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Old 09-04-2017, 10:10 PM   #1
X86BSD
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More newb porcelain tile ?'s, will they never end?!

Good evening everyone! I hope everyone had a great a labor day!

My wife and I are about to start tiling 1600+sqft in our home (replacing carpet because our two new dogs have *destroyed* the carpet, it's disgusting.). We are starting in a sunroom. Dimensions: 11' 3" x 13' 3". Clearly and obviously we have never done any remodeling ourselves. We are going in blind except for everything we have read and watched. And we have been researching and reading for months now almost constantly. But that is still no replacement for experience.

So I have a few questions so far. I am paranoid about wrecking this tile install, and the tile cost a fortune so I am really trying hard not to make mistakes. The sunroom had carpet as I said and below that was some hideous vinyl sheet. I ripped out the carpet, then the vinyl sheet after having it tested for asbestos (the home was built in 1986). In hindsight I should have just rented a floor sander to get all the paper and glue stuck to the subfloor off but being a man and having only a orbital sander I made due. Some of you may be laughing now. I laughed at myself about a quarter of the way through that.
I am almost finished getting all the glue and stains left by the glue off the subfloor. We are using schluter all-set and Ditra for the underlayment on top of this.

The subfloor from what I can tell is 3/4" with 1/4 plywood on top. The joists are 16" O.C. And the 1/4" plywood runs perpendicular to the joists.

Question one: Someone had drilled two holes in the subfloor all the way through. It looks like the Mastercard logo roughly. It is 3/4"x1/2" roughly. They are right next to each other. Probably for cable TV near an outside wall. When I put my all-set down do I just spread it over the hole? Should I plug it somehow first?

Question two: I am almost done sanding the subfloor clean and have 3 corners done, one left. The rest of the floor is clean and sanded, the corners just had the most glue for some reason and are taking a bit longer. One of the three corners is slightly out of level. I have attached a .jpg photo showing a level on said corner. It seems just a wee bit out of level. Nothing major. And this is along the 11'3" long wall. Underneath this room is a half finished basement. Sheetrock is up. Except for a small section that is the outside corner of the house directly under the sunroom. But that exposed part is opposite this wall. I don't know if I can just feather more mortar under the DITRA along that section until the level shows level or if this is going to require significantly more work?

Question three: In the living room next to the sunroom the fireplace has a 2" round gas valve in the floor about 27" from the fireplace to the center of the gas valve for the gas key. I obviously cannot tile over it, so I was planning to take a 2" circular diamond hole saw bit and cut through the tiles that will be going over it to make the appropriate size opening. Half the diameter from each tile bordering the valve. Then I was going to take a spare tile and drill another 2" hole and use the 2" tile piece from that hole to just lay in on top of the valve to cover it but make it easy to remove and access it if we want. How do you pro's handle tiling around a gas valve for a gas key in a floor? Am I close to how everyone does it or wayyyy off?

Questions four: Also in the living room right under the transition piece between the living room and a hallway the google fiber installer drilled and pulled up a fiber cable to connect to the TV in the middle of a wall. I'm pretty sure since its carpeted he just tucked the cable under the carpet. Obviously, I can't tuck the fiber under the tile it would be rather permanent in the mortar heh. Suggestions on how to deal with it? Should i tuck it under the sheet rock under the wall until it needs to come out to the room and then just break a little notch on the bottom of the sheet rock and drill a hole in the baseboard trim and pull it out from under the sheetrock and over the tile and through the notch I drill in the baseboard?

Question five: Any recommendations on grout? We like the concept of epoxy, because its waterproof and stain proof, and seems pretty bullet proof and wont crack down the line. But I have read reviews where it failed or looks rubbery/elastic like. But I get the feeling that is operator error during install by people who do not know what they are doing. Thoughts for grout lines 1/8" or less?

I really appreciate any and all advice on these matters. Apologies for the crappy photo, I have an old iphone 5 and am waiting another week for the iphone 8 to upgrade

Thank you all!

Chris
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Old 09-04-2017, 10:36 PM   #2
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Welcome, Chris.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris
The subfloor from what I can tell is 3/4" with 1/4 plywood on top.
We likely could have saved you a good bit of work with that sander. The quarter-inch plywood needs to be removed. It's almost certainly of a type not acceptable as part of a subfloor for a ceramic tile installation.

0. Have you evaluated your joist structure to see if your floor qualifies for a ceramic tile installation without improvement? You can use the Deflectometer in the dark blue bar above to get an initial go/no-go on that.

1. You can plug that with anything convenient. I'd likely glue some wood dowels in the holes and cut them off flush, but the repair doesn't need to be particularly structural in nature. If you do nothing it unlikely anyone will ever notice.

2. Don't think I understand your situation there at all. All I can tell you is that your tile installation doesn't give a rat's patooti about your floor being level, it cares only about flat. And if you plan on using large format tiles it cares a great deal. If your tiles are to be smaller than 15" on any side, your floor must have no deviation from intended plane of more than 1/4" in ten feet nor 1/16th" in one foot. If the tiles will be larger, the floor needs to be flatter.

