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Motordoctor 03-17-2015 09:03 AM

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Since the floor is on hold I'm working on the rest of the kitchen. Took out a wall and now there's holes to be filled. The walls are plaster over metal lath over some other type of drywall. What should I fill the holes with? Drywall? CBU? Should I just fill the holes with something solid and then drywall mud/tape it shut? I could probably even finish it off with plaster of Paris or some plaster/stucco mix. Any suggestions? Thanks.

cpad007 03-17-2015 10:27 AM

Stack some good old plain old white boring run-of-the-mill cheap-o drywall in there. You may need to play around a bit with getting things close to flush but I'd leave the surrounding wall just a ~tad~ proud to aid in mudding things flush come to finish time.

Motordoctor 03-17-2015 04:43 PM


Originally Posted by cpad007
Stack some good old plain old white boring run-of-the-mill cheap-o drywall in there. You may need to play around a bit with getting things close to flush but I'd leave the surrounding wall just a ~tad~ proud to aid in mudding things flush come to finish time.

So should I use your basic drywall mud over that or plaster of Paris/plaster-stucco mix? Got a nice 25lb bag of the plaster of Paris stuff, I've heard it's a bitch trying to get it on the wall fast enough before it sets up though. That plaster stuff that's on the wall is some tough stuff. I hit it with my belt sander with 36grit and it probably didn't take off .010" in a minute of grinding. There's a big run in the plaster over a window that I need to grind down to put some trim around it, probably have to take a disc grinder with a masonry wheel on it.

cpad007 03-18-2015 09:14 AM


Your call on mud vs. plaster. I have ZERO experience with plaster but I've been known to sling some mud here 'n there and make it look okay. I don't use the fast set stuff because that would be a nightmare... I need time to overwork my mud and make it worse and worse as I keep trying to fix it! :crazy:

Motordoctor 03-18-2015 05:52 PM


Originally Posted by cpad007
I need time to overwork my mud and make it worse and worse as I keep trying to fix it!

I think we went to the same school of muddin'. Almost perfect, maybe just one more little lick, nope now that's worse, better sling some more mud at it and get it perfect. Just one spot, just a little touch up, oops, now it has another blemish, better toss some more mud and try again. Repeat as necessary. How to use 10lbs of mud on one wall :jack: The real drywall guys make me look like a one armed left handed drunk monkey. If I was trying to make a living doing that I would starve. Kind of like custom painting. I can do it but takes me forever.

Houston Remodeler 03-18-2015 05:54 PM

Which is why we hire the pro's to tape and float on bigger projects.

cpad007 03-18-2015 06:04 PM

You got it, Paul! Thankfully I have a good buddy who finishes all my drywall for me at a reasonable cost.

Houston Remodeler 03-18-2015 06:11 PM

Some days it pays to live a 5 hour drive from Mexico.

Just got a bid from a subcontractor - to hang, tape and float level 5 finish (wallpaper smooth) for two 800 sf new construction apartments for $1,000 We supply the materials. Hang one day float the next.

We could do the work in house, but not nearly as fast or as well. The days we save on our work schedule more than make up the $1,000 labor cost.

Motordoctor 03-18-2015 06:58 PM

When I lived in SoCal, the land of specialists, when it came to machine work, wheel lacing, etc. It was cheaper to just have one of the local machinists bore cylinders and press cranks. They were cheaper/faster/picked up and got it back sooner. Same with wheel lacing, they would do it for us less than 1/2 what I would charge. Made more business sense to just spin wrenches and let the specialists do their thing.

Funny thing about Mexicans, they sure get around. When I lived in SoCal, of course there was lots of them since Mexico was only about 80 miles south. What surprised me was how many Mexicans there are in NYC. It's a long way to Mexico from here.

Motordoctor 03-26-2015 05:07 PM

3 Attachment(s)
So the construction guys have been busy working on taking out the wall. I told them to leave the floor alone, I will take care of it. In the wall they're removing, there are 4 furnace ducts. Two were pointed into the living room, one was for the kitchen and the final one went upstairs to a bedroom. So with the wall gone, except for one little section that still has one of the ducts in it, the ductwork is cut off at floor level. Getting duct work upstairs would be a real pain so I figured on just putting an electric baseboard heater up there. Easier to fish a 220 line compared to tearing out walls and running ductwork for one room.

