Starting off right... [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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08-20-2001, 08:46 AM
Hi John!
I am just beginning my project and I want to start on the right foot. I have 300 square feet of kitchen that I am putting ceramic tile on. 100 feet of it is hardwood (layed around the year 1900). The other 200 square feet is bouncy, creaky plywood (layed in 1964).
Now I know I will be replacing the plywood section, but what do I do about the hardwood section? A tech at Wonderboard said I should replace the bad plywood with new, then put another layer of plywood over the whole floor. Or am I going to have to remove the hardwood (ugh!) in addition to the plywood and start from scratch? Under the whole thing is diagonally layed 1x6 cedar.
Also, there are gaps between the walls and the hardwood. Would I fill these? If so, with what?
I have been researching this project for about six months and at now I'm thinking of chickening out and calling a contractor.
I would appreciate any advice you have. Thanks for offering such a great website!

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Bud Cline
08-20-2001, 02:53 PM
The big question is what's below the 1x6 cedar. If the floor is bouncy tile won't last till the weekend. We need some information as to the structural aspects of your floor.

Specifically: What is the size of the floor joists? How far apart are they spaced? How far do they run (span) without support under them?

John Bridge
08-20-2001, 03:55 PM
Welcome, Texas Girl (you're gonna have to give us a shorter name :))

First of all, don't chicken out for two reasons: 1) you can do it, and 2) you ain't gonna find anybody to to it anyway. Everybody in Texas that I know is burried.

This appears to be one of the projects that will go into several pages on the board, and that's great. So let's not get in a rush. About 19 guys will offer their views, and we'll have to hash everything out. Sorry, but that's how it seems to work around here.

So get back to us with the answers to Bud's questions, and we'll get going.

Oh, just one more thing. You can't come on this board calling yourself Texas Girl and not tell us what part of this great state you live in. ;)

08-20-2001, 04:02 PM
Thank you so much for your quick reply!
The floor joists are 2x8 cedar on 16" centers. They span 12 feet.
I am anxious to hear what you think. Liz

John Bridge
08-20-2001, 04:52 PM
Hi again, Liz,

2x8s are going to raise the eyebrows of all the pros around here, and the fact that you say they bounce isn't going to help matters. 2x8s running over a 12 foot span, for instance, will not support a tile installation of any sort. You would have to build a 2-in. mud bed above the subfloor at the least. And then, it would be iffy.

Maybe there are some beams under there running perpendicular to the joists, in between the end supports? I hope, I hope, I hope?

08-20-2001, 05:12 PM
Hi! Okay, a mud bed? Hmmm...
The house is 24 feet wide in that area. There is a beam running down the middle and that's where I got the 12 foot span from. I looked again and I do not see any other joists running perpendicular. As far as the joists bouncing, I am not sure, I know the cedar strips bounce that are under the plywood.
As you have probably guessed, this is a super old house. It has been in my husband's family for generations. I spent the weekend tearing up everything that was over the floor. Carpet over glue over linoleum over tar paper. Now I am down to the bare wood (with tar splotches on it). I really hope there is a way that tile will work.
Give me some hope, guys!

08-20-2001, 05:43 PM
Not to worry.With the experience and confidence of the guys at this forum,tile is possible anywhere.To do it right though you may have to go the extra mile when it comes to the planning and the prep work.
Even a proud tile setter and mud guy(not yet a meister like John)like me learns from this forum all the time.So no worries,you'll be led in the right direction here.

08-20-2001, 06:03 PM
My advice on the bouncy floor would be to remove the hardwood(and other coverings,if any,like vinyl,carpet,etc.and even plywoods especially mahogany lauan,or other flimsy 1/4" plywoods)so that you are left with a floor that is uniform in height.Even if you have to go as far as the planks.
Then use some 2" flooring screws and a powerful drill and screw those planks into the joists.Now jump on the floor to check if it is more stable.A version of the Charleston will suffice too.Probably it will be less bouncy.
From here you can install concrete backer board with thin-set and screws or even 1/2" exterior grade plywood.I would then strongly recommend a product called Schluter Ditra which is a anti-fracture membrane and easy to install.
I would install a full mud bed,myself,but these are not really for the do-it-selfers.

John Bridge
08-20-2001, 06:14 PM

I'll offer all the encouragement I can, but I won't send you down the wrong trail (doesn't that sound like the Old West?)

I think you ought to reconsider. Maybe a different floor covering. Maybe laminate? Maybe wood?

Otherwise, I'm going to recommend going under the house and doing some serious carpentry -- adding a whole bunch more lumber. I don't think the floor will be stiff enough as is, even with the modern things we have available to us nowadays.

I am deeply sorry, ma'am.


08-20-2001, 06:27 PM
Yeah,John,I forgot to stress the importance of reinforcing the joists first to accept the added weight of a tile installation.Seems that in her case this may be very necessary.But i don't think that all is lost.She can still have a beautiful tile floor when all is said and done.

08-20-2001, 07:48 PM
Your situation is exactly like mine and I'm installing tile in my home.I already tiled the bathroom and am making plans for the kitchen.Put your mind at ease,I've been in the construction/remodeling fields for over 20 years and I'm positive we can make it work.

I assume this is a single story with access to get under the house.It will be necessary to get under there to do some work(which needs to be done,tile or not)

First;Everything should be removed down to the 1 x strips.These were layed diagonally to add strength.The down side is that over time they twist and thus push whatever is above upward gradually working it loose.The UP side is,it's an easy fix.Ron is absolutely right about the 2" screws.Use deck screws and put two in the boards into the joists.This will greatly strengthen the subfloor and stop the twisting.Put screws ina board at least in everyother joist...every joist is better.

Second;Get under the house and measure the height from the ground to the bottom of the joists.This measurement will be needed to calculate how many cement blocks(called Spreader Blocks) you will need to do the needed additional bracing.You'll need a pillar every eight feet under everyother joist.This is needed to give added support because of the small joists.For each pillar there needs to be a "footer" block a "cap" block a 2"x8"x16" pressure treated wood cap and two wood wedges.

footer:16"x16"x4" cement block used to support a cement pillar

cap block: 8"x16"x4" solid cement block placed on top of spreader blocks for added strength.

The footer is put in place under the joist(centered
Place a "spreader" (or two) on top of the footer a cap block on top of that,the wood cap on top of that.
With the pillar in place there should be approximately 1" or less,space between the top of the wood cap and the bottom of the joist.
Place the two wedges on top of the wood cap with the sharp ends facing eachother.One should go on top of the other.Tighten them by striking them with a hammer first one then the other till they are tight.It will be necessary to check inside to be sure there are no "humps" or "dips" in the floor.Dips can be fixed by simply driving the wedges in a little further,humps by loosening them.

Have someone heavy walk on the floor while you're underneath and watch for any flexing.Note where it is and brace it up.

You will also need to add cross-bracing to run between the joists from one to the other about every eight feet.

Once this is done you can decide if you want a mudbed or plywood and cementious backer.Personally,if I went to the trouble of doing what I just described(and I am)I'd go with a mudbed.

08-21-2001, 08:22 AM
My mind is reeling. My husband's jaw is still on the floor. However, I am not ready to abort mission yet.
I will go to the lumber department and add some things up. Then I will be asking ya'll several more questions. But first I am looking for the smelling salts for the husband...

Bud Cline
08-21-2001, 09:56 AM
Am I understanding this corretctly?

The 2X8 floor joists run the length of the twenty-four foot span but are divided down the center by a beam. This beam runs perpendicular to the joists, and this is how you arrive at the twelve foot span you report. Is this correct?

