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Unread 01-21-2015, 11:01 AM   #1
Hansen
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A few questions on doing a hexagon tile floor

I’m installing 1” hexagon porcelain tiles (on 12” square mesh sheet) and have a few questions. The subfloor is two layers of old (about 1940) tongue grooved wood/pine plank. Solid. I’m putting ¼” Hardie Board over the plank subfloor and then applying the hexagon tiles. The area is 5’ x 5’ roughly. My questions:

1. What type of material should I use to adhere the Hardie board to the wood subfloor? Will a pre-mixed thin set mortar like this one from Home Depot work well (the Custom's Simple-Set Pre-mixed Thin Set Mortar - can't post a URL yet but picture is attached)? Or, should I be looking at using something different?

2. What type of material should I use to adhere the porcelain hexagon tiles to the hardie board? Modified thin-set mortar, or Custom's AcrylPro ceramic tile adhesive (also found at Home Depot). Pic of product attached.

3. What size trowel and type of groove for putting down the adhesive material for the tiles? 3/16” V-notch, 1/4 “ x 1/4” square notch?? I think it should be the 3/16” V-notch but want to double check.

4. Are pre-mixed products good to use?

Thanks!!!!
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Unread 01-21-2015, 12:16 PM   #2
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Chris, I very strongly recommend you read the online instructions for the Hardibacker if you didn't receive same with your product.

1. See above. You cannot use either of those products in your application.

2. See 1.

3. Start with what you have or think will work and adjust from there. The requirement in your application is a minimum of 80 percent coverage on the back of each tile. Whatever gets you that with the minimum of squeeze-out in the grout joists is what you wanna use. Keep in mind the coverage is mandatory, the reduced squeeze-out is optional.

4. In some applications. I'd never even consider one for a floor installation.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 01-21-2015, 03:23 PM   #3
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Thank you. What products would you recommend for between subfloor and hardie board, and then what product for the 1" hexagon porcelein tiles?
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Unread 01-21-2015, 03:28 PM   #4
JTile
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Chris, make sure you make note of this from the Hardibacker instructions:


Use minimum 5/8 exterior grade plywood or 23/32 OSB with Exposure 1
classification or better, complying with local building codes and ANSI A108.11
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Unread 01-21-2015, 03:36 PM   #5
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Thanks JTile. The subfloor is from the original build of the house in 1941. It is a tongue and groove pine plank that is about 5/8-3/4" thick and there are two layers of it...thus about 1.5" in subfloor thickness. There is no easy way to remove a layer of the tongue groove planks as cabinets sit on much of it as well as part of walls. It would be very difficult/messy. It seems very stable and my hope is that it will work well with the hardie board.
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Unread 01-21-2015, 03:39 PM   #6
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This "Custom Porcelain Fortified Thin-Set Mortar" appears to be an on-point product for adhering the tile to the hardie board, right? If so, can I also use this as the modified thin set to adhere the hardie board to the subfloor?
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Unread 01-21-2015, 03:49 PM   #7
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Couple points here, Chris.

1. If your joist structure is adequate for a ceramic tile installation, you must at least remove the top layer of board flooring, ensure that the board subflooring is adequately attached to the joists, and install a minimum of nominal half-inch plywood over the existing subfloor. Then your tiling substrate and tile.

No manufacturer of CBUs, including James Hardie, will recommend his product over a sawn board subfloor.

2. You do not "adhere" the Hardibacker to the subfloor with the mortar. You apply the mortar per the manufacturer's instructions to provide a 100 percent footprint for the panels as you fasten them with the recommended mechanical fasteners. It is one application where you can use the least expensive thinset mortar you can find.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 01-22-2015, 11:04 AM   #8
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Thanks. Much appreciate the help and advice.
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Unread 02-02-2015, 09:26 AM   #9
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Grout questions for 1" hexagon tiles

I have put down 1" white hexagon tiles with a black hexagon tile accent line outlining the area. It is in our pantry (roughly 5' x 5' floor area). The spacing between the tiles is 3/32. Three quick questions:

1. Do you recommend using unsanded or sanded grout? What about epoxy grout?

2. Is Custom Building Products Polyblend a good product or should I consider something different? Or, if go epoxy grout, what about Lacticrete's Spectralock product?

3. What color grout is typically recommended for this type of situation/install? Bright White, Antique White, Snow White or something different or go into the gray area with a light gray??

Thanks in advance for all help
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Unread 02-02-2015, 10:56 AM   #10
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1. Technically, that size joint calls for unsanded grout, but you're so close to 1/8" there that I would be comfortable using either one.

2. Not a big fan of Polyblend based on past experience, you may have better luck than I did. Spectralock, though a bit expensive, is a good product.

3. That's really up to you. If you go with the white grouts it will blend in, the gray colors will make the individual tiles stand out.
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Unread 02-03-2015, 12:22 PM   #11
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Thanks. So, I'm thinking I'm going to go with Lacticrete's SpectraLock Pro Premium grout (epoxy). I'm struggling on the color grout to go with for this area and looking for some thoughts from professionals who might have experience with this tile style. Thinking either a bright white or really light gray? Here's a picture of the tile installed waiting for clean up of some thinset in joints and then grouting it.

Thanks
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Unread 02-03-2015, 02:53 PM   #12
Splinter
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I often use Silver Shadow by Laticrete with white tile. Just a light gray, looks nice. Forget PolyBlend... not fun to work with.
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Unread 02-03-2015, 05:23 PM   #13
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Agree with the Silver Shadow. I've used it on white hex before and it came out well.
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Unread 02-09-2015, 12:02 PM   #14
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Just wanted to close the loop on this thread. I went with the Silver Shadow grout...great choice for color. Perfect balance of a very light gray to show the hex tile details but not create too much contrast. I used the SpectraLOCK Premium Pro grout, which is an epoxy grout. It's a bit more expensive than typical grouts but seems to be an excellent grout from reviews. It is definitely a bit stiff to work with and gives you a workout putting it down for hex tiles given the amount of grout lines but the final product quality is excellent.
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Unread 02-09-2015, 12:31 PM   #15
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Glad it all worked out fine, Chris. That silver shadow and small hexes is a good combo we use regularly.

How bout posting an "after" photo for us?
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