Basement Entry / Laundry Tile Project [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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01-05-2017, 09:06 PM
Hi All,

New to the forum and starting my first tile project.

Replacing vinyl flooring in the basement garage entry and laundry of a 1996 split foyer two-story in Atlanta GA. Planning to install a wood look porcelain tile, Style Selection Natural Timber Cinnamon from lowes.

Baseboards have been removed since photos were taken.

I'm working on the layout and wondering what the cleanest way to handle the transition through the door way between the entry and laundry is. I'd like the tile to be continuous between the two rooms.

My initial thought is to start a course of full tiles on either side of the wall between the rooms, and then 'rip' partial tiles to fit between in the door way. Then I'll have partial rip tiles at the back of the laundry and the stair side of the entry.

I haven't bought the tiles yet, so haven't been able to lay it out in real life to see what it would look like. Is there standard practice in a situation like this though?


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01-05-2017, 09:20 PM
Normally I remove door casing, and undercut the jam and continue the layout as normal. Trying to cut a ripped piece in is an option but honestly not one I would ever do. What is your reasoning for doing it? Just making sure I'm not missing something.

01-05-2017, 09:28 PM
Hi Ryan,

Thank you for your feedback.

No particular design reason. I guess my initial thinking was to avoid removing the casing if possible, since my carpentry skills are only slightly more developed than my tiling skills. But I suppose as long as I'm careful removing it I can re-use the casing.

Could I undercut the casing and leave in place? Or would removal of the casing be as simple as removing the baseboards was?

01-05-2017, 09:37 PM
Welcome, Mark. :)

You can undercut both your casings and your door jambs to accommodate your tile. Removing interior door casings can be a little tricky depending upon how your doors were hung. Your casings may be the only things supporting your door jambs and doors.

My opinion; worth price charged.

01-05-2017, 09:46 PM
Hi CX,

Thank you for the welcome and feedback. I'll go with the undercuts for now.

You would also continue the layout through the doorway as Ryan suggested?

01-05-2017, 10:01 PM
Honestly have no idea what y'all might be talking about there. Don't know which doorway nor what the layout might be. I can't see enough in your drawing to help, I'm afraid.

01-07-2017, 12:15 PM
Understood, yes, the sketch could be more clear. I'll send a better photo once I have some tile and can do a dry layout.

In the meantime all the baseboards are up and door casing / jamb undercuts finished.

Houston Remodeler
01-07-2017, 01:56 PM
Next would be grinding off all that oversprayed paint from the original construction.

01-07-2017, 04:20 PM
Hi Paul,

Thank you, that was a question I had. The overspray needs to be removed to allow the thinset to bond to the floor, is that correct?

01-07-2017, 05:03 PM
Yes, what Paul said. You want to stick to concrete, not paint. After removing the paint, mop the floor well using a wet sponge and check for slab cracks.

01-07-2017, 06:05 PM
Ok, will do. I have a Diamabrush grinding wheel for my angle grinder, that should do the trick.

We picked up our tile today, here is a carton opened and laid out for the misses to see and verify the color selection is to her liking.

A question on randomizing the layout. I'm planning to stagger the 'courses' by 1/6 the plank length, or nominally 4". From what I've seen and read, I think the partial tiles to create the stagger are to be introduced at the wall, with full tiles along the course until reaching the other wall where a partial tile will need to be cut in. Is there ever a time where a partial tile would be introduced in the middle of a course?

01-07-2017, 06:20 PM
No, cut tiles are not usually put in the field. You are free tolayout in whatever pattern you chose but I like a little more stagger and most of the time I like wood look tile to mimic the look of hardwood floors by doing more of a random stagger instead of the stairstep look like you have laid.

01-07-2017, 06:38 PM
Ok, that's good to know, thanks Ryan.

A more random pattern sounds better, I defaulted to the 4" stair step because I subconsciously think in regular geometric patterns :crazy:. That's the beauty of this forum for those who lack having designed numerous layouts and installs.

