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Unread 02-02-2014, 02:14 PM   #1
jing
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please help -- large porcelain tiles with linear drain

I'm doing a mater bathroom with porcelanosa large tiles and a linear drain.
The shower is curbless. There will be one glass panel set on the left side, between the shower and the toilet. Drain is set by the right wall. The tile size is 13"x26". Now the tile guy did the following: he left a 3/4" gap by the threshold; and the grout lines are lined up every other row for the three rows close to the drain, and then follow a stagger pattern for the rest.

His explanation is that he had to have the gap in order to make the top of the tiles smooth because of the sloping. He did not explain why he changed the grout line pattern.

This floor just looks too awful. I want to see a consistently set floor, and without a gap at my threshold. My GC said it is just very difficult to slope the large tiles, so even if we start the tiling all over he doesn't know how he can make it work. He is also worried that ripping out the tiles now may damage the wedi board and the electric radiant heat we set beneath. My floor is already raised by 3" which I believe is more than enough for the slope.

Any advice? Thanks in advance.
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Unread 02-02-2014, 03:17 PM   #2
cx
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Welcome, Jing.

Some of his argument is valid. It is difficult to maintain a smooth (lippage free) surface on large format tile over a subfloor with a compound slope. But I can't see just how or where your floor is sloped. Is the slope other than in the shower area in your drawing?

Leaving a gap like you show in your photo "to make the top of the tiles smooth because of the sloping" I find a specious argument at best. I know of no justification for leaving a gap like that in a place like that at all.

The change in layout is also not dictated by any technical reason. It looks like he started out with something less than a 33 percent offset, which is a good idea, especially if the floor was not flat (could still be flat while being sloped if so desired), with those large tiles, but it then appears he changed to something closer to a 40 percent offset, which would not be advisable under tile industry standards. Can't help you with that question at all.

He is also quite correct that repairing his errors at this point is very likely to damage a Wedi Board underlayment and/or a radiant heating system.

Gonna be up to y'all to sort all that out among yourselves. Do you have a written contract for any of this work?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 02-02-2014, 05:15 PM   #3
jing
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Thank you CX.

I believe the GC and the tile guy are trying to slope the entire room, from front to back as well as from right to left.

I do have a contract with the GC for the entire bathroom remodeling project. He agrees with me the floor does not look good at this point. We are trying to find a reasonable way to correct this. The main questions are, how to correctly slope these tiles without switching patterns and leaving gaps like the tile guy did; and whether we can tear out the tiles without damaging the wedi and radiant heat.

I was warned in another forum that my drain was positioned incorrectly and it will not be possible to lay the tiles so that water will drain properly at all. Is this something I should worry about?
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Unread 02-02-2014, 05:34 PM   #4
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I'd also be concerned about the lack of waterproofing on the walls and the use of drywall in a wet area. Cement board is not waterproof.
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Unread 02-02-2014, 05:48 PM   #5
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Something I think I see is the amount of thinset under the tiles in the bottom left photo in the 1st post. It appears to be 1/2 - 3/4" thick. Is this true?

The walls are WEDI.

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Unread 02-02-2014, 05:49 PM   #6
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Thanks for correcting my oversight on the Wedi Hammy!
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Unread 02-02-2014, 07:53 PM   #7
jing
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Yes Hammy. I just measured, the thinset is 3/4" at the last tile of the fourth row in that photo; and almost 1" at the end of the third row. I presume that's because he's building up a slope? Would this be a problem?
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Unread 02-02-2014, 09:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
almost 1" at the end of the third row
Thats a disaster !!!! Thin set should only be max 1/4" - 3/8" thick.

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Unread 02-03-2014, 12:33 AM   #9
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Hammy, could you elaborate what problems a thick thinset could potentially cause? Is my understanding correct that a slope should be built prior to setting the tiles? I want to talk to my GC about this and it will be helpful to have some more information. Thanks a lot
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Unread 02-03-2014, 12:59 AM   #10
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Is the floor sloped, or are they making the slope with the tile and thinset as they set the floor?
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Unread 02-03-2014, 01:05 AM   #11
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jwmezzanotte, looks like they are making the slope with the thinset and the tiles. Well, at least the majority of it. The floor is built up about 3" at the threshold.
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Unread 02-03-2014, 01:21 AM   #12
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I noticed how high the tiles were, I just thought the floor was covered with Wedi for some reason.

First, I wouldn't have installed this size of tile on a floor with that type of slope. With the linear drain, you could certainly have a slope in the shower area to the drain, since it's a single slope and could have been made with deck mud, then covered with thinset and tile.

The entire bathroom floor could have been sloped in one direction, say from one side of the room to the opposite side, but not in two different directions. Even then, the floor would have to be sloped with deck mud so the tile could be set with thinset at a consistent height in relation to the deck mud. Trying to slope an entire floor with thinset is a problem.

Thinset can be built up to about 1/4", give or take a smidgen, but not to the degree it has been done there.
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Unread 02-03-2014, 07:06 AM   #13
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Does anyone else think the two tiles in front of the drain slope left to right with the low spot in the center of the drain? And the narrow course behind the drain appears to have a layout stagger of 50% which would mean two changes of layout on the floor. Then what is that narrow slot in the doorway? Since that tile appears uncut, it is almost as if the layout for that course only was determined to avoid a cut at the doorway.
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Unread 02-03-2014, 07:52 AM   #14
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JIng, thinset is just that THINSET. It is not designed to be used in that thickness. It basically is a glue for the tile not for leveling or in this case building up the slope of the floor.

What brand of thin set did they use? Call that company's tec support and you can get the information from the source. Not trying to put you off, but it will have more weight coming from the manufacturer's rep.

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Unread 02-04-2014, 09:30 AM   #15
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Thanks everyone for the input. Will meet my GC in the afternoon to discuss possible remedies.
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