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Unread 09-30-2020, 01:42 AM   #1
Hunzi
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The 1925 bathroom gets a New Look

Hey y'all! I doubt anyone will remember but I was here a few years back working on the Starting From Dirt Basement Bathroom and Laundry Room. That was the one where I asked four thousand questions as we tackled our first tiling job - nothing too ambitious, just 1inch hex in a pattern on a floor we had to pour from scratch in a dirt basement plus a tub/shower combo - you know, the usual newbie stuff....

So we're back. The next project is part of another bigger renovation - but we're going to do the 2nd floor bathroom - the original remodel in our 1884 Victorian aka The Shrine to Our Lady of Perpetual Renovation < cue angelic singing >. This bathroom went in back in 1925 and was probably a considerable improvement to using the little house in the back by the barn... It was converted from one of the smaller bedrooms on the 2nd floor and is the ONLY bathroom on the bedroom level. No one apparently had heard of the Master Bath concept around here at the time. I'm sure they were just happy not to have to go use the loo outside in the middle of an Upper Elbonian winter.

So given there is no space to add a Master Bathroom on the 2nd floor and the Good Lord has not seen fit to yet bless me with winning the lottery so I can build the 2 story addition on my wishlist, the plan is to make the current bathroom "Master Bath Nice".

I've got about a 10x12 room plus a small closet area to work with - currently it's a 3 piece bath - toilet, a cheap pedistal sink (because I already relocated the original wall sink to the Slightly Imperfect Powder Room on the 1st floor), and a clawfoot tub with a shower ring (and a curtain that likes to cling to you while showering - which is why I still walk down 2 flights to the basement to the Starting From Dirt Bathroom to shower in the pretty tiled tub/shower combo ya'll helped us build.

So, plan is demo, do a bit of sistering up structure as needed, move fixtures around a bit, add a vanity, and put a 5x5 walk in shower into the space where the old closet was, plus add some extra cabinets for linen storage. Oh and add miles and miles of tile. Ok, maybe just a 10x12 floor with a Ditra heat floor plus a 5x5x10ish Kerdi shower ((3) 5ft walls, about 10ft tall, plus ceiling and a couple of niches - possibly a bench but that's only if it feels like there's enough room)

I'm sure like all projects around here at The Shrine to Our Lady of Perpetual Renovation this one will take about 4 times as long as predicted, so plan on me being around for a few years asking a myrid of questions.

So MrHunzi happens to work for a large funiture company and they have decided to throw an employee appreciation sale - YAY! - this means I have exactly one week to decide on all my tiling choices if I want to take advantage of the very nice discounts they are offering.

Question #1: I am looking for porcelain Carrera marble look tiles - for the floor & shower. Since I know at least some of you guys do this for a living -are there any favorite brands/models out there? I can get most major brands - right now I'm looking at DalTile Attache & Emser Contessa - but I'm open to any and all suggestions you may have seen/worked with in the past.

Question #2: I know I've run the deflection calculatior before and porcelain tiles should be ok - but both the brands I'm looking at so far are fairly large format - 12x24 or 24x24 - and neither offered a midsized option for the shower walls - I think if I pick the Daltile, it's 24x24 on the floor (probably satin finish) and 12x24 on the walls with a 2x2 square mosaic matte on the shower floor - and if I look at the Emser, it's a few more size options, but only matte or polished finish choices with means matte everywhere and neither of them offer what we were hoping for - wich was a 6x12 or similar size subway for the walls -

So any favorites out there you have worked with? especially ones with a good number of faces so we don't have too much repeat.

Question #3: getting ahead of myself a bit, but any new favorite products out there ? Thinsets, grouts? Last time was a few years ago, and we used Kerdi, warm wire, the basic Lowes porcelain thinset (rumoured to be Mapei) and Laticrete epoxy grout - we had good results last time especially as complete newbies (except my caulk didn't match the grout shade as well as I had hoped).

