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Unread 01-13-2012, 03:38 PM   #1
mrused2b
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Foyer Project - CBU vs SLC

All set to begin demo on existing floor for new tumbled stone foyer. Will be removing existing resilient flooring (tested - no asbestos), 1/4" OSB underlayment, another layer of resilient flooring, 1/2" plywood and 15 lb organic felt, down to the original 3/4" diagonal sheathing.

Was already to re-secure sheathing to joists with ring shank nails, install new 1/2" cdx plywood and thinset/screw 1/4" Hardibacker to the plywood, which is the method I used on my last bathroom project with with good results...then I started reading about self-leveling concrete underlayments.

Any advantage to using SLC in this circumstance?

OK. Spent a little more time on the site...great information. Thought I'd update based on what I've found out. Checked Deflecto and I'm in good shape there - 2 x 10 SYP joists 16" O.C. And a 6' Span.

I will switch plywood grades to BC even though it will not be the substrate layer to which the stone is directly applied.

Still interested in opinions about the pros and cons of self leveling concrete underlayment for this application.

Thanks
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Last edited by mrused2b; 01-13-2012 at 05:24 PM. Reason: You'd be amazed at what you can learn
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Unread 01-13-2012, 06:43 PM   #2
jadnashua
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Is the floor unlevel? Is the height way off what you want with the adjacent floors? If neither, then slc doesn't buy you anything. Over wood, slc generally needs to be at least 1/2" over the highest point and you need lath. SLC always requires primer, too. So, if you don't have the height, then slc may not be an option.
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Unread 01-15-2012, 08:22 AM   #3
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Thanks Jim, your input has helped with the decision

I think, in a large part, because I'm more familar with the process I've opted to go the CBU route. Levelness is really not a consideration or problem in this installation.

Do you see any other concerns about the diagonal sawn board, plywood, backerboard assembly?
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Unread 01-15-2012, 10:04 AM   #4
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Your subfloor assembly sounds fine, as long as you use thinset under the backerboard.
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Unread 01-19-2012, 12:57 PM   #5
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Stone Tile Floor Installation Questions

I'll be installing Turmar tumbled travertine stone tile http://www.turmar.com on my entrance hall floor. The substrate assembly is: 3/4" sawn board sub-floor, 1/2" BC plywood, and 1/4" Hardibacker. The field of the floor will be 12" x 12" stone. There will be 2 "inlay" areas comprised of 4" x 4"s with a 4" boarder using 1" x 2" and 5/8" x 5/8" mosaics in three color variations. I have some questions and need some advice:

1. What is the best thinset for this type of stone? Polymer modified vs. non modified? Any particular brand?
2. What size notched trowel(s) should I use for the different size stone?
3. Should I back "butter" the 12 x 12? 4 x 4?
4. My wife (she who must be obeyed) wants to use an enhancing sealer. Can I apply the sealer before (to minimize the potential for grout staining) and after grouting?

Thanks for your continued support and patience with DIY'ers.
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Unread 01-19-2012, 10:38 PM   #6
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a premium un modified will work. I would use a modified meidum bed but I like overkill.
Thenotch depends on the thickness. use the largest notch you can without oozing thinset through the joints. I would probly use a 3/8 standing up tall.

I would back butter all natual stone being installed on the floor. Yes i even carfully backbutter the mosaic for floor with my margin trowel. Again I like overkill.

Maybe someone will dissagree with me and we'll get you some more feed back on here
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Unread 01-20-2012, 12:27 AM   #7
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1) Any modified thinset meeting at least ANSI 118.4 would work for your application. If the different tiles are of different thickness, I would upgrade to a modified medium bed because it doesn't shrink as it dries like thinset does. Think about that....the thinner tiles that have more thinset under them will shrink more than the surrounding thicker tiles with thinner coverage. The last thing you want is to fuss with making all the tiles flush to each other, only to be surprised the next day with differential shrinkage that gives you lippage. As far as specific recommendations, what stores or brands do you have available to you?

2) The smallest notch trowel that will yield as close to 100% coverage under your tiles after they are smooshed in place. Most likely you're in the 1/4" x 3/8" x 1/4" range. But this is ultimately determined after a few tiles are on place and you've pulled a couple back up to examine your coverage percentage. Adjust notch size up or down as necessary to achieve the ideal 100% coverage.

