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Old 12-05-2017, 05:49 PM   #1
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New Home Construction Big DIY Project

Hello everyone. I stumbled upon this site as I was doing a bit of research for my upcoming project. Seems like a great resource so I am hoping some of you on here can help me with a few questions. I've watched about all the DIY YouTube videos out there but most touch on the install portion and leave out the most important part which is layout.

Some background on my project. I am currently building my first and forever home so I am pretty excited about that. In an effort to save some money I agreed to tile the 1st floor as well as the master bathroom. I took a screenshot of my plans (attached) and will be responsible for tiling everything inside of the red area.

I have a ranch house and I am using large format 12"x24" rectified tile in the master bathroom as well as 8"x45.5" rectified wood look tile in the main great room area. I am using Raimondi tile leveling spacers with a 1/8" grout joint for both the master bath as well as the great room/main area.

I also am tiling over a hydronic in floor heating system. I am having pex tubing stapled to the subfloor and will have 1.5" Gypcrete poured over that. I will be using Blanke Permat as my uncoupling/anti-fracture membrane and will be tiling over that once that's laid.

Now that that's all out of the way here are my questions.

1- Expansion joints & tile layout. I was planning on laying the tile so the planks run horizontally (east/west) as opposed to vertically (north/south). I was going to do so as the hardwood floor from what I've been told typically is run perpendicular to the direction of the floor joists, which in my case run north and south. I'd like to follow the same logic since it's "wood look tile" but I am concerned with how that will look having to account for expansion joints. I was planning to install them in each door way however that might look funny if you have to cut tiles in half in the middle of a door way if they are run east and west. Does anyone have any recommendations based on my layout which way to run the tile and any tricks in hiding the expansion joints around doorways?

From what I've read it looks like it's recommended to have expansion joints every 20-25'. I'll have expansion joints along the perimeter where the tile meets the walls but since my house is an open concept, there are a few spots with tile running for more than 20-25' in the middle. Anyone have any suggestions based on my plans?

2- I am concerned as my tile wraps around from the great room to the kitchen back to the laundry room and all connects near the front entrance. I am concerned with tiling all the way around that area only to find out that I've been a little bit off with my grout joints along the way and things might not line up correctly. Is there any methods you recommend that might help mitigate any risk of not lining up correctly when everything's said and done?

3 - Is it recommended to leave perimeter expansion joints open or should I fill that area with silicon or some sort of other material? From what I have read it seems like you can do either but I think I'd prefer just to leave that space open along the perimeter of the walls if acceptable.

4 - Once I decide the direction of my tile layout where should I lay my first tile? I have seen the 3,4,5 method used for squaring up a wall however they never really specify which wall to "square up" in a room if the room isn't a perfect square or rectangle like in my application. Laying the tile seems like the hardest part so any advice is greatly appreciated.

I am sure I will have a few more questions but those are the main ones that I can think of.

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Old 12-05-2017, 06:27 PM   #2
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Location: Boerne, Texas
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Welcome, Jared.

1. If your floor structure is suitable for a ceramic tile installation, it makes no difference at all in which direction you orient your tiles. You have planned your floor structure in consideration of your substantially increased dead load with this gypsum and tile installation?

No one wants to see any movement accommodation joints in their floor tile installations, but most folks would also rather see them than see cracks later. The aesthetic considerations would be up to you and Mrs. Jared.

2. Measure very carefully and mark your layout even more carefully. A laser can be very helpful and there are some made specifically for such floor layouts.

3. I'd leave them completely open so long as they're covered by trim.

4. Anywhere you like.

Once you have your layout planned and marked on the floor, you can lay your tiles anywhere in your layout so long as you're careful to stay on the correct side of the lines. You can also start in more than one place if that's of benefit to you.

Squaring up the floor initially is usually done in reference to the longest or/and most visible wall in the room. You'll want to experiment a little to see how square your walls are and what layout would give you the best appearance with the fewest small cuts and least visible out-of-square cuts.

My opinion; worth price charged.


Last edited by cx; 12-05-2017 at 06:33 PM.
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