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Old 06-21-2011, 09:49 AM   #1
palx80
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Help DIY'er with 12 x 24 tile in kitchen

OK I have been reading on here alot and I just want to verify that I am going to be doing this correctly.

The wife has picked out 12 x 24 tiles for our 300 sqft kitchen. I have checked the floor and it seems to be pretty flat. The worst spots when I checked with a 4 ft level were a little more than a quarter (coin not .250").

I have purchased Durabond D-40 thinset from the local tile shop. Is this OK?

I plan on using a 1/2 x 1/2 trowel and going to back butter the tiles. Do I really need to back butter?

Also the wife wants me to do the herringbone pattern but not on a 45 degree she wants the tiles to be square to the walls. Any tips on laying it out. I know to find center and dryfit to see how the cuts meet the wall.

Last thing is I am not sure what size grout joints to use? The actual size of the tiles are 11 7/8 x 23 3/4. How will the grout joint size effect the pattern.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:06 AM   #2
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Hi, Luke!

A quarter is about 1/16" thick, so your floor being that much out of plane in 4 feet will make it worth re-measuring with a 10 foot straight edge. 1/4" in ten feet is the standard, but for very large tiles such as yours, 1/8" in ten feet is a better starting point.

D-40 is Bostick's low/middle modified thinset. It will probably be OK, but I would recommend switching to D-60, which is a medium set mortar. This will be better for supporting those big tiles. Yes, a 1/2" square notch trowel will be needed, and you should always burn the backs of the tiles with a thin film of mortar to improve bonding, but backbuttering (adding a thick layer of mortar) is done only as needed to maintain the an even plane on the top surfaces of the tile and still get nearly 100% coverage on the backs.

A herring bone pattern will put the corners of one tile at the mid-point of the long side of a neighboring tile. That works only if the tile are not warped. If warped, the corners will be higher than the mid-point of the neighbor tiles, making for some lippage problems. Check the tiles by placing a pair of tiles bottom to bottom against each other and looking for gaps. Do this on a significant number of tiles from all the boxes before deciding on this pattern.

It looks like a 1/8" joint is anticipated by the tile manufacturer. That would allow you to do a basketweave pattern, or any pattern that required 2 short sides against one long side. A herring bone pattern can be done with any rectangular tiles, so grout width is less an issue.

You didn't say what kind of floor you are installing this tile on. Is it a slab?
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:15 AM   #3
jadnashua
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The more consistent the tile, the smaller grout line you can use. But, any inconsistencies or warps will be somewhat hidden when you use a larger grout line. There is probably only one grout width that will keep the tile pattern from 'walking', which means that there will only be perfect alignment with one grout width (if one exists at all, not all tile are sized for alternate installation patterns). But, walking is a personal preference in the layout...some like it some hate it. If perfectly straight lines with the tile edges are required from one end to the other, you need to use whatever grout line will make the two shorter sides exactly equal the length of one of the longer sides when you add in the gap for the grout. Otherwise, you'll get walking.
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:23 AM   #4
cx
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Think all his tiles are the same size, Jim. Should be able to chose his grout joint width to suit his taste so long as it's wide enough for the size regularity of his tiles without any worry about any "walking" problem, eh?
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Old 06-21-2011, 12:00 PM   #5
jadnashua
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Having the pattern walk isn't a big deal to many people. This is a (sloppy) example of what I mean by that. Notice how the tile near the red line are not aligned in a straight line? That line is walking. If your grout sizing and tile are just right, you can get them all to align, otherwise, they'll walk.
Attached Images
File Type: pdf walking tile.pdf (27.5 KB, 795 views)
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Old 06-21-2011, 12:12 PM   #6
palx80
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I did forget to mention the floor to be installed on. The floor is 3/4 plywood and then I thinset hardibacker 500 and screwed down the backer with 1 5/8" screws every 8". Floor is pretty solid!

I just switched the D-40 for D-60 and am going to "burn" the backs. Is there an easy way to tell if I'm getting 100% coverage?