So on to the questions: I would like to keep the one duct and make it a floor register. When the wall goes, there will be a nice hole in the floor down to the subfloor. Have two choices on that. Either put down plywood/CBU and tile it or make/find some sort of wood~tile interface strip about 8 inches wide.
If I go with the tile and want to keep a register, I will have to cut a hole in the tile. Is it possible to cut a "perfect" hole in a ceramic tile? I would like to keep the register outlet as low a profile as possible so it's not a trip hazard.
All the ducts have a diverter plate in them. To block them off, any reason I couldn't just shut the diverter valve and run a bead of caulking around the plate to block it off completely?

Motordoctor 03-27-2015 05:12 PM

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It's like the never ending story. Now "they' have decided that tiling the hallway into the bedrooms from the kitchen would be nice. So time to rip up some more floor and put down the plywood/CBU. At least I'm getting faster at it :D

Motordoctor 03-29-2015 07:59 AM

So the drywall guy is supposed to finish it off today so I need to get cracking on the tile job. The floor is dirty now, any reason I can't just mop it with clean water after I sweep it and vacuum?

Houston Remodeler 03-29-2015 08:25 AM

Vaccuum the living daylights out of it with a fuzzy attachment to get the mechanical abrasion, then perhaps a damp sponging to see if you get any more up.

Motordoctor 03-30-2015 06:54 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Tile layout advice. Have to tile across a floor furnace vent. Either I can center one tile over the vent which will leave me with a 6" wide tile against the wall or lay the tiles offset a half a tile (9") from the room centerline which will require cutting two tiles to expose the vent. 18x18 tiles and the vent will be 4x14.

One other question? I got a 4" Makita diamond cutting blade for the angle grinder. When cutting ceramic tile for the vent hole, better to do it dry or have somebody spraying some water on it while I hack it out.


Houston Remodeler 03-30-2015 07:03 PM


You do realize you're asking a bunch of OCD perfectionist craftspeople who enjoy a good challenge, right ? :foilhat:

Have you seen this thread ?

2 tiles will be easier to create than 1 tile, but 1 tile will look much nicer.

Motordoctor 03-30-2015 07:50 PM

If the OCD kicks in too much I just have to think this: It's been three months and I still haven't laid a single tile down. Now work is picking up and it's on the back burner. I can only work on it on my off days. The construction guys were supposed to finish it (the wall) on Sunday but of course they didn't show. Shot that whole day because I didn't want to be in their way. When the wife finally got in touch with them, as usual, the excuse river was flowing. I understand why they didn't show but it would have been nice for them to call and say they couldn't make it. After the wife got done chewing them a new anal orifice I guess I'm finishing the wall. If I had any brains I would have hired this one out but at the time I had more time than money.

Motordoctor 03-31-2015 02:59 PM

So now it's time to rip up the floor in the hallway and add more tile. The subfloor is the diagonal planks style. Should I take it down to the joists and replace it with two layers of plywood? The total height needs to be 1.5" with the CBU to match the kitchen. If I take it to the joists, I'm thinking 3/4" ply subfloor with 1/2" underlayment with the CBU on top of that. That particular section of floor is squeaky/creaky so this will give me a chance to straighten that out. Either that or just screw the existing subfloor down and put the plywood/CBU on top of that. It's a weird hallway, about 10 ft long with 5 doorways (2 bedroom/closet/bathroom/basement) as well as the entrance to the kitchen/living room. Would a 3/4" plank laid diagonally to the joists be as good as the plywood? With all the door entrances, going to be a little tricky measuring/cutting to fit. Will look like the thread with the tricky cuts in it, except in wood.

Lakee911 03-31-2015 03:10 PM


Originally Posted by Motordoctor (Post 1389251)
The construction guys were supposed to finish it (the wall) on Sunday but of course they didn't show.

