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Old 10-24-2008, 08:58 AM   #1
squibbs
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How to lay Porcelain wood tile ?

I have purchased some glazed porcelain tile that looks like wood. The tile size is 4x24 and the color is dark ( espresso).

Has anybody laid a porcelain wood tile floor before? What did you do about grout lines?

It seems to me that butt jointing the tiles would complete the wood floor look.

Has anybody done this or should I do 1/8" grout lines? The manufacturer was really no help, so any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 10-24-2008, 01:45 PM   #2
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Squibbs - you need a grout line. It may be possibe to go as small as 1/16" for your grout lines but you need enough of a grout line for the grout to take hold and anchor itself in. If you try to but them up your grout isn't going to stay - this will leave you with open grout lines that will collect all kind of yuckies. Also depending on how well the tiles are sized or not - if you butt them up it may start stair stepping on you.

My suggestion is to go with at least a 1/16" but up to 1/8". I have seen some of these floors and feel they look fine - if that is what you like.
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Old 10-24-2008, 02:55 PM   #3
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Hi Squibbs, welcome! You definitely want a grout line. I wouldn't go too small. Look at the pieces and see how bowed they are. Most likely they are bowed and if you go with too small of a grout line you'll have lippage. A 3/16" grout line with a color grout to match the tile would be good IMO.
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Old 10-24-2008, 03:49 PM   #4
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Thanks guys for the input. I am leaning torwards doing a grout line, all though I am concerned how the floor will look afterwards. All the sample boards at the stores always have the tile butt jointed without grout.
If you are trying to mimic a real wood floor, butt jointing all of the tile just seems like the proper way to do it. But from what I gather, adding the grout lines will make the whole job easier.

Johntrent, I was not planning on grouting if I did a butt joint. I was just going to let it sit as is.
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Old 10-24-2008, 04:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
If you are trying to mimic a real wood floor, butt jointing all of the tile just seems like the proper way to do it. But from what I gather, adding the grout lines will make the whole job easier.
use a same color grout as the wood and it will go un noticed.

Quote:
Johntrent, I was not planning on grouting if I did a butt joint. I was just going to let it sit as is.
bad idea...it will then over time get grouted with dirt and grime.
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Old 10-24-2008, 06:11 PM   #6
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OK....I'm going to step in here and tell you about a "wood" look floor that I put in without grout. The HO didn't want grout, so I butted them together and came up with this:



Having said that, she didn't have kids & dogs....so the maintenance was no problem......looks like old barn wood.

(Click on the pic)
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Old 10-24-2008, 06:35 PM   #7
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Laz, that floor looks great. Now Im torn again. after I saw that, I found your old thread. Very helpful. Have you done any more "wood Floors" without grout. If cleaning the groutless floor is the only issue, I might be inclined to consider it again. Any more insights?
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Old 10-24-2008, 06:49 PM   #8
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All I can say is that, you really ought to use grout.....having said that the HO specifically said she DIDN'T want "grout." If it's an area that doesn't see a lot of dirt.....you can do what I did. I figgure it this way.....there ain't no grout on a wood floor...and this was put REAL close together....just like a wood floor.....so just run a vacuum cleaner over it and keep that puppy clean!

Gotta say, though....I was real happy not to have to grout the floor....and a year later, she's still pleased.

One other issue is that I strongly reccomended that she NOT use the 4"X36" wood tile, as it tends to "bow" in the middle, causing extreme lippage. This job was 4"X12" and 4"X24" tile only......any bigger an yer askin' for trouble.
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Old 10-24-2008, 06:55 PM   #9
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without the grout didn't you have any problems with thinset showing inna joint ?
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Old 10-24-2008, 07:07 PM   #10
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Unlike wood, tile will usually vary in size a little from one to another making it hard to butt the joints everywhere. I would grout it the same color as the tile like Brian said.
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Old 10-25-2008, 08:27 AM   #11
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Brian~ I mixed the thinset a tad on the loose side and floated them in gently...no hard pushin' required and minimal pookey coming up thru the joints. What little did was promptly removed....
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Old 10-25-2008, 09:11 AM   #12
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Thanks for all the advice. I have decided to go with grout and 1/16" grout lines. Even though the tiles have no or very little deviation from piece to piece(This stuff is not just cut up pieces),they did put beveled edges on them which would make cleaning the floor a problem if there was no grout.

When butt jointed, the beveled space on the ends are at 1/8" and the beveled space on the sides are 1/16". I figured if i put a 1/16' space on the sides and butt joint the ends, but fill the 1/8" beveled space in, things should look pretty uniform.

But the grout on the ends of each 4'x24' strip would not touch the sub floor. Does anybody think this might be a problem?
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Old 10-25-2008, 04:05 PM   #13
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I would still leave a very small joint at the ends, even 1/32 will be enough to get grout to hold. If the grout color matches the tile pretty close, you won't notice it.
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Old 10-25-2008, 08:53 PM   #14
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Squibbs, As mentioned above these type of tiles have a bow to them. To minimize the lippage, stagger your joints no more than 1/4 of the tile. You stated the tile is 24 inches so your end joints should not be more than 6 inches from the joints of the previous row.
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Old 10-26-2008, 10:20 PM   #15
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I just did a couple of floors like this last week. Mine was 6" by 20" tile. I staggered them 1/3 tiles to try to give it somewhat of an authentic wood look. I used tight 1/8" joints, using a matching grout color and it looked good. I'd be curious to see what a 1/16" joint would look like, the only concern being that these particular tiles were bowed up in the middle and quite difficult to keep flat. The slightly wider grout joint helped mask that issue, I think.

That said, I think anything wider than a 1/8" joint might look sloppy...
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