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Old 11-11-2005, 03:05 AM   #1
spaceship
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Feedback on new bathroom tile project

Hi all,

I'm a tiling newbie looking for feedback on a project that I'm about to start. It's a small bathroom (sink&toilet, no tub/shower), roughly 6 feet by 10 feet. The house was built in 1911, and the current flooring is subfloor (shiplap) + fir hardwood + 1/2 inch plywood + old linoleum.

The linoleum is in decent shape. Given its age, I'm assuming that it contains asbestos, so I would prefer to leave it as is, and tile over top. The floor is level, but not perfectly even. Laying a straight piece of wood on the floor i can see some deflections, but none more than 1/8".

I'm aiming for a look consistent with the age of the house, so the tile I'm going use is the non-glazed 1" hex tile in white with a few black circles placed in a regular pattern. I would also like to add a bit more interest to the room by edging it with 1" white square tile against the wall and 1" black square tile next to the white tile. Here's some ascii art in case my description isn't too clear:


%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
%xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx%
%xoooooooooooooox%
%xoooooooooooooox%
%xoooooooooooooox%
%xoooooooooooooox%
%xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx%
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%


Where
% = 1 inch square white
x = 1 inch square black and
o = 1 inch hex tile


Here is what I would like to do:

- Set Ditra over linoleum using a latex/polymer modified mortar
- Set up tiling guide using 2x1s nailed down.
- Black 1" tile will go on the inside of the guide using dry set
mortar.
- Hex tiles will then go inside of the black edge
- Remove the guides and do the white 1" tile to the walls.
- Grout tile
- Seal grout & tile???

Questions:

- Setting tile over linoleum -- am I asking for trouble here? I really don't want to have to deal with asbestos abatement, but I also don't want to be ripping up a falling apart tile job in the future.

- My pattern seems straightforward, but this is my first tile job. Any pitfalls here?

- Should I sand the linoleum to give the mortar better adhesion? Seems like it could help, but also a bad idea given the asbestos.

- As added insurance, I was thinking of running screws through the linoleum at regular intervals to better link the floor to the subflooring. Good idea?

- The slight variations in the floor surface -- should I be worried? Could SLC help here?

- The tile is unglazed. I'm not sure if it's porcelain or ceramic. Do I need to seal it? I'm assuming I still need to seal the grout. Is there any "gotchas" with this non-standard type of tile?

- Any recommendations on mortar/grout products to use?


Any other tips, or general advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,

Darren.
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Old 11-11-2005, 06:17 AM   #2
bbcamp
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Welcome, Darren!

I see 2 problems with your plan that make it a no-go: 1) installing over lino of unknown condition (lino to floor bond) and 2) using 1" tiles on Ditra (2" minimum tile size).

Other problems include the un-even floor surface will be translated into the tile, which will show as varying grout line widths.

Given the asbestos concerns, and that you have honest-to-gawd linoleum, not vinyl, I suggest you install 1/4" backerboard over the lino, following the manufacturer's instructions concerning embedding the board in thinset, nailing/screwing schedule, and joint taping. Then check for flatness, and adjust as needed. How you do that will be discussed after you set the board and measure for flatness.

As far as the design details, I think that you should err on the side of less detail to avoid a "busy" look. Besides, the floor will probably have a throw rug in front of the sink.

As for the sealing requirements for un-glazed porcelain, I'll defer to someone with more experience.
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Old 11-11-2005, 09:43 PM   #3
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Welcome, Darren.

I don't like what Bob don't like, plus I don't like the layer of wood flooring between the board subflooring and the half-inch plywood. Lotta extra stuff in there to move about. And getting it all squoze together whilst trying to install some CBU is a trick I don't think I'd be confident with.

Schluter has an application for Ditra over existing vinyl flooring (You still can't use Ditra, as Bob 'splained), but they require that the floor be nailed off with ring-shank nails every four inches on center - everywhere. And Ditra is a more forgiving substrate than any CBU.

But if you ain't fixin' to remove any of the existing layers, Bob's plan is probably the best. Some of the CBU manufacturers do indicate their product for use over vinyl, but your subflooring situation might give them pause. You'll wanna follow the installation instructions of whichever CBU you choose, of course.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 11-12-2005, 02:08 AM   #4
spaceship
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Thanks Bob and CX.

Day one is down, and I ended up pulling up most of the vinyl tile. There was a small amount of ceramic tile on one side of the room (installed over the vinyl tile), and when I removed it several vinyl tiles came along with it.

The tile looks to be of the peel and stick variety. I'm not an expert on such things, but there was no mastic and there was a limited amount of glue. Tiles are 12x12 and made by Armstrong.

I was hoping not to have to remove all the tiles due to asbestos concerns, but given that I had all the equipment (respirator, white suit etc.) I decided to pull everything up.

The tiles were pretty slow going and were breaking into fairly small pieces, which concerned me (friability). I started using a heat gun and the tiles then came up in one piece, which is good.


Tomorrow, I'll finish pulling up the tiles and see what I can do to remove any glue residue. Any tips? I was thinking of using Goo Gone or something like that.


I went to the local hardware store to go check out the CBU they had. They carried "Hardi-Board" which I assume is the same thing? The only thickness they had was 1/2", so I think I'll look around till I find the 1/4" (will work better with the floor thickness).

CX, I understand your concern about the multiple layers of flooring, but I'd rather not take out the original fir flooring in case someone down the road decides to do something with it. Who knows if it's any good...


Thanks for the tips, I'll follow up as things progress in case anyone is interested.
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Old 11-23-2005, 09:32 PM   #5
geniescience
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceship
....I went to the local hardware store to go check out the CBU they had. They carried "Hardi-Board" which I assume is the same thing? The only thickness they had was 1/2", so I think I'll look around till I find the 1/4" (will work better with the floor thickness).....
As far as I can help you, I can confirm that Hardi backer is the same as, and good stuff, and using 1/4' is good.
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Old 12-27-2005, 06:13 PM   #6
spaceship
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Wet Tile saw and Chip Out

Hi all,

I'm continuing my tile project (first posted here). The plywood beneath the vinyl floor tile was only 1/4", so I ended up pulling that up as well and laying new 5/8" plywood, with 1/4" hardibacker thinset in over top. So far so good, thanks for all the advice.

Now I've started laying out the mosaic tile, and I'm having some issues with cutting down the 1" square mosaic tiles on the cheapie wet saw I purchased at the local DIY store. The saw has a 7" blade and is made by Superior power tools.

My cuts are all quite small, as I only need to remove 1/4" - 1/2" of material in most places. I've been cutting the tiles by setting the rip fence about 1/8" away from the blade and running the sheet of tiles through. So far I'm getting chip-out on over half of the tiles.

This isn't a big issue for now, as the cut edge is against the wall and will be covered by floor trim. However, I do have some cuts coming up that that will be visible and I want to avoid chip out if at all possible.

Any tips? I've currently got the rip fence on the waste side -- would it be better to put it on the other side?

Thanks,

Darren.
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Old 12-27-2005, 06:31 PM   #7
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Darren, I merged your threads together so you won't have to give us a re-cap every time you post, and we won't have to go looking for any background you didn't re-cap.

But that's all I did, 'cause I don't know how to help on this one.
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Old 12-30-2005, 01:33 PM   #8
spaceship
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So... does anyone have any tips for cutting mosaic tile on a wet saw?
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