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Old 12-31-2006, 03:07 PM   #1
cstoner
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Help-Used wrong trowel? for 12" floor tile (1/4 instead of 3/8)

Hi...I need some quick advice, please. My name's Charlie and yesterday I finished laying hardibacker over 3/4 eg plywood using Versabond and a 1/4 by 1/4 square trowel. The HB was screwed down....about 550 sq ft.

Without thinking, today I used the same trowel and started laying 12" glazed porcelin tile in our kitchen, also using Versabond adn 1/4" spacers. I have about 60 tiles down...the first one's been down about 2.5 hours as of 5pm ET. I have the 3/8" trowel.

What do you recommend I do?

a. finish using the 1/4" trowel
b. switch to the 3/8 and feather/transition it in over a couple of rows.
c. take it all up, clean off the mortar and start again.

Thanks
Charlie
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Old 12-31-2006, 03:12 PM   #2
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Presumably you were checking coverage by pulling a tile now and then? If you were getting good coverage and able to control lippage I don't see any reason to worry, but then I'm not an expert. If the backs aren't deeply recessed and your floor is reasonably even imo 1/4 x 1/4 works fine.

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Old 12-31-2006, 03:26 PM   #3
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Hi Charlie, welcome! You don't need to worry too much, Finish it out with the 3/8" feathering it out like you said.
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Old 12-31-2006, 04:12 PM   #4
cstoner
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Thanks very much DL and Mike...I wasn't sure how much of problem this would be. Glad to hear it can work either way. I'll continue with the 1/4 till I get to a row with lippage and then may transition to the 3/8.
Charlie
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Old 12-31-2006, 11:12 PM   #5
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Charlie,
Just for the heck of it, and piece of mind - try the 1/4 x 1/4" with a tile and check it for coverage like DL said... Report back....
Then go with Mike's suggestion....
Don't forget to burn the thinset in....
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Old 01-01-2007, 06:10 AM   #6
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Hi Charlie, did you tape the joints? I'd move on up to the 3/8 like Musky said.
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Old 01-01-2007, 07:21 AM   #7
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Thanks again to all...I just spent 1 1/2 hours just browsing the forum...as some have said...its fascinating and addicting. I have never encountered such a professional and friendly setting where pro's help each other and the DIY'ers so much.

As for this job, I've pulled up several tiles laid where I used the 1/4 x 1/4 square trowel and have had full coverage/contact on all but one where there was lippage (which is why I pulled that one up).

As for the joints...well...uhhh...I realized after posting that I had also not taped the joints under the first 60 sq ft...but was too embarassed to come back and ask about it. The 1st 60' were over full sheets of Hardibacker with joints well covered by tiles.....I did not pull it all up.

After resuming last night, we (my 12yo son..he's getting good at inserting spacers) did another 65 ft and have been taping the HB joints as I went.

One thing I did on this job has worked well for me...not sure if the pro's do this. After measuring, laying out, and snapping chaulk lines, I screwed in some long narrow hardibacker scraps along the chaulk lines for the first 'quadrant' as a quide. Then I could lay the first rows of tile and press them against the HB guide. As I go into a new quadrant, I just move the strips and re-screwed them along the chaulk line. I must say, I've done the length of the kitchen and the grout lines are dead straight.

Unfortunately, I've now laid 125 sq ft....only 425 to go!!!...yikes, I don't know how you guys can do this for a living! At least I sleep well at night.

Thanks to all
Charlie
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Old 01-01-2007, 08:16 AM   #8
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You may consider keeping your grout lines clear/clean now as you go to avoid ceaning dried motar later.

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Old 01-01-2007, 10:16 AM   #9
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Charlie,
Your son will long remember how you and he did this together...
We use a long straight edge along the lines you have done with your HB... Usually setting tiles or a other heavy object on the straight edge to keep it from moving.... It's hard work but you be rewarded in the end....
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Old 01-25-2007, 03:31 PM   #10
cstoner
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Attaching door hardware to tile floor

Thanks to all for help earlier on this project. Tile is down, grouted, sealed...looks good.

I have a closet with hung sliding doors that needs a small hardware guide attached to the floor. I also have an swinging door with floor hinge. Both were previously screwed to the floor.

Question: You guys must deal with this all the time. I could drill holes, sure, but is there any reason I can't just glue the hardware in place on the tile with a little construction adhesive (or caulk..easier to get up if needed)? After all, there's no lifting force, it only needs to hold up to some minor lateral forces.

I want to avoid drilling cause its like getting a tatoo...somewhat painful to do....impossible to fully undo later.

Thanks in advance
Charlie
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Old 01-25-2007, 04:38 PM   #11
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You're probably gonna find yourself glueing them back in place quite often if the door gets used much. I vote for fastening them down the right way.
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Old 01-26-2007, 05:05 AM   #12
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My personal opinion, and this an opinion that has been earned the hard way, is that is is much easier and faster to do it right the first time and never worrry about it again. Would you rather bleed a little bit more today and have the wound heal or bleed a litttle bit less now but continue to bleed for years with a wound that will never heal?

That's just me though

If you do decide to drill make sure you use a masonary bit to drill through the tile (and slab if its over concrete). The bit will have a tendancy to slip and glide over the tile, you can avoid some of this by putting masking tape on the tile first and drilling through the tape and all.

OH and another thing...if you really do mess it up or don't like you have extra tile right??? It sucks, but you can always remove a dorked up tile and replace with a new one...just something to keep in mind.
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Old 01-26-2007, 11:01 AM   #13
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Thanks for the advice and tips...just wanted to make sure that there wasn't some other better option. I'm off to pick up the bits.

Charlie
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Old 01-26-2007, 11:56 AM   #14
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For some reason I thought 1/4" trowel was to be used for 12" tile, no?
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Old 01-26-2007, 03:03 PM   #15
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Hi Kezug, If that's not a first name, please put one up here.

It could very well be the correct trowel if the backs of the tiles are fairly flat, and I use a quarter-inch frequently. I think Charlie's tiles might have had heavy ridges on their backs, and the 3/8 trowel assured full coverage in that instance.

I've argued trowel size for years. Tile and thin set manufacturers post size charts on their product packaging, but they are not on the job and cannot foresee every need. Flatness of the tile back (and the subfloor), and not necessarily tile size, should determine which trowel is used.
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