Since most of the brands I'm looking at so far are fairly large format - 12x24 or 24x24, any concerns given I'm doing this on the 2nd floor of a Victorian - aka nothing too level, nothing too square? We'll take the room down to the joists (subfloor is fir plank) and try to square up as much as possible - but leveling... she drops an inch or so towards the house center - someone apparently forgot to support things properly when they dug out the basement - the beam was added by a previous HO, but that just stopped the problem, the floors weren't brought back to level and we weren't brave/smart/wealthy/stupid enough to do the right thing when we bought the place 30ish yrs ago to jack the center back up and risk cracking every lathe & plaster wall before we spent a lifetime renovating the place. But we'll make sure it all looks true and transitions are level with the hardwoods to be added in the hall.

So big tiles? any potential problems? Assuming I add cross blocking, put down plywood over the joists, & make sure things are glued/screwed?

Mostly right now, I'm looking for any brand/model suggestions, with any early potential things I should watch out for!

I'll try not to bug y'all too much!

Always, ;-)
Hunzi
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Last edited by Hunzi; 09-30-2020 at 06:25 PM.
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Unread 09-30-2020, 08:00 AM   #2
John Bridge
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Hi Joann,

Porcelain tiles, if they are true porcelain (less than .5 percent water absorption), are all pretty much equal, and choosing is in the eye of the beholder. You'll probably get more answers by asking specific questions. As to the size, tiles have been getting larger and larger since I've been in the trade, and the sizes you mention are not unusually large nowadays.
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Unread 09-30-2020, 08:38 AM   #3
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Welcome back, Hunzi.

1-2. We would normally tell you to select whatever Mrs. Hunzi wants, but since you are Mrs. Hunzi, I would suggest you select whatever you like. So long as the tile you're looking at says it meets the standards of ANSI A137.1 you'll be able to determine enough about its character to make your technical assessments. If it doesn't say that, you're on your own.

3. If you've used products you're happy with, use them again. That's what any recommendations from over here will be based upon, anyway.

The biggest consideration (pun fully intended) for the very large format tiles is substrate flatness. The industry standard requirement is no deviation from intended plane of more than 1/8th" in ten feet nor 1/16th" in two feet. That's a very flat floor and you'll be glad to have it come time to set those big tiles. Much different from the mosaics and subways you used in the basement.

And your tiles, regardless the size, care not a whit about level, they care only about flat and the larger the format, the more they care.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 09-30-2020, 06:34 PM   #4
Hunzi
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Yes, I always get what I want, because that is the natural order of things! ;-)

- just wanted to see if there were any tile pros out there who had made note - "hey, that's a great tile to work with! It looks like the real deal, with a lot of faces so there aren't too many repeats to deal with...." Just cuz, ya'll see a lot more tiles than I do!

Quote:
And your tiles, regardless the size, care not a whit about level, they care only about flat and the larger the format, the more they care.
I think I'll print this out and post it on the wall ;-)

Always ;-)
Hunzi
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Unread 10-07-2020, 01:50 PM   #5
Hunzi
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OK y'all! So the question of the day Question (1) - what's your favorite tile saw? Currently have a basic undermount wet saw (possibly Skil? something that only cost under $100) but MrHunzi has requested a better saw for this job: something with an top mounted saw that spins the water away from the user and can handle a 24x24 tile. This will probably be our last big tile job so let's keep it under $1000! Also, are we just better off with score & snap?

I think we've narrowed down the floor tile choice to DalTile DIAMOND CARRARA MA70 SATIN in 24x24 and we'll do a pattern of 24x24 & 8x8 - like picture below, but we will need to cut the 8x8s ourselves! Hence the better saw!

I think I'm going to wave the white flag and settle for 12x24s in the shower - I can't find any in a 6x12ish or 8x16 size (without asking MrHunzi to cut every tile for (3) 5x10 walls & a 5x5 ceiling) - and I think I'd rather stick to the same company than end up mixing colors/patterns/finishes with 2 or 3 different manufacturers. So I'll do the same tile as the floor DalTile DIAMOND CARRARA MA70 Polished in a 12x24, and use their 2x2 mosaic on the shower floor and niche backs just in the STELLAR GREY MA73 Matte.

