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Unread 01-22-2009, 10:52 AM   #1
SusieHaz
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Newbie with LARGE tile job

Hello, everyone,
I've been searching and reading throughout the forum and have found some helpful advice and tips, but I'm a bit overwhelmed at so much information, which is sometimes conflicting. Listed below are the details of what I'm working with and the parts that scare me. I'd really appreciate any help you can give me. I am tiling my entire house, about 1100 sq. ft. and am doing it by myself. I realize it will be a long, arduous task, but I'm positive I'm capable.

This is what I've already purchased
  • 12-1/2 x 12-1/2 glazed and textured porcelain tile for the floors
  • 4x4 of the same tile for a diamond design every 4 ft.
  • VersaBond Fortified Thin-Set Mortar
  • Polyblend Sanded Grout (1/8-1/2")
  • gallon of latex additive (I don't have the name right now, but I bought it where they sell Quikrete Concrete Patch to make the patch adhere to the concrete hole I'm filling. The HD guy told me I could also use it to seal my concrete before tiling.)
  • 1/2 x 1/2 x 1/2 square-notch trowel (per the VersaBond bag)
  • The HD 7-inch Tile Wet Saw (4.8 AMP, 3/4 HP motor & 7-inch diamond blade)

Worst/Scariest Issue
My house is only about 4 years old and the builder put down sheet vinyl in the kitchen and bathrooms. I've already removed the vinyl, was able to get up some of the adhesive and have spent hours and hours trying to remove all the adhesive. I got a lot of it up, but some of it will not budge. I've tried several types of scrapers, heat gun, citrus-based remover, some other kind of expensive citrusy remover, and, in small places, mineral spirits and Jasco Sealer & Adhesive Remover. On the places where I can't get it removed, it does leave a very slightly raised area.

I've been told different things about this adhesive, but MOST of the people have told me that, if I can't get it up despite the above efforts, that it will be okay to leave it there. I bought the tile at Stone Mountain and my contact there says I should get up anything I can and to clean the concrete, then mop it with the latex additive. He also told me I could add some of the latex additive to my VersaBond (and the grout), but I've read other places that's a bad idea since the VersaBond is already fortified.

Reading through your forum, I find some who say I need to rent a scarifier, but my HD doesn't have one. I'm frankly afraid of doing that anyway, since I'm not sure I can physically handle (5'3", 135lbs.) a machine like that. If found a Bosch 1773AK 10 amp 5-in. Concrete Surfacing Grinder on Amazon, but it's $319! The reviews on Amazon sound like it would work well and I don't mind buying it if it will do the job, save me time and not make an enormous mess. It does, however, come with a vacuum adaptor to feed to the ShopVac. I do NOT want to have to use some kind of machine that will make me have to clean up dust for weeks and weeks. I saw angle grinders at HD, but know how they'd work.

The adhesive that remains is kind of dark gray to black. I haven't done the test with drops of water to see if they soak in or bead up, but I'd guess they'll bead up. Will try that tonight when I get home.

VersaBond says it will work over cutback and, from what I've read, cutback is the old type of adhesive that contains asbestos, right? Since my house is new, I know I don't have real cutback on the concrete, but will VersaBond still adhere to it?

If I end up leaving the stuck-on adhesive, do I need to use some type of leveler over it? If so, do I just taper the leveling liquid out from the kitchen into the living room (where it's level and there is no adhesive)?

Second scariest part
When the builders installed my kitchen island, they forgot to run the electrical to it, so they went back, jackhammered up the foundation, ran the electrical and patched over it. Bad thing is that the patch isn't level and I absolutely cannot budge it by hand no matter how hard I work.

So, do you think I could get the adhesive up and the concrete patch level with a hand tool like the surface grinder mentioned above or a less expensive angle grinder? If I could get it done with an angle grinder, is there a particular type I need to look for?

Trowel question
Although the VersaBond called for the 1/2x1/2 trowel, it seems so BIG to me. Should I instead use a 1/4x3/8x1/4 (which the VersaBond bag says is good for up to 12")?

Drying Times
From what I've been told and read, I need to let the tile set for 24 hours before I grout, but I've heard conflicting information about how long after I grout before I can move my furniture back in the room. I only have enough room in my house to move one room of furniture at a time into the spare space, so I'd like to get the furniture back in the room as soon as I can. Will it be okay if I only seal the grout in areas where furniture doesn't cover it or do I need to wait the 2-3 days after grouting to seal the whole room? I just can't get the flow of the time line right in my mind?

