# A few questions about installing tile

Discussion in 'Flooring' started by farmerjohn1324, Nov 24, 2017.

### Help Support House Repair Talk by donating:

1. Dec 31, 2017

### farmerjohn1324

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Aug 5, 2016
Messages:
963
103
So you agree that I can't avoid having triangular pieces by the walls? Like the top row in this video...

https://youtu.be/BvTenRHRhOE

2. Dec 31, 2017

### Snoonyb

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Sep 30, 2006
Messages:
3,753
713
See posts 52, 55 & 56.

3. Dec 31, 2017

### Snoonyb

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Sep 30, 2006
Messages:
3,753
713
I don't use utube to describe a process that I learned with experience.

No, I do not agree.

From post #58;"Only at your creation, can a triangle be created from a square box."

4. Dec 31, 2017

### farmerjohn1324

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Aug 5, 2016
Messages:
963
103
But the box (room) isn't square. It is a trapezoid.

And it's not just one room, It's a whole house. Many, many trapezoids.

The first line of post 52 says "Assuming that the north and east wall are square to each other."

But they are not square to each other.

And you keep referring to "the 2nd and 3rd sentence." The 2nd and 3rd sentence of what?

Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
5. Dec 31, 2017

### Snoonyb

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Sep 30, 2006
Messages:
3,753
713
If and when you decide to follow sentence 2 of post 52 for the kitchen, quoted below, you will define 4 boxes, 3 of which are square, relatively, and another with a square box removed.

And according to you will have floor covering other than the 16"sq. for the kitchen. None the less they can all be cut into square boxes.

Then you adjust for the desired aesthetic results.

And I keep pointing to post #52, as, and I hope for the last time, are quoted here;"You strike a mark 5' out from the east wall at both the north and south ends of the room, and snap a line. You repeat this from the north wall."

"Pick a square and mark 3' from the apex north, and 4' from the apex east. The dia. length between those marks should be 5'. If it's longer or shorter, you mark it at 5' and re-snap the north south line."

6. Dec 31, 2017

### farmerjohn1324

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Aug 5, 2016
Messages:
963
103
This picture is the intersection of the 5' off of north and 5' off of east.

Now, you say "pick a square." I don't know what that means. I also don't know what "apex north" means. I know the definition of the word apex.

I fully understand the Pythagorean Theorem and that 3^2 + 4^2 = 5^2 and that 6^2 + 8^2 = 10^2.

I will be using the same 15 7/8" tile throughout the entire house.

Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
7. Dec 31, 2017

### farmerjohn1324

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Aug 5, 2016
Messages:
963
103
Okay I get what you're saying. The hypotenuse is slightly off 5'.

8. Dec 31, 2017

### farmerjohn1324

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Aug 5, 2016
Messages:
963
103
Okay actually, it is at 5'. My first horizontal chalk line I noticed was slightly off the 5' marks that I marked. When I redid the chalk line, it is right at 5' hypotenuse.

This makes no sense since I know the walls aren't square to each other, but I won't argue.

I still think I will end up with triangular pieces, but I don't think there's anything I can do about that.

9. Dec 31, 2017

### Snoonyb

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Sep 30, 2006
Messages:
3,753
713

From post #53; "I will be placing mosaic floor tiles to transition into the room above the kitchen (LR)."

10. Dec 31, 2017

### farmerjohn1324

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Aug 5, 2016
Messages:
963
103
I made a horizontal and vertical adjustment to try to minimize small pieces near the walls.

I still expect triangular pieces along the vertical walls. But the larger they are, the less weird they will look.

I am using mosaic floor tile in that particular section because I have to due to the gradual 1/2" slope over 9".

11. Dec 31, 2017

### Snoonyb

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Sep 30, 2006
Messages:
3,753
713

All walls are vertical, so creating a triangle from a square, is your choice.

12. Dec 31, 2017

### farmerjohn1324

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Aug 5, 2016
Messages:
963
103
The house is not square. The walls of the house are not at right angles to each other.

How do I fit a bunch of square tiles evenly into something that isn't square?

13. Jan 1, 2018

### Snoonyb

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Sep 30, 2006
Messages:
3,753
713
You cut them to fit.

14. Jan 1, 2018

### farmerjohn1324

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Aug 5, 2016
Messages:
963
103
Which I should expect to look like a trapezoid along certain walls.

Whenever I said triangle, I meant to say trapezoid.

