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Old 07-19-2019, 01:11 AM   #1
RetroJoe
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Join Date: Jul 2019
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Arabesque floor tile for first time tiling job... What was I thinking?

I am renovating a house that I purchased a couple of years ago. I am redoing three bathrooms, the mud room and both entryways. Everything was stripped down to the studs and now I am beginning the tiling process. I need to start on the first floor bathroom so that I can get a functioning toilet in the house. I purchased an arabesque marble tile from HD that is thick enough to go on the floor. I have been procrastinating but I need to get this done. When I started to dry fit the mosaic tile sheets together it became clear that the bulbs around the perimeter are not going to keep the exact same gaps as the bulbs within each sheet. Some bulbs touch each other while other bulbs will stay equally spaced. I'm not sure if there's a way around this but this is one of the things that it's frustrating me. I also have a few other questions that I'm hoping some of you that are more experienced can help me out with since I've never done any tiling before.

I put down hardibacker over 3/4 in OSB. I used thinset with a quarter by quarter Square Notch trowel and screws according to the recommended schedule. Since it was my first time mixing thinset I believe I made it a little too thick so it started to set quicker than I expected. I got the cement boards mostly flat but there are some areas where there was a little extra thinset underneath so there are deviations of about 1/8 of an inch here and there. Can I make up for this with extra thinset underneath the tile to level it out?

Are there any tricks of the trade to keep Arabesque tile spaced evenly or is it an uphill battle no matter how you look at it?

I purchased the pre-mixed Mapei grout which does not require water and has a sealer built into it. A friend of mine had a not-so-good experience with this product. He said the grout ended up getting dirty despite the so-called sealer in it and he can't get it clean. I was also told that because I'm working with marble tile that it is recommended to seal the tile prior to putting the grout on otherwise I might end up with a dirty film on the marble that will be hard to get off. Is this true? And if so, what is the best way to apply the sealer to the top of the tile without getting it in between causing problems with the grout adhering? Since there are so many bulbs in this mosaic I'm worried that it's going to be very tough to have some of the sealer get in between the tiles.

What kind of trowel would you recommend? I was going to use a 3/16 by quarter inch V notch but I'm open to suggestions. I'm worried that the thinset might come through and interfere with the grout if it gets in between the tile.

And another big mystery to me is the threshold. I have hardwood flooring that transitions into this bathroom. Right now the cement board is just slightly higher than the hardwood flooring so no matter what the tile will be at a higher level than the hardwood. I left a half inch gap between the end of the hardwood in the doorway and the cement board. I was going to put threshold on the cement board but also push it over the Gap against the hardwood floor. Should I be worried that the half inch Gap underneath the threshold would cause instability? Or should I make sure that there is cement board underneath the threshold and use another transitioning piece between the hardwood and threshold in order to hide the gap?

Also, what would be the best way to prevent lippage with these tiles? Using a tile leveling system seems a bit intimidating at this point especially with the pattern. I feel more confident about using that with the large format tiles that I plan on using in some of the other rooms.

I know there are a lot of questions here but if anybody could help me out it would be greatly appreciated. Tomorrow I plan on cutting the rest of the tile and dry fitting it and then securing it to the floor on Saturday. I've attached a few photos to show you what I am working with. Thanks ahead of time for any advice!
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