Also I think I am over complicating the herringbone pattern when I start thinking about the grout joints. If the width of the tile is exactly half the length then the next tile will be off the thickness of the grout. Is this the "walking" that you guys are talking about? Does it matter or should I just make sure everything is square and run with it? Will I have to make up the difference somewhere? I was thinking about using 3/16 joints just to hide any problems but that is going to throw everything off even more.

Last thing.. How long should this take me? I have done a few smaller jobs (brick lay shower with a mud base floor and a standard 10 x 10 kitchen floor with 12 x 12 tiles)
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Old 06-21-2011, 12:18 PM   #7
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Did you embed the backerboard in thinset?

Did you check the joists with our Deflectolator tool?

With 12x24 tiles, there is no "easy" way to check for coverage. You set them, then you pull them and take a look. Then you set them again.

The easy way to stop worrying about the herringbone pattern is to spread some tiles on the floor and experiment with different sized spacers.

How long will this take you? I dunno, I've never met you or seen you work. I will guess that this job will take as long as it takes, though.
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Old 06-21-2011, 12:42 PM   #8
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Yes I did embed the backer in thinset. Unfortunately I didn't check the deflection. The joists are 2 x 10.

As for the time. How long would this take one of you guys? The wife wants me to have it done as in grouted and sealed by Saturday and I work till 4:00 so it will only be worked on at night. I think she's crazy! (hopefully she doesn't see this)
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Old 06-21-2011, 12:59 PM   #9
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To get a good result with a bigger tile, it takes awhile. You may not have enough time to locate some, but something like the Tuscan Leveling system would speed up your progress. Big tile are tough to get perfectly aligned because the slightest offset gets exaggerated on the long lengths in height and orientation. With one of the leveling systems, most of that goes away. If it were me, I'd go that route. the doc I uploaded shows that walking effect. The bigger the grout line, the more it walks. This isn't normally a problem, but some people just can't handle it...all their ducks must line up in a row or they go crazy!
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Old 06-21-2011, 03:15 PM   #10
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No way this will be sealed by Saturday. There's at least 3 days of grout drying that must occur. The thinset needs a day, minimum. That's 4 days of standing around, not setting tile. Today is Tuesday, Saturday is 4 days away, and you haven't set a tile yet.
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Old 06-21-2011, 03:46 PM   #11
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A pro might be able to do it, by using a rapid set thinset. This is not for the feint of heart, because it really does set fast. Do not do this until you have lots of experience! An epoxy grout sets pretty fast, but is a LOT more expensive than a traditional cement based grout. Cleanup is critical on any grout, but even more so with an epoxy. once that sets, it is a real bear to clean off any residue. While setting one really big tile covers significant area, it takes longer to do each one...probably not a linear scale. As mentioned, the leveling systems do help speed up things.
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Old 06-21-2011, 04:50 PM   #12
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I'd be using TLS or LASH to keep those tiles flat with each other, speed the installation and save on grey hairs.
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Old 06-21-2011, 09:08 PM   #13
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I have decided (with everyone's help) that there is no way i will have the tille done by Saturday. With the change i now have some time to track down one of the leveling systems that you guys are mentioning.

What system do you recommend? Seems like the lash system is a little cheaper, however cheaper isn't always better!
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Old 06-21-2011, 09:16 PM   #14
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Luke,

I like LASH and use both it and TLS, which is geared towards professionals. TLS requires some high up front costs, where as LASH is $10 a bag from home burrito.

The pic below is the strength of the LASH clips and wedges with granite tiles
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Old 06-22-2011, 04:24 PM   #15
Levi the Tile Guy
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Luke,

As back to your grout joint width question. If your tiles are truly 11 7/8" by 23 3/4" you can use any size joint you want. 11 7/8" x 2 = 23 3/4 therefor any size joint you want to use will work. 3/16 will help hide any issues with the tile not being perfectly flat though.
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