No one likes this comment, especially cx (sorry!)... I say that getting a contractor to simply show up is half the battle! I should go into the business and just show up on time--doing work is optional. :D

Motordoctor 04-01-2015 04:34 PM

Badmouthing contractors, especially on a site run by them isn't a good idea. Like calling a cop a #$%$%^ while he's holding your license. :bonk: I wasn't badmouthing contractors, just the idiots my wife hired. They aren't even licensed. My issue was them not calling to say they weren't coming. That's common courtesy. If I promise something out and can't deliver, I call the customer and let them know. Sometimes they're understanding, sometimes they don't like it and throw a tantrum. Either way, I did what I could do. Things happen that slow you down and you can't recover so somebody is going to lose. That's just life in general. :zztop:

cx 04-01-2015 04:51 PM

CX had no problem with that comment at all, Jason.

CX gets very short tempered when his subs don't show up for work when scheduled and don't bother to call to say they won't. It's a very valid, and a an all too common, complaint and Dan made his in quite acceptable terms.

I'm all in favor of being reminded that contractors of any type should display decent manners, too. :)

Motordoctor 04-02-2015 05:23 PM

I now have a hallway that has to come down to the joists and be built back up. Need a final height of 1.5" so I could do that a couple of ways. In the kitchen it's 3/4" planks with 1/2" plywood and CBU on that. For the hallway, I could go with 2 5/8" sheets and the CBU or one 3/4" and one 1/2" plywood with the CBU. Any advantage either way?

Since we're going into month 4 on this renovation project, I have an odd question.
Is there a problem if I wanted to at least put down about 5 rows of tiles in the kitchen. I'm getting antsy and want to get cracking on this job. I figure if I can put all the full tiles down, that will give me a better idea of how the hallway will go. I can cover them with Masonite after the mortar sets so that will keep the debris out of the grout joints. Thanks in advance.:yo:

cx 04-02-2015 06:25 PM

1. I would always opt for the nominal 3/4" plywood as my first layer, but the two layers of 5/8ths" would also be acceptable.

2. I wouldn't recommend that. Ungrouted floor tile installations without grout are still more vulnerable than grouted and cured floors.

When protecting finished hard-surface floors in construction areas I like to first cover them with builders' paper and then with Masonite with the seams of the Masonite all well taped.

You should be able to determine your layout by dry laying some of your tiles to figger out what pattern Mrs. Dan wants and then mark the layout on the subfloor in whatever rooms and hallways are to be tiled. Fully bonding some of the tiles in one area shouldn't really make any difference in your creating a final layout.

But you can do all that if you wanna on accounta it's your house and your tile, eh? :)

My opinion; worth price charged.

Motordoctor 04-10-2015 05:25 PM

3 Attachment(s)
I'm planning on ripping up the subfloor down to the joists. Have one high plank where two joists overlap so I'm either going to shim up the low ones or shave down the high one. The question is this: Since I'm putting down 3/4" B-C exterior plywood as the subfloor, probably going to put some blocking between the joists to stiffen it up a little. For blocking material, are 2x4s OK or should I get 2x8s (same as the joists. Should the blocking be laid @ 90 degrees to joist or would 45 be OK? Reason is more support under the ply on a 45. The subfloor is going to be 4 pieces of 2'x5' ply, easier to get it in that way because of all the special cutouts to fit around the door openings. Thanks

Kman 04-10-2015 05:38 PM

I doubt blocking is going to help you much. It doesn't hurt, but may not help at all. The only blocking you should need would be at the perimeter of the room where the plywood is not supported.

Motordoctor 04-10-2015 05:49 PM

The ends of the plywood won't fall on a joist so it's there to support the ends. Seems like a good idea to me but I only know enough to be dangerous :)

Kman 04-10-2015 05:55 PM

If your joists are 16" on center, you can get by with 2x4's. I usually splurge and get 2x6's to give me something bigger to drive the screws into, but it's really just for convenience.