So there are two twelve foot spans involved. If this is the case, maybe only one support post will be required under the beam to stiffen the entire floor area.

If this is correct, then this isn't a major problem. The 2X8's are somewhat abreviated by todays standards but if the beam provides center support for the joists then I assume the beam is also a little soft and flexing.

Another problem is the cedar in that cedar is very soft and in its 1X form will easily flex even over 16" joist centers. The 16" joist spacing is the only saving grace in this situation. Before we go too much further how big is the beam and am I correct in my summation of the structure?

08-21-2001, 01:33 PM
If you are right Bud,then it might be possible to add more beams(6"x6") to run under the joists and three or four pillars under the beams.Probably in that scenario,only two to four beams 12' long would be needed.It may be necessary to place one or two additional pillars under the existing beam.I'm sure it has sagged some.This will reduce the number of pillars needed tremendously.

Bud Cline
08-21-2001, 03:18 PM
I'm thinking the entire area is moving like a boxing ring. If this is so, then even one little ole "jackpost" with a solid footing in the center (two would be better) of the beam would help greatly. If the 1X planking is in fact cedar then it isn't helping the situation.

John Bridge
08-21-2001, 04:15 PM
I know Liz said cedar joists, but I think they must be yellow pine. Floorboards, too. I'll bet they're pine. There are a few scrubby cedar trees growing in Texas, but you'd have to hunt high and low to find them, and I don't think you'd find any big enough to cut 2x8s out of. The cedar we use for trim, etc. comes from the West Coast.

I think Keith has a better grasp of what's going on here, Bud. I understand your boxing ring theory, but 2x8x running 12 feet are going to be too springy for a backer board job.

Here's the thing, Liz. You can put tile over anything, and we 've got idiots running around doing it and charging people money for it. What we're trying to do here is instruct people in methods that are long-lasting. We don't want you to go to the time and expense if it's not going to hold up down the road.

Tell hubby we'll send him a six-pac and a free T shirt. Tell her about the T shirts, Bud. Rob?

08-21-2001, 04:19 PM
I was shooting for some overkill because of the age and size of the joists.We're on the same page as far as the "boxing-ring".I'm still uncomfortable with 12' of unsupported undersized joists.One more beam halfway between the existing beam and the foundation(sill)on each side would be the MINIMUM I would recommend.The beams should be supported by a pillar at each end and two spaced at 4' intervals.

*NOTE* The above should only be used if all the joists are sound and in good condition(no bug damage)wood worms and termites can reduce a solid 2x8 to a crumbling mess yet leave it "looking" like it's in tact.Poke the joists with a knife or screwdriver to see how solid they are before you proceed.

[Edited by kalford on 08-21-2001 at 06:45 PM]

Bud Cline
08-21-2001, 07:20 PM
Well I wasn't finished yet John, just trying to get a picture of the existing before I did a bunch of time-eating typing.


08-21-2001, 07:31 PM
Uh...well........hmmmmmmm..........maybe some....uhhh...cork and some......uhhh......FOAM!?!?!

Bud Cline
08-21-2001, 07:58 PM
OK so now your stumped huh? Want me to call Art to help you out?

I'd stick around and help ya, but I have to go work on my pitiful website.

08-21-2001, 09:49 PM
Hey Art,
Wuts the name of that outfit that makes them plastic pillars?? lol

Liz,how is your husband doing? Yall still with us? It's not as bad as it sounds.The toughest part is getting all the material under the house...assuming there is enough room under there.......

John Bridge
08-22-2001, 06:26 AM
Bud, I said I was sorry for referring to your site as pitiful. I went and took another look, and it looks absolutely glorious. Why work on it?

Got your pictures. I'll post them this afternoon.

08-22-2001, 09:06 AM
Yeah, I'm still with ya'll, but hubby has a glazed look...
Okay, I need to explain more about the house. First of all, I was plucked from my natural habitat, Houston (Katy to be exact), and dropped in a little town in Iowa called Council Bluffs. Therefore, getting under the floor is very easy since it is a full basement with three bedrooms, a playroom and a laundry room with a half bath. The ceiling is finished in the whole basement except for under the kitchen. Putting pillars in some of those rooms may be tricky.
I looked at the joists again and they do not look crumbly. I used the screwdriver-poke method as described by Keith.
Here is some more info about the supports. The longest wall in the kitchen that runs parallel with the joists is 15 feet. This is under the plywood section. The beam is 9 feet from one wall and, of course, 6 feet from the other. Also, it looks like someone long ago tried to reinforce between the joists under the hardwood section. The floor seems pretty solid there. They nailed 1x3 boards to make an "X" in a row in a line between the joists. This line runs parallel with and 6 feet from the beam and meets with a wall.
I know that sounds confusing. I am trying to think of a way to put a drawing on here.
John, I know you are leaning toward other flooring options, so I am going to keep my mind open. Maybe laminate tile isn't as yucky as I first thought. What do you think?


Bud Cline
08-22-2001, 09:18 AM
The 1" X 3" 'X's you mention are typical, but they are to guard against twisting of joists and offer no liveload/dead load/download structural value what so ever.

Council Bluffs huh? Gee I'm sorry. Maybe a few days at Bluff's Run would help.

Oh yeh I forgot.....what do you think Keith, U da man?

08-22-2001, 05:57 PM
First of all,Bud is right .The 1"x3"s are to prevent twisting of the joists. I think,for weight reasons,we need to go with 5/8" plywood and 1/4" Wonderboard.But first that floor has to be strengthened.
You can do this under the kitchen where the joists are exposed.Have someone walk on the floor while you watch for movement from underneath.Mark the joists that show the most "flex".Remove the 1x3's from between them.Buy some 2"x8" yellow pine.The boards need to be as long as possible.These will be placed "beside" the old joist and screwed to it using 3" deck screws.(this is called "scabbing")and requires at least two people.
If possible,the ends need to be on top of a support.Install two screws through the new into the old every two feet.
If there is a "sag" in the floor it can be corrected using this method but can be dangerous and should be done by a pro.

If there is no sag you can move on.Once the "scabs" are secure replace the 1x3's.You will notice a dramatic increase in strength and the "bounce" should be gone.

If this system is doable for yall,let us know and we'll start getting ready for tile.

John Bridge
08-22-2001, 07:04 PM
Okay, now we're getting somewhere. So you abandoned Katy, eh? Happens to be where I'm juxtaposed.

Remembering my old carpenter days, I agree that "scabbing" new joists alongside the old will stiffen the floor, and that's the thing to do.

The argument I'll make is a minor one. The 2x3 Xs definitely do stiffen the floor by sistering one joist to the next. So make sure you re-install them securely. The trend nowadays is to use solid blocking instead. It is not nearly as effective as the old method. The metal cross bracing systems that are available are next to worthless, except that they will prevent the joists from tilting sideways somewhat.

[The X bracing transfers the load to adjacent joists. When you jump on a particular joist, the impact would be transfered to the joists on either side through the X bracing (if it is securely nailed in place.) I know I should have taken this to the hideout. Hideout?

Mea culpa.

