Answers and questions [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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07-30-2001, 11:52 AM
Are you guys kidding? Of course I leave all final design and decorating decisions to the design committee! I just do the work. I do have some input though and did tactfully, yet unsuccessfully, lobby for a different colored grout. The design committee is also in charge of the cleaning crew (2 daughters who will primarily be using this bathroom)so it's up to them to keep it white. I do have approval to use either 8x8 or 12x12, so I'll go with Bud's suggestion of 12x12. Any dissenters? Art, as far as which beer I'll be enjoying as I pat myself on the back and celebrate my completed bathroom project, I believe that will be Ice House, or if I'm really in the mood, Heineken. Now here are some more questions: What about the idea of running the tiles on a diagonal in such a small room? (the design committee has left that one up to me.) Also, the previous floor tiles were put down with mastic over the concrete slab, which I thought was kind of surprising since the shower walls were an honest to goodness mud job. Since I'm going to use thinset for the new tiles, do I need to remove every last bit of mastic off of the floor or just the loose stuff? Anything else I need to do to prepare the floor? The other guy's book says a steel trowled slab is too smooth and needs to be roughed up. Any thpughts or comments on this? Thanks.

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Bud Cline
07-30-2001, 03:54 PM
The diagonal thing is up to you, a little more work but I think it is almost always an enhancement in appearance. It takes the right saw to cut 12's diaginally, you'll need about 19" of clearance minimum. To cut 12's diagonally on a "score & pop" type cutter isn't for the newbee installer.

The mastic should be scraped with a razor scraper to remove as much as possible but don't lose any sleep over it.

FYI some mastics are rated for floors, no big deal. I wouldn't do it but no big deal.

If the other guy is Byrnes then yeh some slabs are pretty smooth, since I haven't read Michael's book I say "so what", unless your floor is smooth like a shuffleboard court then I would't worry here either. You would want to "key" your thinset with the flatside of your trowell first before combing, this will help.

Oh yeah one more thing: "Heineken Rules"

John Bridge
07-30-2001, 04:00 PM
Geez, you mentioned the other guy's book. I just love it. I can add this one to the short list of items Mike and I disagree on. I know what he's talking about, but just about every floor (almost) is trowelled. very few are left with the bull float job anymore. Reason: they have these motorized trowel machines they love to run.

Michael is talking about slabs that are hand troweled to an absolute sheen. These are works of art and are usually meant as finished floors. You won't run into this. But even if you did, you could use the high flex thin set (the very expensive one) and go right over the slab, provided it's clean.

Diagonal installations incur more waste -- twice as many cuts usually.

Ice House is okay.

07-30-2001, 06:41 PM
bud....molson canadian rules...also diagonal 12"=17"
john : we always bead blast smooth concrete. i have read the other guys book also. good info.. hav't seen yours!
on diagonal.. i always try to get full & half then soldier coarse to wall looks good.. if irregular shape room install and cut and chisel after set ,stone edges and install soldier

John Bridge
07-30-2001, 06:52 PM

The "other guy's" book thing is just a joke. As a matter of fact, I advertise Michael's book on this site along with mine.

You can find a link to it at the bottom of the Tile and Marble Page.

07-30-2001, 07:01 PM
is it going to cost me or would like to donate a copy to our training facility in vancouver?

Bud Cline
07-30-2001, 08:58 PM

I'm aware of the diagonal measurement of a 12" tile, BUT, in DIY it just doesnt matter now does it? Consider the need to clear a blade guard, sufficient space to jockey the tile into sawing position, visibility of the blade entering the tile "on mark", I stand on my 19" comment. "IS THIS REALLY KEN FISHER"?

07-31-2001, 07:36 AM
What do you mean by "keying" the thinset with the flatside of the trowel?

Bud Cline
07-31-2001, 03:15 PM
Plop down some thinset and first use the flatside of your trowel to spread the thinset with agression, this will force thinset particles into whatever tiny little voids are available in the concrete. I have always refered to this as "keying".

I think these other guys have another term for it. After "keying" the thinset then turn the trowel over to the toothed side and proceed combing. You should be careful to comb thinset into the corners as the corners will be the weakest point without it.

Keep in mind at some point you have to crawl out on the raw tile to grout. This is no time to begin snapping off corners under your own weight.

Also when combing your thinset keep your strokes all running the same direction so that when you seat the tile the thinset ridges have a uniform place to collapse into. Your target is 100% coverage of the back of the tile with the thinset. If you comb everything in one direction you will have fewer voids and air pockets under your tile.

07-31-2001, 06:46 PM
bravo bud... or.....?

John Bridge
07-31-2001, 07:28 PM

I'll be happy to donate a book to the cause. I'll have to get some more, because I'm out. Don't let me forget, okay?

07-31-2001, 09:55 PM
thank you john let me know when they are ready.

bud who is ken fisher?

Bud Cline
07-31-2001, 10:11 PM
I occaisionally participate in consumer help boards such as this. When you expose yourself and your experience to these boards you always manage to draw a detractor or two from time to time.

Ken Fisher is my most recent antagonist, an ignorant man with limited knowledge somewhat jealous of those of us with multiple talents. The SOB just can't leave it lay.

He turned up at another board where I am one of a group of moderators, I welcomed him and called his presence an asset, in turn he blew my ass out of the water because he disagreed with my opinion of an issue on yet another board.

My comment here was just blowing off steam on my part I really didn't expect anyone to understand it.