Craig/Anna Wood tile install project. [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile

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CoderMan1
07-14-2006, 05:24 PM
Ok Ive never attempted to install tile myself, but I have helped a little bit before. I will have a friend or 2 with me that know a little bit about tiling so Im looking for some advice here.

Im having a new house built in Tenessee with wood subflooring, we are going to install 9x26 tiles over the subfloor and use Ditra as the layer between as Im told its not a good idea to install tile on wood ;)

I have about 1400 sqft to install, mostly square edges so shouldnt be too many difficult cuts, but the way the tile needs to be layed is in a staggered pattern like this:

__ __ __ __ __
_ __ __ __ __ _
__ __ __ __ __
_ __ __ __ __ _

I hope that is comprehensive enough....anyway, the tile costs about 7.15$ a sqft and the tile installer wants 10$ sqft to install it. Thats why I have chosen to do it myself, I simply cant afford 20,000$ for a floor for my downstairs alone.

Do you guys have any suggestions on installing this for a beginner? Like books or instructional videos? Also, do my plans for installation sound ok? i.e. using Ditra on subfloor.

Thanks
Craig

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CoderMan1
07-14-2006, 05:29 PM
The tile can be seen here:

Madison Mike
07-14-2006, 07:52 PM
Dude - is that wood plank tile?? Why not just install wood?? Anyway, if you want a great book for learning about setting tile, I recommend John Bridge's book, available in the TYW store (follow the link in the dark blue bar above). Having said that, you're taking on a mighty big job for your first stab at it. $7something a foot for tile is a lot. First things first, check your structure by clicking on the Deflecto link above. If you have TJI's you'll need to post the maker, height, spacing, and unsupported span in this thread and wait for one of the fine engineers here to give you the thimbs up on yer structure. After you get the OK on that we can help you through the rest of the process.


Mike
Mdison, WI

jadnashua
07-14-2006, 11:17 PM
Hopefully, the new floor is very flat, as that large a tile will be a bear to level out if it isn't. Also, suggest using granite and marble (mediumset) mortar ratherthan a regular thinset. Last, backbutter each tile.

CoderMan1
07-15-2006, 12:59 AM
I think the structure is fine for tile, but I will try to get that information from the builder. They have an option on the house for ceramic tile floors, so Id imagine the subfloor is built to handle that.

CoderMan1
07-15-2006, 12:08 PM
From builder:

Joist Material Engineered I Beam
Joist Height 12"-14" per plan and room
Joist Width 2 1/4"
Joist Spacing Max 19.2" O.C.
Joist Length Varies per plan

Our homes are good to go for tile, should be no problems, if you would like though I can follow up with Rick on Monday.

CoderMan1
07-19-2006, 04:56 PM
Ive got some tile thats 9x26 and is recommended to do a mud-set install with NO grout line (like marble install). My plans were to do concrete backerboard over the plywood with thinset between each layer.

These manufacturer specs have totally thrown off my install procedures, now Im looking at something I cannot do. Basically I have to hire someone to do it for me for another 15000$

How strict are these specs typically and does it mean you must do things that way or there will be major problems?

Rd Tile
07-19-2006, 07:56 PM
Maybe I have to get out more often, but I've never heard this before, maybe with that size tile they are saying you need 100% coverage, I would prep the floor as I would for any ceramic, then backbutter that size tile before setting them, insuring 100% coverage.:)

NVC
07-19-2006, 07:56 PM
Hi Coder,

If you plan on grouting it, it should have a space (i.e. grout joint) for the grout to bond to, even if it's a 32'nd, unless it has a large micro bevel that would give the grout enough surface area to get a foot hold.

As far as the mud set . . . Check the variance between the tiles in thickness, if they're fairly close and your floor is fairly flat using a large marble trowel (U-toothed) with a thinset made for large tile or stone you'll be ok.

