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Jehannum
 
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ITT: I lay a tile floor

I started this project this morning.

Our dining room, an addition in the late '70s, was built to a very special code: any shortcut possible to take, was taken. About the only thing to code back there is the floor - 5/8" particle board over 3/4" plywood. Slowly, I've been rehabbing things (copper wiring instead of aluminum, doors that don't suck, windows that don't leak, next will be the roof).

Note the crappy carpet. Laid in 2001 as a concession to our buying the house, it's threadbare and a half in the high traffic areas.


Carpet, pad and moldings removed, and the subfloor sealed (gotta seal particle board if it's going to be exposed to any moisture at all, or it'll swell up and disintegrate).


Craptastic transition for the back door


Started on the concrete subfloor


Finished concrete subfloor:




Maybe tomorrow, I'll start laying the tile.
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Old 05-29-2010, 03:40 PM Jehannum is offline  
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topcat989
 
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You should have staggered the durock sheets.

Did you use fiberglass tape on the joints?

And how are the sheets fastened to the floor- nails or the durock screws? Did you put any thinset under the durock?

What kind of tile are you putting in? What thinset are you using?

and what are you going by- experience, how-to book/vid, friend, etc?

EDIT: wait, what is the sub-floor? Concrete?
Old 05-29-2010, 04:05 PM topcat989 is offline  
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Jehannum
 
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Originally Posted by topcat989 View Post
You should have staggered the durock sheets.

Did you use fiberglass tape on the joints?

And how are the sheets fastened to the floor- nails or the durock screws? Did you put any thinset under the durock?

What kind of tile are you putting in? What thinset are you using?

and what are you going by- experience, how-to book/vid, friend, etc?

EDIT: wait, what is the sub-floor? Concrete?

Shit, I knew I forgot something (staggering). I'm working according to instructions from a friend in the contracting business.

Sheets are held down by polymer-modified thinset and concrete screws every 6-8". The joints are taped and floated with mortar.

Subfloor is 5/8" particle board over 3/4" plywood. The particle board was sealed before I put thinset over the top of it. The only reason I didn't pull the particle board before I started was that I would have had to make up the height difference with concrete board, and that would have been cost-prohibitive.

Helper doing the sealing:
+ YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.


The tile going down is 12"x12" ceramic floor tile, with a "rose clay" pattern on the face. Originally, I was going to use clay saltillo tiles, but the maintenance would have been a big pain in the ass.
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Your powers are useless! I'm wearing my tin foil underwear!

1992 300ZX: Not stock, 433 RWHP
1971 240Z: Toyota front brakes, 123 RWHP
1967 Pontiac GTO: not stock.
Old 05-29-2010, 04:25 PM Jehannum is offline  
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topcat989
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jehannum View Post
Shit, I knew I forgot something (staggering). I'm working according to instructions from a friend in the contracting business.

Sheets are held down by polymer-modified thinset and concrete screws every 6-8". The joints are taped and floated with mortar.

Subfloor is 5/8" particle board over 3/4" plywood. The particle board was sealed before I put thinset over the top of it. The only reason I didn't pull the particle board before I started was that I would have had to make up the height difference with concrete board, and that would have been cost-prohibitive.

Helper doing the sealing:
+ YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.


The tile going down is 12"x12" ceramic floor tile, with a "rose clay" pattern on the face. Originally, I was going to use clay saltillo tiles, but the maintenance would have been a big pain in the ass.

I strongly, strongly suggest you bite the bullet and buy&use red guard on the floor. Paint it on with a roller, using cross hatch pattern to get even coating. First I would hit the surface with a burn coat of thinset, then let that dry. Then red guard it, let that dry. Then burn another coat of thinset, use FlexBond (white color, don't use grey). These steps will help to prevent cracking grout or tile.

EDIT: where do you live?
Old 05-29-2010, 04:52 PM topcat989 is offline  
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Jehannum
 
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Albuquerque, New Mexico

edit: and Flexbond is what I bought for thinset.
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1992 300ZX: Not stock, 433 RWHP
1971 240Z: Toyota front brakes, 123 RWHP
1967 Pontiac GTO: not stock.

Last edited by Jehannum; 05-29-2010 at 06:06 PM..
Old 05-29-2010, 05:50 PM Jehannum is offline  
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topcat989
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jehannum View Post
Albuquerque, New Mexico

edit: and Flexbond is what I bought for thinset.

ok. I'd still recommend using red guard for added crack prevention. When you set the tile be sure to only comb a small part of the floor at a time. In that weather the thinset will "skin over" quickly, damaging the bond. If the tile has big lugs on the back it's a good idea to back butter them as you set them. Lay them down into the thinset, then wriggle them around to embed them. Hope your floor is flat.

