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Unread 08-21-2006, 09:00 PM   #16
ss3964spd
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Soooo off topic

Just for you then Sir.
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Unread 08-21-2006, 09:06 PM   #17
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Unread 08-21-2006, 09:29 PM   #18
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Dan,

A ledger on the wall works wonders when you want to set more than one row of tile in a day. A ledger is a straight edge (be it wood, or aluminum, or even old window lentils) that is screwed into studs. This will support as much tile as you would like to lay in a day's time. If you want to use wood, I find that redwood tends to be straighter than most and it doesn't warp when wet.

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Unread 08-21-2006, 09:36 PM   #19
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Thanks Rob, sorry the photos didn't re-size clearly. It's a neat old example of American, family sized, iron.

Agreed Brad, a ledger would have been the way to go. In hind sight, natch. Unfortunately I didn't have a long enough straight edge (machined) on hand and trying to find a straight board, any straight board at Depot or Lowes is nearly impossible. I shot the initial line with a lazer level then double checked with my 4 footer after the tape came down. Spot on.

Dan
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Unread 09-26-2006, 03:39 PM   #20
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Fun with SpectraLock

Alrighty then, so I have actually finished setting tile and have been busy grouting with SpectraLock Pro.

I've read many of, if not all, the SpectraLock threads. I'm grouting about 140 SQ FT of 1/4" 6X6 wall tile with 1/8" grout lines. The tiles are glazed but have a textured surface and they are not of uniform thickness, making clean up a little more time consuming.

I separated the job out into sections - each section would consume roughly one mini unit. I mixed up one mini unit at a time and, through the first 3 units, could not grout fast enough before the stuff started getting stiff and hard to work with. Obviously, my technique is lacking. I was unable to load the float with grout and just wipe across the tiles and into the joints without deposting large quanties onto the floor. Hmmmm. Instead, I'd place a blob on the short end of the float and pack it into the joints, then strike the joints at a steep angle. When first mixed the SL is certainly thin enough to load and wipe but I just don't have the knack (skill) yet. So I'd pack it in as described, stop about 1/3 through the unit, and then clean up the section I just did. By the time I got finished cleaning the first section and started again the SL was starting to get stiff. I pressed on - literally, and finished each section and had maybe 25% of the mini left over - which I tossed.

I was stressing over the cleaning. 1 cup of white vinegar to 2 gal of water. Let the grout set up between 15 and 30 minutes. Naturally, the longer it sets up the longer it will take to clean, but patients and constantly cleaning the sponge did the trick and the stress was unfounded. I did the 2nd cleaning with clean water and vinegar about 30-45 minutes later, drying it off with a towel. No film was left. Apparently I was nervous about the cleaning for no good reason.

The 3rd mini was used on the left shower wall. Following my previous procedures the stuff was getting stiff and I was working up a sweat by the time I got to the bottom so I decided I'd change my ways starting with the 4th. The 4th was used on the back shower wall - with the niche. Two changes: 1) I gouted much more of the wall before stopping to clean. I grouted to the bottom of the niche - including the interior of the niche. 2) Prior to starting the 4th, I put the SL on ice. It probably took me 30 to 40 minutes to do the section above. First thing I noticed is that the SpectraLock on Ice, or SLice, was still very workable when I started on the bottom section of the wall below the niche. Second thing I noticed was that cleaning - particuarly at the top where I started, was a little more time consuming - but manageable. As I worked my way down the wall cleaning got easier cuz the grout there had less time to set up. The interior of the niche was the last grouted of the first section of that wall so I decided to wait to clean it until I finished grouting the rest of the wall below the niche. Went back and carefully cleaned up the niche, waited another 10 minutes, then cleaned the bottom of the wall. Then cleaned the top half with "clean vineter" and a towel. Waited another 30 to 45 and went over bottom of the wall with clean vineter and towel. Nice. I have two more mini units to burn through.

Lessions learned so far:
1) Learn how to float this stuff on faster.
2) It isn't going to turn into stone - er, epoxy if you extend the first cleaning time by 5, 10, or 15 minutes.
3) I never used a scrubby pad on it - just a sponge.
4) If you are slow and methodical (which DOES have its good points, mind you) like me then take some of the stress out and put it on ice - it WILL stay open longer.
5) I never once pulled grout out of any of the joints.
6) Mixing it with 100% of the power still allowed me to squeeze it into some very narrow joints (some of the decorative 6X6's had joints of 1/16 - maybe a smidge less).
7) It did not irritate my skin.
8) It cleans up off the tools easily with water - as long as it hasen't dried
completely.

