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Unread 08-08-2016, 05:07 PM   #61
gworrel
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I am using Noble niches in the mosaic tile wall of my shower and find it impossible to line up the the grout lines with the edges of the niche. I plan to build up the niche to make it work. On the shelf, I need to raise the level about 1/2" and was thinking about using a small piece of backer board on top of the Noble niche, then tile on top of that. Of course, I would use thinset under the backer board, let dry, then thinset on top of that for the tile.

Unfortunately, I don't have any backerboard so I will need to buy a whole sheet but it is cheap enough. This particular Noble niche is the tall narrow one with 2 compartments. I only need 2 - 3.5" x 6" pieces. Is there any particular backerboard that would be preferred and would work well with thinset both over and under it? I plan to use marble as the shelf material.

Alternately, is there some other material that would work for this purpose that might be available cheaper or in a smaller size? I do have Ditra and plan to use it vertically on one side of the niche to bring the vertical tile in line. Could I use multiple layers of Ditra to get to 1/2"? I plan to use Ditra on the floor and I have Laticrete 254 for that purpose.
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Unread 08-11-2016, 08:50 AM   #62
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Stretching mosaic tiles to fit

When tiling a wall to the ceiling and there is some variation in the flatness of the ceiling, is it better to try to cut the tiles to match the variation for a consistent gap (1/8") at the ceiling, or run a consistent tile size at the top with some variation in the gap? I am sure the answer depends on the specifics. I am using small mosaic (5/8") tiles. If I go for a straight line at the ceiling, the gap will vary from about 1/8" to 3/8". If I cut the tiles, the top row of tiles will vary in size from about 3/16" to 7/16". Rather than try to cut every tile, I would cut a foot of tile at a time and vary the size to fit that portion of the wall.

Last night I was thinking I would go for a consistent tile size at the top and decided to try to avoid cutting any tiles. I have seen reference to "stretching" mosaic tiles to avoid small cuts by cutting the mesh and slightly increasing the grout lines. The tiles are 5/8". I have a 6 7/8" to 7 1/8" gap left to fill for wall tile at the ceiling. On the mesh, 10 tiles measures 6.5". Using a 1/16" grout line and a 1/8" gap at the ceiling for caulk, that leaves 6 11/16 to 6 15/16. That means stretching the 10 rows of tiles by 3/16".

I cut the sheets into strips and laid them out on a piece of cardboard with the width I wanted marked on it. Then I put masking tape on the sheets to hold the tiles together. I was thinking I could leave the masking tape on the tiles and put them in place then take the masking tape off after the thinset has a chance to set up a bit. I'm not sure if that will work or if I would be better just putting up a strip at a time and adjusting the spacing as I go. I'm afraid that removing the masking tape will pull the tiles off unless I wait so long that I will not be able to adjust the spacing as needed.

So my question is twofold. Should I cut the tiles to follow the ceiling trying to maintain a 1/8" caulked gap at the ceiling, or should I keep the top tiles all the same size and allow a 1/8" to 3/8" variation in the caulked gap size? If keeping the top row of tiles the same size is the way to go, then does setting the tiles in sheets held together with masking tape seem like a good idea? Thanks for any advice you can offer.
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Unread 08-11-2016, 11:34 PM   #63
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You'll want to follow the contour of the ceiling and keep the joint at the top consistent. A 1/8" gap is fine.

It's a bit of a problem, given the size of the tile you're using. You wouldn't notice it with a 12x12 size, but mosaics can be a different story. The out-of-plane ceiling is something that should have been addressed at the beginning, but now you got what you got.

Seeing as it's (I'm guessing) eight feet from the floor, that 1/4" variation shouldn't be that noticeable. If you don't point it out to anyone, they'll probably never notice, and we won't tell.
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Unread 08-12-2016, 09:19 AM   #64
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Thanks for the response. The ceiling is 9 feet so even better. I started a thread over at houzz (wasn't getting any replies here) and I am being urged to consider stopping at a full tile then to use Durabond to feather the ceiling down to the tile level. When I check the measurement at the last full tile, I get about 1/2" worst case that the ceiling would have to come down, even leaving the 1/8" gap for caulk. Is that feasible? I've worked with Durabond but I'm not sure how noticeable that would be. I've already started putting up some cut tiles at the top of the iridescent tile wall. I could take those down. The top tiles meet almost perfectly in the corner at the last full tile.
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Unread 08-12-2016, 04:11 PM   #65
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Fraid I can't answer that question about the Durabond, Greg. Maybe someone else has some experience with it. 1/2" seems like a lot to build up.

In the future if you're not getting any responses to your questions, it's okay to reply with the word "bump" in the reply box. That will kick your thread back to the top of the queue.
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Unread 09-05-2017, 07:28 PM   #66
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Filling small gaps in floor next to doorway under Ditra.

I am about to set Ditra down on the floor and there is a minor issue by the doorway. The plan was for the floor tile to meet the wall tile with only a 1/8" caulk joint. When new plywood was put down, for some reason we didn't go all the way to the wall. The plywood meets the wood floor in the doorway but leaves gaps between the door trim and the wall. The gap on one side is about 7/8" by 11" and 3/4" deep and 3" x 7/8" by 3/4" deep on the other side of the door.

