Really noveice tiler! [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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09-13-2001, 07:29 AM
Hi Guys,
Emailed John for help and he advised this board...Here goes...going to attempt to tile my porch, pretty small area maybe 6' x 6'. My painter had a go and obviously thought that rocking tiles (cement base is very uneven) looked lovely....up it came.
I'm going to have a go, so my really novice question is, how do I go about,and what do I use, to get the base level, before laying the tile??
Please help this poor "trying to be handy" girl....

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Bud Cline
09-13-2001, 07:39 AM
When you say porch, are you talking inside or outside, sheltered or exposed to the elements, is it flat or sloped, 6 X 6 what, wood, concrete? We need a place to begin and the word "porch" is a little brief.

Is "painter" synonymous with "boyfriend"?

09-13-2001, 07:47 AM
Porch is outside (front door entrance)...base is cement....kind of sheltered, if it rained at a good "slope" it could get wet....sloped? well if you get past the "hills" of uneven concrete, I beleive it has a slight slope away for's about 6 foot by 6 foot....and am I aiming too high??????? :-}}
Painter not boyfriend, hubby wouldn't be too happy if he did it! And before you ask, yes hubby is manually stunted too!

Bud Cline
09-13-2001, 08:21 AM
Now we're gettin' somewhere. Sorry Hubby about the boyfriend question, one never knows.

The "hills of uneven concrete" are from what? Is this remnants of a previous tile effort or is this decayed/weathered concrete.

I would think the slope precludes the ability to use a self levelling compound so we'll move away from that idea.

09-13-2001, 08:50 AM
The hills are from previous repair work (done by Cowboys!) after repair of foundations. They covered up the pile repair and remaining "porch" area with cement and didn't level it. I may be slightly exagerating the "hills", they don't notice too much until you lay the tile and see where the hills are.....
The cement is not in too bad a shape, not too weathered or decayed,(work was done 9 years ago, and it is quite sheltered there),so there are no cracks etc just bumps!
What do you think??

Bud Cline
09-13-2001, 02:52 PM
I think it can easily be repaired but to do so you will be capping what's there. You need to understand that exposure to the elements of seasonal changes will be somewhat risky. If the area receives moisture (and you said it does) and is subject to freeze thaw conditions (and it is) then you are running a small risk. You're cost due to the size of the area will be small actually as tile work goes so if your willing to spend the money knowing the risks then lets go for it. It can be repaired and you can have a great looking job. Life expectancy is unknown however.

John Bridge
09-13-2001, 03:55 PM
Okay, I would first of all go in with something to fill up the low spots between the "hills" and make the thing reasonably flat. Ideally, there will be about a one-inch pitch/slope from the doorway down to the front edge of the porch.

I would use multi-purpose (modified) thin set as my filler, even though it's difficult to work and even though somebody from the TCA will probably tell me I'm building it too thick. I've done it a lot, and it works.

You can used a board about five feet long as a "straightedge" to check the amound of fill you'll need. You'll also use it to rake off the excess thin set as you flatten your floor.

First, check the floor with the straightedge and tell us about how much "daylight" you see under the board in the low spots.