Suggestions on Tiling a Garage Floor [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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06-22-2003, 05:41 PM
I'm trying to help my neighbor tile hig new garage. The garage will serve as a show room for his collectable cars. He is going with a black & white checker pattern for the entire floor, smooth (shiny) finish on the entire 24' x 36' floor, and around 16" to 18" tile.

I tried to talk him into an epoxy painted floor fearing that all garage floors eventually crack with the greater load at the tires where the slab is only 4 to 5 inches thick. I think this is different than a house with a slab foundation because there are footings under all load bearing walls. He also will have one of those car lifts that allows you lift a car up into the ceiling and park a car underneath. This garage (or barn as I call it) has 12' ceilings.

I suggested a porcelin tile for the hardness. Can anyone suggest what he should do to prevent any anguish down the road?
(1) Should the concrete be sealed pior to applying the thin set?
(2) Should he use a certain type of grout other than color being dark gray or black and sealing it.
(3) Should we apply the thin set with anything other than a 1/4" trowel?
(4) Anything else I've forgotten?

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06-22-2003, 05:52 PM
Definitely don't seal the concrete before tiling. This will act as a bondbreaker and the thinset will not adhere.

As for the tile, find a good tile with a PEI rating of 4 or 5 ; 5 is commercial grade. Porcelains are also good and should fall in the 4-5 range

Thinset will work as the adhesive. 12" tiles or smaller usually do fine with a 1/4 x 1/4" notch trowel. Anything larger usually calls for a larger notch trowel to handle any imperfections in "flatness" of the tile and the floor. For this appliaction, you need 100 % coverage between the tile and slab. Set the tile, then pull it up and check for coverage

For this application, an epoxy grout would be best but it is a pain to work with. Otherwise use a sanded grout and a good sealer afterwards.


06-22-2003, 05:58 PM
Hey, Roger, search around on the site a little. Maybe using garage for a key word. I recall a thread about exactly what you're tryin' to do and somebody even posted a picher of a black and white checkerboard floor. Of course, I ain't got a clue where or when it was, but I know it's in here. :)

John Bridge
06-22-2003, 06:13 PM
Hi Roger, Welcome aboard. :)

I'll add in that with a floor of that expanse, something should be done about movement (expansion and contraction). You will need at least one flexible joint across the 36 foot run, and it wouldn't hurt to cover the entire slab with a membrane before you tile it. It just happens I'm hooked up with an outfit that makes a good one. The product is called "Ditra," and it's made by Schluter Systems.

At the very least, though, you need the movement joint, maybe one going in the other direction, too.

06-22-2003, 08:05 PM
Might also suggest your neighbor look into stained concrete on that new floor, Roger. Takes care of the cracking concern - if it cracks, it cracks. He can also have it scored in a grid pattern and stain two colors for his pattern if he wants. Ain't gonna get black and white, though. Save some money, too. It ain't cheap, but compared to good tile over a membrane, I wager he would save some dinero, and some of those floors look damn fine.

06-23-2003, 05:14 PM
Thanks Guys for the great ideas & suggestions. I'll pass them along to him & we'll see what he comes up with. Looks like the only guaranteed outcome to this project will be sore knees. Nice & humid this time of year here in Savannah too.

Best Regards,

RogerC in Savannah

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