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Unread 08-18-2020, 07:27 AM   #10
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Fairfax, Va
Posts: 4,275
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Welcome back, Stewart,

Any suggestions? From this lot? Yeah, maybe. The first might be to not take advice from the tile store. Or, at the very least, trust but verify.

First off, the minimum recommended grout line depends on the tile itself. Specifically, how uniform in size the tile is. If each tile is exactly the same size as all the others you can probably get away with a 1/16th grout line. If they are not, you need to figure out the difference between the smallest one and the largest one, and multiply that number by 3 to derive the minimum recommended grout joint size. For instance, of the difference (length or width) is, say, 1/16th then the recommended grout joint is 3/16th. Then there's the matter of tile thickness; if the tiles are not of uniform thickness then narrow joints exacerbate the resulting lippage.

Mortar wise, "medium bed" mortar seems to not exist any longer, that term being replaced by something like "LFT", large format tile, which those 12X24's are considered. Yes, you'd want to back butter the tiles and, yes, as a DIY'er you'd want to use some kind of leveling system.

Those large tiles are going to want very flat walls and floor. And speaking of floor, that you ensure that the structure is stout enough for ceramic tile? At this point is sounds like you have enough plywood, if it was installed correctly, but what about the joists under the ply?
If I recall correctly my memory is excellent, but my ability to access it is intermittent.
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