When using Ditra as your underlayment, all leveling and flattening must be done before the Ditra is inistalled.

3. I never put such valves in the floor and have never encountered that problem. Your solution sounds about as good as any I could conjure up except for just cutting a hole around your valve and leaving it. Sounds like a really poor location for such a device. Any chance you can move it?

4. Sorry, without at lest photos I can't do anything with that one and more likely I'd need to be there. You can use the paper-clip icon above the Reply dialog box to attach photos from storage on your computer.

5. Whatever Mrs. Chris wants is fine with me.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 09-04-2017, 11:38 PM   #3
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How can you tell whether the 1/4 on top is acceptable or not?

0: Thank you for using the John Bridge Forums Deflect-O-Lator :-)

For joists that are Unknown wood, but in good condition, 9 inches tall, 1.5 inches wide, 16 inches on center, and 12 feet long between supports, the deflection calculated is 0.361 inches.

This translates to a deflection of L / 399.

Since the maximum deflection for tile is L / 360, and for natural stone is L / 720, your floor is rated for Ceramic tile, Congratulations!

Also, there is tile already in the kitchen on the main floor and on the second floor above both bathrooms also have tile down. 12x12. Not that that means anything regarding the spacing and length of the floor joists just a point to be noted.

1: Dowels! That's a good and simple idea. Thank you.

2: We are using two tile sizes. 6x24 and 9x36. 9x36 are going in the sunroom. So if level is not an issue only flatness and assuming it is 1/4" or less out of plane every 10 feet how do you deal with that when putting the trim on so it's not obvious that it's out of plane?

3: Almost every gas fireplace I have ever seen has the valve for the gas key in the floor somewhere. A couple of the newer places had it operated by a switch. But most I have ever seen you turn the gas on and off with a key in the floor. Relocating it would be a lot of money and a major PITA. I just wondered what people do when tiling around them.

4: I will work on photos for that.

5: Wise words.
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Old 09-05-2017, 05:23 PM   #4
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Lets put it this way, the 1/4" must go. It isnt a stable product. Once moisture contacts it, it will delaminate.

2. Both of your tiles are considered large format, meaning your surface should have no more than 1/8" deviation in 10'. If by trim you mean baseboard, you will not see it unless you have an uneven tiled floor when you finish.
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Old 09-06-2017, 06:56 AM   #5
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Question #5 - I wouldn't recommend starting off your new tile career with epoxy. It's a great grout but not a great grout for your first outing. My suggestion would be Flexcolor CQ which is pretty low maintenance. I put it in my house and the dog's nails haven't been an issue in the three years since I installed it. Just keep in mind that the manufacturer of your uncoupling membrane and mortar aren't going to warrant the grout since it's not their system, and we won't warrant what's under it because it's not our system. If you'd like to get the system, we have Mapeguard UM and Ultraflex LHT that provide some advantages including a system warranty.

Good luck with your project!
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Old 09-06-2017, 11:01 AM   #6
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The Flexcolor CQ

Does that setup quickly? Not doing this daily we won't be as fast as tradesmen.
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Old 09-06-2017, 11:19 AM   #7
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Hi,
fellow first-time DIYer here and just used the Flexcolor CQ it on my floor and shower walls.

Yes, it does set up fast - so just do very small areas and start the wash within several minutes. If you've ever seen a youtube video where they dump half a bucket of regular grout and start spreading, its not like that. Once I got the feel for that it was not a big deal.

The huge advantage is that there is no mixing, so you can work at your own pace and won't end up with half a bucket of hard epoxy. Plus you can come back the next day to pick up where you left off and fill in the imperfections.
It feels acrylically and strong; time will tell of course, but I get the feeling that it is superior to regular cementious grout.
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Old 09-07-2017, 11:27 PM   #8
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Thanks for that Jeff! We plan to a small section at a time. Ill grout, the wife will clean behind me. But since you have used it and recommend it with the caveat of take it slow and easy it's probably what we will go for.
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Old 09-08-2017, 05:34 AM   #9
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Be sure to watch this video

You'll need proper expansion joint placement. Read pages 18-20

We normally undercut door trim as shown in your picture. Use a multi tool or jamb saw to cut the trim, then slide the tiles underneath for a clean look and allow for expansion. You might want to under cut the baseboards as well.
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Old 09-09-2017, 07:48 PM   #10
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Curiosity. Why would the 1/4" plywood need to go?? It is NOT necessarily luan, perhaps just something added to raise floor level in that area to match up with something else?? Ron
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Old 09-09-2017, 08:50 PM   #11
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Doesn't matter that it's not Lauan, Ron, it's too thin to participate as a structural member of the subfloor and too thin to fasten adequately to the layer below without some "bubbles" in the field where it's not tight against the layer below. Too easy to allow for some vertical movement of whatever's above the quarter-inch stuff and ceramic tile installations are very sensitive to any vertical movement.

I personally think today's nominal three-eighths-inch plywood should be in the same category. The stuff's getting so thin with today's allowances that it's not much better than quarter-inch plywood of old that was actually a quarter-inch thick.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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