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ben-e 05-25-2010 01:03 AM

ceramic cove base
I am starting a large bathroom job which has wainscot 4' high around the walls with a cove tile that meets the floor tile. I believe the floor will be hexagon tiles of some sort, so I dont need to worry about joints lining up, but this will be my first time installing ceramic cove tiles. Anyone have any advice? I figured I would set the walls first?

bbcamp 05-25-2010 04:46 AM

First thing would be to verify that your floor's perimeter is flat and level. The cove is supposed to follow the floor, but if the floor dips or slopes, that misses up the cove-to-wall joint. You could make some of this up by cutting the first row of wall tiles, but if they are not large (say, 6x6 or larger), it will still show.

ben-e 05-25-2010 11:41 PM

Yeah, the floor is not flat at all. I think I will pour some self leveling cement over in floor heat, (elec) Then I should have a more level surface. Would you set the wall, and cove before the floor tile?

ceramictec 05-26-2010 12:23 AM

1 Attachment(s)

I think I will pour some self leveling cement over in floor heat, (elec) Then I should have a more level surface. Would you set the wall, and cove before the floor tile?

I would find your high spot and do your layout from there.

mat, slc depth, floor tile, then your cove and make a level line at the top of cove around the perimeter of the room. run the wall tile off a ledger or use a non sag thinset, then install the base, mat, slc, etc.

Attachment 76468
tampa orlando sarasota brandon bradenton lakeland florida tile contractor floor heat tile installation install installer SLC floor level application

ben-e 05-27-2010 08:38 AM

I started thinking that it might be wise to pour, and level the floor first. That way you couldn't mess up your wall layout. I'm worried that I will pour a little too much slc on the floor, or something. Is there a reason that this is not a good idea?

ceramictec 05-27-2010 02:31 PM

I used the bottom of the cove base as a visual to pour the SLC to.
you can do it wither way, which ever way you feel comfortable with.

Lazarus 05-27-2010 05:07 PM

Even if you pour "too much" (and, trust this....that SELDOM happens. Usually the other way around.) you can still "feather out" a little extra. If too much extra, pick it up and throw it away...

ben-e 05-30-2010 06:23 PM

Thanks for the advice. on a side note, does anyone know the difference between the cove tile, and the sanitary cove? I haven't talked to dal tile yet, but the owners specified "sanitary cove base tile" It looks like that might have a bullnose on top. Wouldn't that be used only if no tile was to go on top?

Davestone 05-30-2010 06:34 PM

Yes the sanitary base sits on top of the floor tile and has a bullnosed top.

ben-e 05-30-2010 06:42 PM

Do you think anyone would ever use the sanitary when subway tile was going on top? And does it only work on top of the floor tile, or can it be flush with the floor tile. I know these are stupid questions, I just havent used these much before.

ceramictec 05-30-2010 07:59 PM


Originally Posted by Ben e
Do you think anyone would ever use the sanitary when subway tile was going on top?

it's good to look at what trim is available , Daltile has it on the bottom of this page under "Available Trim".


you dont use Sanitary Cove base when your doing wall tile.
you use Cove Base. A-3401 or A-3601


Originally Posted by Ben e
And does it only work on top of the floor tile, or can it be flush with the floor tile.

you can do sanitary both ways

ben-e 05-30-2010 08:32 PM

thank you for the info

ben-e 05-30-2010 08:36 PM

Another stupid question, but they make right, and left corners don't they?

ceramictec 05-30-2010 09:12 PM

yes, its on that page

ben-e 05-31-2010 11:07 AM

Dural Durabase ???
I know most people here are Schluter die hard fans, but I came across this product recently made by Dural, named "durabase" that seems to be a ditra knock-off. I normally use Ditra, but the prices have gotten a little out of control. I found this stuff for about 300 bucks a roll, vs 475 for ditra. Has anyone used it, and does anyone have any unbiased info about the product?

Hammy 05-31-2010 01:11 PM

Never used it but found this while searching...... Hammy

"Installation of tiles on poured asphalt
DURABASE CI makes it possible to install tiling resistant to long-term damage even on problematic substrates such as poured asphalt and similar bituminous load-bearing compounds."


opiethetileman 05-31-2010 01:13 PM

hammy we both saw it at coverings its yellow correct and out of greenville ga.............