08-22-2001, 10:26 PM
Hey, I like this new approach! I did look at laminate today. Forget it. I'm going tile or nothing.
I had someone bounce back and forth across the kitchen and I did see a joist move under the plywood area, so I marked it like Keith said. When they bounced in any other part of the plywood area, the whole floor moved as one unit. Is that bad? Is that the boxing ring theory? Anyway, when they were on the hardwood side no joists moved. ALthough in a few spots it went CREAK CREAK.
So let me see if I have this right. First, I put 2x8 yellow pine by the joist that moved. Should I just put it along all of them or would that be overkill? I do not see any sags. Would I be able to see it now or will one become visible when I am trying to attatch the pine?
Next step is to go upstairs and remove the plywood and the hardwood. Does anyone have any tips for removing 100 year old hardwood? Probably won't pop right out.
Then I use 2" screws to attatch the diagonal strips to the joists.
After that comes Wonderboard or Ditra or both?
I gotta say, I'm having way more fun reading Daisy's thread than thinking about spending my weekend hacking away at a hardwood floor.

Bud Cline
08-22-2001, 10:50 PM
Re: 2" X 8" scabs installation?


08-23-2001, 05:29 PM
One day I had palm trees in my front yard and pecan trees in the back. The next day I have 12 inches of snow in a new yard and I'm in Cornhusker Land. Now I have to learn the meaning of new phrases like "CROWN UP".
When does it all end?

John Bridge
08-23-2001, 06:22 PM
That's what you get for movin' north, Liz. They don't talk right up there.

"Crown up" means the bend in the board, as you eyeball it, has to go up when you install it. That way when you walk on it, it'll tend to straighten out. If'n you was to put it upside down, it would have a droop in it before you even walked on it.

Seriosly, Liz, no boards are absolutely straight. They are all bent, even ever so slightly.

The ones that look straight are a judgment call, eh, Kelly?

[Edited by John Bridge on 08-23-2001 at 08:27 PM]

Bud Cline
08-23-2001, 06:43 PM
"GO BIG RED" rah

[Edited by Bud Cline on 08-23-2001 at 09:40 PM]

John Bridge
08-23-2001, 06:48 PM
Who's Big Red? Anybody know? Some sort of sporting team, perhaps?

08-23-2001, 06:55 PM
These people enforce public canings for stuff like that.

Bud Cline
08-23-2001, 07:09 PM
Texasgirl knows who Big Red is....."she better".

08-23-2001, 07:12 PM

Do I get to see your website too?

Bud Cline
08-23-2001, 07:58 PM
No, it's a "pitiful" place, ask John. It's dark and dreary and scary and designed by some guy that lives down the road from you in Huskerville.

Please don't go there (

Rob Z
08-23-2001, 10:08 PM

I remember a soda called "Big Red" when I lived down in Texas. Could that be it?

John Bridge
08-24-2001, 06:15 AM
I don't know. Been racking my feeble brain. Big Red. hmm. Maybe I'll shoot a feeler up to UT -- see if any of the Long Horns have ever heard of Big Red. It's doubtful, but worth a try.


For the third time I apologize for belittling your web site. You can say something mean and onery about this site if you want to. (It won't be true, but you can say it.)

Bud Cline
08-24-2001, 07:15 AM
Take it up with Cletus JOHN, I don't think I want to talk about it.

By the way.....maybe if you knew Cletus' full name you wouldn't be messin' with me or my website.

John Bridge
08-24-2001, 02:49 PM
You say Cletus lives out at Conroe? Can I send him a 12-pack, say, as a gesture of my good will? Think he'd go for a T shirt?

Bud Cline
08-24-2001, 03:38 PM
A 12-pack would be out of the question for now but cigarettes would be good, lots of cigarettes. Marlboros. In unopened cartons.

John Bridge
08-24-2001, 03:48 PM
Wait a minute. I think you're intimating that Cletus lives north of Conroe at a place called Huntsville. [Huntsville is where they have one of our major prisons. It is where death sentences are carried out at the "Walls Unit."]

How many cartons do you think we can smuggle in there at once? I mean, anything for good old Cletus.

Spose Cletus would like me better if I confessed to knowing who Big Red is?

Bud Cline
08-24-2001, 04:30 PM
John, Cletus prefers Conroe, OK?

You can send his mail to: Cletus Orenthal Manson
c/o TDCJ, Apartment No. TX 76493718, Huntsville, TX 77348.

I can't remember his phone number but I think it is: 936-437-1975, just ask anyone that answers to let you talk to "one eye", thats a nickname his friends gave him one night at a party about three years ago.

Bud Cline
08-24-2001, 04:49 PM


I told Cletus we were starting an album and he wanted us to have this picture of his grandmother and her boyfriend.

08-24-2001, 05:06 PM
And whatever you do don't forget "green up!"

Bud Cline
08-24-2001, 11:42 PM
I think Cletus said the boyfriends name was Clyde.

08-25-2001, 01:54 PM
Bonnie and Clyde?

08-25-2001, 03:50 PM

08-25-2001, 05:37 PM
Liz, have you noticed your being distracted? This is the point at which John usually tries to get you to contribute to the Save Mt. Houston fund.

08-25-2001, 08:08 PM
While everyone was Go Big Reddin' with Cletus, I layed peel and stick commercial tile. Looks great, guys.

*just kidding

[Edited by Texasgirl on 08-25-2001 at 10:46 PM]

Bud Cline
08-25-2001, 09:15 PM

We sure did get off track.......I don't know why those guys do that it's very distracting.

Just to set the record strait....I'm not really a Big Red fan. Hell the only players names I know are the ones that get arrested and make the six o'clock news. With the exception of Tom Osborne (and he ain't there any more). He (Tom) is from this town. Damn, not a day goes by that you don't hear his name. A few years ago I tiled some nice office restrooms for his brother (he owns a farm implement business here), I thought I was going to suffocate before I got out of there.

Anyway as TG will find out, you better act like your a devoted fan whether you are or not or gremlins will smash your mailbox or something.

John Bridge
08-26-2001, 07:17 AM
You're a very funny girl, Liz.


Quit talking about our various scams on this public board. This stuff has to be confidential. Actually, I was about to introduce Liz to your school idea, but now you've blown it.


Guess I'll have to take the "Big Red" out of your title. I don't want to do anything to make you mad, though.


Heard about Mt. Houston?

08-27-2001, 08:28 PM

So 21 to 7 means nothing to you, huh? Me either. I have noticed there aren't as many gremlins here in Counciltucky. I feel a little more safe. By the way, Hubby was in your town on Friday and today too. He'll probably be back out there next week.


I'm sorry, but I am already contributing to the Bring Back The Oilers Fund. They said I might someday be an honorary member!

08-28-2001, 09:56 AM
I said "Today is the day!", so I went downstairs to count and measure for joist reinforcement.
It was then that I realized all of the romex that was running through several holes drilled in EVERY joist. The wires came from two fuse boxes that happen to be right under the kitchen. The wires run down and then fan out to the ENTIRE house. I do not think this is good. We would have to turn the power off to the entire house for days and days! Between six children, school, soccer games, band practice (in my basement, thank you), basketball practice, and one overweight geriatric Cocker Spaniel, I do not think this is going to happen.
Unless one of you has a magic wand that I can wave over my kitchen floor, I am (sigh) ready to throw in the proverbial towel.
Husband says I should tile the bathroom floor or the counters, or the dog if I want. Actually, the bathroom floor doesn't bounce, whereas the dog does...


Bud Cline
08-28-2001, 11:36 AM
"Oh-oh" "Bummer".

08-28-2001, 12:49 PM's what to do.Measure how far down the joist from the top the holes are for the wire..right at top..halfway down? If they are close to the top just notch the new "sister" joist to fit around the wire.If it is halfway or less,notch out for it then after the new joist is in place and secured,put a short board,about 16" long,over the gap in your new joist.Put in two screws on either side of the gap(4 screws). You will still gain the added support you need and you don't need to cause total meltdown to get it done.Just an extra couple hours big deal.

