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Unread 05-04-2010, 04:20 PM   #1
Kelfa
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DIY'r - Questions on Thinset/Saw for 20" porcelain tile on slab

Hello,

Just as the title says, This will be my first large scale tile project, about 1300sq ft of 20" porcelain tile.

This tile is going over a 20yr old concrete slab. The slab is in great shape, absorbs water, and only 1 very small hairline crack. For the most part the floor is very flat except in the kitchen and entryway where there was some 12" ugly ceramic that I demo'd out when I purchased the house. They must have tiled over viynl or taken up smaller tile and just re-tiled over the old crusty thinset becuase there was 2-3 layers of mud/thinset under these tiles which did not come up very well. There were quite a few smaller holes and gouges in the floor after I got done with the chipping hammer so I filled those in and smoothed it out the best I could with thinset. So there is a couple spots where the floor is not perfect.

I'm going to be using a 1/2-1/2" trowel to compensate for the slightly ruff areas and think this will be ok?

What I need to know is will versabond be ok for the 20" porcelain, and should I be burning the back of the tiles as well? I hope so because I already bought 30 bags and have them at the house.

Next thing is, I'm having a hard time finding a tile saw to rent that will cut a 20 on diagonal, which I would really like to lay on diagonal.

I cant spend a ton of money on a saw so what would you guys suggest that would cut this tile. I might use the saw again on the bathrooms when I redo them later, but I just cant afford a lot on a saw right now just to maybe do a few jobs.

Appreciate any help that you guys can give...
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Unread 05-04-2010, 05:10 PM   #2
Lazarus
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The trowel should be OK, but I think you need to use a Medium Bed Morter for it. I like Master Tile's "Total Contact" for the type you mentioned.
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Unread 05-04-2010, 05:22 PM   #3
Davestone
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I don't like Versabond as it won't hold tile up on rough slabs.You have to add sand to it or your tile sinks,especially large porcelains,i agree with the medium bed.
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Unread 05-04-2010, 05:26 PM   #4
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I didn't see any limitations on trowel size on the specs for Versa Bond. I would be comfortable using a 1/2 by 1/2 trowel. As far as burning the backs, I always do that anyway, little bit of insurance as i see it. A medium bed or non slump mortar just makes life a little easier when your are trying to level everything out, helps get the lippage under control.

instead of a wet saw, you might have good luck with an angle grinder and a decent tile blade for it, like an Alpha. Pretty cheap in the world of saws, grinder is under $100 and a decent blade for under $50. That will get you through all your projects too. I will add that nothing is as clean as a wet saw though.
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Unread 05-04-2010, 05:48 PM   #5
Kelfa
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Yes, I have seen the angle griders with hose attachments for about 100 bucks. I've been thinking that those might be ok. What about the 100-200 QEP table style wet saws they sell? They say they have an unlimited cut range because you just freehand the tile through all the way. I dont need the saw for my lively hood, maybe 1-3 jobs at most would be ok with me.

Since the versabond doesn't seem to be what you guys recommend I will pack up all 30 bags and take em back if you think I should

What do you recommend I get instead, I bought the thinset at home depot, and I have 10% off card there so I would like to get it there if possible.

Thanks
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Unread 05-04-2010, 08:42 PM   #6
Higher Standard Tile
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They sell the marble/granite mortar from Custom. It will bond to porcelain and will give you the ability to build up the tiles a little as needed. I would definitely skim the backs of the tile. Also when you spread your notch use the flat side of the trowel to burn the mortar into the slab then spread your notch over that.

The little tabletop saws don't usually cut through big porcelain that fast. if you have a lot of patience you might be able to do it. I would go with a grinder over that.

If you rent a normal tile saw you can cut 20" tile, you just have to flip the cut to get it all the way through the saw. To save money on the rental set most of your full tile first, then make all your cuts later.

Just make sure that you leave enough room to put the cuts in flat latter on. Especially on the L cuts.
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Unread 05-04-2010, 10:23 PM   #7
Kelfa
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Sounds good, I'd rather take it back and use the medium bed if it will make leveling a little easier. Only thing is, I have never worked with a medium bed. Anything in particular I should know about?

Also I'm aiming for a 1/8th inch grout joint. Does this sound too small or should I do a 3/16th with the 20" tile?
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Unread 05-05-2010, 12:31 AM   #8
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Derrick, a medium bed just has a little sandier texture than thinset, not too much different to work with. Just don't make it too wet.
An 1/8 joint will look nice but it all depends on how consistant the tile is sized. 3/16 is a little more forgiving and will still look relatively small compared to a 20" tile.

And for 1300 sqft get some good knee pads.
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Unread 05-05-2010, 01:21 AM   #9
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http://www.qep.com/products.php?c=1&cat=1&sub=17&prod=4

I have the smaller version and for the most part happy with it. Get a better blade if you need real clean cuts.
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Unread 05-21-2010, 06:51 PM   #10
Kelfa
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How much sealer will I need for grout?

Hey guys,

I bought some Tile Lab Pro 20 yr sealer from my local home depot. From what I been reading I should probably take it back and try and find some aqua mix.

Which would you guys recommend for a porcelain tile floor. Tile is in kitchen, laundry room, family room. How much will I need?

Floor is 1000 sq ft of tile, 20 inch tile with 3/16 grout joints. I will only be sealing the grout. Will a quart of sealer do the job? Half gallon?

Thanks
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Unread 05-21-2010, 06:53 PM   #11
Brian in San Diego
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A quart will be plenty. (Same project, same thread.)
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Unread 05-21-2010, 07:08 PM   #12
Kelfa
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I was hoping the quart would do. Gallon of aqua mix is 100 at the tile store.
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Unread 05-30-2010, 04:32 PM   #13
Kelfa
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Gaps under Baseboard

Well tile is down and looking great. Had the chance to seal the grout up last week, quart was right on. Now on to the base boards.

We put up the 5 1/4 in base boards this week. They are pine boards 1/2in thick and have very little bend and play.

Overall it looks great, but of coarse the slab is not perfectly level. In some spots there is 1/16-1/8in gaps under the base. There are 2 spots where the corner dips down and the gap is maybe 1/4in here.

I really don't want to do quarter round or shoe mold. I don't like the look nearly as much. Can I caulk these larger gaps and be ok? What would be my best option for a filler in these areas.

2-3 different areas, about 3-5 linear feet in each area that has larger gaps.

I've already caulked the bottom and top seam of the base in other rooms where the gap was 1/16in or so and it really looks great, so I need to continue the look into the living room.

Should I caulk, let it dry, then caulk again any gaps? Use wood filler?
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Unread 05-30-2010, 06:29 PM   #14
Davestone
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They sell that little cigar shaped backer in HD,a small roll would do ya.
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Unread 05-30-2010, 07:07 PM   #15
Kelfa
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Not sure if i know what you mean by "cigar shaped backer", I'm trying to fill the gap between the bottom of the base molding and installed tile.
Sorry for being a little "newb"
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