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Unread 02-04-2011, 11:57 AM   #1
TheN00b
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Kitchen backsplash project update...Seek advice for new project

The kitchen backsplash project is done. My wife and I are very thrilled by the finished result. It's PITA to put those mosaic travertine tiles, yet the hard work is very rewarding.

Here I would like to thank paul (CabotAndRowe.com), Bob (bbcamp), and Elise (Winter river) who kindly provided me with answers and opinions. Thank you. I have also taken a great amount of information from the forum. It is definitely one of the best onlne forum ever!

Here are a couple of pictures of the backsplash:
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This project has really booted our DIY confidence level. So we are thinking about renovating our powder room by ourself. Here are a couple of pics of the powder room:
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The first chanllege is to get rid of the existing tiles. And here are a few questions:

1) I am not 100% certain what type of existing tiles are ...I guess they are just regular ceramic tiles. Btw, our house is about 15 yr old with a full basement. My another guess is that underneath the tiles should be wooden subfloor. Am I right?

2) I only want to get rid off and replace the old tiles inside the powder room. The red outline of the 2nd picture shows where the potential cut off will be. Before I get start, I would like to know is it possilbe to have new tiles (have not decided what type of new tile will be, but most likely it will be some type of stone) leveled even with the old tiles outside the powder room? How to get rid off the old tiles at the door without damage the tiles outside the powder room?

3) What are the proper material/procedures that I should follow for the floor, considering I would like to have an even/smooth transition between the old and new tiles?

Thanks very much in advance.
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Unread 02-04-2011, 12:39 PM   #2
Brian in San Diego
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james,

Congratulations on your first project. It looks well designed and executed.

The tile in the powder room appears to be ceramic. You will have some type of wooden subfloor beneath the tile if it's over a full basement.

If I wanted to demo from the red box in, I would get a grout saw or use the diamond grout blade on my Harbor Frightful multipurpose tool and clean the grout joint. For the adjacent tiles I think I would take a diamond hole saw and drill a hole or two in each of them them use a cold chisel to break them out. If that went well I may continue in that fashion. The only fear I would have is if too much hammering (especially with a demo hammer) would transmit to the tile you want to keep.

I think you will have a problem installing stone in that powder room and keeping it at the same height as the existing. Here's why:

1. Stone is generally thicker than ceramic tile.
2. Stone requires floor deflection ratings of L/720 or better.
3. Stone requires two layers of plywood totaling 1 1/8" in thickness.
4. On top of the two layers of plywood you will still need to add Ditra or hardiebacker to tile over.
5. Assuming you started with 5/8" subfloor, you'd have to add 1/2" ply, 1/4" hardie and 1/2" stone. That's going to be at least 7/8" higher than your existing floor.

If you aren't planning on doing the entire floor, I think it'd be best to stick with ceramic.

Brian
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Unread 02-04-2011, 12:43 PM   #3
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Another problem with changing tile where you indicate is that the change would not fall below the closed door. Gonna look a little funny from the new side.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 02-04-2011, 01:40 PM   #4
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Glad I asked! Thanks Brian for a detailed answer. And thanks cx, your point is very valid as well.

This has quickly changed my mind of replacing the floor. I hate to replace the entire floor as it spans the powder room, a long hallway with a large walk-in closet, and a large laundry room!

My original idea is to do something like in the following picture:
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Now if I keep the existing ceramic tile floor, but still do the walls with marbles/stones as showed in the picture, would it look weird? Any suggestions?
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Unread 02-04-2011, 01:56 PM   #5
Brian in San Diego
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James,

You could still do the floor but use a ceramic tile in the style you want. That way you wouldn't have to add to the subfloor (assuming what's under there is up to snuff).

There is something to be said for ending the tile 1/2 way under the door. As that would be impossible in your scenario, you could consider not worrying about it or put a border around the entire room and then using your mosaic inside that border.

If you elect not to redo the floor, I think anything you do to update the look will be an improvement because you will have accomplished another project and it will look the way you want it to look rather than the the way the builder wanted it to look.

Brian
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Unread 02-04-2011, 02:38 PM   #6
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Your backsplash turned out good.

Those little cuts under the cabinet where fun, right?

On to your next project...

I don't know if it suits your taste but you could install hexagons with a dot on the floor. They will be thinner than your current tile but you can build up the floor a little to make it flush. (that might be easier said than done without seeing it)

Like Brian said:
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put a border around the entire room and then using your mosaic inside that border.
Maybe something like this?

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Unread 02-04-2011, 02:50 PM   #7
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Here's an idea.

I have no work today as you can tell.
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Unread 02-04-2011, 02:57 PM   #8
Brian in San Diego
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If you Google basket weave tile you will get tons of hits. Even HD has some. (Not vouching for the quality, of course.)
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Unread 02-04-2011, 03:17 PM   #9
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The kitchen looks great. I can see you spent some time with those tiny slivers at the top of the BS just under the cabinets.

We did a very similar bath as the one in your picture. To solve a problem with a crooked room, we used a black marble border to square out the center of the room. Marble baseboards and chair rail completed the look. You can use a marble threshold to take care of the transition to the hallway (which will be your next project I'm sure)
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Unread 02-04-2011, 04:11 PM   #10
TheN00b
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Thanks guys.

Brian, I did a google search. Yes, lots of them. Even HD has one made by porcelain. I don't need to add anther layer of plywood and hardibacker for porcelain tiles, right? And they can be flush with the existing tiles outside the powder room, yes?

Jesse, your hexagons as well as the black border are all ceramic tiles, right? It is certainly another viable option. Thanks.

Paul, thanks for the pictures. They look great!

Currently, I am pretty much throwing the stone tile idea out...as Brain said the finished level would be ~1" higher than the existing floor...a big drawback.

I can either leave the floor as is, or replace with ceramic (porcelain?) tiles with a border. In either case, the floor will be ceramic (or porcelain?) tiled.

I am a n00b, so I need to get a very basic question answered. I like to replace the wood baseboard/painted wall with stone baseboard + wallboard + accent chair rail (something similar to my or paul's picture). In my picture (taken from a mfg pamphlet), these material are marbles/stones.

Now my basic question is: is it a good idea to mix a ceramic/porcelain tiled floor with stone basebord/wall board/chair rail? In other words, is it a common practice to mix ceramic and stone together in a single room?

Thanks.
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Unread 02-04-2011, 04:57 PM   #11
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James,

Your question is design or aesthetics related and the right answer is if it looks good to you and the Mrs. then go for it.

I have porcelain tile in my shower and knee wall, travertine on the floor and one wall and a combination of travertine, glass and rain forest marble as a back splash on the vanity. So I have glass, stone and porcelain in one bathroom.

Brian
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Unread 02-04-2011, 05:01 PM   #12
TheN00b
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^^ Sound great, Brian. I just need to check this with you Pros and make sure I am not doing something totally crazy or unconventional.
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