Now if the holes are nearer the bottom then just put your notch at the bottom of your new joists.If they are within a couple inches from the edge of the joist I wouldn't bother with the extra "short scab"............................abra-cadabra....POOF !!!
Keith (Houdini) Alford

08-28-2001, 01:59 PM
Sorry I didn't catch your question earlier, John, I don't wander over here very often on accounta I like to let the tile experts give the tile advice. But on matters of a Wood Butcher nature, I don't feel so out of place.

You're correct, John, if the board is indeed straight it's a judgement call on "crown up". On floor joists you almost hope for a little crown so you definately get the right side up. I know of no way to determine the better up side on a straight board - other than guessing.

If I read this thread correctly (not to mention the bantering over on yonder board), I think she can still gain the floor stiffnes she wants by sistering on some extra floor joists.

While Keith (kalford) is on the right track IMHO, I would be more concerned with how close to the end of the joists these penetrations occur. If they are very close to the end, the sistering can still be done to much advantage even if the ends of the new joists don't reach the support wall at all.

I would do as Keith suggests if possible, but in either case I would make a large effort to attach the scab joists to the existing with glue and screws. My suggestion would be to apply glue (wood glue, the yellow kind, best done to both pieces, squeegeed on with a plastic knife if possible), put the new joist in place, then support the existing joist from below so to be able to raise it in the center just slightly, then screw (decking screws) the new joist to the old - or vice versa, whichever is more convenient. I always pre-drill the board the screws enter first so they will pull together better. Leave the brace in place overnight if possible. In the morning you will find your floor is a whole lot more ridgid than befor, even if those scabs couldn't be set on the support wall on both ends. Do make the scabs as long as possible, though.

This is not as difficult as it might seem and it sure ain't rocket science. Even if you don't get it exactly right, you will probably still get the effect you need.

My opinion, worth price charged.

John Bridge
08-28-2001, 03:11 PM
Yep, that'll work if the electrician didn't go postal with his drill.

Uniform Building Code says penetrations in the top 1/3 of the member only and as close to supports as feasible, but who besides people who have read Chaucer would have read the UBC.

I remember one time when I was a framing contractor, we had framed a garage ceiling/ustairs floor with 2x12s, 12 in. O.C. Along comes a so-called electrician with a hole hog and puts a huge hole in the BOTTOM of each joist. Inspector made us replace every one of them (actually, we doubled them). Never saw that electrician again.

We haven't gotten off track here, have we? If you're getting confused, Liz, I'll confine my raving to the other boards.

09-01-2001, 11:32 AM
We're taking advantage of the 3 day weekend and we're off to a great start!


09-22-2001, 02:56 PM
Well, PHASE 1 complete! After we reinforced the joists, we built pillars and an extra beam. That was fun. Then we went upstairs and tore up the old 1/4" plywood. Just as much fun. Then we tore out all 100 ft of the tongue in groove oak. Probably the most fun of all. After we were down to diagonal wood all over, we realized there was a height difference of 1/2" between the two portions of floor. So we put 1/2" plywood over one part of the floor. Then we layed 5/8" plywood over the whole thing.

Which one of you forgot to warn me of the adventure I was embarking on? I could blame Bud, since he's the closest.

Oh, by the way, halfway through the carpentry work I decided that I didn't like the color tile we had, so I had to start looking all over again. I found some. I think it might be tricky to grout, but I have confidence in ya'll.

Anyway, is there anything else I need to do before I lay the Utili-Crete?


09-22-2001, 03:33 PM
Oh, yeah, Bud is clearly to blame! No question about it.

'Specially since he's away for a while. :D

09-22-2001, 07:05 PM
Where'd he go?

John Bridge
09-22-2001, 07:16 PM
Hi Liz,

I think it's a number of things. Bud is moving his family to the country, for one thing. The recent disaster really got him down, as it did all of us. He's just taking a break. He'll be back. He's a junkie like the rest of us.

09-22-2001, 07:52 PM
Hi John,

Wasn't prepared for anymore sad news, but thanks for the info. I saw Bud's pic in your album. Neat idea. I don't remember seeing your pic?

Is there anything else I need to do to this kitchen floor before I put the Utili-Crete down?

John Bridge
09-22-2001, 08:01 PM
Well, I think you're ready to go. Rob Z. uses Utili-crete all the time. What say, Rob?

Rob Z
09-22-2001, 10:48 PM

This is a long thread. Please review for me where you are with your sub floor prep, and we'll talk about installing the Utilicrete.


John Bridge
09-23-2001, 08:00 AM
Rob, It's at the end of the last page.

Liz, The Bridge Family is on Page 2 of the album, along with the Rob. Z. Family. You won't get us confused.

Rob Z
09-23-2001, 11:07 AM
Utilicrete installs much the same as other cement backer boards. Take a moment and review what the mfr says about the product at

Utilicrete is harder than the other cement boards, and is harder to cut and run fasteners into it. I use a diamond wheel on a small grinder to cut it. Using the carbide scoring tool method is very frustrating for me.

Also, I use galvanized roofing nails on floors, not screws. Screws do hold better, but they take so much longer that I just use the nails. Use the nails generously, following the mfr recommended nailing pattern (6" along the seams, 8" oc in the field).

Clean the plywood, and snap layout lines corresponding to the sheet location. Mix the thinset a bit wetter than normal (the plywood will pull a lot of moisture out of the thinset) OR wipe the area with a wet sponge just before troweling the thinset. QUICKLY set the board into the thinset and start fastening. Start nailing in the middle and work to the edges.

The mfr instructs that a 1/4' x 1/4" trowel should be used for the thinset below the board. I don't think this gets enought thinset under the cment board, so I use a 1/4 x 3/8 trowel.

Finish the seams with fiberglass tape made for cement board (not fiberglass drywall tape) and trowel the thinset out as flat as possible.

I usually skip this step until I set the tile, and put the tape down at the same time I am setting the tile. It's a bit faster this way.

Gotta get off the computer...back in a minute.


Rob Z
09-23-2001, 12:38 PM
OK Liz, I'm back.

Are you going to use 1/4" or 1/2" Utilicrete?

Utilicrete specifies the use of unmodified thinset under their board. It is an entire debate about that issue, so for now I'd say just follow the directions.

For a large area, make sure you have a heavy duty drill and mixing paddle. You will go through a lot of thinset, and trying to mix it by hand will be difficult.

Leave a small (1/8" or so) gap between the sheets as you install them. this is filled with thinset at the time of taping.

It's real work putting all this stuff down and nailing it. Setting the tile is the easy part!

Let us know if you have any more Q's.

Rob z

09-23-2001, 01:44 PM
I was going to use 1/2" as it is the same price as 1/4" and it couldn't hurt to solid the floor a little more. Is Utili-Crete that much better than Wonderboard? It sounds like it may be quite difficult to work with.

The tile place told me to use type 1 mastic under the board. That's not the same as unmodified thinset, is it?

Would I be able to use screws if I put pilot holes first? I don't really trust nails in a floor that used to bounce. Knowhatimean?

Anyway, I won't be bringing any supplies home without clearing it through ya'll. I truly appreciate not only the expert advice I have received here, but also the encouragement. (Not to mention the entertainment value!)


John Bridge
09-23-2001, 02:12 PM
Mastic? Give me the name of that tile place. I'm gonna shoot 'em an email. Then I'm gonna turn 'em over to the tile police!

Mastic is a synthetic glue that needs to air dry. Put it under something like Utilicrete and it gets no air.

