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Old 04-07-2008, 07:31 AM  
Square Eye
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Default Basic necessities for a tile job

If I wanted to tile a small bathroom floor, what would I need to buy, rent, consider before I start?
Do I have to use a tile saw to get good cuts?
What is the best way to meet a wall? Should I just run the tile tight against the wall or should I leave any space?
What type of mix should I buy to set the tile?
What should I look for when I buy the finish grout?
And how do I drill a hole through tile for toilet bolts or door stops?


I know, lots of questions, but a brief over-all list would be cool for reference



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Old 04-07-2008, 05:36 PM  
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Well, aside from a good book about how to tile...

A lot depends on the type of tile you're using. With small mosaic tiles you can use premixed mastic type adhesive, while larger tiles would call for a mortar type adhesive. Also, the larger the tile the more solid your floor must be, as flexing could cause the grout joints or even the tile itself, to crack. Also, if you're using stone, marble or porcelain tile you need to make sure and get the right kind of mortar adhesive.

Cutting, again, depends largely on the type of tile. Ceramic is easy to cut with a hack saw with an abrasive blade, or better yet a jigsaw with an abrasive blade. Actually, I use my 4-1/2" angle grinder with a diamond blade for straight cuts. Then again, I just finished laying 460 sq. ft. of large porcelain tile, which I could not have done without renting a monster sized wet saw. And if the cuts are going to be exposed, you'll want to make sure to get good, clean cuts. With glazed ceramic tiles you can use a score & snap type tile cutter for all your straight cuts.

You'll need the right trowel. For premixed mastic you will probably need a 3/16 V-notched trowel. For mortar type adhesive you'll need a square notched trowel, size depending on the size of the tile. I usually just eye up an appropriate size notched trowel for the tile I'm working with.

You'll almost always use sanded grout on floors, and don't use white. Better to go with beige or grey, whatever works with the color of the tile.

I generally don't leave a gap at the edges, unless it's going to be covered with a base shoe or something.

I could go into more detail if I know what type of tile you're laying on what type of subsrtrate, and how you plan to address the edges. Or I could write that book right here in this post.



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Old 04-07-2008, 08:14 PM  
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If I wanted to tile a small bathroom floor, what would I need to buy, rent, consider before I start?

Proper size thinset trowel ( size of the trowel depends on the size of the tile ), rent a wet saw or buy a cheap one from Lowes, sponges, buckets- two 5 gallon and one 2.5 gallon for grout ,water and thinset, a grout float, square and most important a good broom and hand scraper!




Do I have to use a tile saw to get good cuts?

Unless you're a pro...yes.




What is the best way to meet a wall? Should I just run the tile tight against the wall or should I leave any space?

ALWAYS leave a space! I believe 1/4 inch is what the NTCA calls for. Walls move, if you tile tight to the wall or even cement board tight to the wall it could lead to problems.




What type of mix should I buy to set the tile?

Pre-mixed thinsets are in my opinion, good for repairs only. The best quality thinset Ive used and rely on is VersaBond or VersaBond Flex. Natural stones like marble and porcelain require special thinsets. The moisture from some normal thinsets can bleed through the tile resulting in staining. Also... Marble/porcelain thinsets have more grit in the mix, this keeps the heavy tile from settling causing ups and downs in the finished surface.




What should I look for when I buy the finish grout?

Quality is a hit or miss thing with grout like anything else. I swear by PolyBlend which is also made by the same company that makes VersaBond. A great and easy to use "apoxy" grout is made by Laticrete and is sold in Lowes. Everything else Ive mentioned can be found in Home Depot or Dal-Tile. As for a color...I would try to either A: try to match the color of the tile. OR B: Match a color within the shading, this will bring out a color that isnt very prominent) using a grout color thats different then the tile is fine also and very common. Just keep in mind that alot of tile arent square and sometimes come in different sizes. One box could have 7 tile that measure out to be 11 7/8 while the remaining measure out to be 12. Combine the difference in size and the shape being off and youre left with some imperfect lines. Use a grout that matches the tile or at least the edges of the tile and it will disappear




And how do I drill a hole through tile for toilet bolts or door stops?

Special drill bits sold in most hardware stores will do the job. If a ceramic or porcelain tile is to hard to drill... dab the bit with some antifreeze on a small brush and take it slow.

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Old 04-07-2008, 10:08 PM  
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Quote:
ALWAYS leave a space! I believe 1/4 inch is what the NTCA calls for. Walls move, if you tile tight to the wall or even cement board tight to the wall it could lead to problems.
I've seen (have yet to do one) lot's of bathrooms with a cove tile connecting the floor tile to the wall tile.

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Old 04-08-2008, 12:44 AM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToolGuy View Post
I've seen (have yet to do one) lot's of bathrooms with a cove tile connecting the floor tile to the wall tile.


You'll see in the TCA handbook three types of cove and the installation for each. All of which call for caulking the seam that connects it to the floor tile giving it the flexability to move.
I know that 99.9% of the time people dont follow this, I just wanted to answer the question as accurate as possible.
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Old 04-08-2008, 07:17 AM  
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Thank You Fella's
I've seen the cove tiles break loose and the joint cracked at a wall before and that's why I asked.
Tile is obviously more complicated than it seems but I believe it's still doable. Many more subjects to cover (uneven floors, how to replace a single tile,finishing bullnose to wall, etc.) this should be a very popular forum.



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