Suggestions for a ceramic tile newbie large install...

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Old 12-14-05, 08:35 AM
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Arrow Suggestions for a ceramic tile newbie large install...

I'm currently finishing my basement and I'm ready to tile the floor in my rec room. The room is going to need roughly ~850 tiles (12x12) and I have already picked out one I really like from one of the two big box super hardware stores. The house is only 3yrs old and the floor has never had anything on it. The floor does seem to be a slightly polished finish/look to it. No cracks or problems on the floor, however there are the expansion pre-cut joints here and there. Also, never had any water problems in the basement in 3+ years.

I'm read a lot of posts about the mastic and grout and not to use certain stuff. What stuff do I want and what do I want to stay away from?

My father and myself have done everything so far in this basement job and are really handy.

Any tips or tricks?

-someone mentioned some type of grid membrane or something you could put under the floor to help keep the grount lines from cracking.... (cracking grout lines are a serious concern of mine)

I plan on using a medium to dark grout to help keep them from getting dirty.

Already have plans to purchase a half-way decent tile-wet saw.

Here are a couple of pictures of the room:
Original Picture Before any work

Room after some drywall

Room after more drywall

THANK YOU for any help!

R_Willis
 
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Old 12-14-05, 09:36 AM
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Pour some water down. If it beads up, you will need to grind the surface down until it will absorb water. You can rent too;s to make this quick. Waterfed tools will be virtually dustless. If the water soaks in, you are good to go.

Control joints cut into the slab cab be bridged if you use an anti fracture membrane over your slab. You've described Schluter Ditra, But Noble CIS is also a good one. Expansion joints, where two seperate sectios of slab come together must be honored and cannot be bridged with tile. In that situation you would need to align a grout joint over the expansion joint and fill with a color matched caulk.

You also need to maintain areas for expansion. This includes a perimeter gap free of both tile and grout. You can cover it with wall moulding when you are done. Fill the gap along door thresholds, such as that patio door with the color matched caulk. You also need to have room for expansion every 20-24 linear feet of tile. If you have the expansion joints or control joints caulked instead of grouted, you're fine. If you only have control joints and cover the whole floor with an anti fracture membrane, you will need to figure in the location of the expansion joints. Where grout lines meet in a door way is a great and short location to accomodate them.

Now I'll pretend you did noy say the word mastic. By the way, premixed thinset is really mislabled mastic, so stay clear of that too. Set the tile using bagged modified thinset, mixed with water. Use bagged grout as well, not premixed grout. Premixed grout is also a falsehood, being really just a bucket of colored caulk and nothing but head aches for those that have used it. If you use Ditra, then you will set you Ditra with modified thinset to the slab and unmodified thinset mixed with water to set the tile.
 
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Old 12-16-05, 10:44 AM
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Any other tips/tricks or hints?

Looks like it would cost an arm and a leg to do the whole floor in that Noble CIS...

If I did the math right, it would be over $1500 not counting shipping or installation materials to do just over 800sq ft?? ($10.50/linear foot sold in 6'x50' rolls, so a roll is $10.50 x 50?) Wowzers, that would be almost 1.5x the cost of my tile.

What is the easiest way to tell the difference between an control joint and an expansion joint?

To me, they look like seperate pieces of slab, but...

Here are some pictures of the joints:
Slab Joints #1
Slab Joints #2

Thanks....
 

Last edited by R_Willis; 12-16-05 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 12-16-05, 12:52 PM
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Those look like expansion joints. Don't bridge them. Alight your "grou" line over them or cut the tile giving you about 1/8" gap centered on the expansion joint and use an elastomeric filler that closely matches the tile. You'll have to fill them first, stuff some foam caulk backer rod in there so the caulk you use won't just fill to the bottom. Forget the anti fracture membrane, but buy a few boxes of extra tile. In the future if a crack develops, you will need to pull the affected tiles as well as one tile wider all around the crack, cover with an anti fracture membrane in that spot and reset new tiles. With that amount of tile, make sure you get all the same dye lot. A pallet of tile is around 500-600 sf. You will need to pull from more than one pallet and different dye lots can look very different. Another thing with those cheap tile is that you are more likely to get tiles with flaws such as cupping, fisheyes, or other irregularities. For that reason, go with a 15% overage and take the extra back when you get done.
 
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Old 01-29-06, 05:01 PM
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Any other suggestions or tips?

Getting ready to start his project here real soon.

Thanks.
 
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