Also, before you attempt such a tight joint, randomly check some of the tiles for square. If they wander you'll be squaring them up on a saw and re-chamfering them.

hope this helps,
Mark

Trask
07-20-2006, 12:28 AM
Coder,

who's the manf. recomending no grout? What type of tile is it,where'd you buy it ?

Madison Mike
07-20-2006, 08:31 AM
Yo Code, are you the dude with the wood plank tlie?? It's easier for us to follow up if you keep all your posts about the same project on the samre thread, FYI. About your current prob: I'm not sure you need a mud bed for that install, but I want to know who recommended the mud bed and no grout. Was it a tile installer, the manufacturer, a sales guy at the tile shop where you got the tile???? No grout sounds kinda hinky to me. Also, I'd contact the manufacturer of the tile for clarification on the mud bed thing.
I haven't installed much tile like that, but I'd suspect that since it's long and skinny you'd have to make sure the floor is solid.

From your other thread I got that you want to use Ditra and that's a great idea. But you can't assume that just because "the builder knows" that you might want tile in there that they're going to build it to our specs for tile. If you were going to put in natural stone your floor would have to be twice as stiff as for ceramic. Do you think they'd have thrown in that extra layer of underylayment without having been told by someone? Try reposting the specs on your floor structure in this thread, and give us an idea how long the spans are on those TGI's. Hopefully we can get an engineer in here to tell you for sure how your floor stacks up. I can tell you though, if I was putting that tile in I'd throw another layer of 1/2" ply down before installing the Ditra, but let's let the big dogs chime in a bit.


Mike
Madison, WI

CoderMan1
07-20-2006, 09:41 AM
Mike,

Thanks for the reply. Here are the specs I got from the builder:

Joist Material Engineered I Beam
Joist Height 12"-14" per plan and room
Joist Width 2 1/4"
Joist Spacing Max 19.2" O.C.
Joist Length Varies per plan

In regards to who gave me this install information: It was the sales manager for the local office.

So given the manufacturer specs, what kind of install do you guys think I will be ok with? Can I do a 1/8" grout line with backerboard only? Can I do Ditra right on top of the plywood subfloor? Or do I need another layer of plywood?


Thanks again,
Craig

Madison Mike
07-20-2006, 12:05 PM
Craig - The engineers are going to need more information on those engineered joists, like manufacturer, and the numbers printed across the side of the joist. I think it's some kind of secret code so we "normal" people can't figger out what they're talking about :D Also, they're going to need lengths for the spans of the joists. They might be able to figure the longest span that would be OK, but it sounds like more math to me.

The manager of the local sales office that told you to go woth the mud bed install: is the the manager of the tile shop where you went or is he the head rep. for the manufacturer of the tile that you want? Can you contact the manufacturer directly via phone or website to get install recommendations??

Still need more info before we give you a yea or nay on the install. Can you tell us the maufacturer and style of the tile??

Mike
Madison, WI

Mike2
07-20-2006, 12:15 PM
Good catch Mike.

I'm going to merge these two threads together Craig because all the background info. in the first one definitely applies and need to be preserved.

:)

CoderMan1
07-20-2006, 05:00 PM
Mike,

Can you give me a list of all the question I should ask my builder? Id hate to have to keep running back with new questions for them and get them all at once.

CoderMan1
09-05-2006, 06:12 PM
Ive got about 1200 sqft of tile to install in the first floor of the house. Ive been told several different things about how to start, start from the middle and work out, or start from the front of the house and move back. The latter so you have less cuts im guess, the former to have even cuts around the room.

We will be installing the tile in a staggered pattern (meaning not square) since the tiles are rectangular in shape. 9" x 26"

What is the preferred method of setting up to install tile like this?

Here are some pics of the prep work as well:

http://www.turbozilla.com/coderman/greatroomfloor.JPG

jay f
09-05-2006, 06:44 PM
Normally, the best layout is the one that looks best. If this were my install, I would layout a few rows to see how it would look, from both directions, avoiding as many skinnies in the main viewing areas as possible. One general rule is to have full tile in the main entrance to the room, if this will be pleasing to the eye. Just remember, with a brick set pattern, the pattern will only be seen from one direction, be it north-south or east-west, from the opposite, it will be straight lines.

