What saw for 18x18 tiles? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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Chris H
09-26-2005, 06:44 AM
The parents of a very good friend of mine wants me to tile their downstairs condo. it's a concrete subfloor, and i'm pretty confident in doing the job, but all the tile jobs i've done have been 12x12 tiles. can you rent a saw big enough to cut 18x18's or is there a better way? also, i was going to use plain 'ol versabond, but what size trowel should i use? i've pretty much stuck with my 1/4 square notched, but i know that larger tiles probably need a lot more coverage. thanks for the help.

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09-26-2005, 07:43 AM
HD or Lowes should have wet saw that can do the job at hand.

Versabond white is good , use a 1/2 inch sq. notch

Let us know if you need anymore help. Don't forget to carpet tuck if you need to. :dance:

Dave Taylor
09-26-2005, 07:48 AM
Folks around here will recommend back-buttering those lager format tiles and... many seem to like a 3/8" square notched trowel for larger format tiles.... although I've seen 1/2" square notched recommended by a few.

My DIY’r experience has been good using the 3/8" trowel for an 18" tile.... and the dabbing method of back-buttering has helped me control lippage without squeezing thinset out the edges of the tiles. Dabbing is putting a dollop of thinset near each tile edge and one/two near the center.

The pros may have a different take and… if they do… listen to them.

Dave Taylor
09-26-2005, 08:29 AM
Click on the TYW store link at the top of this page and check out the Felker FTS 150 for under $600. Mine works great and (with wet say rental prices being what they are in Maryland) has paid for itself.

09-26-2005, 10:28 AM
Hi Chris.

Re. proper thinset to use, lets talk a little more about what you have to work with. First of all, what kind of tile? Stone, porcelain, etc.? How thick? And the shape of that concrete floor - nice and clean, readily absorbs water? No paint, wallboard texturing compound, adhesive, or other gunk on the surface?

Re. the 4 or 5 spot "dabbing" technique Dave above mentions; that be OK for setting large format wall tile but on a floor you'll want full coverage. Back butter over a full spread with a notch trowel is what you’ll want to do.

Chris H
09-26-2005, 11:30 AM
well, owning my own wet saw would be nice, but right now i don't have the funds to afford it, or the readiness of work to justify it. i can rent a tile saw locally for 12x12 for about $40 a day. since it's not my house and they're paying me, i'm gonna say that they might not want to shell out the coin to buy one for a one time job. i just wanted to know if i could rent one that big. also, the saws i have used have the sliding tray with a suspended blade vs. the "table saw" style with the blade through the table. which one is preferable for a tile that large?

onto the subfloor situation. i really don't know the condition of the concrete at this moment as there's still carpet down. there was a broken water heater from a neighbors condo that flooded it out, but that was years ago.

as for proper back buttering technique, do i spread thinset on the floor and then backbutter the tile evenly, or just backbutter the tile?

tile quality? i have no idea, they just called me yeasterday to see if i was up to the job. i don't think they've purchased anything yet. i would assume it's going to be pretty standard 3/8"