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-   -   Antique Repro Hex Tile Bathroom Floor (https://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=41586)

Ed-diy 10-05-2006 05:41 PM

Antique Repro Hex Tile Bathroom Floor
Hello again, :wave:

My next project is installing a new old fashioned hexagonal tile floor in a bathroom (approx 55 sq. ft.).

Iíve already demoed the previous tile floor. From what I read Iím going to need a very flat surface to lay these tiles and get a first class result.

Iím planning to use SLC to level the floor and raise it ľ″ to ⅜″. Iíve read, here on the JB Forum, quite a bit about SLC, and it appears to me that the pros get good results :bow: and us diyers frequently do not. :scratch:

:idea: Since Iím a lone wolf Iím thinking about using Custom Levelquick ES instead of the RS so that I have a bit more time to get it installed and spread before it sets up.

Any tips on working with the ES version?

How much time did you have to work it?

Any rules of thumb on estimating how much is required other than the guesstimate of ⅛″ for 50 sq. ft. per bag? :scratch:


Scooter 10-05-2006 06:16 PM

A couple of tips the old fashioned tiles come in two types--the Dal Tile Reproductions and other types which are more historically accurate.

The Dal Tile's version has beveled edges, which catches grout and is not historically correct.

Mission Tile out of Pasadena, California and some other suppliers make historcially correct flat hex tiles.

The setting bed has to be dead flat. SLC even under the best circumstances will not turn out dead flat. There may be some bumps and valleys. You will have to go over that with some thinset and a straight edge to make it flat.

If you have the room, I strongly suggest using a mud bed, which is dead flat and perfectly level. That would have also been the historically correct way of installation.

My experience with SLC is that you really do not want to "work" it. You pour it, you squeegie it around a bit to get into corners and the like and you let it seek its own level. Indeed the screw ups I have had occurred when I tried to "work" it too much.

Use two bags. Use a big Milwaukee Hole Shooter Drill. Add SLC to bucket of cold clean water. Mix only per package instructions, which I think is 2 minutes only. Then dump it in place. 55 sq feet is nothing. You should not have problems. Prime the substrate.

Me? I'd use a mud bed, if you have the room.

jdm 10-05-2006 06:28 PM

You'll also notice that the Dal hexes have a textured finish while the historic tiles are perfectly smooth. As a kid I used to play on the floor of my Grandfather's NYC corner grocery store that had a hex tile floor.

Ed-diy 10-11-2006 01:36 PM

Thanks for the replys.

Scooter, We donít need to be historically correct here. Spanish revival house Ė a hex tile floor will look good in the bathroom I am redoing.

Iím tentatively looking at American Universal 1 ĹĒ glazed porcelain tile with a matt finish.

I live in the LA area and have been to Mission Tile in Pasadena in the past probably a good idea to go out and see what they have in hex tile. Thanks for the tip.

I thought I was going to get a ďdead flatĒ surface with the SLC. Like you say Iíll go over it with some thinset and a straight edge to touch it up. How soft is SLC when set? Can any high spots be sanded down?

Iím going to use Custom LevelQuick ES Ė not a stock item anywhere it seems. Iíve got three bags of it on order at HD. Iíll mix, pour, and squeegee and try not to work it too much.

Unfortunately the mud floor wonít fit. It would have to be as thin as 1/8Ē in one place and up to about 3/8Ē max. I havenít done a mud floor but I think that would be much too thin.

Iím using Ditra over the slab for the rest of my tileing project but Schluter frowns on using it with less than 2x2 tiles so Iím thinking or using Nobleseal CIS under the hex tiles. Should I use the Noble 21 ( I think ) bonding stuff or put it down with thinset?
Either way seems to be OK with them.

Right now Iím trying to get the planning and materials for the bathroom under control. I hope to get started as soon as I finish tileing the back bedroom.


Scooter 10-11-2006 03:13 PM

SLC will sand fairly easily, but with hex tiles, you really need to be flat within no more than a 16th over an inch. Bear in mind that the one inch hex tiles will sink into dips and will ride up skislopes, so unlike larger format tiles (which span those gaps), your hex tiles will show every slope and bird bath.

I will suggest that you take a good straight edge, like 3-4 feet, and go over the final SLC in every direction, and use some Custom Quick Fix to fill in the gaps. It is easier to fill in gaps than it is to sand down ski slopes. Use the straight edge like a screed to scrape away the excess Quick Fix to make as flat as a surface as you can. Let it cure, then tile. You may have to do this twice, depending on how good the final SLC pour is. I really have a hard time with SLC's and hex tiles, and it is rarely flat enough to be ready for tile.

Ditra has a waffle board surface, and as you might understand from reading the foregoing, the smaller hex tiles fall into the holes and won't span them, no the one inch hexs are a no go.

You will like Mission tile, and I know no one who hasn't preferred the historical correct tiles they offer over the street brands sold by Dal Tile and the like. Their only drawback is that most are special orders, and colors are limited, although white is pretty much standard, plus any border you chose to make. The price of their hexes are just about 50% more, but for the look that I am usually after, it is worth it.

If you are doing walls, they have some fine glazed subway tiles as well.