Flow of the tile squares
Since I'm tiling my whole house, I assume that wherever I start tiling will dictate how the tiles end up being placed throughout the rest of the house. Is that correct? I'd like to start in my guest room (least used room) so my learning curve can start there, but I really want the space between my kitchen island and sink to end up being mostly whole tiles. If I get my tiles and spacers and start in that kitchen area and lay them out until they reach the guest room, would it be safe to start there (in the guest room)? I hope that makes sense.

LAST thing
I know I have to clean the concrete in the whole house really well. They spray-painted all the trim and doors, so I'll definitely get that up. I'll also patch any small holes in the concrete. Do you have suggestions for what I should use to generally clean and what I should use to get up the latex paint? I've used a bottle of concrete hole patch before and it worked okay except that I had to make about three swipes at each hole to get it level.

I realize this is a lot to read, but I thought it would be easier to get my questions answered if I just put down everything I've tried or heard.

Many thanks for any help you all can give me.

Susie

P.S. I'm removing my baseboards throughout the house and am using the 4x4 tiles as baseboards. One person told me I needed to buy a special white mastic for use on the drywall and another told me the VersaBond would be fine. That person also said the grout on the bottom edge (where it meets the floor tile) might crack and I may end up having to go back over that area with some caulk grout. Which type of mastic do you think I should use and does that sound correct about the caulk grout?
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Unread 01-22-2009, 11:04 AM   #2
SusieHaz
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Red face One more NEWBIE question - kitchen appliances

What should I do about my dishwasher and set-in stove? I haven't checked to see if I have enough play in the leveling legs to add the tile and thinset under the dishwasher or the stove. If I don't, that is if the tile and thinset would raise them up too much, do I just place a tile along the front and let it go as far back as it can under the appliances? If I do that, how could I later get them out?

I'm sure this is a dumb question, but I just can't figure it out.

Thanks,
Susie
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Unread 01-22-2009, 11:21 AM   #3
ceramictec
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Quote:
Trowel question
Although the VersaBond called for the 1/2x1/2 trowel, it seems so BIG to me. Should I instead use a 1/4x3/8x1/4 (which the VersaBond bag says is good for up to 12")?
too big of a trowel in my opinion.
a 3/8" would be better.
Quote:

The adhesive that remains is kind of dark gray to black. I haven't done the test with drops of water to see if they soak in or bead up, but I'd guess they'll bead up. Will try that tonight when I get home.
you do need to scrape up with a floor razor scraper as much as you can.

Quote:
Flow of the tile squares
Since I'm tiling my whole house, I assume that wherever I start tiling will dictate how the tiles end up being placed throughout the rest of the house. Is that correct?
you need to make sure you layout all the rooms and you have lines going into each one to make sure you stay square and all your cuts look decent.

Quote:
Drying Times
From what I've been told and read, I need to let the tile set for 24 hours before I grout, but I've heard conflicting information about how long after I grout before I can move my furniture back in the room.
Thinset is 24 hours and Customs Grout says initial set is 5 hours but it's best to say stay off for a day.

Quote:
P.S. I'm removing my baseboards throughout the house and am using the 4x4 tiles as baseboards. One person told me I needed to buy a special white mastic for use on the drywall and another told me the VersaBond would be fine. That person also said the grout on the bottom edge (where it meets the floor tile) might crack and I may end up having to go back over that area with some caulk grout. Which type of mastic do you think I should use and does that sound correct about the caulk grout?
versabond is good for both things.
caulk the change pf plains where the base sits on the floor.

Quote:
kitchen appliances
What should I do about my dishwasher and set-in stove? I haven't checked to see if I have enough play in the leveling legs to add the tile and thinset under the dishwasher or the stove. If I don't, that is if the tile and thinset would raise them up too much, do I just place a tile along the front and let it go as far back as it can under the appliances? If I do that, how could I later get them out?
you need to remove the stove and tile under it and the dishwasher you need to make sure you have clearance under the counters, if so remove and tile under it, if not your only option is to remove the skirt tile up to the legs and put back on the skirting.
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Unread 01-22-2009, 11:30 AM   #4
bbcamp
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OK Susie, let's see if I can help!

