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Unread 10-17-2021, 12:30 AM   #31
Mike_L_B
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Apologies, CX. Wrote that last post on the go/my phone. Back at my computer, doing some more research now.

To clarify, we have four types of tile:
(1) Bathroom wall – 1”x3” stacked subway mosaic, porcelain. Will have inside and outside corners. Now planning on a mitered edge for outside corners.
(2) Bathroom floor – Small stone mosaic. No complicated cuts or transitions, just meeting hardwood at the entry. (May need an engineered profile?)
(3) Kitchen floor – This is what I meant by large mosaic. 13"x11" polished marble mosaic. There's a step and inside corners, and we have Schluter Quadec for the outside corner.
(4) Kitchen backsplash – Porcelain penny round. Has an inside corner.

I've done a few tool rentals for various projects recently, and I understand/agree that you usually get subpar equipment. I'll want to move pretty quickly once it gets to tiling, so buying a small table saw might be the best option.

So questions now: Is a wet blade needed for porcelain or just stone? Same question for diamond blade. Any saw recommendations for this size job?

Thanks again!
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Unread 10-17-2021, 07:39 AM   #32
ss3964spd
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Michael,

You are not going to get anything resembling a straight cut on those porcelain tile using a nipper.

You will need a wet saw, with a diamond blade. Depending on the size of the tiles you need to cut the small, inexpensive table saw might do the trick. If you have only a few cuts to make renting a saw for a day might be an option, but you might feel rushed to finish so you can return the rental, and that rush might induce errors. Would for me anyway.
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Unread 10-17-2021, 06:29 PM   #33
jadnashua
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FWIW, a good porcelain tile is harder than most stones (with diamond being the exception!). In fact, it's often about the same as sapphire, which is 9 on the scale of 10, with diamond being 10.

Some blades can cut dry, but the dust and heat can be problematic, and will decrease the life of it, sometimes considerably. That extreme heat can cause the tile to fracture because of the extreme, concentrated heat at the cutting point.
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Unread 10-17-2021, 08:30 PM   #34
Mike_L_B
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Good point, Dan. I've got a saw on order already. And thanks for the extra info, Jim.

Another question: was planning on using a Schluter profile for the kitchen step, and this will be over the Hardie Backer board. Any objections to this? The only examples I've seen from Schluter include their substrates, but I was figuring that was more of an advertising thing rather than a requirement for using the profile.
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Unread 10-17-2021, 08:47 PM   #35
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Well, Herr Schluter is not gonna give you any sort of warranty on that installation, Michael, but I don't know any reason it wouldn't work.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 10-18-2021, 05:43 PM   #36
jadnashua
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Profiles will work over any tileable surface.

On a wall, you can place your profile then thinset over it to set your tile, but on a floor, you want to ensure you get full support underneath it, so spread your thinset, push the profile into it, then add some along the tiling flange before setting your tile. Done right, your profile should be the same thickness as your tile, or up to 1/16" less...when you grout, it will have a gap to fill that in and taper it. YOu don't want it taller than the tile, expecting the thinset to compesate, as it's a major pain if you press the tile down too far to get it back up without disturbing adjacent ones, along with potentially the profile itself. You still have the thinset thickness to the substrate to bond the tile, so bonding to the profile isn't really important...it gets locked in place because of the holes in the tiling flange and the tile above.

Hardiebacker is VERY thirsty, so wipe it down with a wet sponge just prior to spreading the thinset, or it will suck too much out of it, making it stiffer, and harder to set the tile.
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Unread 10-23-2021, 12:00 AM   #37
Mike_L_B
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Noted, and much appreciated, as always. I'll make sure to sponge down the backerboard before tiling.

I did a practice run this week on a leftover piece, using a sheet of the four different tiles I'll be using, and things went pretty smoothly. Have a question on the porcelain penny round, though--trying to grout that was quite a bit tougher than the other mosaics. When sponging off excess grout, I was worried about taking too much off and making the grout level uneven. A good portion of the tile is swallowed up by the grout, but I guess that's the nature of none-square tile. Any tips for grouting penny round to get an even fill?

I'm using Mapei Flexcolor CQ at the recommendation of local tile store. I've read up on proper application to avoid it sticking to tile, but are there any concerns with this product scratching tile since it is sanded grout?

Thanks again.
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Unread 10-23-2021, 08:27 AM   #38
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Michael, there is always a concern about a grout scratching a tile until you've grouted one of your test boards with the grout you intend to use.

The MAPEI Flexcolor CQ, in my experience, is not particularly abrasive, but test it on your tiles before you commit if there is any concern at all.

Grouting penny-rounds is a PITA with any grout. With one of the single component grouts, such as your Flexcolor CQ, it can be evern worse as the grout on the surface will want to dry long before the grout in the joints is sufficiently solid to prevent the problem you're seeing. I've not done anything as small as penny tiles with one of those grouts, but I'm thinking I would allow time for the joints to firm up even though that would certainly result in a significant haze problem on the tiles. While that haze can be difficult to deal with, it can be done and might be worth the hassle. Operative word there is might.

Dampening the surface of the tiles, while not introducing water into the joints, before grouting will help. Wringing your sponges 'till they scream will also help. Making only a single pass with a side of the sponge before rinsing can help. That sort of grout is very different to deal with if you're accustomed to using cementitious grout, but paying close attention to the manufacturer's instructions will help.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 10-26-2021, 01:26 PM   #39
Mike_L_B
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Thanks, CX. This is all very helpful. Would you recommend a different kind of grout to prevent the haziness with small penny round? I've already tried a sample with the Mapei and can follow your suggestions to try and improve on what I'm seeing.
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