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Unread 03-14-2012, 08:24 AM   #1
ranjet
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1/16" grout line

I have been asked to do a job using 18" x 18" floor tile and use a 1/16" grout line. I would assume that I need a pretty level floor for that small of a grout line, not much to play with. Are there any extra precautions that I should be thinking about for this kind of work?

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RBW
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Unread 03-14-2012, 08:34 AM   #2
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Randall, your tiles don't give a rat's patooti about your substrate being level, but tiles that large want it to be very, very flat. Current industry standard calls for no deviation from intended plane of more than 1/8th" in ten feet and no more than 1/16th" in two feet.

To use a 1/16th" grout joint, you're tiles will need to be well rectified (machine cut to size and shape) or uncommonly well calibrated from the factory. You'll need to determine that with the tiles you intend to use on site, no matter what the advertisement may say.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 03-14-2012, 08:56 AM   #3
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I bid the job @ $5.00 per sq. ft. I didn't figure to go that small of a grout joint. The customer sprung that on me after the bid. I haven't checked for level yet but I see cracks that I would red guard for sure.
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Unread 03-14-2012, 09:02 AM   #4
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AND, you'll seriously want to consider investing in a leveling system such as the Tuscan Leveling System. I'm doing 18" marble right now with a 1/16" grout line. I never would've even attempted it without the TLS.
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Unread 03-14-2012, 09:10 AM   #5
ranjet
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Grout line was not specified in my bid. I'm the GC on the job and I figured to do the tile work myself and just bid a standard price. It's a flood damage repair job and the total contract is around $30,000.00. I have some room to play with but I want to tell the customer that 1/16" joint requires some extra leveling not figured into the bid. Would a poured floor leveler be in order?

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Unread 03-14-2012, 09:15 AM   #6
ranjet
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I'm going to the job now and I'll use CX's advice on industry standards. I post back on how out of level the floor is and see what you guys think.
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Unread 03-14-2012, 09:38 AM   #7
Shpedly
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Yup, as Bob said. Make sure you measure a good sampling of the tiles for square. How big an area are we talking about? If its on the small side, I would SLC the whole area rather than spot level. Its near impossible to feather that stuff out to get close to the 1/8th standard.
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Unread 03-14-2012, 05:37 PM   #8
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Spend a lot of time with a long straight edge and a flashlight to check the floor thoroughly for hills and valleys. Once flattened, very tight joints are possible provided the tiles are very close to the same size.
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Unread 03-14-2012, 07:12 PM   #9
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I would let them know right away that most tiles aren't made precise enough to have a 1/16 joint. All it takes is to run into a bunch of slightly larger tiles and your joint goes away completely and the tiles will be impossible to keep straight. Then you'll have a big mess on your hands. Open the joints to at least 1/8 to 3/16 and use a sanded grout.
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Unread 03-14-2012, 10:42 PM   #10
ranjet
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Thanks for the info. I checked using a 5' level and it isn't too bad. I hadn't thought about the tile. I'm going to try to talk him out of the small grout line. The tile in the baths are about 3/8" joint so why not match that. We'll see.
Thanks all.

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