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Unread 11-08-2017, 08:37 AM   #1
jonh56
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Join Date: Nov 2017
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Garage Project with Porcelain

Hello all. Found these forums about halfway through my project, but better late than never! Never tiled before, but am relatively handy.

I'm in the process of tiling my 22' x 25' garage to be used for a living area/light DIY work. I rented an Edco diamond grinder to remove the previous owners sealant from the slab, and now have roughly 80% of the tile down.

Products used so far:

Tile:
Style Selections Florentine Scabos Porcelain Travertine Floor and Wall Tile (Common: 12-in x 12-in; Actual: 11.85-in x 11.85-in) purchased on clearance for .56/sq ft

Thinset:
MAPEI Porcelain 50-lb Gray Powder Thinset Mortar from lowes ($22/bag) applied with a 3/8 notched trowel.

Install method:
Used damp sponge to collect dust on slab, burned the thinset into the slab, and back buttered the tiles. Used spacers for 3/16 grout lines.

Questions:

1. Do I need to seal the tile with anything prior to grout? I don't believe so, but wanted to confirm.
2. I'm thinking SpectraLOCK PRO for grout, with Dazzle glow for the novelty of it. Any concerns?
3. Recommendations for threshold to driveway at garage door?
4. Anything you would have done differently thus far? (for learning purposes and so I can wallow in regret)

Let me know if I missed any details. Thanks!
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Unread 11-08-2017, 05:28 PM   #2
jadnashua
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1. No, depending on the grout used, that may benefit from a sealer.
2. Pay close attention to the cleaning process, and don't try to do a huge area before you start to clean up. Epoxy will cook off faster if you leave it all in the bucket...after mixing, apportion it in smaller blobs on the areas you're going to grout...it wont' get as hot as fast, and give you a little more working time.
3. You don't want that tile edge being hit...recommend you use an edge profile. You could use one with a built-in ramp, or a quarter round. Check out www.schluter.com for a bunch of choices.
4. Did you put in any expansion joints? Depends somewhat on if it will get full sunlight, or how many windows you have. That length of a run should probably have at least one.
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Unread 11-08-2017, 07:55 PM   #3
jonh56
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Thanks Jim. I'll check out the website.

Regarding the expansion joints - I did not include any. My thought was using silicone around the perimeter would be sufficient for any movement. Not sure if it's applicable, but there are no control joints on the garage slab, nor any cracks. The home was built in 1994. The 2 car garage door is opposite the two windows shown in the picture, and does face the south with sun exposure.

The only tiles remaining to be installed are the 4 rows closest to the garage door running parallel - the area with direct sunlight. Do you think it's worth addressing at this point? With sunlight only hitting the first 6 rows or so, would the perimeter spacing not be sufficient?
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Last edited by jonh56; 11-08-2017 at 08:06 PM. Reason: typo
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Unread 11-08-2017, 08:51 PM   #4
jadnashua
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There's an information article on expansion joints at the tcna.org website. The distances on when and where expansion joints should be used has been moving down in size over the last few years. These things get adjusted based on experience. Personally, I'm not sure. I'd consider it. In one class, they took one of those wooden, folding rulers. Put one end against a rigid surface, then moved the free end a 1/16"...the middle of the ruler rose up about 3-4". Tile is rigid, it doesn't take much expansion to put a lot of stress on things. You absolutely need an expansion joint around the perimeter, but the industry standards also call for them in the field once it exceeds certain dimensions. Direct sunlight can get things quite hot...that causes expansion. The rest of the slab may stay fairly cool with the ground contact, making it worse at the junction. Something to think about.
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Unread 11-09-2017, 08:08 AM   #5
jonh56
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I did check out the TCNA article, as well as several others (CTEF, etc.)

At this point, it seems my best option would be to make some soft joints with a backer rod and silicone (with high Shore A hardness.)

I'm thinking one soft joint running perpendicular to the wall with the windows and garage door in the center, and two soft joints splitting the floor in thirds running parallel with the windows and garage door. Not sure if that's overkill, but it satisfies the TCNA's 8-12ft requirement for sun exposed and exterior applications.

Thanks again for the input.
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