Diagonal tiling help [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


View Full Version : Diagonal tiling help

need help
08-14-2004, 08:48 PM
I am a DIYer and I am planning on remodelling a shower on the second floor of my house.The shower floor is 36" wide and 72" long with the drain dead center.I was planning on using 6 1/4" porcelain tiles on the floor but I was told they are too big to make the 3/4" pitch at the drain.I tried to return them for a smaller tiles but the store refused because I bought them in Feb of this year.I am planning on cutting them down to 3" and smoothing the sharp edges.I want to install these tiles on a diagonal but so far all I have is some very confusing information on how to do it.Is there a easy way I can lay these tiles diagonally?Thanks in advance for your help.

Sponsored Links

08-14-2004, 11:27 PM
Hey there "unregistered",
What part of the diagonal layout are you having trouble with? Is your shower-pan dam parrallell to the back wall? If so, mark the center (back to front) about 2" from the left and right walls. Drop a chalk line down on these marks. Remove the drain cover and center it on the intersection of four tiles spaced as you intend to install them. Trace the drain cover with a sharp pencil and number the pieces so that the do not get set out of sequence. With a wet saw or a tile coping saw, carefully cut along your traced line and poilish the cut edges. Reinstall the drain cover and dry fit the cut tiles around the drain to make sure that they will work for you.
Once the drain pieces fit, you can comb thin set into one quarter of the shower pan, with a 12" circle combed around the drain. Set your drain pieces with the correct spacing and adjust them so that the right-most and left-most corners of the four-tile square are lined up on the chalk line. Add tiles with the correct spacing and repeat in the next quarter of the shower pan. With half the shower pan started, you can now fine tune the tiles so that the corners are still lined up on the chalk line and your spacing is consistant. This should give you identical pieces to cut along the back wall. Continue with setting the field tile first and then setting your corners to finish the quarter until you are done.
Does that help?

08-15-2004, 05:19 AM
My reccomendation would be to use those 6x6 tiles cut in half as a base and go buy some 2x2's
Youve got about 18 s/f .Thats 50-80.00 worth of tile to do it right and have no sharp edges.
Hate to say this but your plans going to look like crap. My nickles worth based on square miles of installs.

John Bridge
08-15-2004, 07:48 AM
When I am forced to make little pieces out of big pieces, I alway cut off all the factory edges, leaving a cut edge all the way around each piece. This is for uniformity of the finished grout joints. I agree with Todd. I'd even go so far as to throw the larger tiles away and invest in some mosaics. :)

Moving this to the Advice Forum.

Rd Tile
08-15-2004, 08:13 AM
I agree with Todd and John, unless you have worked with larger tile on a sloped floor, don't, this one is 6x6 porcelain, still was a PITA to do.:)

08-15-2004, 09:24 AM
Dang Todd, "square miles", no wonder your elbows hurt. :D

I agree with the others, 6x6 is about as big as I go. Centering up the 4 pieces like Rd shows helps too. I normally will cut those 4 pieces in half diagonally also to help bend them around the slope. Once you get away from the drain it's not so bad. I would still go smaller than 6x6 if you can. :)

08-15-2004, 06:32 PM
Thanks gentlemen for your prompt reply. I fully understand that I cannot use the 6 1/4" as I had planned so that is why I want to cut them to 3". As it stands now the tiles really dont have a curved edge but kind of flat and not too sharp. If I cut them down the same size why would the look like crap?
The curb runs parallel with the side wall which is 72" long. I know how to lay tiles the regular way (square) but I cant figure a easy way to lay them diagonally,so if you guys can give me some help I would really appreciate it.
Would it be even more difficult if I lay a border with tiles 3" wide?
Many thanks again.

rob 223
08-15-2004, 09:47 PM
If I cut them down the same size why would the look like crap?
The curb runs parallel with the side wall which is 72" long. I know how to lay tiles the regular way (square) but I cant figure a easy way to lay them diagonally,so if you guys can give me some help I would really appreciate it.
Would it be even more difficult if I lay a border with tiles 3" wide?
Many thanks again.

As long as the cut tiles all look the same it wont look like crap, but if all the corners and edges look different it will. So like john said you may have to trim a 1/4" off the tile all the way around then in quarters. If the edges are square all ready then you can go ahead and 1/4 them and buy a rubbing stone to stone all the edges to creat a slight bevel and remove sharp edge.
For layout of the diagonal draw a line across the room even with the straightest wall and put opposite points of the tile on the line, like a string of diamonds conected point to point. With a border you would want to center the feild or tiles within the border, so that you have the same size cuts around the edge where the feild tile meets the border.
Good luck

08-16-2004, 12:29 AM
Thanks for your help Rob. The way you explained it makes sense to me now.
I was wondering if life would be a little easier if I used the Kerdi system.
I dont like the greenboard and was wondering if I could use Denshield with the Kerdi system.
One last question with the Kerdi system,I have read on this forum that modified thinset should be used for the kerdi and unmodified to lay the tiles but there seems to be a lot of disagreement about that. I am using porcelain tiles on the walls and shower floor so what is the correct answer?
I was told by a tiler here in Florida that when installing CBU on a plywood floor,you have to use unmodified thinset under the CBU and then screw them down.He said the reason for using a unmodified thinset is just to fill any voids between the plywood and the CBU and not to adhere them together.So I guess what I am trying to find out is will the unmodified thinset adhere the Kerdi to the walls and the tiles to the Kerdi? Keep in mind that I am using porcelain tiles.
Thanks in advance gentlemen.