1) Home Depot isn't the onliest place in Stone Mountain that rents tools. Get the yellow pages out and find a tool rental store, the transport your little self over there and tell then what you are going to do, which is to grind a little bit of concrete where the adhesive still is. You will be able to try the tool in the store. They probably won't let you actually grind anything, but you can get the feel if the tool. Thing is, you do need to remove some of the concrete because of the old adhesive and all the chemical strippers you've tried.

2) Where they patched your floor, you'll want to grind that area fairly flush, then install an antifracture membrane. Let's leave teh membrane for a later discussion.

3) Use the trowel specified on the Versabond bag. It's just right for your tile.

4) Consider renting a storage unit for the excess furniture. You don't want to rush drying times, or you could end up asking us how to remove a cracked tile.

5) Draw a scale drawing of your house, using 1/4" grid paper. Play with the layout until you get something that looks close. Then, starting in the living room or kitchen (whichever you think is most visible) snap a few chalk lines and lay the tiles out on the floor. You may have to move the tiles one way or another to get something pleasing. Once you have the most important room layed out, continue snapping lines in the other rooms, creating a grid that will guide you no matter where you start. Do a site search for "grid method."

6) Your grinder will take care of the overspray.

7) Versabond will adhere tile to drywall, no need for another product.
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Unread 01-22-2009, 03:50 PM   #5
SusieHaz
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Thanks, guys, for your helpful information.

Bob,
Quote:
Home Depot isn't the onliest place in Stone Mountain that rents tools.
You made me laugh. Stone Mountain is a tile store. Great Tennessee accent. I'll look up the antifracture membrane thing.
Quote:
Consider renting a storage unit for the excess furniture. You don't want to rush drying times, or you could end up asking us how to remove a cracked tile.
Thanks, but there is no way am I moving anything into a storage unit. This, too, made me laugh. A man would see he has to tile 1100 square feet and just get everything outta there and get the job done. As a woman, and considering I don't have a posse to help me, I've given myself three months to get this tiling job done, so that allows me to wait however many days after grouting that I need to before I move the furniture back in. I've been told to wait 24 hours, but that doesn't seem right to me, so how about if I just wait until the grout feels dry -- maybe 3-5 days or whatever it needs -- then seal and move the furniture back in the next day. I ought to be able to feel it an inconspicuous corner to see if it's dry, right? When one room is finished, I'll start on the next and I can keep on living and going to work and tile at night and on the weekends with minimal disruption.

Bob and Brian: Thanks for your advice about the layout. That's very helpful. I've been lazy thinking about this and just need to research the grid method so I feel confident about it. I made to-scale grid drawings of my house before I moved in, so I have an idea of what I want to do. And I will get out the chalk line and laser thingy and get all my major lines done.

I think I'll stick with the VersaBond recommendation for the trowel.

About the ADHESIVE and the CONCRETE HUMP, I purchased that Bosch Concrete Grinder. I know I can handle it and, when I'm finished with it, I'm sure I can sell it and get some of my money back (if I can part with it). According to everything I read on this site and in the Amazon reviews, it ought to fix them both without a huge mess, plus finish getting up the little bit of thinset left where I removed 60 sq ft of existing ugly ceramic tile -- pried up the tiles and removed most of the thinset with hammer and chisel -- OUCH!!!

Thanks to both of you for confirming that I can use the VersaBond for the baseboards and I'll get some grout caulk to match.

Brian,
Quote:
you need to remove the stove and tile under it and the dishwasher you need to make sure you have clearance under the counters, if so remove and tile under it, if not your only option is to remove the skirt tile up to the legs and put back on the skirting.
Thanks for this advice. I hope I can adjust the legs on the stove so it won't be taller than the countertop. I hadn't thought about removing that skirting, so that was very helpful.

Thank you both very much! I really appreciate the helpful hints and advice.

Susie
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Unread 01-23-2009, 11:06 PM   #6
SusieHaz
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Grout thickness and float question

This is my first time with tile, so I only know what I've heard and read, mostly here -- THANKS!!!

I'm laying 12" porcelain with a high shade variation and sanded grout. It's got kind of a quarry stone look and the edges are sloped down a bit. I had planned to use 3/16" spacers, but am wondering if I should go up to 1/4" since I read at this forum that thicker grout will help to sort of blend the variation. What do y'all think about that?

