First time 500 sqft, 18" & 12" tile hopscotch. [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile

PDA

View Full Version : First time 500 sqft, 18" & 12" tile hopscotch.


ruckc
06-15-2012, 02:00 PM
So I'm planning on tiling a basement floor. This would be my first tiling project. The room is large (23.75' x 21') with only a few obtacles (two closets, two columns, and stairwell base). I've attached a pseudo layout done in PowerPoint to scale, with a sample of my tiling pattern.

The former floor covering was carpet w/ foam using tack strips. An AC Unit leak, followed by a hurricane, loss of power, no sump pump action, later, the floor is bare.

The floor absorbs water, not fast, but it doesn't bead up on it. The slab is about 9 years old, mostly level (checked with 4' level) and smooth. There is only one hairline crack about 1/32" at its widest around mid-left of the floor.

We want to do a hopscotch pattern with 18" and 12" tiles, they are porcelain, and rated for outdoor use (just incase we get more water). I've read quite a bit differing things online and in this forum, so I have a few questions if you all could help me out. The 12" tiles are 5/16 instead of 3/8 also, so I understand I will need to level the tile out.

The basement walls have a brick pattern stamped into them from the form work, so it makes measuring/centering hard since the walls aren't exactly smooth.

1) Do I need an underlayment or can I tile directly on the slab? Home Depot is pushing RedGard, but not sure if its necessary.

2) How do I layout my guide lines for the 18" and 12" pattern? Can I start in a corner or do I still need to start in the middle? Since the ratio is 66% between tiles wouldn't I need a guide line every 6?"

3) For leveling the tile, i'm anticipating using QEP's LASH wedge system, with hopefully a 1/8" gap or 3/16" at worst... is this unrealistic?

4) The walls aren't smooth, and there is a slight gap (1/8" to 3/8" with a foam between wall and floor. Everytime I try to layout some samples for the Mrs. to look at, I can't square against the wall due to it not being smooth. Is this an indicator that I need to start in the center?

5) When laying the tile, using the 1/4" gap trowel, i just set the tile down? into the mud? Do I push it into the mud as hard as I can or just let it sit on top of the mud? What if it squeezes out into the gaps between tiles? How will this work with the slightly thinner 12" tiles? Should I just pick a corner of the room and do a trial run with mud and all and then rip it up as a warmup exercise?

6) Lastly, how could this take a first time amateur assuming things go halfway smooth?

Sponsored Links


Lazarus
06-15-2012, 04:34 PM
First, I might suggest you invest in John Bridge's book, "Tile Your World." It's available here and will give you a plethora of knowledge on layout. I think he'll even sign your copy if you get it here.

While it is possible to tile directly on the concrete, Schluter's "Ditra" is a good investment as it give you a proper "Uncoupling Membrane." Got to Schluter.com and look into "Ditra" for more on this.

I would probably go with the 3/16" spacing. Don't think you can get 1/8" with the thickness of the Lash strips. With your tile, it may well be achedemic as the sizing of the tiles will determine the grout width. Lay some of them out dry and you'll see what I mean.

To a great degree, the flatness of the floor is a consideration. It oughta be flat to within about 1/8" over ten feet or so. Small dips can be corrected with thinset.

The 1/4" trowel MAY work. I'd probably use a 3/8" and adjust the height by the angle of the trowel. Try one and lift the tile to assure a coverage of at least 80%....preferably more.

Mix your thinset to a "buttery" or "whipped cream" kinda consistancy. I like to lightly sponge the back of the tile to kill any dust and get rid of the dryness. With the right consistancy, you oughta be able to gently set the tile in the morter and lightly "tap" it down to the proper height. If it tends to sink too much, the thinset is too "loose."

I'm sure some others will chime in here, but those are some of the basics......

Lazarus
06-15-2012, 04:45 PM
Oh yeah....pitchers help.....we LOVE "pitchers...."

ceramictec
06-15-2012, 05:13 PM
1) Do I need an underlayment or can I tile directly on the slab? Home Depot is pushing RedGard, but not sure if its necessary.while RedGard is a good waterproofing membrane, I wouldnt throw away money on it because its primarily used for waterproofing. I would use Customs FractureFree, have them order it. it costs far less.
http://www.custombuildingproducts.com/products/surface-preparation/membranes-underlayments/fracturefree-crack-prevention-membrane.aspx


2) How do I layout my guide lines for the 18" and 12" pattern? Can I start in a corner or do I still need to start in the middle? Since the ratio is 66% between tiles wouldn't I need a guide line every 6?"if you notice your pattern repeats along the bottom of 2 tile every so often. figure that out and start on the long bottom row. that pattern is so busy that layout is pretty tough and goes un-noticed.

3) For leveling the tile, i'm anticipating using QEP's LASH wedge system, with hopefully a 1/8" gap or 3/16" at worst... is this unrealistic?1/8" for a newbie is tough. lots of things need to be perfect. I would shoot for the 3/16"

4) The walls aren't smooth, and there is a slight gap (1/8" to 3/8" with a foam between wall and floor. Everytime I try to layout some samples for the Mrs. to look at, I can't square against the wall due to it not being smooth. Is this an indicator that I need to start in the center?did you pull the wood baseboard off ?
you need to snap a line a little in and make that wall flat.

5) When laying the tile, using the 1/4" gap trowel, i just set the tile down? into the mud? Do I push it into the mud as hard as I can or just let it sit on top of the mud? What if it squeezes out into the gaps between tiles? How will this work with the slightly thinner 12" tiles? Should I just pick a corner of the room and do a trial run with mud and all and then rip it up as a warmup exercise?you need to make sure the tile in imbedded in the thinset. not too soft, not too hard.

6) Lastly, how could this take a first time amateur assuming things go halfway smooth? 2 weeks possibly, are you giving it all your time each day ? ?

ruckc
06-15-2012, 08:30 PM
So it sounds like Ditra with some other research is the way to go... I also like the fact it has a grid that i can do a permanent marker on for my guides.

I didn't have a baseboard, it was carpet flush up to the wall, i pulled the tack strips up.

Two weeks, fun... the Mrs was hoping it would be done in a week.

WendyHMN
06-16-2012, 06:37 AM
I've been renovating my house for the past 20 years. In my experience, a DIYer should never set a deadline. It will just make you feel bad. Understand that with things like your real jobs, various family emergencies, and learning as you go, you need to let it take as long as it takes to do it right. Years later, when you're admiring your beautiful floor, you won't fret that it took 2 weeks or 2 months.

Houston Remodeler
06-16-2012, 08:34 AM
4- You need a perimeter gap at the walls for expansion and contraction. The foam may not be a bad thing. Got a pic?

Take a 8 or 10 foot straight edge and go hunting for the highest lump or lowest valley. Tell us what you find.

If Mrs wants it completed in a week, reminder her that 2 people can set tile twice as fast as one person setting tile.... :ct:

ruckc
06-16-2012, 05:22 PM
I don't have a picture of the foam, but the Mrs and I did get 2/3rds of the Ditra laid today. By telling her the two week estimate, she got her own kneepads and started troweling alongside me... not sure how laying the tile will work with her though, i'm fairly OCD and she isn't.

As we laid the ditra we only found a few Humps in the wall mostly it appeared in the middle of some of the forms they were using on the walls.

I was planning to leave a 3/8" gap between tile and wall with a baseboard covering it.