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Old 01-10-2018, 11:26 AM   #1
circusfreak
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Rob's Family Room Floor project

Hi Gang!
I have previously gotten so much great information and help here on my bathroom project:
http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/...d.php?t=100070

Now I am back to tiling again. This time I am doing my lower level family room floor which is concrete slab and was previously carpeted. I'd like a little advice before I settle on the tiles.

I would like the "wood-floor-look" type of tiles in there and so far this is the one we like best. It is a large 8x48 tile from Menards:

https://www.menards.com/main/floorin...0183606&ipos=1

First off, I know I need to make sure the floor is quite level since the tiles are so long, so I will be checking that shortly. If not, use level quick (or what brand) to get it level before install?

The slab is about 20 years old and only has one small, short crack near the patio door. The craked area is actually where there was a previous small section of tile, and there were no cracks in those. Can I assume that this means the slab will continue to be stable and I won't need a layer of Ditra or another decoupling membrane?

I know I will be back-buttering every tile because of the size to ensure full coverage. Are there any other tips/caveats to be aware of when working with tiles in this format?

For porcelain on concrete, what is the best thinset to use? Any brand preference that is available at either HD, Lowes, or 'Nards? We also have tile stores nearby if they carry better products. Suggestions?

Here is a picture of the room layout. I also haven't decided on tile direction. Any thoughts on that?

As always, thanks for the help!

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Old 01-10-2018, 02:21 PM   #2
rmckee84
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1. Remember you're looking for flat not level
2. Can you post a pic of the crack?
3. A trowel sized for large format tile like 1/2"x1/2", 1/4"x1/2" u notch, superior notch, or euro notch
-If the tile has a heavy white film on the back you'll need to wipe them down with a damp sponge. That is kiln release and is a bond breaker.
-Observe the recomended offset pattern for your tile. Most likely 33% or less.
-A lippage tuning system will make life easier
4. A quality modified, medium bed thinset. Skip the big box stores and go to a place that stocks pro grade materials. Something from laticrete or ardex will cost about the same and will be a better product. There are lots of options just from those 2 brands alone. Find a source then find a product that falls in your price range.
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Old 01-10-2018, 02:29 PM   #3
circusfreak
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1. Yes, flat not level. I have a 4 foot level - is shooting that around the room in all different spot/locations good enough for determining flatness? Or would I need a longer piece of wood / level? What kind of gaps am I looking to stay under while checking?

2. I will take a pic of the crack today and post it.

3. Lippage system. Got it.

4. When I did my shower/bathroom, I used Versabond products which I got at the big-box. Is a Laticrete or Ardex going to be noticeably superior? I will get whatever will do the best job.

Thanks!
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Old 01-10-2018, 04:29 PM   #4
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1. 10ft straight edge would be a better evaluation. No more than an 1/8" deviation in that 10'. Fill low spots, grind high spots, or pour a leveler.

4. Versabond is an economy grade product. Going to something like a laticrete or ardex will give you longer pot life, better open time, and overall better bond. Versabond LFT is around $17 a bag. Ardex x5 will run about the same and is a far better product. Technically you can use any modified medium bed but if youre asking opinions I wouldnt use versabond if someone gave it to me for free...
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Old 01-10-2018, 11:21 PM   #5
circusfreak
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Thanks Ryan. I will look for those brands at my local tile store(s).

Here is a picture of the one crack in the slab near the door. There was already tile on that patch previously, so I think I am OK. Or should I do anything with it? The rest of the floor is crack-free.

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I have seen it done both ways in threads and videos, so is there a "best" direction to comb out thinset for laying long narrow tiles? Parallel or perpendicular to the tile?

One of my next tasks also is to think about getting power and a subwoofer cable to my chairs / counter island in the middle of the room. I will likely have to cut a shallow trench and lay a couple conduits for that.
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Old 01-11-2018, 09:56 AM   #6
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I believe perpendicular thinset lines is generally preffered as it allows the air to escape more readily.
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Old 01-11-2018, 12:49 PM   #7
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Watch this video

The thinset lines should be perpendicular to the long axis of the tile
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Old 01-17-2018, 12:01 PM   #8
circusfreak
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Does anyone have any thoughts about what, if anything, I should do with that one crack? Like I said, we had a small patch of tile right there which didn't have any damage, but I'd just like to make sure it's OK to proceed as-is. The rest of the slab is crack-free.

Thanks!
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Old 01-17-2018, 03:04 PM   #9
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As long as there is no vertical displacement - aka one side higher than the other, AND this is an old crack, I'd throw a 3 foot wide section of Kerdi membrane (or similar) centered over the crack and tile right over it.

Or get a bucket of redguard and spread it as far as the bucket goes at proper coverage. Once you open the bucket, might as well use it all. RG is easier to find
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