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Unread 04-03-2008, 09:05 PM   #1
Lonnie Walker
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 44
My Tile Projects

I have learned a lot from this forum and I thought it was probably time for me to give a little back and share some of my projects. I made a few mistakes that I will share here, but undoubtedly some would have been disasters if many of you on this site had not helped me and I had to rely on the "experts" at HD and Lowes. I will say that tile setting is very had work but it starts to get in your blood after a while and you start dreaming up your next project. Pictures should be in order following each project.

1) First tile project was a small bathroom vanity top. I used Rialto porcelain 4X4 tiles from Lowes.

What would I do different now? Ithought it would be a good idea to just screw down cement board on top of the existing formica top -quick and easy right? I since found out (from this site) that the pressboard under the formica top can swell and ruin the whole job. So far, I have not had problems, but I make sure I wipe this countertop down a lot.

2) Second project was a bathroom floor. I used 12X12 Rialto porcelain from Lowes. I removed some old vinyl (not fun) put down 1/2 inch cement board, then laid the tile.

What would I do different now? I learned to have a real good set of knee pads. I could barely walk for a day or two afterward - I don't know how you guys do this everyday! Also, I used some premixed grout from Home Depot because you did not have to seal (listened to a HD salesman) that cracked when it dried and was difficult to spread. Finally, don't lay tiles in a vertical pattern on your first floor job - that was my wifes idea.

3) Third project was a kitchen countertop. I started do more research for this one. I removed the old formica tops and built the new countertops from scratch using exterior grade ply slightly larger than 3/4, plus a 1/2 inch cement board. I laid 12X12 granite and stained oak trim (that I got at Lowes) to match my cabinets and applied six coats of Polyurethane on the trim. I used spectalock grout.

What would I do different now? Not much, I am pretty happy with this. Installing the trim was more difficult that I thought because all trim will be slightly warped (no matter how straight it looks) and to get it to match the reveal of the tile was not easy - many cuss words were spoken. I used liquid nails to apply and nailed every two feet or so. With the spectralock grout it was very difficult to get the residue/haze off the granite. I have since found that if you seal the granite first the haze is no problem at all - see below.

4) Forth project was another small vanity. I used 12X12 rialto porcelain again for this - I love this tile because it has a painted edge that can be used instead of bullnose and it is pretty inexpensive. I built the counter top with 2 panels of 3/4 exterior ply and used 1/4 hardibacker. After this nice experience with hardibacker I swore I would never use cement board again.

What would I do different now? Nothing, pretty easy job. I think I am starting to get the hang of this.

5) Fifth project was a double vanity top. Here I used 12X12 granite with spectralock. I raised the vanity about 4 inches and countertop was again built with 2 peices of 3/4 ext. ply and 1/4 hardi. Rather than pay the expense of having the granite professionally bullnosed, I decided to just use the granite on the edge and used enhancer/sealer on the edge to make it look polished. Same for the backsplash. I used Specralock grout again here after sealing the tile and it was a breeze.

What would I do different now? I'm happy with this job.

Hopefully some other Newbie like me can pick up a few tips from my experiences. Next job, tearing out my acrylic shower and installing tile over kerdi. Wish me luck.

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Unread 04-03-2008, 09:50 PM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: southern Wisconsin
Posts: 9
Wow, looks beautiful and are your first projects, you have a natural knack!!
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Unread 04-04-2008, 02:27 AM   #3
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Location: Evans, Georgia
Posts: 57
Tile projects

Looks pretty darn good, Dave.
If I ever get completed with my Master bath remodel, I hope to share some pics of my 1st tile project!
I am sure your next project will be just as nice... keep up the good work.
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Unread 04-05-2008, 10:07 AM   #4
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Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
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Looks great, Lonnie.
Nice attention to the details of layout.
Indianapolis bathroom remodeling
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Unread 04-05-2008, 04:17 PM   #5
Scottish Tile and Stone
Ohio Tile Contractor.. Hydroban shower specialist
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Painesville Ohio
Posts: 5,107
Nice Job..

Laticrete hydroban showers
Mud set stone.

ditra kerdi stone showers waterproof mudset stone backsplashes glass tiles,laticrete, hydroban,ohio,cleveland,painesville,backsplashes,
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Unread 04-05-2008, 05:20 PM   #6
Oregon Tile Man
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Location: Astoria Or.
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Lonnie thanks for the updates..you did a nice job.
Trask Bergerson
Bergerson Tile and Stone
Astoria, Oregon

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Unread 04-05-2008, 05:45 PM   #7
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Location: Boerne, Texas
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Thanks, Lonnie.

Projects look good. Some of your errors were serious but, fortunately, we have a rule hereabouts that says we don't gotta kill nobody for even gross errors on their first try. Do better next time, eh?

Best part is the Tile Ranger never got wind of any of it. I think he's just too busy keepin' an eye on ol' John Bridge.

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