3) If by "back butter", you mean to "burn" a thin coat of thinset with the flat side of the trowel, then yes. The idea is not to add a thick layer, but merely to force the thinset up against the tile to promote a superb bond. You want your trowel making some scratching noise as it passes over.

4) Yes. In fact, using the same sealer before and after grouting is quite common. But be forewarned of a couple issues with your current plan. First, take care to apply sealer only to the front face and not to the tile edges. Sealer makes for a bond breaker and you want your grout to stick very well to the sides of your tiles. Second, using an enhancing sealer over grout will a) darken it considerably, and b) likely cause unpredictable splotchiness to the grout.

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Unread 01-21-2012, 08:39 AM   #8
mrused2b
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Thanks for the advice.

The good news (for me anyway) is that the tile are all the same thickness. So from the responses, looks like I can use a good, white modified thinset.

I will make sure I have several trowels available and verify coverage.

Thanks also for clarification on the "back buttering" vs. "burn" techniques.

Tonto (can I call you Bubba?) - Given your comments about the sealer being a bond breaker, which makes sense, I'm not sure I want to use a sealer before grouting. These tiles are tumbled and have a pitted, uneven surface, and we want to fill these natural imperfections with grout. We chose these specically over honed tiles because of the rustic texture. So, if we want the grout to stick to the face of the stone as well as the edge, looks like we should avoid a sealer prior to grouting.
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Unread 01-21-2012, 08:54 AM   #9
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back buttering = troweling thinset onto the back of a tile, then using the notched side, screed out the thinset

back burning = troweling thinset onto the back of a tile, then using the flat side, scrape off the thinset, leaving behind a thin layer of thinset which fills any voids
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Unread 01-21-2012, 10:01 AM   #10
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yeah I would only burn the backs or you'll have trouble bringing up the 4x4 and the mosaic the same height as the 12x12 if you butter them.
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Unread 01-22-2012, 11:22 PM   #11
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Yes, Chris. Call me Bubba! About your sealer concerns. You can do both...you can seal the face of the tile and fill-in the pits with the expectation that it will stick properly. But you need to be neat about it. Carefully fold over some t-shirt like material (white only) and get it damp (not wet) with sealer. Keep that flat and pass it over the ungrouted tile and it will neither dribble over the edges nor reach down into the pits to put sealer where you don't want it.

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Unread 01-24-2012, 09:06 PM   #12
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Hi Chris.

I combined your 2 threads that appear to be about the same project, and deleted 1 duplicate thread of yours in the Pro's Hangout. Keep posting all your questions about this project in this thread as you have been doing. Thanks.
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Unread 01-31-2012, 12:28 PM   #13
mrused2b
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dhagin,

Thanks for looking out for me and combining the forum threads. This is my first Forum experience, so I'm not quite sure about the etiquette or procedures.

Well, the stone is in and looks good, and while the mosaics and the 12 X 12's were nominally the same thickness, in reality I did have to do some "adjusting" to minimize any disparity or "lippage". Might have been a little heavy handed on the "burn" coat on the 12 x 12's, but all in all I'm pleased with the result so far.

I have purchased Custom Polyblend sanded grout and I've prepared a sample board to use as a mock up so I can be sure the grout and is the right color and achieves the desired effect (my wife's happy) before I put it on the floor.

Because this is tumbled stone, I have decided to not seal before grouting and fill the voids and pit holes. For a sealer, I've purchased Dupont's Enhancer Pro Sealer through our local tile shop.

Any comments, or concerns about this approach or the products? I don't want to screw it up now!

Again, thanks for all the good advice and support.
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Unread 01-31-2012, 12:56 PM   #14
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Chris, it sounds to me like you are doing all the right things. Mockups are well worth the cost of time and materials if they keep you from really hosing up your project.

Please post a picture of your mockup!
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Unread 02-01-2012, 07:28 AM   #15
mrused2b
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Bob,

Here's a photo of the mock up before grouting and a not so good photo of the work in progress. The mock up is made from the same materials used in the project - 1/4" Hardibacker thin set and screwed to B/C plywood. The larger pieces of stone are drops from 12 x 12 tiles and the rest are representative of color and sizes used on the floor.
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