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Old 09-11-2003, 03:30 PM   #1
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Question Tile basics for newbie

This post may be too basic for this forum but everybody says this is the place to go for tile info. I must retile my 21/2 bathroom floors. They are harvest gold ceramic tile. I must use white tiles--nothing else will go. Just like the old rock n roll song, "Don't know nothing 'bout history", I don't know nothing 'bout tiles. I just want basic white floor tiles that will last forever. I live in New England and don't want anything cutting edge. I don't ever want these floors to look dated. Is ceramic the best for bathrooms? If so, what kind of ceramic tile? What kind of grout? There is plywood under the current tiles. When they remove the tiles, what should they lay the tiles in? Just mortar on the plywood? What kind of grout is best? When do you seal the grout after the tiles are laid--I hear conflicting opinions? What size and style are most classic and least likely to be dated? I am sorry this is so long. I will be glad to hear any info you share. I am not doing this myself. Thanks!
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Old 09-11-2003, 04:12 PM   #2
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The best tiles for the bathroom are high quality ceramics ( PEI rating of 4 or 5) OR porcelian tiles.

Assuming the floor is sound and doesn't creak or squeak, use 1/4" CBU ( Hardibacker, wonderboard, durock etc) over the plywood. Install the CBU per the Mfgrs Instruction.

Then set the tile over the CBU using a good latex modified thinset - Custom's Versabond is a good choice ( available at Home Depot). Let the tile set overnight and grout with a latex modified grout. Use sanded grout for grout joints over 1/8". Unsanded grout for joints 1/8" or less.

Let the grout cure for about 72 hrs and seal with the famous "Tile your World" grout sealer available from this website

Good..Fast..Cheap. Pick any 2...can't have all three
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Old 09-11-2003, 04:29 PM   #3
Bill Vincent
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Ginny-- as long as the only reason you're retiling is aesthetics, why not save yourself alot of money, and just tile over the existing tile? As long as the existing floor is in good shape, use a thinset mixed with a latex additive, as opposed to one with the latex already in it, and you're all set. Use the proper transition at the door, which may need to be undercut, as well as a flange extension on the toielt flange, and you're good to go. You probably just saved yourself about $1000 between the three bathrooms on not having to do the demolition, and you have just as good a quality installation. Where abouts in Mass.? I just did a Wendys at the Holyoke Mall, and a TGIFridays in Millbury!!
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Old 09-11-2003, 05:06 PM   #4
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Thanks for two good answers--and hopefully more. I am in the Boston suburbs. Do you really think tiling over tile is ok? This is my forever house and I don't want to cut corners and have problems down the road. Don't think I want to raise the floor level.
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Old 09-11-2003, 05:18 PM   #5
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If you're concerned about transitions at the door or some other area, there are trims available to help with that.

Tiling over tile is acceptable, if the current tile is sound. You'll have to abrade it somewhat. Scarring the surface gives the thinset more area to stick to. Going right over top of tile with no preparation is not recommended.

I'm in Bridgewater/Brockton this week. That area of the 'burbs?
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Old 09-11-2003, 05:45 PM   #6
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I think I'd rather go down to the plywood--maybe more expensive in the beginning but I just don't want different floor levels. Is there any particular brand or brands of tile to look for? To last forever?
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Old 09-11-2003, 06:55 PM   #7
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Hi Ginny, porcelain tiles are very popular and tough as nails. You can look at Lowes or HD but if you really want to be confused go to a tile supply like Dal-tile.
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Old 09-11-2003, 07:40 PM   #8
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Welcome aboard, Ginny.

We need more Yankees around here. I'm gettin' tarred talkin' to all these Texas dudes.

I would vote with Bill and David to go over the existing tiles if there is nothing wrong with the floors. You will only raise the floors the thickness of the new tiles, and it's commonplace to have transition strips in bathroom doorways.

You really do need to go shopping at a good tile supply store and get a feel for what's out there. There are literally a million possibilities.
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