Any good sheet membrane, like Nobel or a flocked pvc will work out well over a slab. Mission Tile should have those, but I bet Dal Tile is cheaper if they let a DIY'er to purchase from them. Some do, some don't. The Dal Tile in Culver City is really lose on that score, as well as the one in Van Nuys.

Ed-diy 10-27-2006 01:36 PM

SLC on Sunday morning.
Ok, I've got my three bags of Custom LevelQuick ES and I'm planning to pour it on Sunday morning.

I've got a couple of additional questions.

1. Primer - Package says - Undiluted over smooth concrete - or - cut 50/50 with water over porus concrete. The floor I'm covering is part smooth part rough because I chipped the old tile off of it. Are you usually using the LevelQuick Primer full strength or cut 50/50??

2. Mixing - The LevelQuick ES bag says mix for 2 minutes. It also says to pour the powder slowly into the water. Would you normally mix for 2 minutes after all of the powder has been added or 2 minutes total??

This stuff supposedly has a "Pot Life" of 45 minutes and a "Flow Time" of 30 minutes so I should have plenty of time. I don't expect to encounter one of these horror stories that some other DIY'ers have written about on this forum. I'll report back when it's done.

Meanwhile I would appreciate any answer or answers to the two questions above.


John Bridge 10-27-2006 03:35 PM

Hi Ed, :)

I'll ping our resident Noble Company techie, but he might be off fishing or otherwise wasting his time. His name is Eric and his username is E3. ;)

On second thought, you can ping him. Use this link:


Scooter 10-27-2006 06:40 PM

I mix the SLC for 2 minutes. With a high speed drill, you are going to pour the powder into the water in about 30 seconds. Then two minutes.

Don't screw around with that stuff. Try to get it onto the floor asap and all at once.

Most of my screwups have been mixing too long and fooling with the SLC on the floor for too long.

JTG 10-27-2006 07:21 PM

Another tip. I find that it helps to hose out the bucket between mixes. :goodluck:

Ed-diy 10-28-2006 12:20 AM

More on SLC
Thanks John,

I'll shoot a message over to Eric about the NobleSeal CIS. Hey how come you got 42,582 ++ posts and I only have 29 - well 30 now?


I'll do what you say. Two minutes and then get it on the floor move some to the corners and then let it do it's job.


Thanks for the tip; I was wondering about that. As for the "Good Luck" I'm going to pretend that its not Luck.

I"m going to mix the first two-bag batch right at the doorway to the bathroom where I am going to pour. The third bag is going to be mixed by my wife and my son (well how much help do you need with only three bags?) while I pour and spread the first batch. I figure I should be able to get it all 3 bags down in less than 10 minutes.

Thanks To All,

Shaughnn 10-28-2006 03:12 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Hi Ed,
I'll revise JErry's advice and suggest that you have three buckets ready with pre-measured water, instead of using the same bucket for all three batches. Remember not to pour all three bags into the same spot, but distribute the SLC around the floor as you are pouring. This will aid the SLC greatly. And also remember that this stuff is incredibly viscous and will splash all over your walls if you even THINK about pouring it roughly. Mix it fast and pour it slowly.
For the primer, assume the worst case (rough concrete) and use it diluted. I also find that using a scarifier tool (pic below) to break the surface tension at the edges of your pour helps the SLC find it's "happy place" faster. Just swipe the edge a couple times if you see it developing a crest.
In about six hours time, you should be able to walk on it without worry, but it will still be fresh enough that you can clean up any high spots with a sharp-edged trowel by using it to "shave" the SLC. A belt sander will also work, though I honestly think that using the "ES" formula and mixing and pouring it all at once will leave you with few distortions.
Best of lfrtunes to you,

Ed-diy 10-29-2006 01:37 PM

SLC on Sunday
Good Morning,

I poured my SLC as planned this morning and it went pretty well thanks to all the tips that you all provided.
I can't imagine what it would have been like if I had just used the instructions on the bag!

I can't get on it yet because I used Custom's ES - Extended Set - rather than the RS Rapid Set but it looks really good. I might have one very slight ridge from the last pour. I won't be able to tell until I can get on it and check it with a straight edge. But then again I am somewhat of a perfectionist.

More later.
Thanks again,

Ed-diy 10-30-2006 05:24 PM

Hello again,

OK, I have checked out the SLC pour with a straight edge.
It's pretty good but I do have a low spot in the middle.
Thats where the thinset is the thinest. The SLC does not seem to flow well when it is less than say 3/16" or maybe 1/8" thick. No matter with a little versabond and a straight edge I should have a really flat floor. :tup2:

Scooter, You told me I would have to touch it up with thinset to get it "dead flat". No doubt about it. :nod:

Shaughnn, I compromised. I used two buckets and I had everything set up with the water pre-measured. :clap2:

Thanks again, :bow: now I better get back to work. I still need to improve the flatness, put down the NobleSeal CIS, and get some tile.

Scooter 10-30-2006 06:13 PM

Actually I said Custom's QuickFix--I like that better than thinset. It is not as sticky nor gooey, and strikes off better. Cheaper, too.

Ed-diy 10-30-2006 11:22 PM


I looked for Custom Quick Fix on their Web Site when you first mentioned it but I couldn't find it. Does it have another name?

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