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Old 09-12-2017, 06:55 AM   #46
greenjp
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Hello everyone,
I wanted to follow up on my question 2 above. Based on the tiles and pattern I'm planning to use for the floor, I'm looking at a perimeter gap of ~1/5" on one pair of sides and ~1/2" on another. The 9x12 wall tiles will be 5/16" thick and I'm planning to use a 1/4"x3/8"x1/4" trowel to install them I think this would result in ~1/2" total thickness but not certain.
- Is that going to be OK or could I potentially have an issue with that 1/2" floor tile perimeter gap? Issue like an unsightly gap or any trouble supporting the wall tile during install?
- Should that gap be filled with anything? mortar, backer rod?

Thanks,
jeff
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Old 09-12-2017, 12:27 PM   #47
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That size of a trowel should get you about 1/8 - 3/16" thickness. Leave about the same gap around the perimeter between wall and floor tile.
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Old 09-12-2017, 02:11 PM   #48
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Ok so I think I'm good on the one pair of sides which'll have about a 1/5" gap. The other will have a 1/2" gap, which looks likely to be just about the same size as the combined mortar & tile thickness at the wall. I'd really like to stick with this layout (it results in no tile cutting either at the drain or perimeter) but not if it's going to cause a problem either cosmetically or with the install of the wall tile. Do you think it'll be OK, should I plan for something to fill the gap up, or should I really be looking at modifying the tile layout to reduce the gap? Thanks,

jeff
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Old 09-12-2017, 02:29 PM   #49
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If you have 1/2" gap with a dry layout of the floor tile, you should be okay, since it sounds like the tile and thinset on the wall will be 1/2", maybe a bit less.

If you're in doubt, set the tile on the wall using something about 1/8" thick for a spacer, like cardboard (to account for thinset) then see how it comes out.
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Old 09-15-2017, 10:06 AM   #50
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Continuing to think ahead to the post-shower part of the job, looking at the floor structure. FWIW this is a late '90s townhouse in the Maryland suburbs of DC. Please bear with me this will be a long one

A couple of things I'm fairly certain of:
- the subfloor is 5/8" plywood, observed at the shower drain cut out
- the joists are TJI Pro 120TS, an engineered I-beam type that look to be made of OSB. The house has an unfinished 1st floor utility room from which I can see the structure below the 2nd floor kitchen, and the joists here are 14" tall on 24" centers. Measuring the height/depth between the 2nd floor ceiling and the 3rd floor surface matches an apparent 14" joist height for the bathroom floor was well.

FWIW the kitchen above has some sort of 12" square natural stone tile that's been there for at least 10 years, no cracks. Unsure of the floor prep as it was done before we moved in. It's a wee bit higher than the adjacent hardwood.

Attached is a sketch of the bathroom, more or less to scale, along with a sketch showing the bathroom in relation to the space below. The vanity and shower are against an exterior wall, the tub in an exterior corner. The wall behind the toilet extends down to the 2nd floor and I suspect is load bearing. So I guess you'd say the bathroom is supported underneath on 3 sides.

Also attached is the page from the joists' spec sheet with deflection info.

The purple dashed lines indicate my best guess as to the joist locations. The ones intersecting in the shower I'm certain of, as I could see them when I had everything torn down. The rest are estimates/assumptions based on using a studfinder on the ceiling below. Nominally 24" spacing but with that one set at ~18" running through the middle. Then there are the perpendicular ones at 36" and 48" spacing which would seem to span the width of the house. It would make sense that they'd tighten the spacing underneath the tub, but I'm not familiar with residential design practices.

So, any thoughts or recommendations as to the floor's suitability for ceramic/porcelain tile? I am not sure how to evaluate the span length given what looks like those perpendicular joists at the 3-4' spacing. I'm figuring on 12x12 ceramic if it matters, probably with a Ditra heat type system. Does it need another layer of ply? Thanks!
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Old 09-15-2017, 10:55 AM   #51
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Absent a large beam running left right in your drawing, the cross bracing at 3' to 4' intervals is immaterial for determining the span of your joists. So assume your span is 17'. That still provides an L/480 deflection performance based on the information you posted. Which means ceramic tile is OK, natural stone is not.

As to the second layer of subfloor, see the Ditra heat installation manual. Assembly DH-W24-T-16 calls for a second layer of plywood when the joists are 24" o.c.

BTW, 5/8" floor sheathing is not to my knowledge rated for 24" o.c. supports, the minimum size for that would be 3/4". Are you sure that your floor sheathing is 5/8" and not 3/4"?

Cheers, Wayne
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Old 09-15-2017, 11:56 AM   #52
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You know what, looking at an earlier post I called it ~3/4" of a 5-layer plywood. So let's go with that.

So the deflection looks fine, but according to that install manual Schluter wants a minimum 3/8 plywood in addition to the 3/4". Figure that's sufficient especially considering that one pair of ~18" spaced joists?
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Old 10-19-2017, 06:47 AM   #53
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Another month gone by with a little progress The tile is in and I've gotten the floor layout ready, first by dry fitting in the shower and then recreating it on a template in the garage where I could make all the cuts and adjustments needed. I'm pretty happy with how it looks.

