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08-27-2001, 05:39 PM
This is my first attempt at laying ceramic floor tile. I'm getting ready to lay 12" ceramic tile in my 8x10 sunroom. I have the surface prepared and the tile purchased but am unsure about how to arrange the tile. I've narrowed the layout down to two options, which you can view at http://www.oberlebotanical.com/test/tile.html
I would really appreciate your input on this (option #1 ir #2, or....have a better idea?)

Unnecessary background information: The original floor was 5/8" particle board, on which the previous owners had safety orange-colored shag carpeting (blech) which I promply tore out. I was concerned about the floor flexing and the particle board swelling so I screwed down a layer of 3/8" exterior plywood on top, perpendicular to the particle board sheets. That really helped make the floor rigid, but then a buddy talked me into adding "WonderBoard", 1/4" fiberglass-reinforced concrete sheets. I layed the WonderBoard on thin-set mortar (1/4" tile notches) and screwed it down (perpendicular again). I filled the joints between the WonderBoard with thinset, sanded the joints smooth and level, then taped each joint with meshed fiberglass tape. The floor is pretty darn solid now and I think I'm ready to lay tile (many man-hours and $$ later).

I cut an oak threshold (1/2" thick, 5-1/2" wide) to go up against the sliding glass patio doors. I will secure it first (before the tile) on a bed of thin set mortar and secure it with 2" #12 brass screws (countersunk). Before I attach the threshold I'll finish it with light colored shellac and then a coat of clear satin polyurethane.

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Rob Z
08-27-2001, 06:21 PM
Hi Matt

I prefer option one, since it doesn't leave less-than-half tiles in the layout.


08-27-2001, 07:02 PM
I agree with Rob, option #1 looks more balanced, at least on paper.

Bud Cline
08-27-2001, 09:01 PM
Option #1 for the same reasons.

08-27-2001, 09:55 PM
I would love to start a good arguement....but they're right Matt.

Rob Z
08-27-2001, 10:34 PM

You win an official autographed John Bridge coffee mug for being the first participant to post a question that resulted in NO ARGUMENTS!!

John will be by shortly to give you details of how to get your stylish mug....


John Bridge
08-28-2001, 05:40 AM
How do you know I'm not gonna argue just for the hell of it?


Rob is in charge of sending out (and financing) all our fabulous premiums. Throw in a six-pack, too, will ya Rob?

08-28-2001, 08:05 AM
I don't know much about tile, but I do know a little about wood, so I want to put this question out to you guys: Is it a good idea to thinset the threshold in place as well as screwing it down? Is this commonly done on wooden thresholds? Wood needs to be allowed to move a little. Will thinset allow for this movement? I know that thinsetting it will make it harder to replace when it eventually wears.
Why not predrill the threshold and wonderboard and tack it down with some finishing nails. Countersink the heads, fill the holes with one of those putty sticks and you're good to go.
Matt, if you go with the brass screws for asthetic reasons, I would suggest that you first run some steel screws of the same size in first to kind of "thread" the substrate. Then take them out and put in the brass screws. Brass is kind of soft so this will make it easier to drive the brass screws in without messing up the heads. A little wax or soap on the threads can't hurt either.
So what is it guys - thinset or no thinset? I know it's a minor thing, but since nobody wants to argue about the tile layout, I figure I gotta try to stir things up somehow (as well as learn something) :D

Bud Cline
08-28-2001, 08:45 AM
No thinset.

Screws alone should work fine.

If using finish nails then also use construction adhesive or silicone.

Actually only the adhesive should work but the piece should then also be weighted for a few days.

Rob Z
08-28-2001, 09:24 PM
I usually use just construction adhesive for wood thresholds.

08-28-2001, 10:37 PM
Thanks for the great advice on tile layout, not laying the threshold on thinset and being careful with brass screws. I'm sorry I didn't create any controversy, but maybe this will help: I think the tile layout option #2 is better. Here are two reasons:

1. Aesthetic: The first tiles you SEE as you enter the sunroom would be full, not cut. Aren't you suppose to arrange things so partial tiles are at less-seen sides of a room....not right at the entrance?

2. Strength: The first tiles you STEP ON, as you enter the sunroom (and the ones you would step on most often) would be full. Even with proper thin-setting, wouldn't full tiles tend to hold up better under constant traffic?


08-29-2001, 11:39 AM
O.K. Matt, I got "rained out" today so I've got some time on my hands. In a "square" room installation like the one you show, "balanced cuts", preferably nothing less than 1/2 of a full tile, is generally most asthetically pleasing.

Option #2 has a larger number of smaller cuts. However depending on furniture arrangements and other "unseens", it may represent a better option....for you.

A "cut" tile properly set/grouted isn't going to fail any easier than a full tile at the same location. I've got a feeling (I'm somewhat psychic and/or psychotic) your "yanking our collective chains". But, its too early (at least for me) to start drinking beer so you "sucked" me back into this one.

John Bridge
08-29-2001, 11:49 AM
Yeah, Matt, you tryin' to start trouble around here? It's easy to do. I'm about 200 miles from LD, and I got sort of rained out, too. "Sort of" meaning it started to rain so I quit.

Everything's a judgment call in layout work. There are a few basic rules, i.e., balancing, centering, square and straight lines, but that's it. Either way, your sun room will look fine. You'll have cuts that are about half a tile.

08-29-2001, 12:10 PM
option 1 is ok but i like option 3... soldier coarse perimeter field on 45 degrees full and half at soldier!

09-10-2001, 04:56 PM
Ok, you-all convinced me. Option 1 does look better. Thanks again for all your help!