Scooter
09-05-2006, 07:04 PM
I start with finding which walls are out of square.

I then find two walls which are more or less parallel and find the middle. Snap a line.

I then biscect that line and at a 90 go to the other walls. Now you have dead center and perfect 90.

Now, go buy a Construction Master V. It is about $80. It measures in fractions.

I then take one of the lines, usually left to right, and deduct an appropriate expansion joint, usually a quarter or half per side and come up with a width. Then measure the width of one tile and one grout line, and divide that line width by the width of the tile and the single grout line. That will tell me how many tiles across I will have and what is left will be the skinnies.

Do the same for the front and back.

You can trim a course of tile or two to increase the size of the skinnies so they become less noticeable.

Once you have that in place, figure out a wall to hide the out of square skinnies which is usually as far away from the front of the room as possible. Against a wall which will have cabinets or furniture.

I don't lay out physical tile anymore. Its way too time consuming, and my knees can't stand it anymore. I use my calculator.

Rd Tile
09-05-2006, 07:30 PM
Your not mixing all that thiset by hand, are you? :eek:

CoderMan1
09-06-2006, 06:54 PM
That was probly just a little that she needed for going over the tape, but we use a drill mostly.

CoderMan1
09-13-2006, 11:58 AM
Ive been told that a wetsaw can cut large tiles (26") by propping the tile up off the side of the wetsaw, but I have also been told that the vibrations from the saw and the tile against the frame of the wetsaw would crack the tiles, which is true?

FYI, most tile cutters ive seen at Home Depot are for 18" tiles max.

Thanks
Craig

JTG
09-13-2006, 12:02 PM
Craig
Both
Most here who have cut a bunch of tile and know their saw well would be able to cut one or two pices and be ok with it. But that being said with so large of tile every time one broke while cutting that is a lot of tile wasted.
These a huge tile. Or are you cutting on the diagonal? Call around to tile stores and ask if they have saws to rent. I know here when we have BIG tile I have a place that I can rent an overhead rail saw.
Good Luck
JTG

Kenlex
09-14-2006, 07:49 PM
Craig, you might want to stay away from tile saws at Home Depot. See my recent experience here. (http://johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=40725&highlight=tile+saw+horror)

CoderMan1
09-17-2006, 06:59 PM
Well we have FINALLY received our tile and have begun the install. Here are some pictures of the first and second days work:

Day one, tile arrives (with a pallet shattered). We send in the hound to make sure its not rigged to explode. Which would not suprise us after all we have been through with ordering this tile.

http://www.turbozilla.com/coderman/floor/DSCF3480.JPG

And we lay down the tile with no thinset to see how it will look:

http://www.turbozilla.com/coderman/floor/DSCF3487.JPG

The neighbor happened to have a rail saw big enough to cut 26" long tile. What are the odds?

http://www.turbozilla.com/coderman/floor/DSCF3494.JPG

Day two, laying the tile. Not bad for 2 people and 8 hours of work eh?

http://www.turbozilla.com/coderman/floor/DSCF3511.JPG

I will post more pictures tomorrow as we progress. Only 800 more sqft to go!

muskymike
09-17-2006, 07:38 PM
Looks good! Keep up the good wurk! :tup1:

CoderMan1
09-17-2006, 08:21 PM
Here is a picture of how we cut around the fire place gas valve (a pro would probly have done it in 1 tile, but we have no nippers just a saw:

http://www.turbozilla.com/coderman/floor/DSCF3515.JPG

And a side angle view of the pattern we used to install it:

http://www.turbozilla.com/coderman/floor/DSCF3517.JPG

cx
09-17-2006, 08:33 PM
I've combined all your threads I could find on this project, Craig. Please bookmark this thread so you can find it again and keep all your questions here so everyone can see the history who might want to help with your questions.

