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Old 08-09-2019, 11:08 AM   #1
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PEI 4 procelain tile on my garage floor

Hi everyone. Just finished building my 28x32 garage and doing electrical at the moment. The slab is 6in thick (4000 psi) and will be a work shop. I could not find a PEI 5 tile that I could afford so going to with a PEI 4 that comes in a solid black and white, so will do a checker board pattern. This is the issue I am going to have.....

When the slab was poured they used floats to level it out. Once cured I noticed I have several dips and un-evenness in the slab. One dip is about 2' x2' and gradually goes lower about 3/8in then the rest of the slab. I feel it when I walk and cant stand it. What would you guys do to fix this to get it ready for thin set?? I am thinking of self leveling cement because if I am correct you cannot apply thin set thicker then 1/4" so I cant use the thin set to fix the issue.

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Old 08-09-2019, 12:09 PM   #2
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That should be a very easy fix for such a small area with self leveling compound. If you only have one area that is not level you are very fortunate. Black and white checkerboard will look beautiful especially in a car showroom or something but I'm not so sure about a workshop if you drop a tool it's going to chip. The grout joints are going to be dirt and oil collectors. There are very few tiles that are non slip when damp. Have you just considered an epoxy floor covering or stain acid stained?
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Old 08-09-2019, 12:36 PM   #3
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I'd also be concerned about rolling a floor jack around, and jack stands. The point loads are pretty concentrated, the steel wheels and thin steel legs will, I think, make a mess of the tile.

There's another site - call garage journal I think, that might be a better resource for you.
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Old 08-09-2019, 02:04 PM   #4
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garage journal is awesome.

I will also add that ceramic tile belongs in showrooms, not mechanic's garages.
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Old 08-09-2019, 06:56 PM   #5
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I'm in the camp that says a tile floor is not ideal with a shop of most any trade.
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Old 08-09-2019, 07:26 PM   #6
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I have so many Knicks and dings on my shop floor and I am careful. If you plan to wrench on your car or equipment I would advise against tile. If you want something cool and different go epoxy
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Old 08-09-2019, 08:06 PM   #7
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I use my garage for parking the vehicle as well as working on stuff. As neat as I may try to be, I get stuff on the floor. Oil, paints, solvents, cement, dirt and other gritty stuff; you know, the crap we all work with. Do you have some slope to the floor? At least one drain? You’re going to get to the point where you’re gonna want to hose it out. From your location, if you bring a car in there at all; you’ll have melting slush and road salt in the winter too.
Just something to think about if you’re looking to do “flat” and tile.
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Old 08-10-2019, 06:09 AM   #8
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Thanks guys. I am a member of garage journal, awesome site. Porcelian is very strong if installed properly, i am surprised some of you guys feel it shouldn't be in a garage. I have gotten estimates for epoxy at $6 to$8 a sq ft with a 1 year warranty! And you need to becareful of chemicals. The floor is sloped but was done with a trowel, a tad wavy at places. I wish i can rent one of those commercial grade grinders but was told i need to buy the diff discs. Not sure what to do.
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Old 08-10-2019, 06:09 AM   #9
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Yes I will be wrenching on cars. My lift is being installed today.
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Old 08-10-2019, 06:19 AM   #10
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Ralph, you do understand that your PEI4 is a standard no longer used by the ceramic tile industry and when it was used it had nothing at all to do with the tile itself and was only a rating of the glaze on a glazed ceramic tile, right?

I think if I were to have ceramic tile in a garage I would want an un-glazed porcelain, but that really matters not very much because I'm in agreement with those who say they wouldn't want ceramic tile at all in an automobile repair facility, be it residential or commercial. I'm far too messy for that.
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Old 08-10-2019, 06:21 AM   #11
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Hi CX. It is not glazed. It is same color through. Ok, lets try something else. If I were to epoxy the floor how to I fix the waves and dips on the floor?
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Old 08-10-2019, 06:30 AM   #12
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If it's not glazed it cannot carry a PEI rating, even if there were still a PEI rating in the ceramic tile industry.

There are some cementitious patching materials available from your local Home Depot that would fit the bill. I don't know of any that are likely to produce a finish that would be suitable for a paint job, but maybe that's because I've never really tried. I know Quikrete makes one that I've used successfully, as does the Henry company. And every manufacturer of ceramic tile setting products makes one or more such products. Just depends upon what's available in your area.
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Old 08-10-2019, 07:30 AM   #13
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the epoxy coatings are not really painted finish. they are really thick with vinyl flakes. the final thickness is probably closer to 1/8in. to 1/4in this is if you have a pro do it or use pro materials.
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Old 08-10-2019, 07:52 AM   #14
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That would likely be sufficient to cover the patching materials I've used and look presentable, Mike.

Think I'd still prefer bare concrete with or without oil stains, myownself.
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Old 08-10-2019, 08:23 AM   #15
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Lot of car dealer service bays and some work areas are tile. Full support is the key. Make sure whatever the patch material used is exterior rated.
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