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Unread 02-22-2013, 12:03 AM   #1
MikeInSeattle
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MikeInSeattle - Kitchen Project

The first level of my home includes a small tile entry, carpeted hallway, formal dining room, small guest bathroom, a kitchen, and small dining area. I would like to replace this flooring with ceramic tile that looks like wood planks.

1. First, I want this to look good. I would like to do either a running bond or herringbone pattern. I have looked at many of ceramictec's tile pictures and the work he does is beautiful. I realize he does this professionally. Is it realistic to do this job as a DIY? I am patient, I am willing to take my time, and listen to the pro's. But, my tile experience will be what I learn on this job. Would it make sense to build a mock-up and practice laying these plank tiles repeatedly to get the technique down before starting on the actual floor? Are there key skills for this type of tile I should focus on/acquire before even thinking about starting this project?

2. Deflecto: I have Douglas Fir 2x10 joists 16" OC, in good condition. Span on the kitchen/small dining area side is 11 feet 8 inches. Which say's it's good for ceramic tile with some margin. On the hallway, formal dining room, entry, and guest bathroom side, the span increases to 14'. Very little margin, with a deflecto of 380. Are these deflecto values satisfactory for wood tile planks with 1/8 in joints? I thought I had read somewhere that these tile require natural stone deflecto numbers, but I am unable to find it now. Any guidance here is appreciated.

3. Still need to look at subfloor.

4. I have a staircase to the second floor. This stairway entry/exit meets the ground floor in the hallway. How do you handle the affect adding tile will have on the riser height here? I was going to ignore it, realizing that this might make me non-code compliant.

5. The remainder of the downstairs will be carpet. I want the tile and carpet to be on the same plane. Is it just a matter of adding sheathing to the low side to bring it level? Maybe it won't be exact, but I should be able to get it close right?

If I understand, depending on the answers above, the next step would be evaluating the sub floor and then determining what I'll have to do there, correct? Do I just need the subfloor material and thickness?

Thank you,

MikeInSeattle
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Unread 02-22-2013, 12:33 AM   #2
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Welcome back, Mike.

1. They're funny shaped, but they're still ceramic tiles. Buy good quality tile, plan well, measure carefully, take your time, and you should be able to set them successfully.

2. Our Deflectometer is a fairly conservative tool. If your joists are #2 or better grade and in good condition you are fine at a 14-foot span even with the added dead load of your tile. I know of no reason to treat your tiles as anything other than ceramic tile for purpose of floor structure.

4. Stairs make for difficult situations in remodeling applications. If you raise the bottom floor at the stair, your only option is to raise each stair tread and the landing above. Or don't do the tile floor. I'm inclined to overlook code requirements in some cases where said code may make no sense, but never with stairs or railings. Just too easy for people to get hurt when you don't pay attention there.

5. If you're talking about under the carpet, yes.

6. Type material and thickness is a start.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 02-22-2013, 11:32 PM   #3
MikeInSeattle
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Subfloor Material Info

Here is the current subfloor info:

(Edit: this is OSB) Weyerhaeuser Edge Gold 23/32 thick. (Per stamps on bottom of flooring). I found the specification sheet on the Weyerhaeuser website and it is linked below.

Link to Specification:

http://www.woodbywy.com/library/

I'm not sure how to interpret the L/360 info in the specification.

What is the next step? Is this enough info to determine how much plywood I will need to add to the subfloor to stiffen the subfloor across the joists?

For quality "wood plank" tile, can someone recommend a good manufacturer? From what I am reading, I will want to ensure they can provide consistently flat (minimal warp/bow as well as square corners with parallel edges.

Thanks in advance!

MikeInSeattle
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Unread 02-23-2013, 10:23 AM   #4
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The Deflectometer does not address the between-joist stiffness of the subflooring at all, Mike. That's determined by testing and experience. Your nominal 3/4" OSB over 16"oc spacing meets the minimum requirements for all tiling substrate manufacturers I'm aware of. If you're happy with that, use it. If, like myself, you'd prefer a little more subflooring, add a layer of nominal half-inch exterior glue plywood with no face of grade lower than C.

