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Unread 12-31-2020, 12:26 PM   #1
Michael S
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3000 sq ft room advice

I have experience tiling a number of bathrooms, showers, and entrances over the last decade, but never something this big. So pro tile-setters, can anyone give me some tips for doing my own shop? 12x24 class V porcelain over hydronic heated slab in shop garage. Two little rooms like I’m accustomed to and then a 3000 sq ft space. Normally just me and a helper. I am willing to buy/rent more tools besides my cheap wet saw, or even hire an additional person(s) to mix mortar or something if that’s helpful. I just can’t imagine the logistics of doing such a large open space, and how the job done normally by one or two people can be made more efficient by dividing tasks up over 3-5 people?
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Unread 12-31-2020, 09:27 PM   #2
Lazarus
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Hmmmm. Can you give us some pics of the floor?
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Unread 01-01-2021, 06:21 PM   #3
jadnashua
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How was the floor prepped? INdustry standards call for it to be VERY flat to handle that sized tile.

Second thing is you will need to include expansion joints all across the floor, probably in a grid.

You don't want the heat on while doing this, but you do need to keep the room within the min/max for the thiset you choose. Heat will accelerate the thinset cure, giving you a short working time.
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Unread 01-03-2021, 06:50 PM   #4
Michael S
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The slab was poured, floated and power troweled. Most of it is relatively flat, having not found more than 1/16” (if that much) deviance in flatness in 78” (my longest level), however using a laser level and taking intermittent readings, I can tell a few areas need adjustment before tiling, as there’s 3/4” of variance overall. My 3 drains were made with a 10’ magnesium screed, so the slope is flat except for the transition areas. I expected I would have to make quite a few cuts extending out from the drains. The garage doors on the front will be gray tinted glass. The surface of the concrete is very smooth like you would expect from heavy power troweling. I attached some pictures, hopefully I did it right since this is only my second post in 10 years?
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Unread 01-03-2021, 07:21 PM   #5
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Michael, for tiles that size the industry standard for substrate flatness is no deviation from intended plane of more than 1/8th" in ten feet nor 1/16th" in two feet. That's a very, very flat floor and you'll be glad to have it come time to set those large format tiles.

You'll want to mechanically abrade that "hard-trowel" finish to get a good bond with your thinset mortar.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 01-03-2021, 07:22 PM   #6
Kman
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No pictures showing yet, Michael.

Do a test on the slab to see if mortar will bond to it. Put a few drops of water on it and see if they soak in or just bead up and stay there. It shouldn't take more than a few seconds for it to soak in, but if it stays beaded you may have to scarify the slab.

Also, is it one large slab, or poured in sections?
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Unread 01-03-2021, 07:43 PM   #7
Michael S
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Maybe this will work for pics. One monolithic thickened edge pour of 80 yards, concrete never stopped, hot water, 4000 psi, fiber added, #5 rebar 18” on center, Stego vapor barrier, Monoslab EZ-form forms, blanketed for one week.
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Unread 01-03-2021, 07:52 PM   #8
Michael S
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Kman, the water soaks when doing as you described.
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Unread 01-03-2021, 09:39 PM   #9
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I wish you would at least add a geographic location to your User Profile so's I could decide if I could travel there to stand and lust after your shop.
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Last edited by cx; 01-03-2021 at 11:09 PM. Reason: Typo
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Unread 01-03-2021, 11:56 PM   #10
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How long ago was the slab poured? Any cracks?

Find yourself a 10' straight edge to check your floor for flatness. Does it slope any going out the large doors?
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Unread 01-04-2021, 08:18 AM   #11
CaliGrown
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Metal studs are good for straight edges in a pinch. I’d run some string lines across the floor to see where the valleys are most prevelant. You can run a laser for a benchmark, but your tile cares nothing at all of being level, industry has a preference for tile being flat. but people can still make miracles and have modular tiles follow the contours of choppy waters. String line and straightedges will be handy when it comes to install time, if you can achieve the flatness as CX described you’ll be a step ahead and have the makings of a good install in your favor.
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Unread 01-04-2021, 10:38 AM   #12
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I have more envy than CX. sounds like a pretty flat floor and you have noticed a few places to address with you laser. Thats going to be a back breaker. nset up your 3 axis laser and use it for lines and height. take notice of your highest spot.. its complicated to know your drainage plan and contours but I think its a good idea to draw a scale drawing with a 1' grid on it and put the intended heights on it.. sort of a isobar picture like a topo map of what your wanting..
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Unread 01-08-2021, 01:27 AM   #13
Michael S
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The slab has been poured for 3 months. I didn’t think of using a string line for looking at flatness - should maybe think more like an ancient Roman. The slab has no control joints because of hydronic pex pipes. My garage doors are going to be glass but they have medium tint on them, so I’m not sure if that requires 10’ expansion joints. Would be a lot easier to do 20’ spaces ones. Two cracks have appeared one is about a 1’ and 0.5mm wide the other is 4’ and 0.5mm wide. Should I use one of the super modified LFT mortars like flexbond, megalite, or ultraflex? Obviously ditra is too expensive at this size. I guess for the cracks I should put down some NobleSeal CIS or something like that over them? I was thinking a mortar-mixer/saw man, a trowelman, a tile setter, and a tile “fidgeter” would be the ideal combination of 4 people to use? I was going to order an MLT leveling kit, but I have always only used them when I suddenly saw it was necessary, but then I’ve seen some people install 4 pieces at every intersection, so I was confused of how many to order and which method I should use? I have always used the big box store levelers with the yellow wedges only when needed. Someone asked if it slopes out the doors: no, only towards the drains as established 10’ around them with a mag screed. One drain in front of each garage door.
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Unread 01-08-2021, 01:35 AM   #14
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You could use a crack prevention membrane like Regard. Just apply it at the proper thickness for crack prevention three tile widths from the cracks.

If you've got a heated floor, that's a good thing for temperature control, but having glass doors is really going to allow a lot of heat from the sun to hit your floor. I'd put soft joints no more than 12' apart. Don't use a latex acrylic caulk, but rather 100% silicone. There are colors available to match whatever grout you choose, and also in matte finish.
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Unread 01-08-2021, 10:05 AM   #15
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Presuming that will be unconditioned space, Michael, I'd vote with Kevin that you should space your movement accommodation joints as though it were an exterior installation rather than stretching it to 20 feet between joints.

And "Rocky Mountains" doesn't tell us much about your climate. Lotta difference between the high areas of Montana and the low areas of New Mexico, eh?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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