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Unread 10-07-2020, 07:16 PM   #1
WestDivide
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Howdy all from Colorado

Hello to the forum!

Guess I'm a 'newbie' here, although I detest the term, notwithstanding....

Decided to register so's to access forums and potentially pick some brains, if need be. We decided to retile our main bath tub surround, when the old one cracked and self-destructed. It has certainly paid for itself in its 20 plus year life.

This is my/our first tile exercise. For reference, I finished most of the house basement, wired it (no fires after 45 yrs), recently (20 yrs) built a 900 ft2 house/garage addition, moving laundry facilities upstairs and building a third bath.

In the bath, I've finished the demo'ing, installed additional nailers and grab-bar support plates, and am installing Durock cement board -(CBU-?) Still have one caulk line to clean off the tub ledge and will complete that wall. I'll do the plumbing replacement, then finish the third wall board. That'll leave waterproofing( planning RED-GARD 2x coats) after mesh taping/mortaring the seams. Currently still reading all I can online, watching videos, etc., although all that research is not without pitfalls.... One needs a large salt shaker...

Most every thing is purchased, 8 inch tile, both matte and decorative pieces. Tools, tile saw, grout powder, thin-set mortar, etc. Now we own stock in Home Depot, sigh.....

Once I review your 'Li-berry', and lots of posts, I'll likely have some Q's.
But, hello again and happy to be aboard.

-Howard
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Unread 10-07-2020, 08:21 PM   #2
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Welcome, Howard.

Someone will likely be here when you're ready with your questions.
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Unread 10-08-2020, 02:54 PM   #3
davem
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Welcome Howard!
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Unread 10-09-2020, 07:19 AM   #4
Tool Guy - Kg
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Welcome to the forum, Howard!
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Unread 12-14-2020, 06:16 PM   #5
WestDivide
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West's surround progress

Howdy again, all....

Well, I didn't ask any questions so far. I've spent a lot of time reading posts and videos, even went to TILE UNIVERSITY, per the fellow in Minnesota. Good videos for what they discussed. Apologies for noting the competition.

I've got the walls tiled, tub to ceiling. Not a pro job, and some pics would probably fit in the 'tile job from hell' thread, but it's all up and I think pretty strong.

I experienced some poor tile adherence early on, learning the value of working quickly when setting, and small thinset batches. Learned about drying thinset surface, wetting tiles before setting, backbuttering, etc.

Really learned about having wall structure SQUARE, and extra care in forming corners and maintaining full corners, not rounding them out with tape and/or waterproofing cmpd. (double coated walls with REDGARD) Learned about filling walls to improve flatness, tub and seam filling, using silicone to help with fills, etc.

Did pretty well with the tile saw, made some interior corner cuts, and small final trim pieces.

Have a window in shower wall, so had added challenge. Used bullnose to do inside of window, just fit with minimal trimming. The sides, top and sill worked OK, did about 3-5 degrees slope on sill.

Learned to clean grout lines as you set, to 'squeeze then pull' tile edges to help keep grout lines clean(er), and not burying spacers. Also learned about not too much mud under tiles. I used a 3/8 rounded trowel to comb the thinset for the 8 x 8 ceramics. Coverage was pretty good. As the thinset bucket aged, would wet the tile back to help adherence. Small pieces and intricate places got back buttered to ensure full contact.

Did a couple grout test boards to check colors and practice technique. Read up on grout cracking and not forming well. So far, I've ascertained that grout shouldn't be too wet, as that can result in excessive shrinking upon drying, and not hardening well. Subsequent test worked better after I wetted the empty grout lines, let them drain, but leaving the tile/thinset damp, so's not to pull water from the grout.

In fact, that's the question I have now. I plan to wet the grout lines well, let them drain for 10-20 min, before applying the grout. Have a full sized grout float, but plan to use the margin float for most grout application. Any comments?

I have different width grout lines, some tiles, while all ~ 8 x 8, were different, the decorative tiles slightly bigger and thicker than the field tiles. I plan to use non-sanded grout in the ~1/16 joints, and sanded grout in the 3/16 lines. Only did fair on lippage, most are OK, but a few corners are apparent.

Save to say, I perused the forum at great length and learned a lot. Now Mrs. West is talking about a shower in the never completely finished basement bathroom. I don't know whether I've got it in me....

Thanks for suffering through this tome of a post.

-West out
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Unread 12-14-2020, 07:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard
Learned about drying thinset surface, wetting tiles before setting,..
Not" sure I understand about "drying thinset surface," but I don't like the sound of wetting tiles before setting unless you were setting over a workable mud surface using the thick bed setting method. When using the thinset mortar method, you don't want wet tiles.

Wet grout joints when grouting is not a good idea, either. Damp is OK, wet is not.

Can't comment on your training from Tile University on accounta he wants I should pay him fifty bucks to watch his videos.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 12-14-2020, 09:43 PM   #7
WestDivide
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Both ideas...

...were comments I read on this forum. This was/is my first tile rodeo, so I'm looking for all the info I can get.

Issues were: newly placed tiles came loose while removing spacers. Seemed to be little coverage/adherence to tile. As I noted, I did a lot of research, most on this forum. A couple threads I read indicated surface of thinset drying or 'skimming over' on wall before tile set. I changed mud app to be 'fresher', ie: smaller mud segments, working mud well before placing, and speeding up setting. On others, I'd wet, then wipe free water from tile to hopefully ensure it was wet enough to 'rewet' any thinset that may have 'dried' over. Object was to ensure the tile would bond to the thinset, which apparently had not happened to the tiles that came off.
I pulled more newly set tiles checking for coverage, they indicated better contact. I tested other and subsequent dried tiles to ensure good attachment. None would come loose with vigorous pressure.

Other threads indicated poor grout resulting from poor mixing and/or water leaching from grout into tiles, dried thinset, etc. My subsequent tests showed much harder grout and showed no cracking, either in grout itself, or at the grout/tile boundary. I don't intend the grout lines to be 'wet'. After wetting, I'll let them sit some time to be free of discernable water and only be 'damp'.

Tile University was interesting watching. Did not answer all questions. I did lots of evaluating of all I read/saw here, TU, other forums, etc. Some make sense, others left me wondering. Like all else, ya gotta make up your own mind what is real. But, thanks for the comments.
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Unread 12-15-2020, 03:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WestDivide
...Issues were: newly placed tiles came loose while removing spacers. Seemed to be little coverage/adherence to tile. As I noted, I did a lot of research, most on this forum. A couple threads I read indicated surface of thinset drying or 'skimming over' on wall before tile set. I changed mud app to be 'fresher', ie: smaller mud segments, working mud well before placing, and speeding up setting.
Yes, good job on applying tiles before the mortar skinned over.


Quote:
Originally Posted by WestDivide
...On others, I'd wet, then wipe free water from tile to hopefully ensure it was wet enough to 'rewet' any thinset that may have 'dried' over.
You’re “getting lucky” using this method. I would discourage this method. Just mix small batches and only spread out enough mortar that can be covered by tile before it skins over. Use this method of testing just before setting a tile: if mortar transfers onto your fingertip from a very light tough to the mortar ridges, it’s wet enough to set your tile in it. But if your finger comes away clean, refresh the mortar.

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