I'll see if I can find someone to address your tile brand question.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 02-23-2013, 11:05 AM   #5
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What is that first riser height compared to the rest?
What is your current flooring material in that area? What is it on the stairs? I think having a short riser on the bottom step is the least sin to make on stairs... When I added hardwood instead of carpet to the upper stair deck in our home this was an issue I considered but went ahead and sinned on. So my tiop riser is 8" and the rest are 7.5" except for the bottom one which is 8" also and the hardwood and stairs are unchanged in this area from the original build except for one wood refinish. Do I notice this 1/2"? no. is it to code? no off by 1/8". My stairs goes down 5 steps to another deck and turns 90 so I decided a fall would only be a non fatal broken neck. just kidding.
Hopefully your lower riser is over 3/8 higher than the others so adding 3/4" of tile and ditra will keep the difference close to 3/8"

PS we looked at those wood tiles and we really liked them.. I remember them being on the thick side near 3/8"
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Unread 02-23-2013, 01:19 PM   #6
MikeInSeattle
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Thank you. I'm going to add an additional ply. My goal is to adjust the height of flooring on the carpeted side, to be in plane with the tile. Would you recommend I do that at the same time I'm adding the additional layer of ply in the tiled area? Or, should I wait until I have the final height after the tile is installed?


Now, I just need to settle on tile manufacturer and tile.


MikeInRainyWindySeattle
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Unread 02-23-2013, 09:41 PM   #7
ceramictec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeInSeattle
Now, I just need to settle on tile manufacturer and tile.
what look are you going for ?
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Unread 02-24-2013, 03:10 AM   #8
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http://mediterranea-usa.com/usa/havana/#

I like this look. If not this pattern, then I'd like to do a regular "wood floor" look, I guess that is running bond?


It looks like really tiny grout lines. Do you think this would still be a clean look even with 1/8 in grout lines?

The company "Mediterranea" is in Florida. I have no idea how expensive these tiles are or what their quality is. If you know of a good quality/good value tile mfg, please let me know.

Your work is really nice. I see your pictures on Houzz, they really stand out.

MikeInSeattle
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Unread 02-24-2013, 03:18 AM   #9
MikeInSeattle
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My bottom riser is only 6.5 inches tall, and the rest of them are 7.5 inches tall. I never noticed it until I measured it today. Now, I notice it every time I walk up stairs. I'm going to document this, an then see what it looks like after the job is complete. I think the only way to really address this is to rebuild the stairs. I've never stumbled on the first step though, in about 5 years.
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Unread 02-24-2013, 08:18 AM   #10
ceramictec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeInSeattle
http://mediterranea-usa.com/usa/havana/#

I like this look. If not this pattern, then I'd like to do a regular "wood floor" look, I guess that is running bond?
that tile is nice. I have yet to use it due to its cost with shipping.

the pattern is called "herringbone"

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeInSeattle
The company "Mediterranea" is in Florida.
its actually a designer in Miami who has manufacturers make
it a label it under their name an spec.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeInSeattle
If you know of a good quality/good value tile mfg, please let me know.
I just finished a job using a Florida Tile called Berkshire and another job using a tile Florida Tile imports from its parent company in Italy called BluStyle.

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Last edited by ceramictec; 02-24-2013 at 08:30 AM.
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Unread 03-16-2013, 03:38 PM   #11
MikeInSeattle
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The quote I received for the Havana tile was $4500 + $350 for shipping. While I was waiting for that, another tile caught my attention. It is "Mannington Strata Earth", 12in x 24in.

Any reason not to go with this larger tile?

Stair remodel should be done in 3-4 weeks and then I go straight into tile. :0

Mike
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Unread 03-16-2013, 04:18 PM   #12
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color and size selections are up to you.
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Unread 03-17-2013, 10:42 PM   #13
MikeInSeattle
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Thanks Brian. Have you used this tile company before, are the tiles they sale of good quality?

Heated tiles: After reading up on heated flooring, and then checking the forums here, I've opted for radiant hydronic heating. I made this decision primarily on the need to use self leveling compound on the entire floor and the ability to add/modify/maintain the system after the tile is installed.

I play hockey with a guy who owns a hydronics company and he stopped by today to take a look. I was surprised by the cost of these systems, but again, I can start small and build a whole house system eventually. I'm going to use aluminum heat transfer plates fastened to the subfloor from below.

Any other pro's / con's I should consider before finalizing this decision?

I should start the prep for tile in about 3 weeks now.

Mike
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Unread 03-18-2013, 12:00 AM   #14
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Mike, I installed some of the medditeranea tile with a herringbone pattern recently and with a 1/16th joint. A Herringbone patern is nice because it keeps you from offsetting the tile any more than the width of that tile, yet still has a nice look than your typical plank install that only gets offsett the same 6". Much more time consuming to do though. Think it doesn't matter as it seems your selection might have changed by now, but I wasn't crazy about the mediteranea at all in terms of flattness of the tiles.
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Unread 03-18-2013, 12:01 AM   #15
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But the color and pattern variation was very natural looking.
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