David Taylor
08-16-2004, 02:23 AM
You'll be using unmodified thinset to bond the Kerdi to drywall, period. Don't use Denshield.

As far as your cement board issue goes, the advice you received was good - use unmodified thinset on the plywood because it's only there to fill in the voids and won't stick to wood.

You might be confused because unmodified thinset does stick to drywall. Only use a modified thinset when you're going over wood. Attach your tiles with an unmodified thinset when going over cement board, drywall, Kerdi or Ditra.

08-16-2004, 06:24 PM
David,thanks a million for your reply.
I dont mean to be pushy but why cant I use denshield? I dont like green board because I know the problems they can cause. I guess I will have to use one of the CBU like durock or hardi.
I am just a little curious as to why no denshield.

08-16-2004, 06:27 PM
With Kerdi, you don't need greenboard, regular old drywall will do. You have to trust the Kerdi will not let any water get to your drywall and if installed properly you will not have any problem. Make sure the Kerdi seams are either overlapped 2" (minimum) or apply KerdiBand to the seams (I did it this way) making sure you've got 2" overlap.

David Taylor
08-16-2004, 06:53 PM
You're welcome :)

No, you aren't being pushy. We'll tell you if you're being pushy. Hehe.

Skip the CBU, too. Stick with drywall and you'll have the best of three worlds: Easiest cutting, easiest application of Kerdi and.... easiest on the pocketbook. How often does it happen that the least expensive product is also the best one to use? :)

But if you want to throw money around (I really don't think you do), I know of a few good tile schools that are looking for donations.

Denshield's waterproofing layer doesn't work that well when you put a bunch of screw holes in it. Besides, it's the Kerdi that does the waterproofing here.

08-16-2004, 09:06 PM
No I dont have a lot of money to throw around. It's just that I have heard of so many horror stories of sheet rock in showers that I wanted to stay away from them but if you think that I should not use Hardi or Wonder Board then I guess I will have to trust your experience and use the sheet rock.
Thanks again

John Bridge
08-17-2004, 05:35 PM
Hi Un, :)

Get thee registered, and give us a workable name here, will ya? :)

We do a lot of Kerdi showers in these parts. Sheetrock is the usual base for the membrane.

08-17-2004, 08:37 PM
The name is Steve.
As much as I hate sheet rock I will go along with the advice fo the pros on this panel.
One final question,I have one outside wall and two inside,do I still need to install a moisture barrier under the sheet rock if I am using Kerdi?

08-18-2004, 07:35 PM
Hi Steve, no barrier behind the sheetrock. :)

08-18-2004, 07:41 PM
Gentlemen,I have a problem that I need some help with desperately so here it is. I have 6 1/4" square and 3/8" thick porcelain tiles that I am trying to cut. I purchased a expensive diamond blade made specifically for cutting porcelain tiles ($70.00 plus) from HD and there is lots of water going to the blade to cool it. When cutting the tile I cut at a slow pace and it cuts nice and smooth the first 4" or so and then it cracks the tile the last 1 1/2 to 2" instead of cutting it thus producing uneven edges.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

08-18-2004, 08:21 PM
Hi Steve, how many cuts have you made with this blade?

08-18-2004, 08:23 PM
Hi Steve,

What kind of saw you got and what brand blade? I used similar tile in my shower using a Felker TM-75 with the blade that came with it. Pushed the tile nice and slow and would occassionally have a similar problem as yours but only in the last 1/4" of the cut. Seemed to happen more when I pushed the tile too fast. Ease up and let the saw do the work.

Since you have the problem way before the end of the cut I'm guessing your out of alignment somewhere causig pressure on opposite sides of the blade at the front and back of the cut.

Can you tell if the saw appears to be working harder near the end of the cut?

I eventually bought an MK-225 Hot Dog blade from constructioncomplete.com. Paid about $45 as I recall. Cuts the procelain very nicely.

08-18-2004, 09:55 PM
Thanks for your replies.The saw is a MK-170 and the blade is new but I cant remember the name.The blade is HD's top of the line made especially for porcelain tiles.I take my time and push real slowly even backing up and slowly getting into the tile again.I have checked the table and the blade with a speed square and they checked out fine.I am really lost now.

08-20-2004, 04:41 PM
Gentlemen,I believe I solved the problem of my tiles breaking. I took six tiles over to a buddy of mine and he cut all of them without breaking a single one.
My blade has a wobble in it and you can see it when it is coming to a stop.
I plan to use his saw to cut them until I can figure why my blade is wobbling.
I have a question about the Kerdi drain. I watched the Kerdi video several times and it never shows it being the drain being glued to the drain pipe.
My shower is on the second floor and I have no access from below,so I am wondering after I cut out the old drain,how do I attach the Kerdi?

08-20-2004, 05:01 PM
Steve, yep a wobble in the blade is not good. As to the Kerdi Drain...if your existing drain hooks up to PVC then you just cement the Kerdi Drain to it using PVC Cement (assuming you got the PVC Kerdi Drain not the ABS). At any rate, you have to make sure the final height of the Kerdi Drain is where you want it so make sure you dry fit it before cementing! Also you need to make sure the drain is installed level. Hopefully your existing plumbing is in good shape.

Oh yeah, you do need to clean all PVC surfaces with PVC cleaner prior to cementing.

08-20-2004, 07:16 PM
Blade wobble on a new blade can come from over-tightening the lock nut. It just has to be snug on most saws, not wrenched on.
Best of luck,