Hammy 05-31-2010 01:15 PM

Now I will tile my driveway. Hammy

opiethetileman 05-31-2010 01:17 PM

follow the yellow brick road................................

ben-e 06-01-2010 05:07 PM

tile over slc
I was wondering if many of you normally lay tile directly over self leveling compound? I will probably be using quickcrete floor resurfacer. I was planning on using ditra over it, but is it really needed?

Shawn Prentice 06-01-2010 06:02 PM

1st question, I have and no problems.

2nd, never used it so I can't comment.

3rd, it never hurts. It's been a while since I've set over SLC alone. Now, it would either be ditra or a liquid antifracture.

jadnashua 06-02-2010 02:56 PM

You didn't say if the SLC was used over a slab, or a subfloor. If on a subfloor, did you use the lath and get the manufacturer's minimum required thickness? Did you use the required (on almost all) primer? Therefore, the answer is maybe until the answers to those questions are answered. A membrane never hurts (except the wallet), and is always good insurance, but it depends on the risk/benefit relationship of what you started with.

ben-e 06-05-2010 11:56 AM

octagon and dot over ditra?
I am getting ready to lay 2 bathroom floors using dal tile octagon and dot tiles. They come in a 12" mat. I was planning on using ditra, but then I noticed that they don't want you to use tiles less than 2". I believe the octagons are 2", and the dot is 1", but it's in a mat. Would I be wise to use a different system over the self levelling cement I will need to pour? I will also have wall tile coming down to meet the floor with the bottom wall tile being a 4x6 cove. Or is it ok to lay this type of tile over ditra? And what is their concern with using smaller tiles over ditra? Thanks.

ben-e 06-05-2010 12:01 PM

After finding some other posts about Ditra, I understand what the concern is about smaller tiles. Does anyone have any reccomendations for my situation. I need to level the 2nd story plywood floor, so I was going to use a slc. I need things dead flat because I have that cove meeting the floor, and flushing out with it. Is there a slc that anyone has used that you would be confidant laying tile directly over in my situation? Has anyone used customs lite self leveler?

Davy 06-05-2010 12:28 PM

Hi Ben. You could go with 1/4 or 1/2 inch cement board if you can handle the height. Then do some minor leveling with thinset and a straight edge over the CBU before tiling. The leveling could be done in several applications and rubbed down with a rub stone after it sets.

ben-e 06-05-2010 12:55 PM

That is a good idea. The floor has some pretty bad spots. Like 1/2 inch or more in 4'. I just thought slc would be the easiest. It seems that mosl slc's need some type of lath? Does priming the subfloor, then putting the heat mat, and lath down, then pouring slc covered by redguard sound like a good choice?

ben-e 06-05-2010 02:24 PM

Jim, I have not done it yet, but I'm trying to figure out my best plan of attack. It will be over a plywood subfloor, on the 2nd story. I have already ruled out "ditra" due to the fact that I'm using daltile's octagon, and dot tile pattern, and ditra doesn't want you to use tiles under 2" So now I have pretty much decided to use SLC because the floor is out of whack. I haven't decided on a brand yet, but I'm leaning toward custom Levellite. I will use Lath, but have not decided if i should use metal, or plastic. I will make sure to get the minimum thickness as well. I have limited experience with SLC, so I am trying to get any info I can about it. At this point, I think I will put a trowel on membrane on top of the SLC. Have not decided what kind yet. Any advice would be great. I might just use redgard or something. Or maybe I don't need a membrane if I use the right slc with metal lath?

jadnashua 06-05-2010 03:12 PM

You don't 'need' a decoupling layer over a full-coverage slc, but it is an insurance policy. The key to a successful slc pour is good prep and being FAST. You want to flood the area before things start to set up, and this means getting help and preparation. The stuff (depending on the brand and version) is between water and pancake batter. It will level, but make need some help flowing into corners. It levels best when you get all surfaces wet with the stuff and it is thick enough, otherwise, you'll get high and low spots, if too shallow, since surface tension will hold it. once all surfaces are wetted with the stuff, and it is thick enough, it will level if you get the coverage before it starts to set up. Otherwise, it can be like a partially frozen puddle...the set (frozen) stuff will bend or crack and you may not get the liquid stuff to flow to relevel it. It's almost like a switch...liquid one minute, and hard the next (with a plastic period inbetween that doesn't last long). They make adjustable rakes to help move the stuff around and gauge level, but it may be overkill for one use. I used a snow rake, since it had a nice long handle, to move it around into the corners without stepping in the stuff. They do also make cleats, if you want to walk around in the stuff without getting your shoes all covered.

