Q. Re: Installing Ceramic Tile Floor

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Old 02-28-09, 04:33 PM
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Q. Re: Installing Ceramic Tile Floor

I am planning to hire a contractor to install 2000 SF of 18" porcelain or ceramic tile with 3/16" joints in Las Vegas Home (built 1994), concrete slab, above ground, all rooms including bathrooms. There is evidence of cracks in slab underneath existing tile in some areas of the house (loose tiles).

Questions:

1. To save $$, I do not want to cover the entire floor with crack prevention materials, if not necessary. Would it be fairly safe to cover only the cracked areas with liquid Redguard Waterproofing and Crack Prevention Membrane or Mer-Krete Fracture Guard 5000? If so, which is preferred -- Redguard or Mercrete? What is the maximum width of the crack that these products would be suitable for and if the crack width is in excess, what would be the easiest and least expensive solution?

2. I am considering using Laticrete 253 Gold (Gray Latex Modified) Thinset. Is this compatible with the Redguard and/or Merkrete? Would another Thinset be more appropriate?

3. Are there special considerations when applying tile on the bathroom floors as opposed to other floors in the house?

4. I am aware of many types of grout sealers available. Any reccomendations?

Thank you, Mark
 
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Old 02-28-09, 05:04 PM
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Hi Mark!

I understand you wanting to save money, but, I would cover the entire area. What's the point of the localized membrane if you develope more cracks, eh? Either one of those coatings will work. Make sure your installer follows the directions.

2. Yes, good stuff.

3. No

4. There are a few, I like 511 Impregnator (I believe HD sells it)


This is alot of tile! You even want tile in the bedrooms? I like carpet in the bedrooms to cut down on noise, but that's just my opinion.

Can I ask how much they are wanting to charge you? Remember, you get what you pay for. Don't expect great quality from a van full of illegals or general contractors.
 
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Old 03-01-09, 09:37 AM
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There is evidence of cracks in slab underneath existing tile in some areas of the house (loose tiles).
Loose tiles don't necessarily mean cracks in a slab. Loose tile could be a result of poor installation, wrong kind of setting material, lack of movement joints to name a few. Your best bet will be to remove the tile and evaluate the condition of the slab.

Take note that crack suppression membranes only provide minor protection for horizontal cracking. They will not provide protection for vertical shear (one side of crack higher than the other). If you have that situation, forget about tile.

2000 feet of tile is a lot of tile. You may have control joints in the slab, and if so, you'll have to treat them a special way to prevent cracked tile and grout. You will also need soft joints in the tile installation, to relieve the pressure of the different movement rates of the slab and the tile.

18" tile will require a dead flat slab. Do you have that? It will also require excellent setting skills, so make sure you hire the right person for the job.

Since you will be hiring this out, your tile setter should know all of this and more. What is he recommending?

Edit: Oh yeah, forgot to mention, you'll likely need a medium bed mortar for tile that size.
 
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Old 03-03-09, 09:29 AM
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Thanks for all the info -- I have learned alot and have decided to hold off on my tiling job for now -- there is alot of unemployment out here in Las Vegas and the person that I was considering to do the work was very inexpensive, but after listening to your advice, I have second thoughts -- at least until I have more evidence of the quality of his work.

Mark
 
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Old 03-03-09, 07:41 PM
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What.. you were going to let someone with little experience practice on your 2,000 sq. ft. tile job?

OH I see, in 6 months or a year he'll be an expert right?

Jaz
 
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Old 03-04-09, 09:07 AM
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No, the person I was considering hiring has lots of experience installing tiles at casinos and other locations in Las Vegas. However, he is no longer working for a large contractor and is working on his own -- I was simply pointing out that the job market is suffering in Las Vegas and certain individuals, even those with experience, are willing to work for less just to get more work. My reluctance to go ahead with the job right now is mostly due to the fact that I want more time to make an informed decision.

Thanks, Mark
 
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Old 03-04-09, 09:26 AM
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OK good, I guess I misunderstood what you meant.

You're correct that it is very slow all over right now and is a great time to get work done. I often quote price from the '80's and even then some people think that's too high.

Problem is that there are many hacks out there doing junk work cheap, cutting corners, ripping people off even though they work for peanuts.

Jaz
 
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Old 03-04-09, 11:23 AM
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I often quote price from the '80's and even then some people think that's too high.
Interesting. We cut what we charge for labor by about 10% several months ago as a result of loosing more bids than we had in the past. It seems to have helped. We are working but not as busy as we were, and we are definitely making less.
 
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Old 03-04-09, 01:05 PM
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Yea well.....but you are in NJ. Although it is slower, it is still pretty good compared to here.

Jaz
 
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