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Old 02-11-2011, 11:58 AM   #1
jeehole
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Faux wood tile with no grout?

I need some advice. About to tile my bathroom with 4x26 faux-wood tiles. They can be seen here: http://www.rocatilegroup.com/roca/products/norway.html

There is a display board at my local Lowes that features these tiles. On the display, the tiles are butted up to each other, with no grout lines. I really like this look, as it looks like a real wood floor.

I asked the Salesperson if it was OK to install it this way. He called the MFG and they said yes, this tile has rectified edges and can be installed tight with no grout lines.

Ive already prepped the subfloor I laid hardibacker over the plywood. The hardibacker is set in thinset and I taped the seams. I also applied two coats of Laticrete water tight membrane.

Since I wont have any grout to seal, Im hoping the water proof membrane will protect against water. Im also concerned about leveling the tiles, since I will have zero room for error with no grout. I am planning on using a 1/4 x 3/8 square notch trowel and Laticrete Multipurpose Pro thinset.

Ive since tried to do some research on this and not finding much. Does anyone have experience with this and can offer some advice/tips?

Thanks!
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:42 PM   #2
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Rectified means the length and width are exact. Not mentioned is the warpage. The tile standards allow .5% to fall within the standard grade which means a warpage of 1/8" is allowed on a 24" tile. That doesn't mean that Roca doesn't adhere to a higher standard. The picture on their website shows no lippage or warpage, but just to be sure, you should spot check your tile with a straightedge.
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Old 02-11-2011, 02:16 PM   #3
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Good tip, thanks Dennis.

I'm planning to start this tonight, anyone else have any advice?

Thanks!
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Old 02-11-2011, 02:16 PM   #4
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I would recommend at the very least a 1/32 or 1/16" joint. Regardless of how tight you set them I recommend using grout. Even if you set them with "no joints" there will be space that fills with dust/dirt, etc.

If you choose the right color grout the floor will look much better than ungrouted.

Only time I would consider not using grout is for some decorative tile on a wall application that never gets wet or dirty.
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Old 02-11-2011, 02:20 PM   #5
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Plan on using some grout. You might get the joints close but they will not be 100% tight. Not gonna happen. Find a grout that is color matched as close as possible to the tile. I suggest a urethane or epoxy.

If you don't use some grout, you will get small spaces that will eventually start filling with nasty stuff. If you get repeated moisture between the tiles, nasty stuff can start to grow.
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Old 02-11-2011, 02:28 PM   #6
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Hmm didn't think about that... I can see your point about "nasty stuff" growing over time... especially since this is a bathroom, there will be moisture.

I kept think it would be like the small spaces in my real wood floor - no big deal. But the whole reason I wanted to use these tiles was because there will be moisture.

Do they make 1/32" spacers? didn't see anything smaller than 1/8 at Lowes... maybe I will just use toothpicks...

I will look into urethane or epoxy grouts - any particular brand(s) recommended?

Thanks!
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Old 02-11-2011, 02:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeehole
I will look into urethane or epoxy grouts - any particular brand(s) recommended?
QuartzLock 2 urethane grout is very user friendly. It's stain resistant and never needs to be sealed. It comes premixed and is in a sealed container. What you don't use will be saved and can be stored for reuse for up to 2 years. No BPAs in QuartzLock 2 and no chance of allergies.

SpectraLOCK epoxy grout is also user friendly and used by many contractors. Also stain resistant and doesn't need to be sealed.

With either, it's very important to follow installation instructions. Both are more expensive than standard cementitious grout.
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Old 02-11-2011, 03:42 PM   #8
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I'm a Spectralock fan. If you use it for extremely small joints don't use all the filler powder(part C) provided. Makes the mix a little looser and easier to spread. The Laticrete instructions mention it.

As angus mentioned with either grout follow the manufacturers instructions, dont install the grout the same as you would a traditional cement grout.
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:57 AM   #9
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OK, so I decided to go with approximately 1/32" joint (i'm using paperclips).

its looking great so far! I love working with the rectified edges... and to dpw928's comment - the Roca tiles have zero warpage. I'm very happy with them.

I like the idea of the quarts lock urethane grout that is already mixed up. They have a lot of colors to choose from also.

The websites states that it is a sanded grout. Will I have any problems using this with such a small joint?

Thanks!
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeehole
I asked the Salesperson if it was OK to install it this way. He called the MFG and they said yes, this tile has rectified edges and can be installed tight with no grout lines.
i hate when sales people mislead customers with bad installation info !

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeehole
The websites states that it is a sanded grout. Will I have any problems using this with such a small joint?
that why I like PermaColor from Laticrete for all of our porcelain planks jobs, sanded grout good for tight joints

you might as well use an unsanded for your 1/32" joints
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceramictec
you might as well use an unsanded for your 1/32" joints
Does anyone have a recommendation for an unsanded grout?

Thanks!
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:56 AM   #12
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Any reputable company like Laticrete , Mapei , etc. Find the closest color to the tiles .

I heard that StarQuartz is working on a new color to be used for the type of installation as yours but don't know when it will be available.
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