I'd also like to make my grout lines tall enough for a pretty smooth look and feel -- more level with the top of the tile -- and read here that I might need to have a different/harder grout float if I want to have tall grout. I purchased a "Gum Rubber Grout Float" at HD, but can exchange if I need to. I'd appreciate some advice here.

Thanks!

Susie
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Last edited by SusieHaz; 01-23-2009 at 11:08 PM. Reason: add photo of tile
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Unread 01-23-2009, 11:11 PM   #7
ceramictec
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Hi Susie,

is this part of your other thread ?

best to ask all your Q's there so we can follow what you have going on.

http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/...ad.php?t=70144

can you post a picture of the EDGE of the tile ?
with a cushioned edge you want tighter joints since to the top they will be wider.

Quote:
and read here that I might need to have a different/harder grout float if I want to have tall grout
that has nothing to do with how high you can get your joints.
you just need to float them and not wash them out with the sponge.
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Unread 01-23-2009, 11:14 PM   #8
SusieHaz
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Bosch 1773AK 10 amp 5-in. Concrete Surfacing Grinder

I bought this tool and tried it out for the first time tonight and, OMG, it works so great! I screwed up the first 12 seconds I used it -- forgot to turn on the vacuum cleaner . . . DUH!! . . . and it made a huge mess FAST. The dust set off the smoke alarm, Brinks called and asked if it was okay to call off the fire department. Anyway, after I turned on the ShopVac, it worked perfectly! I'm so thrilled I decided to get it so I can finally get rid of that horrible vinyl adhesive and won't lose sleep fretting about it.
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Unread 01-23-2009, 11:21 PM   #9
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Hi susie, don't worry, your not the only one that's done that! I have done that inna finished house once. The hose popped off the vac before I started the grinder. It doesn't take long to smoke up a room eh? I have the same scarifier you just bought. Awesome tool.
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Unread 01-23-2009, 11:27 PM   #10
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Hi Suzie, a belated welcome to the forum.

I have merged your two threads since they relate to the same project. As Brian mentioned, we like to keep all posts about a project on one thread so we have ALL the info about the project in one place. It really helps all the volunteer folks to keep track of what is/was happening. If you could post all future questions right here in this thread it would really help us help you.

You've got an impressive workload ahead of you. Good luck...and hope we can be of help to you.
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Unread 01-23-2009, 11:28 PM   #11
SusieHaz
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Hi, Brian,

I considered adding this to my existing thread, but I hated to have anyone have to suffer through that LONG post. If anyone has the capability to move this to my other thread, that would be great. Sorry about that.

Here's a photo of the edge of the tile.

Quote:
with a cushioned edge you want tighter joints since to the top they will be wider.
I'm sorry, but I don't know what you mean by that -- Greek to me.

Thanks,
Susie
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Unread 01-23-2009, 11:31 PM   #12
SusieHaz
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Hi, Mike and Marge, and thanks, Marge, for cleaning up my post mistake. If only it were that easy to clean up my ShopVac-not-turned-on mistake.
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Unread 01-23-2009, 11:32 PM   #13
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Susie, we're happy to get your thread all put together. Wish we could have helped with your Shop Vac.

Cushioned edge....picture the tiles butted up to each other, touching. See how the grout joint is like a "V"? Gets wider on the top compared to two tiles with square edges that are flush. Make sense?
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Unread 01-23-2009, 11:35 PM   #14
SusieHaz
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One more thing about my new awesome tool. I tightened that nut with the special wrench as tight as I possibly could and, after I'd run it for about three minutes and thank God I decided to stop, because as soon as I turned it off, held it until it was stopped, unplugged it and set it down, the nut and wheel fell off. I guess I'll just have to use it for a very few minutes at a time, stop, unplug and retighten it again. I'm horrified to think it might go flying. I personally think the wrench could be easier for the not-so-brawny by having a rubber handle or something. Any other suggestions?
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Unread 01-23-2009, 11:41 PM   #15
SusieHaz
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Quote:
Cushioned edge....picture the tiles butted up to each other, touching. See how the grout joint is like a "V"? Gets wider on the top compared to two tiles with square edges that are flush. Make sense?
Okay, Marge, so what Brian meant was if I grout it up high like that that would be called a cushioned edge? I get the part about it being like a V. So, it's okay if I grout it that way? And I think Brian meant that if I did a cushioned edge then I might want to use a smaller spacer since it would appear even wider than 3/16" because it would be spread out at the top of the V?
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