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Old 02-11-2015, 11:47 AM   #1
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First time laying 12x24 tile

First time poster... I don't have much experience tiling, I've laid tile one time before and that was 12x12. We are updating our bathroom and my wife chose 12x24 tile. Couple questions:

1. What size trowel should I be using? I bought a 1/2x1/2, the guy and HomeDepot said that was too big.

2. Should I back butter, back trowel or neither?

3. What sized spacers should I use? Do I need a larger spacer since the tiles are bigger? I have a box of 3/16 or should I use 1/8

4. Layout - I read on here that do not lay the tile at 1/2 to prevent lippage. The guy at the Tile Shop never heard of that being an issue. Should I lay them at a 1/3?

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Old 02-11-2015, 12:50 PM   #2
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1. 1/2 x 1/2 is what you want in my opinion. It's what I used to lay my 12x24

2. Definitely burn a coat of thinset onto the back of the tiles.

3. Depends on how consistent the size of your tiles are. Industry typical is 3x difference in tile. I personally used 3/16" spacers but also opened every single box of tile and sorted it into piles based on different sizes. By doing this, I could have easily used 1/8" spacers or maybe even smaller as the tiles I laid were all the same size.

4. I prefer the look of a brick pattern but choose whatever you like. Laying a brick pattern does make it "easier" in terms of lippage and such, in my opinion.
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Old 02-11-2015, 02:57 PM   #3
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Hello, Brian. Welcome to the forum.

1. That size trowel is fine. You can buy one at Home Depot, but you really shouldn't get advice there, except to ask what aisle the trowels are on.

2. In addition to combing thinset on the floor, use the flat side of your trowel to force a thin layer of thinset into the back of the trowel. This will improve the bond between tile and thinset.

3. As Greg stated, you should make the joint based on the consistency of the tiles. Whatever the largest variation is in tile size, multiply that by three to get the joint width.

4. Some manufacturers of tile actually discourage a 50/50 brick pattern due to the warpage of their tile. It can make your installation look kind of like a basket weave when it's done. Often that information, or caution, is right on the box. I would generally recommend 1/3 offset, but you might get by with 1/2 depending on the flatness of the tile.

For the size tile you're planning on installing, you'll want a very flat floor. No deviation from plane more than 1/16" in any two feet or 1/8" in ten feet. Any more than that and you'll be fighting it. You might also look into one of the tile leveling systems to help control lippage.

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