Motordoctor 04-13-2015 07:41 AM

Since I added the hallway now to the kitchen floor project, I have another question. Is there an issue using Ditra in the hallway and the CBU in the kitchen? Assuming roughly the same heights? Putting the Ditra down in that hallway would be much easier than trying to cut CBU to fit 5 doorways. The stack will be 3/4" ply subfloor with 1/2" underlayment with the Ditra on top. That should match up with the kitchen which has 3/4" planks, with 1/2" underlayment and 1/4" CBU. Sound reasonable? The length of the run from the kitchen down the hallway would be 20ft. Thanks.

cx 04-13-2015 09:11 AM

There is no reason not to change substrates, Dan. Can't comment on matching heights. Can't see it from here, eh? :)

Motordoctor 04-13-2015 09:39 AM

Excellent. That should make things a little easier. Now I just have to figure out how to get the subfloor in place. The kitchen was easy, this hallway is going to take some time to fit two layers of ply. I bought one of those oscillating tools to cut out the old subfloor under the door casings since I couldn't get a saw in there. It's a HF special for $29. The blades that came with it of course were junk so I had to buy some decent ones. The couple of cuts I got from the supplied blades was impressive until the teeth wore off :) Like a hot knife through butter. At least on the door jambs.

The tile layout will have about three tiles with 75% on CBU and 25% on the Ditra. Should I make that interface a "soft joint" so the Ditra side is free to move relative to the CBU? Work is kicking my behind right now, the shop is packed with motorcycles. Wanted to get this project done before it started but didn't happen. The wife was the joker in the deck having that wall removed. The next thing is going to be the bathroom floor. Since the hacks put the tile down on the plank subfloor, it's going to be about an inch lower than the hallway. It just keeps getting better ;)

Tried uploading a picture but it won't let me. Might still be some issues on the server.

Motordoctor 04-13-2015 09:30 PM

When gluing and screwing the subfloor to the joists, would the preferred glue be PL400 Loctite or Titebond wood glue? Thanks.

HomeDepotAssociate 04-13-2015 11:43 PM

Earlier on you guys suggested dan use customblend thinset under CBU. When you're doing that, you skip the admix, correct? Just water and thin set?

Also, Dan, out of curiousity what tile did you guys get from HD? :D

cx 04-14-2015 05:49 AM

That would be correct, Chate'. Perhaps the only application for which we'd generally recommend the use of Custom Blend at all.

My opinion; worth price charged.

Motordoctor 04-14-2015 06:20 PM

The tile I'm using is this one

The wife and I were walking through HD and saw it on display for cheap. The kitchen floor was terrible and since we want to sell this place in a year or so seemed like a good idea. The tile was about $130 for enough to do 140sq ft. Getting the floor ready for that cost about ten times that and I still haven't laid a single tile on the floor. Since I'm adding the hallway I need to get another three cases of it since the hallway is about 40 sq ft.
Reminds me of another saying on a different forum. The most expensive car you will ever own is a free or cheap Mercedes Benz. Have one of those parked in the driveway and they aren't kidding.

Motordoctor 04-20-2015 06:36 PM

Hey, is Masonite a good material for shimming some plywood on a low joist? I have it in 1/8", could cut it into strips and glue it down. It's a small area, about 2 ft in length on a 2x8 joist. Thanks

HomeDepotAssociate 04-21-2015 10:35 AM

that's funny, im sitting right across from that tile as I type this! Also, thank you CX. I will make sure to pass that along to customers in the future. As it stands, I don't recommend the custom blend for anything.

cx 04-21-2015 12:16 PM

Dan, I'm generally opposed to trying to shim joist tops for flattening or leveling of subflooring. Very difficult to eliminate unwanted gaps at the ends of the shims and potential fastening problems.

Masonite would not be my first choice of materials if I did wanna do that, but in an area where it would be perpetually dry it might work OK if properly set in place with good construction adhesive.

My opinion; worth price charged.

Motordoctor 04-21-2015 08:52 PM

Would it be better to sister the joist with a 2x4 to take up the low area instead of the shimming? I've been putting in a lot of blocking to make up for the subfloor ends. All this getting off the floor is killing me, I don't mind crawling around on the floor but the constant up and down is murder. You tile guys are studs!

cx 04-21-2015 09:21 PM

That would be my preferred repair/flattening/leveling method, Dan.

I never use anything smaller than 2x6 for that work, but that's mostly just a personal preference to get more contact area for glue and screws and make life easier.

Motordoctor 04-22-2015 07:11 AM

What is your preferred glue to use on that application? I'm assuming that deck screws would be the screw of choice?

cx 04-22-2015 08:44 AM

Current favorite is PL Premium from Loctite.

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