kitchen floor [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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01-16-2003, 09:19 PM
I'm helping a friend tile a kitchen floor (seems like I always end up helping a friend), and I'm confused on the thinset. He bought grey Master Blend (made by Custom) at HD. The sack says it's ideal for floors. The tile will be installed over CBU. But in doing a search it seems like I find some that say this gray Master Blend is okay (white probably better), but a modified thinset is needed and the gray MasterBlend is not modified. Is this right? Tile is basic 12", ceramic.

Also, do I need to wet the CBU before applying thinset? It looks like it will suck moisture up. Or do you mix the thinset a little thinner?

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01-16-2003, 09:32 PM
I would return the Masterblend to your local HD and pickup some Versabond ( Latex modified thinset)

As for the CBU, I don mix the thinset a little wet AND I dampen the CBU with a sponge prior to laying the thinset.

The CBU will pull the mositure out of the CBU..


John Bridge
01-17-2003, 03:53 AM
Sorry, I forgot your first name, Miller. :)

Master blend will work for a relatively soft bodied tile. If you are using something really hard and dense (as you should be in a kitchen), you'll need the modified as Jason suggests. I like Versa Bond and use a lot of it.

01-17-2003, 06:54 AM
thanks for the input guys. I will seek out the Versabond...

Sorry for not signing my name....was in a hurry last night


01-17-2003, 07:24 AM
If you have trouble finding versabond, Look for mapei ultraflex2
Laticrete also has an excellant Modified thinset.
Have fun!! :)

John Bridge
01-17-2003, 11:52 AM

You can create a signature in your profile that will appear each time you post. Do that and then check the "show signature" block at the bottom of the reply form next time you post. ;)

02-02-2003, 07:46 PM
I've got a question for you pros. This kitchen floor I mentioned here - well I just got finished helping my buddy with it yesterday. I know it's difficult to answer without seeing it, but do you have an idea as to what you would have charged and especially how long would you spend on it?

It is about 165 sq ft (of tile), has three doorways, has a breakfast area with a small cabinet on one wall, the main cabinents are in a "U" shape, has another set of cabinents on wall at open-end of "U" where fridge goes. 12x12 tiles arranged in a staggered (running bond-like pattern). He had already installed CBU.

Seems like there were a lot of cuts along wall, doors, and those darn cabinents. The reason I'm asking is that we worked on this part time between regular job. I'd hate to know how many hours, but it seemed like it took forever !!! I've heard numbers of like $7.00 per sq ft labor only - not including CBU.

Would you guys finish this in an 8 hr day?

02-02-2003, 07:54 PM
You can also add a liquid latex to Master Blend and and up with a thin set better then the polymeric blends mentioned.(COSTLY)% latex higher, stronger.more flexable

John Bridge
02-03-2003, 05:34 PM
Nah, just step up to VersaBond if you need a modified. Good stuff. ;)


Rates for tile installation vary by locale. If I were to do a backer board job here, I'd probably get around $6, but I only do custom work. The guys who are chasing after the retailers are probably only getting $4.

On new work, I do mud floors for $6 to $7.

02-03-2003, 05:57 PM
Brian, Up here the job would go like this:
!st day.Clean floor,Lay CBU,Grid Floor,Lay tile.(7.5-8 hours total for 2 guys)
2nd day-grout floor and finish caulk.2 guys 3 hours tops(this includes alot of standing around waiting for drying)
CBU work around 180.00
Tilework around 600.00 Total 780.00
22 total man hours.

So if you are doing it evenings it would take like forever :D

02-04-2003, 07:23 AM
John, Todd
I really appreciate your input. Todd - 22 manhours !!! Wow, I bet we have double that . At least it looks really good. But I better not quit my day job.

John's book just came in the mail last night, too. I like the instructions on standing around. Wish I could claim a lot of time working that aspect on this kitchen project. We seemed to work like dogs - just very slow, old dogs.

BTW - John, great book. I've read a couple of chapters and thumbed thru a lot. It's great to get a real how-to book. Sure beats those worthless Ortho published books. I've the the other guy's as well, but I think yours is gonna be more helpful.

John Bridge
02-04-2003, 07:54 PM
Obviously, you are a well read person, Brian. :)

Thank you for the compliment.