I'm a Tilesetter! [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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08-20-2001, 02:19 PM
Well, this past weekend I set the tile on the bathroom floor. Did almost all of it Saturday and set the remaining 4 pieces yesterday. The cuts in the corners and by the door jambs were a little tricky because I set the tile on a diagonal. Fortunately, a friend has lent me his tile saw. I couldn't have done it without it. For you pro's, it's probably no big deal, only about 25 square ft. of 12" tile, but for someone who's never set tile before... Tonight I grout. Then it's on to the big challenge - the tub surround. Thanks to everyone for their advice and encouragement.

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Bud Cline
08-20-2001, 02:28 PM
Seeeeeeeeee, nothin' to it.

Speaking of tub surround, nows the time to think about soap dishes and shampoo shelves.

In all these years I've probably overlooked those suckers only 4 or 5 hundred times.

John Bridge
08-20-2001, 04:02 PM
Congratulations, Johnnymac. Way to go. I like to use two dishes, one down where you usually see it and another up on the plumbing wall for when the tub is used as a shower (which is all the time, usually).

08-21-2001, 07:28 AM
Last night I grouted the floor. The joints look pretty good and I got all of the grout haze off of the tiles, so I guess I did good. The family seems impressed, especially my oldest daughter. While preparing the floor for grouting I noticed that in some places there are a few tiles that aren't level with each other, but with the grout everything looks fine. Now it's on to laying out the back wall and setting the sill, along with misting the floor for the next 3 days.
John: unfortunately your idea about using backer board under the sill will not work - 1/2" is too thick. I need to make up about 3/8". Guess I'm back to using some topping mix. According to your book I may now be able to call myself a tile setter, but I doubt I'll ever be a true mud man (unless floating the sill counts) ;)
Bud: I looked at soap dishes and shelves at H.D. and they all have a gloss finish. The design committee has selected tile with a matte finish. The contrast may or may not be a problem. I'll be running it by the design commitee tonight. If the contrast proves to be a problem, would a REAL tile place have fixtures with a matte finish, or is the only other option to revert back to gloss tiles?

Bud Cline
08-21-2001, 10:06 AM
Gloss is all there is to my knowledge. Tell the design committee this is done everywhere and pretty well goes unnoticed. An option would be to use some Corian triangles placed into the tile in the corners. Corian will have a matte finish and colors aren't a problem. I get scrap Corian from cabinet shops that specialize in solid surfacing countertops. I used to get small pieces for nothing until they found out who I was and what I was doing with them, now a small piece costs me $10.

When you talk about your sill and using "topping mix" I have to warn you not to use any gypsum product in a wet area. If the "topping mix" you talk of is in fact real "topping mix" then don't use it.

08-21-2001, 11:07 AM
Hey Bud,
I don't think it's a gypsum product. I think it is a sand/cement product made by Quickrete used to level or patch concrete. It's over by the mortar, concrete, etc. at H.D. It says to mix with an additive to bond better to cement. I'll check it before I buy it to make sure it is cement and not gypsum. Thanks for the tip. I'd hate have that thing come loose. What kind of topping mix are you referring too?

Bud Cline
08-21-2001, 12:22 PM
Those that delve into sheetrock installation and finishing seriously (I have a friend that grossed over four million last year) know that there is more than one product for taping and bedding sheetrock.

The first is known as and sold as "joint compound" (a gypsum product). This is used to "bed" the tape in the first pass then again to fill the trough in the second pass. Most times two passes are all that are required by the pros. In areas of the country where "smooth" walls are preferred then a third pass is sometimes made. This third pass is done with a slightly different product called "topping". This is also a gypsum product. This is the only "topping" I have ever heard of as far as products being called Topping are concerned.

I have been told the first product (joint compound) contains more glue/adhesive obviously for bonding and holding purposes. The second product (topping) has less adhesive content and is therefore easier to sand and achieve the desired (smooth) results.

So when I heard "topping" I panicked. I sometimes use joint compound to make the seam between CBU's and sheetrock on tub surround walls, and even that bothers me but I know of no other way to accomplish this joint so that a wall beyond the tile can be painted, papered, textured.

08-21-2001, 12:51 PM
I used thinset to make the joint where the CBU meets greenboard. I put a strip of masking tape on the wall to keep the thinset about 1/8" away from where the tile will stop. Did I mess up by using thinset for this?

08-21-2001, 03:04 PM
That topping mix from H.D. is just sand mix with a larger aggregate than brick sand but not as big as a concrete mix aggregate.It's basically sand and portland 3 or 4 to 1.Not very adhesive.If you're using it to build out the curb,trowel thinset on there first with a small notch trowel,3/16" v-notch will do, then the sand mix(mixed fairly dry so you can shape it)wet on wet.

Bud Cline
08-21-2001, 03:12 PM

Your in good shape, no problem, the masking tape was pretty smart thinkin' in fact.

John Bridge
08-21-2001, 04:24 PM
I had a call for "matte" finish soap dishes. Had to special order them, but they're out there in white, at least.

Bud Cline
08-21-2001, 07:16 PM
That's news to me John, nice to know, I have never ever seen anything but gloss. Soap dishes, shampoo shelves, towel bar mounts, cup holders, toothbrush holders, all gloss and all very limited in color and style.