Thin set is concrete, just like the backer board. You can use screws, but 1-1/2 in galvanized roofing nails work really well and consume about half the time and effort. Backer board screws are a real bear.

Rob Z
09-23-2001, 02:26 PM

That's another debate, too. Using the 1/2" instead of 1/4" in order to get a more solid feel to the floor....

The Tile Industry C.W. is that you should use 1/4" for floors. I'm gonna skip all the whys and so forth for this BUT Rob Zschoche's opinion is that the 1/2" DOES make the floor feel more solid than the 1/4". Let me emphasize that this is just an opinion.

But, at my size, I am a one man deflection tester, and it sure seems that way to me.

With all that being said, I do like the 1/4" better simply because it is easier to handle.

John got it all taken care of with the mastic. You won't have the need for it anywhere in your project.

Rob Z

09-23-2001, 03:28 PM
So this tile dealer of mine actually doesn't know how to install tile? YIKES! Hope I didn't make a mistake buying 300 sq ft of tile from them. Would I be making a second mistake if I got my thinset from H___D____? (Thought my computer might explode if I typed that one)

I don't mind using 1/4" board or nails instead of screws, it's just that I've done so much so far, that I don't mind going the extra mile to insure these tiles don't pop out the day after I lay them.

John, about the tile... It is 12 1/2" x 12 1/2". The bottom of the sides is straight, but the top of the sides is not. In other words, it looks like Grog the Caveman took a chisel and went across the edge of each tile, and now Cavewife doesn't know how to get the grout down in there without covering up Grog's work.

Any suggestions? Liz

John Bridge
09-23-2001, 04:36 PM
Dear Cavewife,

You're not even near the grouting stage yet, but when you wash the applied grout you will see that the joints will wash down to a point lower than the tiles. The more you wipe, the lower the grout level. When it gets where you want it, you stop.

And you don't have to worry about using the name Home Depot around here. I buy most of my thin set there. I buy either Versa Bond or Master Blend, depending on what I'm doing. Just don't get caught with one of those orange HD buckets. It's very unprofessional (as Harry will attest).

John Bridge
09-28-2001, 03:11 PM
Got a picture of Liz and her brood from Council Bluffs, Iowa. She said she didn't expect me to post it, but she didn't say I couldn't.

They are all hers except the dark-haired guy at left rear. He's the husband of the daughter directly in front of him. I don't think we ever got hubby's name. Maybe Liz will give us all the names. The family is originally from Katy, Texas. I'm in the Katy postal district.

Here you go, Liz. I made it a little bigger so we can see everyone. The picture is on my site. If you would like to see it in the future without having to go to this thread, copy the url. Then you can go direct.

[Edited by John Bridge on 09-28-2001 at 05:17 PM]

Bud Cline
09-28-2001, 03:25 PM
There's enough people there for a baseball team plus a mascot.

09-28-2001, 08:02 PM
John, I ended up bringing home Wonderboard and VersaBond today. Those will work, won't they? Also, it occurred to me that I didn't glue the plywood down before I put 10 lbs of screws in it. Did I read somewhere that the thinset should be the consistency of peanut butter? Then I trowel it onto the plywood and plop the wonderboard on top then nail, nail, nail. A nail every 6 inches and staying 2 inches from the edge? Hope that's close to right.

Okay, The Ferrin Family Cast left to right:
Morgan(22), Paul(son-in-law), Mandy(23), Brynn(17), Paul(15), Anna(16). Liz and Greg down front. The youngest is Elaine(8). The mascot in my lap is Tiffany the 12 year old cocker spaniel.

I am hoping to be able to lay tile by Sunday, provided I do the cementboard thing correctly. When I lay the tile, I use VersaBond too, right? Did someone say to put the thinset on the back of the tile instead of or in addition to the floor?

Thanks again for the help. Liz

John Bridge
09-28-2001, 08:32 PM
Geez, Liz. Make the thin set like soft peanut butter -- not too stiff, and spread just enough for one sheet of backer board at a time. Plop and nail.

To set the tiles, you spread the thin set on the backer board with a notched trowel. Hopefully you will have snapped some layout lines. Have you considered layout?

Thanks for naming the crew. Looks like a great family.

Patti wishes to thank Elaine for the compliment. I have a big sister Elaine.

[Edited by John Bridge on 09-28-2001 at 11:06 PM]

Bud Cline
09-28-2001, 08:36 PM
The thinset on the back of the tile question got me going so I thought I'd go back and review this thread.

Boy, was that a mistake. This thing is all over the field, it's a wonder anybody is getting anything out of this rollercoaster ride.

What kind of tile are we using here?

How did we get from Utilicrete to Wonderboard? (Not that it matters.)

Does Sunday come after Saturday? (Not that that matters either.)

Is this still Texas Girl in Iowa?

Are there any rocks in Iowa? (Nevermind, that doesn't matter even more than the other questions don't matter.)

John Bridge
09-28-2001, 09:14 PM

How did you get a blank profile?

09-28-2001, 09:26 PM
The tile is 'Ceracasa Ceramica Pavmento Rustico'. At the bottom of page 5 I explained what it looks like.
I thought I read somewhere on here about "back buttering" the tile. Maybe not.
How far to the country did you move? Hubby spends each day in rural NE.

I just want the layout to be straight, nothing fancy. Should I pop the lines in a grid?
You have a sister Elaine? I have 2 sons named Paul.

09-28-2001, 09:33 PM
What happened? Does the profile go blank when the thread gets too long?

Bud Cline
09-28-2001, 09:59 PM
OK now I think I'm catching up. The back buttering you picked up on I think was a reference to Saltillo tile. But based on the number of names someone has put on your tile selection not to worry about back buttering I don't think. Your tile should be fairly flat and only about 5/16" thick.

Just use the proper notched trowel and you should be fine. (1/4" X 1/4" X 1/4" thereabouts)

I'm not that far out in the corn just ten miles from town now. We have running water and indoor plumbing, hell I even have a stool in my garage now.

It's about time to pick corn and when that's done I'll be able to see our nearest neighbors windmill. That's still too close for me. We're about 1/4 mile south of the Little Blue River (that's the name not the color) and deer are abundant.

As far as your layout, don't be afraid to lay out a bunch of tile on the floor just to get a feel for how they will look. Once you do this you can determine the needed spacing. When measuring you want to add the tiles width plus one groutlines width. I usually layout for four tile at a time when setting 12" tiles. (two tile in each direction a nominal 24" X 24" square.)

There are a couple threads longer than this one here but I don't remember anyone losing their name.

John Bridge
09-29-2001, 08:05 AM
I don't know what's happening, Liz. Do you use more than one computer to post here? There is the TexasGirl profile that seems to have stalled out, and then there is the blank one. I could delete the blank, but it would erase the posts you've made with it. Let's not worry about it right now. Strange things happen in cyberspace. my records show 15 different computers. That can't be, can it?

09-29-2001, 09:52 AM
FIFTEEN?! I have one li'l ol' computer in my living room and that's it. Something somewhere is awry. Oh well, with the number of kids I've raised, nothing suprises me.

Bud, the tile is 3/8" thick and it is flat. Last week I layed it all out (with spacers) just to see how it will look and if I bought enough.
I'm wondering though, should I pop grid lines or should I work from the middle out? I've heard it done both ways.
Hubby says there are rolling hills where you are. (John wouldn't know what those are) Sounds nice.
Greg gets to Clay Center, Superior, Hebron, Geneva, and of course Hastings. He works for the company that owns K.T. Heating.
Are you farming or just enjoying the view?
I hesitated to tell Greg about the 'potty in the garage' idea for fear I would never see him again.

