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Unread 12-14-2010, 10:43 PM   #1
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Who makes an affordable "wood" tile?

hey guys, I am ready to do one of the bedrooms on my house. I have been researching the "wood" looking tiles (6x24 or 6x18) and noticed a big difference in prices. I cannot afford $7 a sq ft! I am looking for something made in Spain or Italy. I have seen "interceramic " tiles going for around $4 a sq ft. Any comments on this?? Anyone have experience with these tiles?? I appreciate all the help!
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Unread 12-14-2010, 10:51 PM   #2
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Ralph,

I haven't installed the IC ones, but I've seen them in person plenty at the local tile house. I don't think they are great quality. My perception of quality for a tile like that is a flat tile that can be set tight and with a high degree of visual variability from tile to tile. The Interceramic ones don't meet that for me.

You get what you pay for, especially with rectangular large format tile.
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Unread 12-14-2010, 11:08 PM   #3
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Try marazzi.. it is usa made.. Ok TEXAS, opps that is daltile. anyways.. both are USA products.

Just installing some Marazzi Riflessi Di Legno- Ebony on a shower floor, this week. due to a plumbing issue thursday and not tomorrow.
http://www.marazzitile.com/series/riflessi-di-legno

retail is 5.99 if I am not mistaken. nice porcelain tile 1/2 thick. great texture, very true cuts and no cupping..

Where it is made, does not necessary mean quality. Most tile that I have installed that came from Spain or Italy, was very good stuff, but I have also, seen some stuff that was a discrace.

Be carefull if getting from a discount outlet, just like Matt stated, variation from tile to tile will kill any installation. Floor prep for large format tiles is critical.
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Unread 12-14-2010, 11:16 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. with the $1.55 a sq ft for the ditra and then the tile it adds up real fast. snakecan2, those tiles look hot, love the texture as well. I am going to look for a local supplier of them and see what I can get them for. Problem is money is tight, I am not being cheap. And you are right. I need to becareful on quality as well
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Unread 12-14-2010, 11:20 PM   #5
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I recently installed some 6 x 24 and let me tell ya, what a PITA! I installed about 800 feet and the floor needs to be FLAT. I flashed it out the day before so I was good but this is important. Also I used a tile that had a small bevel or eased edge if you will, very small. I would hate to do it with rectified in that size.

I butted them together and every 2 feet I had to take a straight edge and rack them real good. I used unsanded grout. I paid $3.75 a foot for it and it came from Italy but I don't remember who made it. I bought it at a retailer that advertises .95 cent per foot install on the radio all the time. I can't stand them but the price was right for the tile and the customer and I accidentally pulled into their parking lot so we went in to check them out.

I looked at tile up to $9.00 a foot which was similar but not as nice as the $3.75 a foot stuff. It was much better looking and ran as good as the expensive stuff so in my case my customer paid less and got a really nice product.

I would give you the number and name of the floor store that sold me the goods but nobody there speaks English well and they are rude. Keep looking, it's out there.
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Unread 12-14-2010, 11:22 PM   #6
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Ben, I also need to flattened my floors as well.. there are some dips in the new mud. May I ask what you did?? I dont know what "flash" means.


thanks man
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Unread 12-14-2010, 11:31 PM   #7
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Flashing is using very wet soupy thin-set to fill in the low spots of the floor by working of the high spots. I use L straight edges. I go around the floor with long straight edges and check it from all different angles to get a 'feel' for the floor and what it is doing and then I take a pencil and outline my high spots and work off those.

We can't afford self leveling here in Florida and I wouldn't know how to use it if I had to.

The next day you come in you take a floor scraper and smooth down any ridges and you can also use a hand held grinding stone (has a handle) and smooth down the flashed areas too. I have had to flash floors twice before because the first time I just didn't get it good enough or perfect.
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Unread 12-14-2010, 11:35 PM   #8
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Thanks guys, I appreciate all the info. Another issue I have is fine line cracks in the mud, mostly near door jambs. This is a radiant heat setup as well. If I dont use the Ditra I save $1.55 a sq ft but then I have to worry about those cracks and causing issue's with the tile. Ben, I was going to do it exactly the way you did it!
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Unread 12-14-2010, 11:45 PM   #9
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Cracks? What are these cracks from? Is the mud lose? Did you not get a good bond under the mud?
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Unread 12-14-2010, 11:54 PM   #10
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Ben, very very fine cracks, solid all around. they are at every damn door jam or corner of a wall. I can pound on the area and the mud is solid, doesnt move. I dont know?? I mixed the mud myself and was very anal about it. first time for me.
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Unread 12-15-2010, 09:38 AM   #11
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Ralph, how big is your floor? I have worked with a few of these, and the only one I have found to be worth a darn is Tember Glen. It is in the $6 -$7 price range though.


The other stuff I have used has quite a bit of cupping to it, making it virtually impossible to set a lippage free/flat floor if you are going to offset the joints, which I can't imagine not doing with wood look a like
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Unread 12-15-2010, 09:50 AM   #12
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hey levi, 2 small bedrooms (10x12) and a livingroom maybe 12 x 15?? I have a small house. I am going to installing them just the way you did. about a 1/3 way up. I was told not half way. Have you played with Marazzi???
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Unread 12-15-2010, 10:12 AM   #13
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Not that exact Mirazzi. I have installed a number of other Mirazzi tiles though. Some are nice to work with (flat and same size) some are pretty rough. I would try and find it locally and see a few different samples to see what the quality is like. if you can get your hands on 3 or 4 pieces that will give you a decent idea. lay them all out on something very flat and push on the corners and see if they wobble at all. Then flip them all over and do the same thing. Then stack them all on edge and check for size consistency.
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Unread 12-15-2010, 09:15 PM   #14
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Levi, one more question for ya. since these are not installed in a typical tile layout, do you still start off in the middle of the room or do you start off at a wall like a real wood floor.


thanks
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Unread 12-15-2010, 09:22 PM   #15
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I can tell you I started off at the most visible, longest straight line which was the front door. That stuff was a PITA to keep straight. You are doing a small room so you should be fine coming off the wall. My front door was 30 feet to the other side and I didn't want to see any hooks when you walked in.
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