01-07-2017, 07:09 PM
On a sidenote, plank tiles tend to have a bow to them so try to keep your stagger at 1/3 or less to avoid lippage.

01-07-2017, 07:23 PM
Thanks, I had seen that mentioned on the carton the tiles came in, glad to hear it mentioned here.

01-08-2017, 10:14 AM
I also like a random stagger and you'll find that you'll have less waste. You'll be able to use the cutoffs on other rows. A lot of times I'll start the next row with the cutoff from the previous row.

01-08-2017, 04:58 PM
Ok, +2 for random stagger. Using the cutoff's makes sense for the 'random number generator'.

I tried another more random (however still precisely measured) layout today, it certainly looks better than the stair step I had going yesterday. I think once it's further randomized by using the cutoffs then I'll have the desired effect.

I took a couple photos to better illustrate the doorway question I started this thread with. Continuing the layout through the doorway will result in a thin row of rip tiles against the near laundry room wall. Is there any way around this?

01-10-2017, 07:28 PM
Hi all, any thoughts on how I could modify layout to avoid the row of rip tiles identified in the image above?

01-10-2017, 08:33 PM
One other question, the Q&A for the tile I'm using on the Lowe's website says to use a 1/4" x 1/4" square notch trowel for the thinset, does this sound right for 6"x24" tile?

Houston Remodeler
01-10-2017, 08:34 PM
For ultra flat tiles on an ultra flat surface, sure.

I'd use a 1/2" square notch

01-10-2017, 09:05 PM
Could you shift layout towards stairway and end up with joint within the doorway? Say work from doorway (close to) center out?

One other possibility might be shave the tile currently in doorway tile just enough to shift that joint under baseboard in laundry. 1/2" narrower might be hard to see once floor is done.

01-12-2017, 07:42 PM
For ultra flat tiles on an ultra flat surface, sure.

I'd use a 1/2" square notch

I'd say neither slab nor tiles qualify as ultra flat, 1/2" square notch it is.

Carbidetooth, appreciate the suggestions, will try both of those out.

01-13-2017, 04:41 AM
You could try using a threshold piece across the doorway opening between the laundry and foyer. If it was roughly 4" wide, centered in the doorway opening it would shift the tile in the laundry room towards the wall, eliminating the narrow cut tiles. It would also shift the tile in the foyer towards the laundry room, so not sure if that would create problems on the opposite wall.

One other suggestion when laying planks is to keep the end (butt) joints of the tiles well staggered across the room. In other words, don't let every other course line up closely like they do in your 1st picture from post #17. You need to use varied lengths of cut tiles to start each course (there will be a bit of waste and extra cutting involved).

01-13-2017, 03:58 PM
One word, as a newbie here myself I didn't necessarily realize at first that a trowel was meant to be used at an angle... So I used the 1/2" square notch on my floor at a 90 degree angle and had a large amount of "squeeze out". Use the trowel at closer to a 45 degree angle, that is how its meant to be used. You will still have ample thinset and less waste. I have even had good luck with a 3/8" square notch on a couple projects, but 1/2" is a safe starting point. Just check every couple tiles for coverage and you'll know you have a sound floor.

01-14-2017, 07:54 PM
Thank you Jersey for the brainstorm on the doorway, I had not thought about a transition.

I went ahead with cutting and dry fitting the layout today following Carbide's suggestion of shaving the doorway tile, I'm pretty happy with how that looks. Had to take about 3/4" of an inch off the width of a tile, it was a long cut for the full length tile on the little Skil tile saw!

I tried to randomize the stagger, I think I keep getting hung up on the 1/3 stagger rule for the long tiles. Looking at these photos this evening I see I'm still not quite there. I guess I need to be ready to accept a little more waste.

miss0033 the trowel advice is will timed, getting close to setting these sucker's in stone!