If you had to do over again, removing the particle board and having an experienced tile setter float you a flat floor makes setting a nice flat tile floor much easier.

Have you put at least a 4ft level/straightedge on the floor to check for humps/dips?
Old 05-29-2010, 06:18 PM topcat989 is offline  
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Jehannum
 
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ok. I'd still recommend using red guard for added crack prevention. When you set the tile be sure to only comb a small part of the floor at a time. In that weather the thinset will "skin over" quickly, damaging the bond. If the tile has big lugs on the back it's a good idea to back butter them as you set them. Lay them down into the thinset, then wriggle them around to embed them. Hope your floor is flat.

If you had to do over again, removing the particle board and having an experienced tile setter float you a flat floor makes setting a nice flat tile floor much easier.

Have you put at least a 4ft level/straightedge on the floor to check for humps/dips?
Yeah, it's straight and level, though I only have an 8 ft. level (and a 6").

I'll be checking each tile as I set it, too.
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Your powers are useless! I'm wearing my tin foil underwear!

1992 300ZX: Not stock, 433 RWHP
1971 240Z: Toyota front brakes, 123 RWHP
1967 Pontiac GTO: not stock.
Old 05-29-2010, 06:35 PM Jehannum is offline  
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topcat989
 
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Originally Posted by Jehannum View Post
Yeah, it's straight and level, though I only have an 8 ft. level (and a 6").

I'll be checking each tile as I set it, too.

Having a flat base is half the battle. GG
Old 05-29-2010, 08:18 PM topcat989 is offline  
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Xayd
 
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Originally Posted by Jehannum View Post

Subfloor is 5/8" particle board over 3/4" plywood. The particle board was sealed before I put thinset over the top of it. The only reason I didn't pull the particle board before I started was that I would have had to make up the height difference with concrete board, and that would have been cost-prohibitive.

you can get 5/8 ply. if you ever wind up doing this again in other rooms, that's how i'd go, two layers of ply in opposing patterns should be quite stable.
Old 05-30-2010, 12:11 AM Xayd is offline  
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topcat989
 
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you can get 5/8 ply. if you ever wind up doing this again in other rooms, that's how i'd go, two layers of ply in opposing patterns should be quite stable.

His floor is 3/4 ply for subfloor, 5/8 particle board, then 1/2" durock.

for his other floors he should pull the particle board and use one layer of ply, then durock.

course if it was me, I'd just float the floors. Better, stronger, but not faster.
Old 05-30-2010, 03:42 AM topcat989 is offline  
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Jehannum
 
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you can get 5/8 ply. if you ever wind up doing this again in other rooms, that's how i'd go, two layers of ply in opposing patterns should be quite stable.

The other room that's getting tile in the house is the kitchen, and it's got 3/4" tongue in groove subfloor. If I need to make up any height (and it doesn't look that way), I'll do it with OSB or something.
__________________
Your powers are useless! I'm wearing my tin foil underwear!

1992 300ZX: Not stock, 433 RWHP
1971 240Z: Toyota front brakes, 123 RWHP
1967 Pontiac GTO: not stock.
Old 05-30-2010, 05:30 AM Jehannum is offline  
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Jehannum
 
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Smaller helper nesting in my lap:


After the useful helper (my pops) went home:


After I called it quits for the day (still need to get into my bedroom without trampling tiles on wet mortar)


I'll have to let poochtardo out the front door and through the gate into the back for tonight:


I floated out the spots under the tile with a little bit of mortar and let it dry, working different sections as I moved. Fortunately, the mortar skins over in about 5 minutes here, so I was able to move relatively quickly.
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Your powers are useless! I'm wearing my tin foil underwear!

1992 300ZX: Not stock, 433 RWHP
1971 240Z: Toyota front brakes, 123 RWHP
1967 Pontiac GTO: not stock.
Old 05-30-2010, 03:50 PM Jehannum is offline  
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MadDog
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looking good man
Old 05-30-2010, 05:02 PM MadDog is offline  
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Xayd
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by topcat989 View Post
His floor is 3/4 ply for subfloor, 5/8 particle board, then 1/2" durock.

for his other floors he should pull the particle board and use one layer of ply, then durock.

course if it was me, I'd just float the floors. Better, stronger, but not faster.

agreed on floating the floors, but that's not really diy friendly. he said the reason for maintaining the extra layer was a height problem. gotta get the height somehow.
Old 05-30-2010, 05:12 PM Xayd is offline  
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DHermit
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I cut and laid tile on my patio, so I feel for you. If you've never done this before, it really is such a physical pain in the ass being on your knees and on your back that whole time. Good luck man, it looks good so far!
Old 05-31-2010, 09:14 AM DHermit is offline  
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