Question (2) - any problems y'all see in the whole tile selection/size/cutting/finishes? You guys have more experience so I do like to ask!

Question (3) - is there any cool website or app that will help me figure out the amount of tiles I need - given that I need to cut some I don't know how to calculate for that!

Question (4) - Also, I am pretty sure MrHunzi is going to be a bit nervous about putting 12x24 tiles on the ceiling in the shower (10ft up) - jury is still out on a steam shower - so we're planning on properly tiling just in case, so any tips on making sure those babies don't crash on our heads? (3x6 subways on a 7ft ceiling in the basement shower are our only experience so far).

Just getting our ducks in a row:
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Unread 10-08-2020, 01:12 AM   #6
Hunzi
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New Questions of the Day:

5) so I've realized that the tile I'm looking at for the shower DalTile DIAMOND CARRARA MA70 Polished in a 12x24 has no bullnose. Umm Help. How do I finish off a niche? I know schluter makes trim pieces, but I'm not going to lie, I am not a fan of metal trims.

6) any help on yesterday's questions of the day? I have 4 days to make tiling decisions before I run out of "really great employee discount" time, so help figuring (or double checking) my tile amounts - I'm looking at a 12x10 (actually slightly less both ways) room in a 24x24 & 8x8 hopscotch pattern - am I right that I need about (34) 24x24 tiles to make that happen? (cutting (7) 24x24s into 8x8s for the little ones).

7) the shower walls are 12x24 tiles on a 1/3 running bond - (3) 5x10 & 5x5 ceiling = about 100 tiles?

8) Are there any well respected tile pros on this board who work in Omaha (bonus points if they work with NFM)? Just checking - it may be a marriage saver to hire this one out) - it's good to know your options!

Always ;-)
Hunzi
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Unread 10-08-2020, 09:19 AM   #7
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1. I'd recommend you look at the DeWalt D24000. Lots of discussion of that saw here on the forums.

2. I suggest you do whatever Mrs. Hunzi wants. No, wait.............

3. Don't know diddly about cool websites and apps.

4. Nervous is not a bad thing, but the big tiles are no heavier per square area than mosaic tiles of the same thickness. Getting the desired 100 percent coverage on those big tiles is more of a challenge, but it can be done.

For very large tiles on a ceiling installation, bracing them in place after installation is a reasonable plan if you're unsure that you can get the necessary coverage for them to remain in place on their own while the bonding mortar is curing. A single long 2x4 cut to just the proper length to wedge against the floor and center of the big tile, or a similar board across the big tile, might improve the comfort level. I've never put anything larger than a 12x12 tile on a ceiling and that worked fine with no bracing help at all. But for you 12x24s I'd likely do the bracing even though I know in my heart of hearts that it can be done without.

And do keep in mind that it's very important that your ceiling be very flat before this installation.

5. Many of the Schluter trims are not metal but plastic, if that's your concern. If it's just the look you don't favor, that's a different issue. Think we'd need to know more about your design to be of any help with the edge finishing.

6. No. See #2.

7. In a perfect world that should yield a couple left over. You live in a perfect world?

8. You'd need to post that request in the Professionals' Hangout, Hunzi, with a link to this thread for discussion. Putting your actual geographic location into your User Profile would also be helpful.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 10-08-2020, 01:51 PM   #8
Lazarus
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On the tile saw issue, yes, the Dewalt is pretty much the "Gold Standard" and lots of Pros here use it, but not particularly inexpensive.

I recently replaced a large saw that weighed over 100 lbs with this unit for about $250...plus the stand for $40. From Harbor Freight (yeah, I know...) and, at under 40 lbs, I'm impressed and it does everything I need it to do. Good alternative for someone that doesn't (or does) do this for a living.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...E3DB&FORM=VIRE

And, here is a follow-up on the saw after three bathrooms. The only modification I did on mine was adding some rubber on the table...

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...D&&FORM=VDRVRV
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