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Unread 12-12-2019, 09:35 PM   #1
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1/16 grout line on 6x40 plank

Hey guys. Long time lurker, I’m a remodeler. My specialty is finish carpentry and we mainly do kitchens.. also granite/marble....

This past year I’ve been doing A lot of tiling... lots of it...

I would say I’m decent at it considering In my field prep makes all the difference and it seems like the same in tiling as well. I’ve been dealing with some very bad surfaces... the last job I even said screw it and replaced the whole subfloor just to make my job easier

Well I’m about to do a project on my home now... it’s for my mom and I’m going to surprise her...

I got 6x40 planks by corso Italia, non rectifies (has a beveled edge), grade 1, porcelain ... it’s some really nice stuff unlike the crap I’ve been working with.. to be honest it’s the nicest stuff I’ve ever worked with... it won’t break if I look at it the wrong way....

I’ll be doing the basement... 1000sqft

2. 1/16 grout line? Or butt them up and use the bevel as a thing grout line?
2. I sanded grout for that thin of a line correct?
3. 3/8 square or 1/2 square trowel?
4. Do I need medium bed mortar/LFT? Or will Regular Versabond thunder work fine? Is the only difference the slump? I’ve been working with LFT Versabond Medium bed in my past projects cause we do a lot of 24x24 but since this is a home project and I got 1000sq ft... I’d love to save and use regular thinset? If so should I add anything or have any special tricks to keep it from slumping so bad?
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Unread 12-12-2019, 10:05 PM   #2
Higher Standard Tile
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1-I'd check with the tile manufacturer (sometimes the info is on the box) regarding minimum grout joint size. For that size tile on an offset pattern 1/16" may be too tight. If the tile is super flat you may be able to keep the grout joints small but do not butt joint.

2-Use Sanded Grout. Most do just fine with 1/16" joints. I use Laticrete Permacolor but since you mention Custom their Prism grout is similar.

3-Prep the floor so it is flat. Then 1/2" notch spread one direction perpendicular to the long edge of the tile (search for Trowel and Error video from NTCA on YouTube) I recommend flat troweling the back of tile too, aka back buttering.

4- Use an LFT Mortar for tile that size.

And 5- for large planks like that we use lippage tuning clips like Spin Doctors, helps a lot on offset patterns.

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Unread 12-12-2019, 11:44 PM   #3
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Howdy, Hahn.

Yes, please avoid butting the tiles tight. You don’t want to mess with a problem of edges chipping/spalling somewhere down the road.

Is this a damp basement slab?

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Unread 12-13-2019, 07:20 AM   #4
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If the tile is not rectified, I'd want to measure a dozen of them, all from different boxes in the 6" dimension to see how true to size they are. That's going to give you an indication of how tight your joint can be. As mentioned, check how flat they are; put one on a flat surface and place another on top of it so they are face to face. See how much they rock.

A lippage tuning system is likely a good idea. I used Spin Doctor but there are others.
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Unread 12-13-2019, 08:10 AM   #5
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If I'm recalling the "rule of thumb" correctly on this...

Compare various tiles like Dan is asking. What it the largest difference in either the length of the longest v. shortest tile, or the width of the widest v. narrowest tile, and multiply that difference by 3 to determine your smallest possible grout joint.

So to allow for a 1/16" grout joint, all of the tile has to have a size variance of no more than 1/48".
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Unread 12-15-2019, 02:14 PM   #6
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8x40 plank wood tile - trowel - perpendicular or parallell? 1/2 or 3/8?

Just seeing what you guys recommend. A friend recommended me go perpendicular because as you lay the tile down the air bubbles release easier because they have a shorter distance to travel...

Also 1/2 or 3/8? My concrete slab is pretty level, there’s 2 problem spots that I know of for sure....

Been doing 1/2 and it’s such a mess for me cause of all the excess mortar and squeeze out
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Unread 12-15-2019, 04:03 PM   #7
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I like to use a 1/4x3/8 trowel. If you need a bit of "help," then use your margin trowel to adjust....

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Unread 12-15-2019, 04:14 PM   #8
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The 1/2" is definitely more coverage, but also more mess to clean up.

If the floor and tile are flat enough, use a smaller notch, but coverage is the most important aspect of setting.

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Unread 12-15-2019, 08:10 PM   #9
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The air thing is real, so aim for the shortest path.

Much more common in Europe is a slant-notched trowel. Your ultimate goal is to get as close to 100% coverage as you can. Larger notches are needed for tile that aren't flat across the back. Thinset is not really designed to level the surface, so all you really 'need' is enough to fill in imperfections and cover the back of the tile properly. But, the larger the notch, the more you have to spread it around. It's even more of a problem with a square-notched trowel with essentially bare spots.

Think about how much pressure per area you can apply. Because the tile is flat, pressing in the middle essentially spreads your weight around the whole thing. Take a 12x12" tile and you push down with 100# (probably more than you could do unless you stood on it), that's like applying 12*12/100=1.44 psi...not much. Take a 12x24" tile, and it's half that, or a 12x36, one third, or not even 1/2 psi. So, to get the thinset to spread out, you have to move the tile back and forth across the notches, which provides more 'spreading' power than just straight down. It's much easier if the thinset is already flat and covering nearly 100% when you start. A slant-notch trowel ends up with an almost flat surface because the notched material falls over after the trowel passes through it, so it's easier to get full coverage, faster.
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Unread 12-16-2019, 07:27 AM   #10
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Hahn, we've merged the two threads for your project. Having all the questions/answers in one place for one project helps all of us with history and perspective when providing input. If you'd like your thread renamed just let us know.
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Unread 12-16-2019, 10:23 AM   #11
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The tile industry recommends a minimum 1/8" grout joint for non-rectified porcelain and maybe more if there is a lot of size variation. Use a sanded grout that's close to the predominant color in the tile to minimize the appearance of the grout joints. Also don't forget a soft joint every 20-25 feet and a gap at the perimeters to minimize issues with expansion and contraction.
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