Dan
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Last edited by ss3964spd; 09-26-2006 at 03:44 PM.
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Unread 10-17-2006, 07:29 AM   #21
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Fun with Silicone Caulk - NOT

More progress made but it seems like never as much as I'd like. No wise cracks from the peanut gallery about the choice of "Soft Pumpkin" for the color on the walls in ManLand - it happens to match the color in the accent tiles perfectly. Beseides, real men use whatever the heck color they like and, as it turn out, I like Soft Pumpkin.

Finally got the ceiling and walls painted and am down to the point of installing the fixtures (they are just sitting in place in the pics below) - AFTER I caulk everything. And there's a lot of caulking to be done.

Laticrete suggests taping on each side of the gap - is that really the only way to control this stuff? I tried a small bead along the top of the wainscoat, let it set for 15 minutes, then tried to tool it with my handy index tool (finger). The first, oh - say, inch looked good but as the excess caulk piled up in front of my finger the trailing side got wider and wider. So not pretty. Wiped all of it out and called it a night.

So, I could really, really use some tips on working the silicone caulk (Laticrete brand - matched to the grout color). Laticrete suggests taping on each side of the gap - is that really the only way to control this stuff? I don't much care for the idea of all that taping but will do what I must.

So throw 'em out there - your tips and tricks for laying down a nice even bead of silicone.

Dan
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Unread 10-17-2006, 07:51 AM   #22
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Yes to using tape.

While I am only a weekend/novice installer myself, my husband and I find that putting tape on each side of the area to be caulked helps tremendously. We use the "purple" tape, as it is not very sticky and comes off easily, without removing or lifting the caulk much. Although it takes a little more time to tape everything first, we find that it def. creates a much cleaner look and the caulk lines look much better. We also used tape when we did the base moldings in our condo since we had painted the walls first and wanted clean lines (we can not stand a bad caulk job as it shows a lack of attention to detail).

Other things we have find that help are starting with a very small bead of caulk and working small sections at a time. After we lay the caulk down, we go over it immediatly with a slightly damp finger. We then remove the tape. If the tape pulls up any of the caulk, with gently go over the whole bead of caulk again with our finger to smooth it out and press it against the edges.

One other 'silly' thing we do is cut normal size paper towels into small squares, which we use to clean up our finger quickly, and to touch up any caulk that gets on an area we don't want. The small size makes getting caulk on everything less of an issue since they are used once and thrown away. This way we get a lot of use out of 1-normal size sheet of paper towel.

Also, your project looks GREAT!!!! I will have to show my husband, as your bathroom is exactly our style and taste. My husband and I are also in Northern VA, as we just bought a house in Kingstowne, and look forward to our 1st tile project in the new house, since we 'practiced' on our condo bathrooms, floor, and our condo-neighbor's bathroom.

Kim.
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Unread 10-17-2006, 08:05 AM   #23
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Thanks for sharing your experience with caulking, Kim; not exactly what I was hoping to hear though.

I've done quite a bit of caulk throughout ManLand, indeed - have done an awful lot of DIY projects, but have always used latex caulk which responds well to the wet finger technique. This silicone stuff don't seem to respond as favorably.

Hey, congrats on the new house purchase!!! What's the #1 project?

Kindly,

Dan
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Unread 10-17-2006, 08:21 AM   #24
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Looks great Dan...I have always used latex gloves when working with silicone that and a wet fingure using spit...

good luck
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Unread 10-17-2006, 08:31 AM   #25
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Lookin' good, Dan.

Never underestimate the content of our whirl-famous Liberry.

Good articles on caulking can be found in this section. Cleverly hidden under a heading beginning with the word Caulk.
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Unread 10-17-2006, 10:59 AM   #26
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Thanks much Doug, I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

CX - I was so focused on describing the prob, and getting advise, that I completely forgot about TYW's own reference materials. Thanks for the gentle prod towards the Liberry doors.

Dan
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Unread 10-17-2006, 11:46 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CX
...gentle prod...
Yep, that's Kelly's forte.
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Unread 10-17-2006, 11:56 AM   #28
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John!

Injinineer Bob's doin' that again.
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Unread 11-12-2006, 05:35 PM   #29
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It's finally finished!

So then, after way too many months, the ManLand bathroom is finally finished. Can't thank those who contributed their wisdom and knowledge enough for your, well, wisdom and knowledge. My only regret is that I'm not a better photographer because it really did turn out fantasic!

Thanks to all....

Dan
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Unread 11-12-2006, 05:38 PM   #30
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And the rest. If interested, there are more - with descriptions, at the yahoo photo link below.

Dan
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