I'm still uncertain about what I should do on the two sides where I'll have a 1/2" gap between the floor tile and the wall )the other two sides will only be 1/4"). I drew the attached cartoon to illustrate. I'm pretty sure the wall tile will just about come out to 1/2", so aesthetically it'll look fine with the caulk joint I think. But should I put something in the corner void?
- "rip" some skinny lengths of tile and set in the mortar while setting the floor tile
- stuff it with ~1/2" closed cell backer rod before setting the wall tile
- grout the floor before starting the wall tile and fill the space with grout

Thanks!

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Old 10-27-2017, 12:52 PM   #54
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Howdy folks. Took the day off of work to start setting some tile. I just got finished up with the linear mosaic border portion of the floor, taking a lunch break and will set the 2x2s in the center next. A few questions:
- once again the mortar seemed to mix up sorta dry. Or should I say, it started a bit damp and seemed to start to dry pretty quickly. I used Mapei Adesilex P10 at a 3-1 ratio per their tech support staff. Mixing & sitting times per the bag. I guess I should either get used to it or add a wee bit more water to get it to my liking?
- I used a 1/4 x 3/16 v-notch trowel per some recommendations I gathered. I keyed it in to the base, spread over with the notches, and then knocked them flat with the flat side. I found that it took a lot of pressure and moving the tiles back and forth to get good coverage, resulting in a fair bit of mortar coming up through the gaps. I used my hands as well as a grout float to press them in. Typical?
- planning to use a 1/4 square notch for the 2x2s and will also knock the ridges down but will be figuring on cleaning out the gaps as needed.

Here's a picture of it's current state. The 2x2s are just sitting there dry.
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Old 10-27-2017, 03:40 PM   #55
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I don't have any experience with that thinset but it sounds like it was a little on the dry side. It shouldn't take much to get that little notch to collapse.
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Old 10-30-2017, 08:47 PM   #56
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It was easy to flatten the notches so no problem there. What surprised me was how much 'action' it took to get coverage on the backs of the tile, based on what I saw when I pried them up to check. I really had to work 'em in, shuffling a bit with my fingers, pressing very hard with a float, etc, so much so that I had to clean thinset out of the spaces damn near everywhere. I was very careful only to apply thinset to small areas that I'd be setting immediately so I know for sure I never exceeded the open time, or even approached it. Same for the 2x2s as the strips. Frankly I'm still not sure how great the coverage was as I was nervous about prying them up after passing the 20-30 minute open time. We shall see...

Anyhow by Sunday afternoon Mapei's 48 hours had passed and I moved on to grouting. I used a grout saw and razor knife to clean out the thinset I missed on Friday. The tiles seem very firmly set. I used Flexcolor CQ in the "bamboo" color. I set up three water buckets - 1 for the pre-wipe, 1 for the initial circular scrub rinse, and the 3rd for the final wipe. 2 sponges each in the rinse buckets I followed the directions and many of the tips from the thread here and overall I think it went pretty well. I used Custom's grout release from HD as a precaution against my inexperience, not sure if it helped or not but the end result looks good with no haze. I did the floor in 4 sections, and replaced my rinse water halfway through. I also did a very light 3rd wipe down with a microfiber cloth over a sponge which seemed to get rid of the last bits of residue.

Despite my best efforts I did find a spot or two of thinset poking out and a couple cavities in the grout. I also may want to build up the grout joint at the drain. I understand with the Flexcolor CQ I can just add new grout directly to the old and it'll adhere correctly?

Crappy iPhone picture here conceals the little imperfections that only I will probably ever notice
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Old 11-13-2017, 09:01 PM   #57
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Quick question - I know it's a no-no to pour grout wash water or any thinset residue down the drain, but how about the water from a wet saw? I'm getting ready to start tiling the walls, and it's gotten cold outside here, so I'm thinking of moving the saw in from my unheated garage and wondering if it's OK to pour the water down the drains. Thanks!
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Old 11-13-2017, 09:33 PM   #58
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:34 PM   #59
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Finally got to the wall tiling stage of the job today. I've done the areas on walls adjacent to the shower and the outside of the curb, today I did the wall tile around the curb, the inside of the curb, and a 3 high row (27" up) on the back wall. I'm using a 9x12 wall tile in a 50% offset subway type pattern. Lining the tiles up shows that they are very flat and very consistent so I thought this would work fine. Getting good coverage using a 1/4x3/8 trowel and back buttering each one.

Question - I do seem to be getting some lippage I guess it's called in a few spots - not due to the offset, just in random areas. I'm trying to be consistent in applying the mortar and the back buttering is just a thin skim coat so curious if there are any tips for avoiding this. I'm using Tavy type spacers which seem to be working fine for setting the joints.

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Old 11-17-2017, 09:46 PM   #60
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Installing tile for a few years will help.


Seriously, practice practice practice.

Have you looked into a lippage tuning system such as LASH or MLS?
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