You could have made that cut for the pipe quite simply with just your tile saw. If it's gonna show, you might want to practice a bit and then notch out a single tile there. If you have several of those pipes, you might wanna invest in an inexpensive (relatively) diamond hole saw.

Nice lookin' helper. :)

My opinion; worth price charged.

dcousins
09-17-2006, 11:28 PM
okay, i just finished grouting my hallway and powder room and i am feeling a very exhausted and this post sure doesn't help! what a big task this is. i am not envious. it really is a pretty tile, but laying hardwood is sooo much easier than laying tile. kind of late to ask, but did you consider hardwood?

CoderMan1
09-18-2006, 07:59 PM
http://www.turbozilla.com/coderman/floor/DSCF3531.JPG

http://www.turbozilla.com/coderman/floor/DSCF3533.JPG

cx
09-18-2006, 08:06 PM
Now that I see where is that gassa pipe, Craig, I'd really recommend you re-do that cut or get you a hole saw or take the tile to the tile store and have them drill it for you. That's a really obvious location and you're gonna hate yourself later. If the valve has a pretty large escutcheon, you can get by with the notch cut OK, but you really wanna get rid of that extra zig-zag. I'm presuming that woulda been a full tile there.

You're puttin' too much work into that floor to have an eye-catcher right there by the hearth.

My opinion; worth price charged.

dcousins
09-18-2006, 08:52 PM
the comment about not having a tile nipper has bothered me all day (i need to get a life). the tile costs $7.14 per square foot for 1400 square feet and what does a nipper cost?

CoderMan1
09-21-2006, 06:07 PM
http://www.turbozilla.com/coderman/floor/DSCF3546.JPG

http://www.turbozilla.com/coderman/floor/DSCF3548.JPG

http://www.turbozilla.com/coderman/floor/DSCF3550.JPG

CoderMan1
09-23-2006, 07:31 PM
Weve finished just about everything in the biggest room and have got half the foyer and half the office done. 1 more major room to go before we have to stop and wait for our new kitchen!

http://turbozilla.com/coderman/floor/DSCF3565.JPG
http://turbozilla.com/coderman/floor/DSCF3567.JPG

CoderMan1
10-12-2006, 08:29 AM
Can I add more grout on top of the bad areas? Or am I screwed?

Mike2
10-12-2006, 09:09 AM
A little more information would be helpful.

First of all, are you talking about the floor in your other thread here? http://johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showpost.php?p=442789&postcount=32

How wide spread is the problem, just a few spots or two? Sanded/unsanded? Grout Color? Spacing? etc.

Generally speaking, you risk bond failure by applying a thin layer of grout over another. Depending upon your answers to the questions above, a spot application of grout colorant to the problem areas might be a good approach.

cx
10-12-2006, 09:41 AM
What Mike said.

Is this on your floor that you have a thread on, Craig?

Please put your first name in a signature line for us. Go to the UserCP button and the Edit Signature line to do that. :)

CoderMan1
10-12-2006, 01:15 PM
Yes its for the floor I have a thread on. There are a couple of joints that have this white "haze" over the grout. Im not sure if its the thinset or because we started using the sponge too early.

Spacing is 1/8" and we are using sanded grout with a color thats very close to the color of the tile, its called Tobacco brown

Thanks
Craig

cx
10-12-2006, 01:23 PM
How 'bout you pewt up a picher of the offending area and see if some of the big-time tile guys can give you a better assessment.

Mike2
10-12-2006, 01:44 PM
Try some vinegar and water, let dwell for 5 - 10 minutes, scrub lightly. I'm guessing it's grout scum/latex migration from too much water, either during cleanup or in the mix itself. ;)

Who merged the threads? Kelly, that you? Forgetting to mention that?

:bang: Geeze it's tough getting good help these days.