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Unread 04-08-2004, 09:20 PM   #1
Bea Tyler
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Adjoining room floor height issue

Hi everyone,

I have finished marking my grids on the floor using a laser level and permanent marker. In crawling around the floor that long I discovered a ridge in my tile in the adjoining room where part of two rows there are bulging up a little. Is this called cupping?

Anyway, those bulging rows look plenty strong and the mud bed beneath appears totally solid from the side, so I'm going to assume that's the way they were laid. What it means now is that I have an 18" or so wide area that adjoins my new room to be tiled where there is about a 1/8" height differential from the rest of both floors finished height.

I need to deal with this isolated height issue SOMEHOW - I don't want a 1/8" step up 18" wide in one spot

The best thing I can think of to do is step down slightly there, maybe 1/32", then slope the new adjoining tiles gently to lose a little more height, maybe 1/16" more, and the last 1/32" just accept as a tolerable lippage to the second course of field tiles.

If anyone could offer any better ideas, please do so - I sure didn't need this extra challenge, the first time laying 18" tiles on a diagonal!

Thank you, Bea
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Unread 04-08-2004, 11:26 PM   #2
doitright
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Hi Bea,

Not sure if I understand where the two floors are meeting. Can you implement a 3" straight border at the transition? If so, you can tilt these tiles to keep your diagonal tiles flat. Otherwise it could turn into a nightmare.
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Unread 04-09-2004, 06:05 AM   #3
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What type of tiles are you laying Bea? Totally flat/smooth finish on the face or an irregular surface texture, 'slate like' in appearance?

Additionally after reading this post several times it's not real clear, to me at least, if the tiles in the adjoining rom are already set. If already set, what are your plans to isolate the two fields of tile, old and new. Caulk, transition strip, etc.
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Unread 04-09-2004, 12:25 PM   #4
Bea Tyler
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OMG I'm beginning to panic here...

The tiles in the adjoining room were set 5 years ago. The edge of the old tiles has a Schluter strip that was embedded when those tiles were set. The two floors are to be isolated by using caulk between the Schluter strip and the marble border.

I have ALREADY laid my marble border next to the old ceramic tiles, and made it EVEN with the old floor, thus continuing the height differential INTO the new room (Did a right nice job of making everything flush).

The new 18" tiles are ceramic, and have an irregular contoured matte finish.

HELP!

Bea
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Last edited by Bea Tyler; 04-09-2004 at 01:19 PM.
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Unread 04-09-2004, 02:47 PM   #5
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OK that helps a lot. It's still not totally clear to me which tile field is higher than the other, old versus new. I'm going to assume the new is higher otherwise it would be relatively easy to build up the thinset in that area some and slightly slope the new tiles up in that spot. If the tiles have an irregular surface, could you find two where one edge (the entire edge is thinner than the norm. This way the "step-down looks natural. You might not get a full 1/8" out of it that way, but in this case even a 1/6" is going to help a lot. I'm assuming the marble transition strip is setup such that it would not be easy to remove two or three of those and tip slightly upwards to the new.

Does this help any? Or do I still have the picture of what you are dealing with all messed up in my mind?
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Unread 04-09-2004, 04:51 PM   #6
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OK I've calmed down a little. Yes what you've said helped a lot Mike.

Some more information:

NO new tiles have been laid yet on the diagonal. NO new floor exists yet. I installed 1/4" Hardibacker, which was chosen and laid so that the two floors would be flush with each other. They WILL be flush everywhere but in this one spot, where the OLD floor AND the marble border will be 1/8" higher.

The marble border was put in about a week ago, so there's no getting it out easily to tilt it any.

I like your idea about finding a tile or two with a thinner edge - so I do this right, the thinner edge would go TOWARD the new floor TOWARD the lower tiles, correct?

Also what you said about building up the thinset in that spot -

Quote:
I'm going to assume the new is higher otherwise it would be relatively easy to build up the thinset in that area some and slightly slope the new tiles up in that spot
is exactly what I asked about doing in my original post. Since the NEW is LOWER can I do this too?

Remember these are 18" tiles and how badly am I breaking the rule about 18" tiles must be FLAT if I slope one 1/8"?

Thanks very much for your continued interest - sorry I wasn't more clear the first time - I'm getting frazzled with these curveballs.

Bea

Last edited by Bea Tyler; 04-09-2004 at 10:37 PM.
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Unread 04-09-2004, 05:07 PM   #7
doitright
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Hi Bea

Great job on the graphics! Wish I knew how to do that.: nod:

Didn't mean to scare you with my 1st reply.

Since the old floor is higher, yes you can build up the new tiles as needed. Be patient, and use caution, because working on a diagonal, the tiles can get way out of wack fast.

If you just tip the tiles as necessary, try to 1/2 the difference. When you start working with them, you'll see what I mean.
Don't forget the grout will be your 'ace in the hole'.
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Unread 04-09-2004, 06:56 PM   #8
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Thank you John - Just so I understand perfectly, it's OK to tilt some tiles away from the high spot and "blend" them back into the rest of the floor?

I really don't see that I have much other choice, besides chipping out the marble border, or perhaps bevelling the edges of the marble border in place at the high spot. Neither of those options is very appealing to me.

But as much as I've heard about large tiles needing a FLAT floor, there's no way this floor is going to be flat with a slope up to the high spot. I feel like I can make it so gradual so as to be negligible, and no furniture will go there, but it IS a high traffic area so I want to be sure I'm handling this the best way possible. The LAST thing I want after ALL the effort I've put into this project is to set myself up for early floor failure.

Thanks for the advice,

Bea
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Unread 04-09-2004, 07:14 PM   #9
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Hi Bea,

If this were my floor to do / not redo, that's exactly how I would do it.

This has nothing to do with a floor failure (in my opinion).

Many times in the course of my career (today for example), on a remodel project, there are extenuating circumstances, that require me to come up with a solution to a particular situation. I have always come up with that solution. Sometimes they aren't what I would do normally or prefer to do, but it was the only way short of a total demo or redo. I also always stand behind my work.

If you were'nt happy with that little bump, we would move up to the next level is all.
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Unread 04-09-2004, 07:18 PM   #10
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Hi again Bea:

I hope you are lucky and can pick up a 1/16" with the variation in tile surface, only three tiles needing it, leaving a 1/32" lipage, with another 1/32" tip-up -- 1/32" is not much more that a paper clip or matchbook cover in thickness, I'd say that's not going to be all that noticeble.

Best of luck and please come back and let us know how everything worked out.
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Unread 04-09-2004, 07:21 PM   #11
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You've heard about floors needing to be dead flat before laying 18". The reason is so that you can complete the installation without constantly fighting lippage. I don't think you have to worry about floor failure as long as all the tiles are fully supported with thinset.
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Unread 04-09-2004, 10:29 PM   #12
Bea Tyler
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OK thanks very much everyone.

I will get back into action on this ASAP. Would it be easier to start tiling at or near this high spot and work into the room or just forget about it being there initially and start in the middle as usual? My grids on the floor are laser level solid, so I'm comfortable starting anywhere.

Also Mike, can you confirm for me that on an irregular tile, the narrow edge goes TOWARD the NEW floor, meaning short height edge AWAY from the high spot?

Thank you,

Bea
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Unread 04-10-2004, 05:40 AM   #13
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Yes Bea. Try to find some tiles that 'naturally' have the most thickness attainable along one edge/point and place that part adjacent to the high spot on the old marble border.

What kind of variation in thickness are we talking about that exists with those tiles?
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