I'm off to complete the cement board phase. I'll check back before doing anything with the tile. Invisibeth

John Bridge
09-29-2001, 11:57 AM
We have rolling hills in Houston. To begin with there's the Ship Channel Bridge, and there's . . . .

I should have said addresses and not computers. Obviously, something's not right. Next time you come on the board, log in again with TexasGirl and your password. If you don't remember the password, you can request it via email. It'll be there in about 15 seconds.

See if that makes a difference.

Bud Cline
09-29-2001, 11:58 AM
Invisibeth, (Invincibeth)

OK 3/8", close enough, back buttering won't be necessary.

You should technically work from the middle out as far as the layout is concerned. You don't want to end up with slivers, so a rough layout comes first to determine if your centerline will be a grout line or a tile center to eliminate slivers.

Once you know where the tiles will go you can snap down a final layout. Once you have the final layout down then it is possible to actually begin laying the tile on one end.

This way you can back your way out of the room and your not waiting for something to dry to be able to lay more tile.

Oh and Texasgirl...thro them damned spacers away before you start setting tile. The tiles won't all be perfect and the spacers will push you off layout and only cause frustration. Without the spacers you will have the ability to fudge and tweak when necessary. This will go unnoticed when the grout is added.

Rolling hills yes, in some areas. I have completed tile installations in all those towns you mention and work on jobs with K-T Heating from time to time.

No farming for us, just want as far from civilazition as we can get. Not much view right now but it's harvest time and with harvest comes view.

09-29-2001, 02:22 PM
How do I log in?

John Bridge
09-29-2001, 03:27 PM

On the reply form your username must be blank. Type in TexasGirl (no space) Then, retype your password. See what happens. If something starts smoking, log off immediately. :D

09-29-2001, 03:59 PM
'Ceracasa Ceramica Pavmento Rustico'

Sounds like a cheap, red, jug wine I used to drink.

John Bridge
09-29-2001, 04:07 PM
Don't be making crude cracks about jug wine, man. You'll hurt me.

09-29-2001, 04:13 PM
Maybe a rotating ISP?....I have software that will change mine everytime..but it screws up my cookies.

John Bridge
09-29-2001, 04:18 PM
I don't know. My control panel shows 15 IP addresses for Liz. Maybe I'll try to access them.

09-29-2001, 04:27 PM
John, I have cable as my IP and it seems as tho my IP address changes every 3 to 5 days. The IP address lease began yesterday and expires next Teus. Could that be it?

John Bridge
09-29-2001, 04:31 PM
I don't know. I just don't know. That's really just a side issue, though. I can't figure out how she went from TexasGirl to nothin'. That membership is there, too. It's blank exept for the Liz Who? I just put on there.

09-29-2001, 05:24 PM
Testing: 1,2,3...

09-29-2001, 06:07 PM
John, I have called every bookstore in Omaha and they are all sold out of your book. Hubby wants tile installed by yesterday. How do I get my hands on your book by Monday?

09-29-2001, 06:22 PM
Bet that was way back when you usta smoke, eh Jim? :)

John Bridge
09-29-2001, 07:03 PM
Way to go, Liz. You're Texasgirl again!

You won't get the book by Monday. It's been out there 10 years, and I think it's starting to fade. The only way for sure is to go to or Barnes and The Barnes and Noble stores have it on their inventory list, but they're usually out of it. You can hot shot it from Barnes and Don't know what that costs.

Tell you what. Go to Home Depot and buy Michael Byrne's book. It's called Setting Tile. It's a good book. Don't tell Michael I said that though.

09-30-2001, 03:36 PM
Well, I had my heart set on YOUR book, but if you recommend his, I'll pick it up. In fact, I sent my daughter to get it about 10 minutes ago.

Okay, here is the $64,000 question: How many of my husband's power tools am I going to toast before this project is over?
1.While enforcing the last of many joists in the basement I knocked his Dewalt off my ladder and wouldn't you know it landed on its head.
2.Then while mixing the thinset yesterday, I managed to smoke his 1/2" Craftsman power drill.
Is there a better way to mix this? I thought maybe adding a little more water? I only mixed one half of the bag (25 lbs).

Decided a break was in order, so we put the boat in the Missouri and enjoyed a beautiful autumn afternoon. Life is good.

John Bridge
09-30-2001, 04:05 PM
Life is indeed good, Liz. As you know this is the time of year we in this area (Katy, Texas) live for. 78 f. today while the overnight lows are in the fifties. Glorious.

Hopefully, the DeWalt didn't suffer when it bounced off his head. As far as the Craftsman is concerned, it's not a great loss, because unfortunately Craftsman power tools are not what they used to be.

Wish I had a boat. I'm a beached sailor.

P.S. For mixing thin set I just bought the biggest, baddest 1/2 in. Milwaukee they make.

09-30-2001, 04:20 PM
The Dewalt did not bounce off of GREG'S head, it bounced on it's own tip on the concrete. Just didn't want you to think my husband was suffering anymore than he alredy is. He is in mourning about his tools and to top it off, he does not like my CERACASA CERAMICA PAVIMENTO RUSTICO. huh

John Bridge
09-30-2001, 04:35 PM
To Greg,

Live with the tile selection. It is not your purvue, buddy. Sorry about your Craftsman, but it's a good loss. Gives you an excellent excuse to buy a really Tim Taylor-type tool. Milwaukee is the best. My Chinese tool seller convinced me. Cost: $229. (plus they gave me a trinket). If Bud reads this, he'll find the site and post a picture of the very tool I'm talking about. He's good at that.

Bud, It's that badass 1/2 in. drill that has the extra-long handle (so it doesn't break your wrist when it gets bogged down).

09-30-2001, 05:30 PM
Geez, John, Milwakee's Hole Hawg doesn't even cost that much! If you're talking about their pistol grip 8 amp 1/2 inch drill, it sounds good, but I've never tried one. But it's only about $140. What's that expensive thing?

I favor Makita's 6303H for a pistol grip model. Advertized as a 6.5 amp motor. It WILL break your wrist if it catches on something and you're not using the side handle. Cost about $130. Nicer color, too, Liz.

My opinion; worth price charged.

09-30-2001, 05:39 PM
Got the Canadian Tire cataloge in front of me, and that Mikita is $149.00 that a good machine?..I always wanted one of those thingy' we should be supporting the economy..if you know what I mean.

09-30-2001, 06:21 PM

The Makita 6.3 amp mixing drill is a good drill for mixing thin-set and mud.I don't think it was designed for such heavy duty use so I use a smaller blade.Those big square mixing blades that drywallers use will burn it out if used to mix thin-set and mortars.

I use a smaller egg-beater style mixer with twisted blades.Best mixer for this drill.Chapman style mixer works well too.

Would like to buy Milwaukee's Hole Hawg like John but the Makita is cheap and I've had this one for 4 years.Will keep it to mix grout if I buy another one with more torque and slower speed.

09-30-2001, 06:33 PM
Thanks Ron...I guess the "oldtimers" is working it's way into my brain..I though we were talking about saws-alls(reciprocating saw)....Where did I get that idea? Hmmm?

John Bridge
09-30-2001, 06:49 PM

Get yourself out of Home Depot and into a tool store. We ain't talkin' pistol grips here. We talking "D" handles with things you screw into the side of the motor to keep it from twisten' when it takes a bite. If it wasn't dark, I'd go out to my truck and take a pitcher of it.

