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-   -   first time doing tile many questions (https://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=904)

jim 11-24-2001 12:28 PM

First off. Background info...12" tile over 1 1/4" plywood. "I know plywood not a good thing" I screw this board almost every 2". Its a mass of screws. The tile will be located in an entryway off a raised ranch not a large area just 79"x43"

1.) When I set the tile, should I set all the uncut tile first let that stand over night before I go and do the cut edge pieces.

2.) Do I grout between the wall and the tile and then put the wood trim on top of the tile? Or, would it be better to put the trim up and grout between the trim and the tile. The walls are drywall.

3.) The tile will be going to the top of a stair case. Should I add a trim piece to get a grout edge between the wood trim piece and the tile or do I just cut the tile to the edge of the stairs. Would you recommend the special rouded tile.

Rob Z 11-24-2001 02:57 PM

Hi Jim

1. I would set the cut pieces at the same time.

2. Ideally, set the tile and grout...then install wood trim. I would not grout the area between the tile and the drywall. Trim will cover that gap.

3. I would use wood trim at the top of the stairs to meet the tile, unless the stairs are carpeted...in which case I would use a piece of tile-carpet trim from Schluter.


Rob, I only completed the Schluter address. You left off the .com

[Edited by John Bridge on 11-24-2001 at 05:09 PM]

jim 11-24-2001 03:34 PM

i'm off and cutting...Thanks...
I've got to return the rented tile cutter

John Bridge 11-24-2001 04:11 PM

Hi Jim,

You didn't say what type of adhesive you are using. I hope it's a thin set rated to go over plywood.

Rob Z 11-24-2001 05:38 PM

Thanks, John.

Good point about the thinset. Jim, could you let us know what setting material you are using?

Jason_Butler 11-24-2001 08:07 PM


For an area as small as you describe, the extra effort of 1/4" CBU between the tile an plywood shouldn't be much more labor. Worth it in the long run if you ask me.


jim 11-24-2001 09:29 PM

I'm using flexibond cflex3. The homedepot guy said it would work. I bet you here that alot!!

The bag said it would work on plywood.

To late for the 1/4" CBU. Just mixed my thinset and about ready to set the first tile. Wish me luck.

should I caulk around the edge if I'm not putting grout in there?

By the way what is CBU? Is that Ceramic backer board?

John Bridge 11-25-2001 09:24 AM

CBU= cement backer unit/board.

The full flex is the right stuff. You don't need caulking at the edge if you cover the gap with the baseboard.

jim 11-25-2001 06:26 PM

Thanks for all the help. The 1/4" CBU was a great idea wish I looked at the message board earlier. only thing is with all the screws I put in the plywood it would have been hard to nail that board down with out hitting at least 1/2 a dozen screws with the nails. Man setting that tile was not easy. I was up till 3:00 am. What made it so hard was the close quarters, not alot of room to work.

When setting the tile, I added the 1/4 grooves of mortor to the tile by hand and the floor at the same time. I did this because I wanted to be sure that the mortor made it to the corners of the tile. I read if the mortor does not get to the corner of the tile the tile could crack later on. Well, the mortor did not reach the corner of the tile in some places. So here's the first set of questions;

1.) If There is only a little coner of tile with no mortor under it, would that be a problem? A little meaning about a 1/4" under the corner of the tile.

2.) Can you use to much mortor? Does it sound like I did?

All I have left is the grouting. I read in a tile instruction book I picked up, that It would be a good idea to use a grout bag on the type of tile I have. It also mentioned to use the rounded end of a handle like a screwdriver handle to shape the grout. The tile has uneven edges. The grout line between the tile is around a 1/4" and varies in thickness +/- about 1/16".

1.) Does this seem like a good idea? When I use the grout bag I'm sure the cleanup will not be as bad.

2.) How clean should the grout lines be of mortor before I start grouting.

Thanks in advance for all your help. One last question, What would this have costed me if I hired a someone to do this....Yes I'm having second thoughts on the next time I need some tile work done.

Carpets Done Wright 11-25-2001 07:08 PM

Usually the grout, if applied right will fill the void around the edges of the tile.

If you use too much mortar it will squeeze up through thethe areas that get grout.

Shape the grout???? What the hell are you doing? Use a soft grout float trile to spread the grout at angles to the grout lines.

I'm lost on the use of the grout bag thing. Never heard of that before. Sounds like a mess.

I usually clean the grout lines as I go with a hook blade carpet knife, while the thinset is still wet, and keep a sponge and a bucket of water near for any mess I make on the actual tile. After a day of set up, I go back with my hook blade and scrape out any thinset I missed while installing. Then take my shop-vac and clean up.

After spreading the grout as described above I let it set up for about 30 minutes, then with a sponge and bucket of clean water, I wipe down the tile and excess grout till it is clean. After about 2 hours time, or when the grout has set up fairly good, I buff the tile haze off with a clean towel.

Bud Cline 11-25-2001 08:03 PM

Jim, why so many screws? Deep pockets huh?

Perry is correct about the grout filling any corner voids, just watch what your doing and don't mix the grout too stiff if you know you have voids to fill.

The grout bag is a rediculous idea. Use a grout float and get it over with long before three a.m.

Shaping (tooling) the grout is also a waste of yor time. A sponge will do all that for you, and quickly too.

The mortar (thinset) should rise only about 1/3 of the depth of the grout joint. Mortar that is too high can have an effect on the finished appearance of the grout.

jim 11-26-2001 07:43 AM

Yes deep pockets or reading from to many books and web sites on how to tile. Not this site of course. You guys helped alot.

I used Stainlees steel screw at $10 a box. I started at doing every 3" on the sides and 4" in the middle of the plywood. When I was done I had half a box of screws left. So, I screwed the rest of them in. Stood up and looked down at what I had did and started laughing. One of the homedepot guys said that when they try to rip up that board in 100 years they are going to think some crazy man owned this house.

Bud Cline 11-26-2001 08:51 AM

John was concerned that you were using a correct thinset for plywood...he should have been recommending something that was compatible with stainless steel.:)

I'm just curious, where did you read to screw plywood every 3 to 4 inches and use stainless steel screws? Is that in a publication somewhere?

John Bridge 11-26-2001 04:30 PM

Hey Jim,

Even though you didn't use the backer board, I pity the sob who tries to take out that floor. :D

We only use grout bags on stuff that can absolutely not get grout on it. I had a tile one time that couldn't handle water on it's surface. It was beautiful stuff. I never asked the lady of the house how she intended to clean it.

jim 12-01-2001 11:19 AM

Well bad news after letting the grout sit for about fours days I applied the grout and tile sealer. When doing this I notice small cracks in the grout along the grout lines.

Please tell me this is nowmal and I won't have rip this floor up.

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