ben-e 06-05-2010 03:30 PM

Jim, Thanks for all the info, It really helps a lot.

ben-e 06-08-2010 04:58 PM

I need a solution
I am doing my layout for a bathroom that has 3x6 dal subway tiles all the way around the room about 4' high, and a 4x6 cove base that flushes out with the floor tile. The floor tile is dal octagon, and dot. The octagons are 2", and the dot is 1". It comes in a 12x12 mat. The subfloor is plywood, and strength of the subfloor is not a concern. The problem I am facing is the subfloor is fairly out of level. I was planning on just fixing it by priming it, and pouring self leveler 1/2" over the high point of the floor, Which happens to be in the back of the room, opposite the door. The problem being if I do that, I will end up with the tile floor finishing at 1 3/8" off the subfloor at the door. That is too high for the carpet to meet up to it. Even if I was to put a anti-fracture membrane on the plywood, and lay the tile flat from the high point, directly over the membrane, I would end up with about an inch at the door. That is as high as I can be. The floor is a little over 1/2 inch from the high point, to the low. The only solution I could think of is using a self leveling product, and pouring it to a feather edge so it dies into the high point of the plywood floor. Is there any products that this can be done with? If not, would it be acceptable to use a liquid anti-fracture membrane over it like ultra-set, to make up for the fact that it is not 1/2 inch thick, and has no lath in it? I can't use ditra because the floor tiles are less than 2". I thought about using kerdi on the floor, over the self leveler to hold it together? I have limited experience with cove tiles that flush out with the tile floor, but I don't see how you could make it look right unless they were set dead level. I had the thought of cheating them up, or down as needed, then cutting the top of the cove tile to make up the difference on the tiles that were too high. Seems like a nightmare, and I think you would see it. Anyone know of any self leveler that can be used in this application? Or any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

ben-e 06-08-2010 05:31 PM

Just found a product while searching the web called "Ardex Liquid Backerboard". Sounds like just what I need if it is a good product. Anyone ever used it?

ceramictec 06-08-2010 06:28 PM


people could help you if they could follow what your doing.
you have like 3-4 threads going about this project and I even answer you once but now I'm lost.




cx 06-08-2010 06:47 PM

Ben, I believe we've discussed this problem with starting a new thread with each new question and how it makes it more difficult for our folks here to respond helpfully to your questions because they can't see any history nor what's been previously asked and answered.

I've combined the most recent five threads here as they appear to be from the same bathroom project. Please bookmark this thread and use it for all your project questions. Thanks. :)

Davy 06-08-2010 07:50 PM

Ben, you may have to run the floor out of level a little and trim the cove like you talked about. You can still float the floor up to get it a little better and let it come up maybe 3/4 to 1 inch in the doorway. Then use a row of wood cedar shingles under the carpet and right against the tile. With the fat end of the shingle against the tile, it will ramp the carpet up to the tile height.

ben-e 06-08-2010 07:53 PM

Sorry to confuse anyone, I didn't realize all my questions about 1 project would be lumped together, even if they are about different problems. Cx, you can erase the whole thing if you would like. I will figure it out on my own.

ceramictec 06-08-2010 07:56 PM

Well we are here if you need us :corn:

ben-e 06-08-2010 08:10 PM

I really appreciate everyones help. I guess between working 10 hr days, doing bids, taxes, paperwork, and raising kids etc... I might ask a question in a new thread about a new problem that I encountered on a job that I had asked a different question about earlier. Then when they get lumped together, including a question I asked about uncoupling membranes in a different thread, it looks like I am crazy. I will keep better notes next time I need help, so cx won't need to scold me.

cx 06-08-2010 08:43 PM

Not scolding, Ben, just trying to help you help us help you. We've gotten a pretty good handle over the years on what works more efficiently for our visitors and our all volunteer army of helpers.

Give it a try and see if it doesn't work well for you, too. :)

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