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Unread 01-03-2006, 08:55 PM   #1
Midnightmaraude
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Questions about backerboard installation

Hello all,
I've been reading the forums for a very long time. I have never ever tiled before, but LOVE the look of it. So I finally convinced the wife to let me endulge and proceeded to rip up the kitchen floor which had laminate wood flooring (cheap stuff) and horrible 1989 linoleum flooring under it. I'm down to the subfloor whcih is 1" thick plywood it seems. Floor seems pretty level but does have a slight slope over by the stove and fridge. The floor is flat though with no unusual rises.

Last night we went to the depot. I picked up some hardibacker. I wanted wonderboard but hte wife thought the grid was "cute". Oh btw my kithcen is about 180 sq ft if it matters. after about 1.5 hour of looking for decent help I finally decided on flexbond for under the hardibacker. I think I have all the supplies I need. Scoring tool, 5 gallon bucket, drill mixer attachment. two bags of the flexbond, the 1 1/4"screws for hardibacker, tape So far I have laid down 6 boards with only two corners touching at every spot. It is getting trickier though now that my space is running thin. So what is my question right?

Well a few. The 1/8" does this have to be exact between the boards? Or can one be close. I pulled off the baseboard and I'm 1/4" from the wall. So, how do you guys set the boards? Do you pick each one up off the floor and then lay down the thinset or do you pick them all up and align them against the wall and lay them down as you go? I have numbered them. 1-6 so far. I'm choosing six because one bag of flexbond should cover 90-100 sq ft. That's about 6 3x5 hardibacker boards. How long will I have to work with a whole bucket of mortar? Should I mix the whole bag at one time and if not how do I mix smaller portions? I'm pretty nervous here and I don't think it's this complex, just worried about ruining the job and having wife put me in dog house. After I get this backerboard down until I'm ready to tile can I put the kitchen table back on the hardibacker? Right nwo it's sitting in our living room.

I can't wait to get using the mortar... oh and I have the trowel 1/4x1/4x1/4. It's gonna be sweet drilling in the first screw. But I need to be sure I'm on the right track. Thanks in advance guys
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Unread 01-03-2006, 09:10 PM   #2
jadnashua
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It takes awhile to screw down all of those boards, so you may not want to mix up a whole bag at once. I used a bathroom scale to weigh out parts of a bag, then a good mesauring cup/pitcher to measure the water. The screws with a square drive work better than those with 'only' the phillips head. Becareful of the screw pushing the board back up off of the floor. I found that when that happened, if I backed the screw out while pushing down on the screw, it reamed (drilled) out the shaft hole and then when I put it back in, it pulled the board down flush. Note, galvanized roofing nails work just fine, too, and are a lot quicker (especially if you have a nail gun!). Try to get either flush, as the bumps make it harder (but not impossible) to get the tile all flat and level. I don't think that a 1/4" at the edge is a problem...you normally leave a gap there for expansion anyways. My unprofessional opinion.
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Unread 01-03-2006, 09:19 PM   #3
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I agree with Jim. Except - I would NOT use nails. Just cuz. Also - don't worry about being so particular about measuring the powder and water. This is thinset. Nothing fancy here. Make it a nice frosting/peanut butter/toothpaste consitency. Doesn't have to be exact.

When you do the GROUT - THAT has to be exact. Follow the instructions to the letter.

Best of luck!

sw (shawn)
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Unread 01-03-2006, 09:23 PM   #4
Midnightmaraude
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Thanks for the reply. I'm actually in Litchfield NH. Small world. Do you by any chance have the measurements you used ie. pounds of mix and ratio of water? Would help. <--not so good at math here.
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Unread 01-03-2006, 09:27 PM   #5
Midnightmaraude
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theoderik
I agree with Jim. Except - I would NOT use nails. Just cuz. Also - don't worry about being so particular about measuring the powder and water. This is thinset. Nothing fancy here. Make it a nice frosting/peanut butter/toothpaste consitency. Doesn't have to be exact.

When you do the GROUT - THAT has to be exact. Follow the instructions to the letter.

Best of luck!

sw (shawn)
I think I'm going to use the grout that comes in the bucket all premixed, stain proof stuff as seen at the depot. Even comes in colors. I'm just hoping i haven't bitten off more than I can chew. Seems overwhelming at first. Is it okay to not have full boards? I know it's best to have as many full boards as possible, but that's just impossible imo
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Unread 01-03-2006, 09:30 PM   #6
pitterpat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnightmaraude
Thanks for the reply. I'm actually in Litchfield NH. Small world. Do you by any chance have the measurements you used ie. pounds of mix and ratio of water? Would help. <--not so good at math here.
Look at the instructions on the bag. Then divide the bag weight up like 6 lbs/batch and the same proportion of water. That's how I do it. It is important how much water you use vs lbs. of thinset. If you've never done it before you'll have a hard time determining the ratio of water to thinset just by guessing. If you use a scale and measing cup for the water you'll be better off and then be able to eyeball it later as you get more experienced.
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Unread 01-03-2006, 09:45 PM   #7
Splinter
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Please rethink your idea about the premixed grout. It's not a cement based product which means it has to dry instead of cure. It will shrink and crack if your grout joints are on the wider side, and it wont have the same durability as a cement based product.