No Bri, don't buy anything for $149 Canadian and expect to mix a lot of mud with it. Before I bought the Milwaukee, I fried the biggest 1/2 in. DeWalt they make. The Milwaukee is bigger and badder.

My Chinese tool man assured me it's the baddest 1/2 in. mixing drill out there (one speed, non-reversible -- 450 rpm.) He said if I wanted something beefier, I'd have to go to a 7/8, which he sells. He says it takes a couple men to hold one of those down.

Makita makes good stuff, but not the really heavy-duty stuff.


Did we get off-track again?

09-30-2001, 06:56 PM

Let's go over to the Mud Box and fight. :)

I think there is some confusion about models and sizes.

And I ain't talkin' about no HD stuff, 'neither.

John Bridge
09-30-2001, 06:58 PM
Okay, put up your dukes, old man.

Rob Z
09-30-2001, 07:58 PM
I'm going to find my catalog. The real Milwaukee Hole Hawg is over $300, and will break your wrist.

The one John is talking about is over $200, and will break your wrist.

Lemme find the catalog, and I'll be back.

No fightin', old timers.


09-30-2001, 08:14 PM
Well, if we're gonna fight right here, OK.

I think we need to consider that Liz ain't gonna mix thinset every day for the rest of her career, like some old people on this board. :D

The Makita is a far better general purpose drill for homeowners or contractors, and it will mix plenty thinset.

It's variable speed, which is quite handy for many things. If you think it too fast, there is a similar model that tops out at about 500rpm.

For mixing LOTS of thinset or sheetrock mud or trouble, I use the Milwakee angle drill that I use for roughing in electric and topping out plumbing. But it's too big (physically) to be as useful for general drilling stuff.

Besides, like I tried to point out, it's a prettier color.

Bud Cline
09-30-2001, 08:21 PM
John you talkin about this bad boy?

I think a 1/2" D-handle drill for mixing can probably be rented for a few days pretty cheap.

Rob Z
09-30-2001, 08:24 PM

Could you please post the Hole Hawg, so I don't have to go look through my mess for the catalog?


09-30-2001, 08:51 PM
Rob's right, the Hole Hawg is about $320.

Way too fast for a mixer. Way too "single purpose" for most folks.

Bud Cline
09-30-2001, 10:27 PM 1675 Milwaukee 1/2" Hole-Hawg $215.00

300 RPM Low Speed, 1,200 RPM High Speed
Powerful 7.5 AMP (800 W) Milwaukee Motor
8' Rubber Cord
Aluminum Gear Case and Diaphram
Ball and Roller Bearings
Industrial Chuck
Triple Reduction Heat Treated Steel Gears
Includes Chuck Key
Two Speed and Reversing

Rob Z
09-30-2001, 11:06 PM
Thanks, Bud

Where did you find it for that price? Tool Crib is over $300 for the Hawg.


10-01-2001, 06:18 AM
Yeah, and they don't list it as two-speed, either.

Rob Z
10-01-2001, 07:34 AM
OK, here is what is in my current Tool Crib catalog:

Model 1676-6 Heavy duty Hole Hawg $319.99

Two speeds: 300/1,200 rpms

The other stuff is the same.

The Heavy duty compact hole shooter is model 1660-6, at $209.99.

Bud Cline
10-01-2001, 07:37 AM
That price doesn't seem right does it? I'll have to see if I can find it again, I don't remember were I got it. Seems like that was the one on sale until Oct 1st. Amazon maybe!

John Bridge
10-01-2001, 03:40 PM
That price can't be right. If it is, I'm gonna be pissed. May have to hurt the Chinese fella.

Bud the first one you posted is mine. One speed -- 500. It's a little fast, but you can work it by short spurts. It handles the big square-looking paddle like it isn't even there. Hang on, baby!

I wasn't suggesting Liz needed this tool or should even attempt using one. I was trying to give Greg justification for buying a big ass drill that he probably doesn't need but would love to have hanging in his garage. Just looking at it sends shivers up and down my spine.

You're right, Kelly. Milwaukee has the best paint scheme. That red is thrilling.

10-07-2001, 10:02 AM
I am almost through laying tile. Here's what I need to know: I have a peninsula/bar in the kitchen. Can I put this floor tile on one side of the bar? The area I want to cover has formica on it. I suppose I have to remove that first? It sure would be nice to just thinset over the formica and be done. What do you think?

10-07-2001, 10:27 AM
That's better

John Bridge
10-07-2001, 11:19 AM
What do you mean by one side of the bar? If it's a vertical surface, go ahead. In this case, though, you should use mastic instead of thin set over the formica.

If you are talking about the countertop, no way.

10-07-2001, 12:05 PM
Hi John!
Yes, I meant a vertical surface on the side of the bar. The space is 2'x3'. Does Home Depot have a certain mastic you like to use?
By the way, we ended up renting a drill just like yours. But I didn't get out of it that easy - Greg bought a wet saw AND a new shop vac. Something about can't ever have too many tools...
The tile place sold me grout made by Bonsal. It doesn't say to add anything but water. Didn't I read somewhere about latex additive?

Sonnie Layne
10-07-2001, 12:39 PM
Most really good materials have the acrylic/latex additive in them already. Would probably say on the package i.e. "modified thin set" or such.

10-07-2001, 02:02 PM
Hi Sonnie,
It says polymer modified, so that's okay?
I am looking forward to trying the Yarra Valley chardonnay experiment of yours. Is that The Shark or are we talking about another Greg Norman?

John Bridge
10-07-2001, 03:16 PM
Hi Liz,

If Home Depot has a multi-purpose tile mastic, get a gallon. You have to let the mastic dry a couple days before you grout. Unlike thinset, mastic needs to air dry.

Don't know about that Chardonay stuff. I get the really expensive wine in those large jugs with the handle on them.

Bud Cline
10-07-2001, 06:01 PM
John you talking about the finer products that are in a plastic bag inside a cardboard carton??? The ones where the bag collapses as the bag is drained???

Ah-h-h-h-h-h! Nothing like a fine wine with a beef burrito.

10-07-2001, 06:45 PM
Are we talking about the finer beef burritos wrapped in microwavable celophane or is a trip to Taco Bell required?

Is there any place up here that serves Tex-Mex?

John Bridge
10-07-2001, 07:04 PM
Seems to me you'll find your burrito wrapped in a CORN tortilla up there, and that ain't Tex-Mex.

The wine is rose. The label isn't important, but the container is. It always comes in a gallon jug. Yes, the cardboard box vintage is superb, too.

Bud Cline
10-07-2001, 07:58 PM
No Tex-Mex I'm aware of in this territory. Carlos O'Kelly's is about as close as it gets. Carlos O'Kelly? Is that right?

Then of course there's Taco John's, my kids favorite street corner. Good Lord what has anyone done to deserve Taco John's?

A couple years ago there was a lettuce shortage for a few weeks. So the management at Taco John's (in their infinite wisdom) decided cabbage would make a great substitute for lettuce on their tacos.

"Oh My God........."

Have you ever had raw cabbage on your taco???

Sonnie Layne
10-07-2001, 09:05 PM
Actually Napa Cabbage is very firm, sweet to the core and offers a bit more alba to the canteen of colour. Sweeter than most lettuce.

10-07-2001, 09:31 PM
Adds more what to the what?

Sonnie, Sonnie, Sonnie. They're talkin' about TACOS here! You can't talk funny like that about Tacos. It just ain't done.