15. Jan 1, 2018

Joined:
Jun 6, 2009
Messages:
6,885
1,297
Location:
Sussex County, NJ
If the room is perfectly square and perfectly divisible by the size of the tiles you choose, then you will not have to cut tiles. Otherwise you will have to cut tiles. since the room is out of square, then your cuts will have to be on angles to complete the job. The trick is hide the worst side, and to avoid cutting small slivers of tile to fill the gaps at the wall. That's why you may have to adjust the chalk line intersection in the middle of the room. Just place ( don't set them, just lay them loose) a single row of tiles down end to end across the room following your chalk line. do the same with the other line. If you have less than a quarter tile where it meets the wall, you can either adjust the size of the grout lines or arrange for the small piece to be on the end that shows least...or do both. If the tile needs to be cut on an angle, then do it.
Another option would be to use a mosaic border around the room so that the smaller tiles might hide the angles. But I think that would be more work than it's worth, and the mosaics would still have to be cut on an angle.

16. Jan 1, 2018

### farmerjohn1324

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Aug 5, 2016
Messages:
963
103
Yes, that is the procedure for one room. But this is a whole house, and once I set the first tile, the grid is set. I did a lot of measurements and a lot of math to eliminate small pieces of tile near the walls. But that was before I realized the whole house was out of square. So now I'm using the same measurements and hoping they eliminate small trapezoid, rather than small rectangles.

I literally can't make accurate measurements of where the tiles will be if the house is not square. And I am not doing a dry run of the whole house.

17. Jan 1, 2018

### farmerjohn1324

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Aug 5, 2016
Messages:
963
103
I had a problem with mixing the thinset. I started with my 20V DeWalt drill. It worked okay, but then gave out. I think it was asking too much of that drill. Then, went to my plug in Ironton drill. I didn't have the chuck entirely tightened, but the thickness of the thinset held the paddle in place. The problem was that there was so much torque involved that I felt like my arm or wrist would break if something went wrong. I ran it on low speed for a while, but this wasn't enough to mix everything. I ended up mixing it by hand with the paddle and a piece of wood. It came out good, but that's no long term plan. Any suggestions?

Also, do I remove toilets and tile underneath them?

18. Jan 1, 2018

### Snoonyb

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Sep 30, 2006
Messages:
3,753
713
It's, again, all part of the learning curve.

When you asked about the DEWALT, my response was in small quantities.

I use a Milwaukee Hole Hog, because quality leads to efficiency.

19. Jan 2, 2018

### farmerjohn1324

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Aug 5, 2016
Messages:
963
103
I guess I should return that Ironton then, and buy the Hole Hog.

I have a few more questions if you don't mind:

1. I was advised by Google to flatten tiles with a rubber mallet. Do you agree? The slab is flat, the tile is flat, so the only reason for tiles that are not level with each other is uneven distribution of thinset. Correct?

2. Should I be using 5 spacers at every intersection? Like the pic attached? I think I put about 2-3 inches from the corner to the the spacer. Is there a standard distance I should use?

3. When it's time to clean the joints (after 24 hours), do I need to clean all the way to the concrete? How do I remove the thinset that has dried by now? And wouldn't the spacers have cemented in place? This is literally my FIRST DAY I've ever laid tile.

4. How do I clean the surface of the tiles of dried thinset? I know I was supposed to use a wet sponge to clean as I went, which I did... But I also left some thinset to dry on the surface of the tile just to purposefully make it difficult for myself tomorrow so I could learn how to remove it.

5. Around the edges of what I laid today, there is several inches of thinset that will dry without a tile on top of it. Should I not have left this? How do I remove this tomorrow? Should I have cleaned all this while it was wet down to the bare concrete?

6. There is a UPC barcode on the back of nearly every individual tile. Should I remove this prior to installation? Would it interfere with proper bonding?

7. How do I see my chalk line after I spread the thinset? My method today involved ruining a 3' metal yardstick.

Either way, here's what I got done today.

Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
20. Jan 2, 2018

### Snoonyb

#### Well-Known Member

Joined:
Sep 30, 2006
Messages:
3,753
713
For the DEWALT you could invest in a couple of 2 packs of the large LI batteries, which you'll probably need when you install your cabinets, and which will be less than a Hole Hog.

My HOG is 25yrs. old and other than brushes, a cord, re-greasing and a new chuck, keeps on truckin.

It appears that you are using a notched trowel, and the evenness as well as the consistency of the thinset spread are key to eliminating tamping.

Because Tile isn't my only trade, I set the first row and walk away for a couple hours and return with a masons level. Sometimes I'll use the head of the mallet and sometimes the butt end of the handle.

You use as many as it takes to maintain straight lines.

No. If the grout line are full of thinset then you need to use more caution in the application process. There is a grout removal tool which resembles a long handled church key.

I use a razor scraper.

It should have been removed when it was wet. Now you get to carefully scrape it up without disturbing the tile.

No, you have enough bonding surface.

Notched trowels have a straight edge and you hold the thinset 1/4" away from your chalkline, so you can follow it.

Draft saved Draft deleted

Title
Replies Views
Last Message
1. Sticky

Replies:
124
Views:
62,247

Replies:
3
Views:
281

Replies:
2
Views:
22

Replies:
10
Views:
114

Replies:
2,281
Views:
452,948