" into place and then pressed. Another I found showed a what was called a "beater" board being used on mosaic, but the mosaic contains much smaller pieces than what I'm trying to install.

Thanks.

Selbsmachen
 
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Old 02-14-16, 04:22 AM
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You just want to make sure every tile is in contact with the thinset. So, if you have a grout float, you can push down on your sheet with that to set them into the thinset. Sometimes you can simply push down on each tile with your finger. The idea of a "beater" board is that it sets them as a group so that you don't push one down further than the one next to it. Uneven tiles and Lippage will drive you crazy down the road.

On the sheets with the rubber dots connecting individual tiles, pay attention to any tiles that may not be perfectly square on the grid. If one is our of square, you need to cut the rubber dots with a utility knife, remove the tile, clean the tile up and then reset it by hand. Have 1/8" spacers handy to keep the individual sheets aligned in addition to the individual tiles.

Hinge into place, or start at one end and lay it out toward the opposite side of the tile. Don't try to just drop it in place.
 
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Old 02-14-16, 06:49 AM
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czizzi,

Many thanks!!! I did a dry run yesterday and it was driving me crazy trying to get the lines to be perfect. Now I can see there are errant individual tiles that need to be extracted and fine tuned. Sometimes you need to walk away and come back later with some excellent advise such as you provided.

Selbsmachen
 
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Old 02-14-16, 07:19 AM
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If the errant tiles are visible before the install, cut them out in advance and clean them up. The rest of the mat should remain intact to install as one unit. Then drop the individuals in after the fact.
 
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Old 02-16-16, 08:17 PM
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Tile is set.
All spacers have been removed. None of tile lifted with spacers, or moved while walking on it, so I guess those are pluses.

Time to grout it.

According to what I've read 2/3rds of tile thickness (1/4 in. in my case) of the joints need to be available for grout.
There are a few joints that have mortar in them, but I can still see the wax tabs on the majority of the work. In retrospect, I should have had a stiff brush of sorts available to clean these when wet. (Another lesson learned.)

Questions:
1)What is proper way to clean the excess mortar from the joints? Pretty certain I am suppose to leave the wax tabs connecting individual 2x2's in place. I suppose there is a neat tool specifically for this purpose to match my growing arsenal. Recommendations?
2)I marked tiles for orientation with a china marker. What is a preferred and non-threatening way to accomplish this?

Thanks.

Selbsmachen
 
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Old 02-20-16, 10:36 AM
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While cleaning the joints in preparation for grouting, I found what I suspected to be few loose 2x2's. I took the blunt end of screw driver and tapped adjacent ones which produced a more solid sound. I suppose the only solution is to extract the failed 2x2's, clean and re-mortar. This is definitely a real learning experience.

Selbsmachen
 
 

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