A picture is worth a thousand words. The first picture is the floor as it is now. There is slc on the plywood. The second picture is how I want it to look. The floor tiles are 17x26 rectified. I thought about just filling the gap with Laticrete 254 and put ditra over it. Maybe some other filler would be better? I have some leftover 254. The spot is behind a door and not really subject to foot traffic. One other possibility is to put baseboard there which would almost cover it.
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Unread 09-07-2017, 12:53 PM   #67
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Picture of my fancy niches

Decided to use Henry's Feather Finish to fill the gaps prior to the ditra. Can be put down in any thickness in a small area and dries quickly.

Just for the heck of it, here's a picture of two of my shower niches. The bottom shelf is cut from a piece of marble tile from Menards, with the edges polished with pads from Harbor Freight. The side pieces are cut from glass tiles pulled from a mosaic panel of multiple pieces also from Menards. The rear glass tile I bought from a local tile store. The picture does not do them justice. Lots of fun cutting the glass tiles.

I noticed that in the picture it looks like the bottom shelf is sloped excessively. That is just an optical illusion. There is only a very slight slope on each shelf.
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Unread 09-07-2017, 10:14 PM   #68
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I'll add that to our Alumni Album niche section, Greg.
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Unread 09-08-2017, 07:20 AM   #69
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Another niche

Here's another one on the other wall. Just finished grouting this wall last night. I initially did bright white grout inside the niche along with the surrounding two tiles or so. Decided I didn't like the white grout with the black and gray tiles so spent an hour digging the white grout out before it set. Switched to Raven and I am happy. I was surprised to discover that the glass tiles were not flat. If you look at the top tile in the niche you can see that it has a definite bow. Some things you just have to live with.

Took 7 full units of Spectralock to fill all these mosaics. My first batch was the size of a mini unit and covered about 5 square feet. I realized that I only had 27 more batches to go. I got it down to doing a full unit at a time by putting the Part C in the freezer, then after mixing, putting half the mix back in the freezer in a ziploc bag while I spread the first half. It took about 50 minutes to spread it all. Each full unit was at least a 3 hour job for me. I read somewhere on here where a pro said he did 8 full units in two days. I hope he had a helper and even then my hat's off.
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Unread 09-15-2017, 02:10 PM   #70
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floor layout options

I am trying to determine the best floor tile layout. The tiles are 17 3/8 x 26" porcelain. The room is about 8' x 11'. I have laid it out in sketchup. I am using a straight pattern with the long dimension of the tile going left to right as you enter the room. 4 tiles laid end to end is about 2" wider than the room width. I can split that 2" to left and right or just cut one tile on one side. Not sure how noticeable the discrepancy will be.

A problem with that pattern is a couple of small tiles at the shower base of only 4 9/16" wide.

If I go 5 tiles wide and have 12" cuts at left and right sides, then the small tiles next to the shower base are 16" wide. The two patterns are in the 2 sketchup files below: The tiles are superimposed over the room dimensions with the shower base in the lower right corner. The entry doorway is just to the left of the shower base at the bottom of the image. In the first image, the far right column of tiles are beyond the room dimensions and would be left out.

Is it worth all the extra cuts and 12" sections on each side to avoid the 4 9/16" small pieces next to the shower base, which is also right in the doorway.
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Unread 09-15-2017, 03:11 PM   #71
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At that point either is fine. What would you have if you shifted the bottom layout to the left so you have a full tile running against the shower? It would also depend on vanities, toilets, ect. Those usually cover one side and allows you to manipulate layout sometimes
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Unread 09-15-2017, 07:15 PM   #72
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Trying to have two full tiles to the left of the shower leaves a 3" strip all along the left side. There is a freestanding tub going in on the left. The toilet and an open frame vanity top are on the right side. I'll take another photo showing the room with the tub temporarily in place and a few tiles on the floor from the doorway.
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Unread 09-16-2017, 11:05 AM   #73
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If it were my own house I would go with the least amount of cuts and live with the small piece along side the shower. If it was for a client I would make them decide...
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Unread 09-20-2017, 11:44 AM   #74
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How important to fill small depressions in the floor?

As I was about to set the last of the Ditra down on the floor, I discovered some small areas where there are slight depressions just over 1/16". The tiles I am using are rectified 17" x 26" and I will be using Tuscan Seamclips for leveling. I could fill the depressions with some Henry's Feather Finish but it just adds one more step. I am just wondering if it is really necessary. We had previously flattened the floor with filler but somehow missed these spots or thought it was good enough. Here is a photo. The yellow level is 24" long. I used a marker to circle the areas that need filling.
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Unread 07-07-2019, 04:23 PM   #75
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Trouble getting clean L shaped narrow cuts

I'm using 17" x 26" porcelain floor tiles and having some trouble with one of the cuts. I need to cut off a 5/8" strip about 22" long off one side. That allows the tile to wrap around the shower base cleanly.

I wasn't happy with my first cut because the edge was chipped and I thought I could do better. I am using a T3 Razor blade in a Harbor Freight saw. I cleaned up the blade with a paving block and started getting much smoother cuts. Of course all of those smoother cuts are going under baseboard.

When I finally got around to cutting re-cutting the narrow strip, the piece keeps breaking off before I get to the end. I saw a suggestion to use a piece of foam under the tile but that didn't help.

Any suggestions?
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