Need help in laying tile in a basement

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Old 09-27-16, 09:12 AM
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Need help in laying tile in a basement

I am in the process of laying tile in a small area of my basement. 11 by 7 feet. Using a level it had a few minor dips so I decided to use a leveling compound. That did not work so well. I later found out that I did mix the correct quantities of water and mix, I did not do it in the proper order and that messed things up. I rented a small jack hammer and got most of the leveling compound up.

What I have left is still very flat. I made note of the low spots and left that alone. I do have a few pock marks here and there. What I had in mind was to just lay the tiles without using the leveling compound. I did some research and since the floor is relatively flat I should be ok to lay the tile if I put down the thinset per the instructions and back butter the tiles. I did plan on filling the pock marks with cement prior to using the thin set, unless I could fill it with thinset. I could then use a rubber mallet and a level to level each tile and wipe out any thinset that is squeezed out. I did find some spacers that had a wedge like device built in to level the tiles with the adjacent tiles. I was going to buy those. I would want to start at a high point using this method.

My second concern based on some reading and watching videos is the expansion joints in the floor. They would eventually crack the tile according to the author of the video. The video I watched suggested some type of membrane over it and laying out the tile so the joints were over it. That would not work as the joints are slightly diagonal. Any thoughts on this. I currently have the joints filled with concrete.


I have another question about transitions but I will post that once I finish with this post.

Thanks,

Randy
 
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Old 09-27-16, 10:44 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

You hit the important part - the floor needs to be flat, not necessarily level. I have seen the wedges you mentioned and I would certainly consider them based on what I've seen but I've only used the traditional spacers that addressed the grout line.

As to the floor joints, yes, you could try a membrane like Ditra, otherwise it is likely you will encounter issues with the tiles or grout in that area.
 
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Old 09-27-16, 02:29 PM
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Randy,

If the floor is very flat, you wouldn't have any low spots. 1/16" in 24" is ok. I've got the impression your floor is not as flat as it should be for a good tile job. You might need a leveling compound after all, maybe not a self leveling though.

When mixing the first batch, sounds like you added the water to the powder already in the bucket. Yikes, that can make a mess alright.

You do not fill the expansion joints with concrete, maybe backer rod. Use the proper membrane for the joints and of course follow directions as to how wide it must be. Got any in mind?

Ditra is NOT a crack isolation membrane and so expansion joints would have to be honored into the tilework.

Jaz
 
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Old 09-28-16, 07:13 AM
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Ditra is NOT a crack isolation membrane and so expansion joints would have to be honored into the tilework.
Thanks, Jaz - I learned something today as well
 
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Old 09-28-16, 05:28 PM
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Yeah, I sure did do it that way. Yikes is right it came out like cookie dough. I tried to add more water but it was too late.

Based on your response I am not sure it is an expansion joint. I included a picture. The joint does not go all the way through, but you can see it is cracked in the center. My thinking was to fill it with concrete and then tile over it.



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Thanks everyone for all your help.
 
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Old 09-28-16, 07:36 PM
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Randy,

That's a control joint which is to control where the concrete will crack. There's no point in filling it, why? You're not gonna paint the floor.

Since it's your house and there's no liability of a warranty, the most I would do is place a foam backer rod in there and use a premium mortar that can take up to ⅛" of shrinkage. Be sure to use tile edge molding against that carpet gripper, (tile shoulda been installed first), and caulk the parallel joints to the control joint instead of grouting.

Jaz
 
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Old 09-29-16, 11:56 AM
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Thanks JazMan.

We thought about painting the floor before we went with tile. The wife likes tile I will put down the foam backer rod. When you say mortar do you mean the thin set that goes underneath or are you referring to the grout. I assume the grout, but I want to be sure.

Parts of the crack was filled with cement. Some of it is now gone after I removed the leveler. Should I remove all the cement and use the foam and put the thinset over that

I was going to post about the carpet border once I decided what I was going to do with the tile. I guess now is a good of time as any. What I had in mind was to remove the carpet strip that is there and put down a wood strip and re-attach the carpet. Then use something similar to one of the two attached pics. I will use something similar to the wooden one of the transition is not level or the other if it is level. I will use a metal transition instead of wood.
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