JOHN! Git on here and talk to Sonnie! He over there by the edge again. :D

Sonnie Layne
10-07-2001, 10:04 PM
Oh crap, at least I wasn't recommending a Napa Chardonnay to go along with them, gimme da brake, bubba, I aingot no nuttin ta dew wit dat chit naw sher!

Please call off the dawgs!!!!

10-08-2001, 10:37 AM
O.K. everyone I just wna to say that I've read this entire thread almost purely for the entertainment value. Actually laughed OUT LOUD a couple times. Might start sending my friends here as an alternative to saturday night live...

Thanks for the comic relief!

10-08-2001, 12:58 PM
You think this is funny? Just wait until your finished!

Bud Cline
10-08-2001, 05:58 PM
Hey Buckley, just wait til they find out we are all postal employees just having a good time. It's either this or you know what!

10-09-2001, 06:40 PM
I wish I would have asked a few more questions before I (tried to) put the tile on the vertical surface. Does mastic come off? of tile? of clothes? of skin? of dog fur?
Should I caulk around the edges of the room next? If so, what type should I use? Or should I grout after this dries in a few days?
Have you ever been to Casa Garcia on Fry just north of I-10? Someone told me it's called Victor's now. Nothing like that up here. mmmmmm....

Houdini Alford,
I forgot to thank you for the abra-cadabra about 6 pages ago.


Bud Cline
10-09-2001, 06:54 PM
hehehe us postal guys just want you to think it's cabbage! But in reality it could be very deadly. (as if cabbage wasn't?)

John Bridge
10-09-2001, 07:14 PM
Uh, er, Liz, Guess I forgot to tell you how mastic jumps out of the bucket and gloms onto everything around it. I don't use the stuff personally.

After it has dried, you need a solvent to get it off. Paint thinner if you want to do a lot of rubbing -- acetone or lacquer thinner if you're a risk taker.

When's the last time you drove up Fry Road? Must be 10 Tex-Mex places out that way. They widened it to (I think) six lanes. Home Depot, Walmart, Dennys, every super market you can think of, three or four banks, 27 "convenience store/gas stations," you name it.

Rice Harvest Festival will be coming up in Old Katy pretty soon.

10-09-2001, 09:07 PM
Neat John, that cocker spaniel is going to bite the hell out of you! Paint thinner, it's going to love that.

Liz, you know the stuff that drools out of the mouth of the monsters in the horror movies? That's mastic.

10-10-2001, 07:16 PM
My son thinks it's cool that we now have monster slobber holding the tiles to our wall.

Rice Harvest Festival! Greg played at that each year. (Yes, I am married to a musician.) And you know what comes after that? The Thanksgiving Day Parade in beautiful downtown Houston! We went every year. Loved the crowds, loved the traffic, loved Pancho Clause.

Now, about the expansion joints. (I learned that term from Michael Byrne's book) The spaces between the tile and the walls are about 1/4"-1/2", but the spaces go down to the diagonal cedar stuff. That's alot of space to try to fill up with caulking. I'm thinking it'll take several tubes for one little area. What did I do wrong and how can I fix it?

10-10-2001, 08:29 PM
hey guys, I read somewhere about stuffing the gap with a foam rod or something like that, before caulking. what about it? -the rookie who ain't know nuthin

Rob Z
10-10-2001, 09:30 PM
You got it, Glen. It's usually called "backer rod", and is sold in different diameters. Push it in the crack to save on the quantity of caulk used.


John Bridge
10-11-2001, 05:48 AM
Yeah, but with a crack that wide, you might want to install base shoe/quarter round at the bottom of the base. 1/2 in. is a huge caulk joint, even with backer rod.

Rice Harvest Festival is this weekend. The weather doesn't look good, though. Somebody sent us some clouds.

10-11-2001, 12:46 PM
testing reply

10-11-2001, 06:30 PM
Damn! There's that Tech feller again!

John Bridge
10-11-2001, 07:07 PM
That's Dave B., tech/brother-in-law. He is a man of few words -- but large brain waves.

It's gonna take me two years worth of Saturdays working on his house to pay for this. :(

10-24-2001, 11:09 AM
John, how was the Rice Harvest Festival? Since we couldn't go to that, we went to a cornfield maze instead. Ever heard of those? It is acres and acres of 10' tall corn with a maze cut in it. You can get lost for hours if you try - especially in the dark. Each maze forms a picture if you look at an ariel photo. The one we went to was a picture of Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong playing his horn. There were speakers everywhere playing his music. Pretty cool.

Well, after nine weeks, I can finally say MY FLOOR IS FINISHED! Baseboards are in (with quarter rounds) and the furniture is back. Although I still find myself going to the living room to get something from the fridge. The kitchen looks even better than I had ever expected. I want to thank each of you for all of your help.
Something my father once said was the theme of our project: "The adventure is in the journey, not in the destination"
I was sad that this thread is coming to a close until Hubby said "Hey, want to marble the bathroom next?" So I'll be back to start another thread after my fingertips grow skin back. Don't know if it's from all of the typing, or the thinset.

Thank you again for all of the help and encouragement.


John Bridge
10-24-2001, 03:42 PM
Hi Liz,

The cornfield maze sounds a little like crop circles. You sure aliens didn't draw old Satchmo?

We were planning to attend the Rice Harvest Festival on Saturday, which was one of the days y'all sent us very stormy weather, so I didn't go. They had a good day on Sunday and about broke even. Old Katy is one of the nicest little places around here.

Before we put this thread to bed, how about sending us a picture of the completed project? And tell us how the end of the bar came out.

I am slowly but surely creating an album on the web site itself which will be linked back to here. Your family photo will be there and any other pics you send.

So send us a picture. Do you know how to do digital, either with a scanner or at the drug store?

Sonnie Layne
10-27-2001, 09:51 AM
Didn't know you had those plans, JP. Could I send a pic of JJ and myself from her most recent birthday party?

John Bridge
10-27-2001, 03:02 PM
Mes decors, mon ami.

I'm only working on it in my spare time, which is scarce since Patti has got me going on the dresser I started over two years ago.

Post the pic to the album on the boards, and we'll capture it from there later.

11-02-2001, 02:50 PM
Throughout this little adventure we have taken almost four rolls of film. When the last one is developed, there will be a pic of the completed project. I'll get it to you.

The side of the bar was kind of an after thought, but that it what everyone comments on. I try to tell them about the weeks of carpentry, and everything else that went into this project, but all anyone does is pat the side of the bar and say "Hey, this is neat!" I am so happy the monster slobber worked.

Okay I can't believe I'm asking this, but what do you think about marble? Is it completely different than tile to install? And why don't I ever see grout joints in a marble floor? Wouldn't marble need joints for the same reasons tile does?

John Bridge
11-02-2001, 02:57 PM
Hi Liz, all,

Marble is a different animal. Takes a lot of time and technique. There are joints, but they are very narrow.

We have had a few folks do marble, and they are apparently happy with it. It has to be perfect, though.

No cutting board. Everything is done on the wet saw.

11-02-2001, 04:49 PM

John Bridge
12-16-2001, 08:00 AM
Got a letter from Liz containing before and after pictures of the flooring project, along with some other stuff. I'll put it all here. This thread has become littered with remarks on a bunch of things, including power tools, but there's no better place for the pics.

The floor looks outstanding. An exceptional job, guys.

If I recall, the little girl is Elaine, and, of course, the floor-taker-upper is Greg.

The post card aparently represents what people do for excitement in the Iowa/Nebraska region. :)

Oh, the original family picture is on page 5 of the thread.

Rob Z
12-16-2001, 08:20 AM
Looks very nice, Liz!