Laying ceramic floor tile without using grout

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Old 04-07-06, 10:47 PM
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Laying ceramic floor tile without using grout

We are getting ready to lay a floor tile in our living room that looks like wood and would like it if we didn't have to have a grout line. I've heard that you can lay tiles and butt them up together without having grout lines. Is this possible? If so, what is the proper way to do this? We will be laying on top of concrete slab flooring. Also, is there a way one can lay tile without adhering it directly to the concrete so if we wanted to change it later it would be easy to get up? Thank you.
dara
 
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Old 04-08-06, 05:54 AM
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Not gonna happen. All the tiles (unless rectified porcelain) will have small variations in size. This will make it impossible to have the tiles align properly. You might not notice this by laying out 4-8 tiles, but over the whole room, you'll notice there are no straight lines anywhere. Any thinset that gets between two tiles will also prevent them from butting together, even if they were rectified. Once again, no straight lines anywhere. Any small variations in the flatness of the slab will cause significant lippage problems. Dirt will get into those tiny gaps and make the floor look nasty. Grout worked into the joints gets under the tile edges where there might not be sufficient thinset and helps to support the tile edges/corners. Grout is also there to hide the size variation between tiles and transition from tile to tile where there would be minor height variations. It also keeps dirt out from between the tiles. There is not a way to make it a temporary installation, but should you change your mind, there's a great tool you can rent called an electric chipping hammer.

If you are lucky, you can get away with 1/8" grout lines, most likely, your looking at 3/16" grout lines.
Any cracks in the slab?
 
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Old 04-08-06, 08:58 AM
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Bri,

Sounds like a candidate for Edge flooring, meets all the criteria - wants tile that looks like wood (well Edge sort of does, I guess), no need for grout ( nobody has figured out how to use the Edge grout yet so why bother), easy to come up ( easier than you can imagine and in a lot smaller sized pieces than when it went in), can be replaced at a later date ( and if you are lucky, Lowes will pick up the replacement cost too)
***JUST KIDDING

Dara,
I recently installed 700 sq ft of 6x24" ceramic with a wood grain look to it, and over a cement slab. Tilebri is absolutely correct, you need to set it in modified thinset and use a 1/8" or 3/16" grout line. I think a 1/16" would really be pushing it for the reasons Tilebri stated. Get a grout that blends in with the surface color of the tile.
 
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Old 04-09-06, 03:35 AM
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If they want something that looks like wood, why not just go with floating laminate flooring? No glue, no grout--locks together and comes out easy.
 
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Old 04-09-06, 05:24 PM
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Thank you!

Thank you everyone for your response! We looked at the Edge flooring, but my husband has seen it done, as well as the floating laminate and says he doesn't like the "feel" of it when you walk on it. I wish we could afford to do hardwood flooring, but it's impossible. Well, not impossible - we could afford to do it if we could lay it ourselves, but we are afraid to tackle it. We have laid ceramic before and know we can do this ourselves.
I suspect we have a crack in the slab, but am not sure yet as we haven't taken the carpet up yet. Our fireplace has a crack down the center of it all the way up so I suspect there is probably a crack on the floor as well. What do we do about this?
Thanks,
Dara
 
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Old 04-09-06, 05:37 PM
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Some of the better laminate floors have quite a real sound and feel to them, if you use the better quality underlayment.
 
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Old 04-09-06, 05:53 PM
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Dara,

Stay away from the Edge stuff, a lot of problems with it. That was just a joke on my part. Tilebri and I, and others, have been warning people to stay clear of that stuff since it came out.

When you pull up the carpet, let us know if there is a crack present and what kind. One kind is horizontal where the flooring on both sides of the crack is at the same height. The other is vertival shear, where one side of the crack lifts or drops. If the vertical shear is present go to plan B and forget about ceramic. If it is horizontal, there are thin membranes that can be placed over the crack to minimize ant future damge to the tile.
 
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