Irregular Border [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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07-25-2001, 11:49 AM
I have laid tile in the past with no problems. However, I want to install tile in my foyer with a border around the outside because of the slightly irregular shape of the room. I want the border to be made of the same tiles that are inside except broken into irregular shapes. I would then install them in a mosaic(irregular)pattern by back buttering etc. Has anyone had experiance with this? Any tips, suggestions, or cautions? All would be a ppreciated. I have an moderate knowledge of laying tile because we actually are a pottery manufacturer that does some specialty tiles. I have been dealing with this type of product all my life. But have never attempted this. Thank you in advance for your help.

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John Bridge
07-25-2001, 05:45 PM
I think that's a super idea. It looks really good if the broken pieces that go up against the field tiles have a somewhat straight edge on them, but it's not mandatory. You're talking artwork here -- it's up to the artist.

I wouldn't back butter too much. Smear with the notched trowel (small areas) and push the pieces in.

What's the subfloor? Wood? Concrete?

Bud Cline
07-25-2001, 05:58 PM
Mark G,

This type of thing is done regularly but just one word of caution; depending on the tile used especially glazed ceramic, you will get very sharp (razor sharp) edges from breaking the tile. You might want to pay particular attention when you grout so as not to scoop out any (too much) grout when finishing. Bare feet you know?

07-25-2001, 07:02 PM
Good point Bud.Leave those joints nice and full.

07-26-2001, 08:12 AM
Thanks, I guess you wouldn't need to back butter too much. Just using a trowel and spreading in small areas. 3/16" is correct?

Thank guys!!!!

Bud Cline
07-26-2001, 03:00 PM
Mark G,

Where's your profile man? "Specialty Tiles"?

Tell us more!

Hey John B.? "New rule"....Only one (answer) to a customer without a profile?

John Bridge
07-26-2001, 04:48 PM
I dropped the requirement to register. We were intimidating a lot of people and discouraging them from posting.

That doesn't mean we can't pry, though. We would be interested, Mark. If you have a web site for your business you can post it here.

Bud Cline
07-26-2001, 04:52 PM
That was a joke John, a joke! ha

07-27-2001, 07:08 AM
Ok, I am not trying to be secretive. Basically my business is manufacturing bisque ceramics for sale to the "Paint your own Pottery" and School Art Department Markets.

This has been our stable business for the past seven years. We have been in business for over 25. I have done many special orders(heavy production) for tile companies that have special needs.

Currently, we are working with a company that has a patented product that will be released sometime next year. Unfortunatly, I cannot discuss it until it is released. We use a hydraulic press to manufacture tiles.

If anyone is interested in what I currently do, they can check out our website at

Thanks for the information and openess.

Bud Cline
07-27-2001, 08:11 AM

John, "HE'S GOT MUGS"!

You could buy OUR new coffee mugs from Mark!

John Bridge
07-27-2001, 05:20 PM
Hey Mark,

That's a very nice site (had a pro do it, didn't you?) Nice stuff too, especially the mugs :) I didn't see a links page, though, and I think that might be important to you. I would post a link on this site (and probably give you a pretty good blurb) if you could post a link back to us. Just a thought.

In the meantime, if an order comes in for several thousand mugs, send the bill to Bud Cline. General Delivery (and C.O.D.) Nebraska.

Bud Cline
07-27-2001, 06:03 PM
OK, let's talk mugs for just a minute. I am interested in the "engraved" style (for lack of the proper term)

So Mark is that what you do, the design? Did you do those shown on your web page? Can I have my logo engraved similar to the ones you show? What would be a standard order for personalized mugs?

07-28-2001, 05:38 AM
When you consider the cost of shipping, you would be better off to just buy a truck load of mugs and get the free freight.


07-30-2001, 09:24 AM
At the current time we only sell unfinished bisque pottery. We are currently getting a premium for bisque in studios. With the overseas market killing the finishedware market we had to find a niche.

Our website was done by a professional and is actually being updated now. I will speak to the webguys about adding a links button.

John Bridge
07-30-2001, 04:24 PM
Yeah, Mark, links are the in thing. The search engine and directory people got tired of keywords because they are so abused. They now go for the text on your front page AND the number of web sites that have a link pointing toward yours. So exchanging links is a neat thing to do.

Send Bud a couple gross of bisque mugs. He can paint his logo on them with magic markers and give them to all his satisfied customers.

Oh, Mark,

You might want to communicate with Uri (member) who owns a specialty tile plant in Australia. Maybe the two of you can cook something up internationally.

08-01-2001, 08:03 AM
First off I have a small foyer roughly 7 ft x 7ft. It is not perfectly square and would have looked very un-square if I would have just put 12" tiles. Instead I did a 6 tile square(row of 6, column of 6) of 12" tiles. This gave me a border of 5" - 6" around the outside. I took the 12" tiles and broke them with a hammer and just went to setting them like a drunk man. It actually came out better than I expected.

Now I am ready to grout. I am going to let it dry until at least Thursday before grouting. Is this long enough? I know you are supposed to let larger tiles dry longer, correct?

I will post a pic when it is done. Next counters.

Bud Cline
08-01-2001, 01:49 PM
Grab your First-Aid kit and go for it. It's ready if you used thinset.

John Bridge
08-01-2001, 02:19 PM
Wear rubber gloves, Mark.

Also, you might consider double grouting the area. It's small and won't take much longer. You grout normally, and wash thoroughly. After about two hours, grout again.

The first batch will set the second and allow fuller joints. You must do it, though, while the first batch is still damp (In two hours it will have just begun to get hard -- dry enough to suck some moisture out of the new grout, but moist enough to cause it to adhere.. You can't do it after the grout has dried.