My $.02
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Unread 01-03-2006, 09:53 PM   #8
Midnightmaraude
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinter
Please rethink your idea about the premixed grout. It's not a cement based product which means it has to dry instead of cure. It will shrink and crack if your grout joints are on the wider side, and it wont have the same durability as a cement based product.

My $.02
Well now that's why I'm here. To get the right advice. I did not know that and will go with a cement based product. I"ll just apply a good sealer.



Any answer to my board questions?
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Unread 01-03-2006, 10:03 PM   #9
jadnashua
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Because you use the fiberglass cbu tape (make sure it is for cbu, not drywall) when you tile over the seams, it ties the pieces together into a monolithic structure...cutting a sheet isn't that big of a deal. You just don't want lots of small pieces or to have 4 corners together if you can help it.
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Unread 01-03-2006, 10:33 PM   #10
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Hi there Midnight, welcome! Do you have a first name we can go by? When I put the cbu down I usually cut the pieces first then set them all in order. I use a roofing nail gun because it's much faster than screwing. Try to leave atleast an 1/8 between the sheets then use cbu tape. You need to dampen the surface of the hardi as you tile. Like Alex, said forget about the premixed grout, buy the stuff in the bag that needs to be mixed with water or an additive. You don't have to have full boards, just stagger the joints.
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Unread 01-04-2006, 08:01 PM   #11
Midnightmaraude
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Oh boy.... oh boy ... oh boy.

I dunno guys, this is a lot harder than I thought. HELPPP

I decided to mix 1/4 of the bag of flexbond. I weighed out 12.5 lbs of the mix and figured I hsould add roughly 40 ounces of water..which is about .32 gallon I think I made the mistake of putting the mix in first I set the drill in and started pouring the water then mixed as best I could. I'm using a Dewalt 3/8 drill. It was mixing ok but then eventually it became too much for it. So I tried to mix by hands...what a chore that was... I stil didn't get all the mix.. ON the very bottom was some dry mix.

I feel like an idiot.. I started freaking out as I was spreading the stuff on the floor... it wasn't spreading how I imagined. and the stuff was REALLY sticky. anyway...I got all nervous and started scraping the stuff off the wood and putting it back in teh bucket. I hope you guys are laughing though really. Someone outta get a kick outta this. Anyhow....I just couldn't give up and started spreading the stuff again. This time it seemed to go on smoother, but it was still hard to spread. Bottom line,, I did the best job I could and just stuck the board on and screwed it all in. It seems okay as far as I can tell but I know it wasn't a great smear job. and this is the first board! I can tell you I used probably 11lbs of it on that one board. 15 sq ft. Seems like a bit much but it was the best I could do. Anyone have any suggestions on getting this stuff mixed right. Was my ratio correct? I did let it slake for 10 mins and then mixed again best I could. I even stuck my hands in there to mix it by hand. Big mistake there too. LOL I'm really frustrated and down on myself right now. Is this stuff supposed to spread easier than it did?
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Unread 01-04-2006, 08:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnightmaraude
Oh boy.... oh boy ... oh boy.

I'm using a Dewalt 3/8 drill. It was mixing ok but then eventually it became too much for it.
My $.02 - Anytime you try and mix a cement, mortar, or drywall mud type of product you MUST use a good 1/2" drill, possibly one dedicated to just that use. But I think you know that now...

Good luck!
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Unread 01-04-2006, 08:15 PM   #13
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Hi again, gotta first name? Yes it shoulda been easier to spread than you said. I will mix the whole bag when I have four or more sheets to put down. One bag will do about four sheets. I will mix it a little looser than normal too so it spreads easier and the cbu will mush into it good filling any voids. The drill you are using isn't strong enough, you need a 1/2" drill or mixer. The water has to go in first then the powder.
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Unread 01-04-2006, 08:24 PM   #14
Midnightmaraude
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hmmm well I'll have to rent one at home depot. I'm not experienced enough though to do a full bag at once. Anyone have a break down of ratios .... was my ratio correct 40 ounces to the 12.5lbs of flexbond? I'm not taking this board up. It's down to stay. But I need to ensure I'm getting a good mix. you said the bag does 4 boards. If that's true then my 1/4 of the bag mixed did one board so far...so am I on task?

Jason
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Unread 01-04-2006, 08:32 PM   #15
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Doin fine Jason you'll see that when you rent the mixing drill it will be much easier to mix more at once, like try a 1/2 bag, me I don't like to run outta mud when I'm putting down the boards.
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