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Share you tips of the tile trade with me to prevent some of the problems i faced

Share you tips of the tile trade with me to prevent some of the problems i faced

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  #1  
Old 07-13-09, 05:58 AM
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Share you tips of the tile trade with me to prevent some of the problems i faced

I just finished my first tile project and I am just looking as to where I went wrong so I can prevent this from happening in the future.

I first ripped up the old tile and old 1/4" plywood and layed down brand new Hardibacker board 1/4" with 1/4" square Trowel with fullflex thinset underneath. (As MFG Suggests). I adhesive taped the seams and mudded them all as well.

The floor was pretty much level and I was laying 13"x13" tiles.

I started to center the tile on the door


So, here are some of the problems I faced.

You can't really see from the picture, but a few issues

I had a couple of high spots when I layed the tile. I have yet to grout and hopefully it will hide some of it, but there is at least one row that it's really a little high...

I am still learning but i want to know what I did wrong.

Also, my grout lines aren't 100% perfect. I tried my best to make sure that everything was square off the center line I striked, but there are a few areas that aren't perfect.

And lastly, the complete mess I made. I looked like I just came out of a thinset mixer myself when I was all done.

Can I please have some tips of the trade as to prevent my 3 major hang-ups.

Any advice, tips or pictures would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
 

Last edited by Goldyfarbs; 07-13-09 at 06:04 AM. Reason: removed dead link for pictures
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  #2  
Old 07-13-09, 02:38 PM
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Wow! I thought I was reading my own post there for a second. It sounded just like what I did, even down to the 13x13 inch tile. This was my first tile job and overall I think it went pretty well.

I'm nowhere near an expert, but I can tell you what I did to make sure all of the tiles were flat in relation to each other. I used a 4' level to lay across the tiles as I layed them. If one corner was high I used a rubber mallot to gently tap the corner down until it was even with the rest. You don't have to use a level, it could be anything as long as it's straight. The level is just what I had handy. It probably doesn't need to be that long, but I thought the longer the better so I could relate more than two tiles to each other.
 
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Old 07-13-09, 03:39 PM
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Without seeing some pictures, I'm only going on what you say:

1. The subfloor is not flat

2. No 100% thinset coverage on bottom of tile

3. Grout joints are prolly uneven due to the fact the tiles are not the same size to each other. Making a wider grout joint will often times hide this slight difference.
 
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Old 07-13-09, 06:34 PM
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Wow! I thought I was reading my own post there for a second. It sounded just like what I did, even down to the 13x13 inch tile. This was my first tile job and overall I think it went pretty well.

I'm nowhere near an expert, but I can tell you what I did to make sure all of the tiles were flat in relation to each other. I used a 4' level to lay across the tiles as I layed them. If one corner was high I used a rubber mallot to gently tap the corner down until it was even with the rest. You don't have to use a level, it could be anything as long as it's straight. The level is just what I had handy. It probably doesn't need to be that long, but I thought the longer the better so I could relate more than two tiles to each other.
Totally what I did.. My tiles were even i made sure that and I also made a little beater by putting a 2x4 with carpet on it and using the mallet to hit it.

How can I post pictures online to show you?

I also used a 1/2"x1/2" trowel and I made a complete mess with the thinset. I used Tec fullflex and made sure I mixed it properly but I think I just spread too much..

I guess I need to improve on a few things, but it was my first DIY Tile Job. Overall, I am pretty happy.

If I can post pictures I will show all of you.
 
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Old 07-13-09, 06:38 PM
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I had a couple of high spots when I layed the tile. I have yet to grout and hopefully it will hide some of it, but there is at least one row that it's really a little high...
Its your first job so dont be so hard on yourself. Several things here though. Did you mud and tape the joints of the cement board as you set the tile or do you do it before. If the mud dries before you set the tile, you'll have some high spots at the cement board seams and the tile will not sit flat over them. Was the floor flat, or were you trying to make up for it with thinset? Did you use a large enough notch trowel to get full coverage on the backs of the tiles? Too small a notch, and the tiles may rock causing one side or corner to raise up over a high spot in the underlayment. A larger notch trowel will give you more leveling ability on a not so perfectly flat floor.

Also, my grout lines aren't 100% perfect. I tried my best to make sure that everything was square off the center line I striked, but there are a few areas that aren't perfect.
Did you grid the floor, or try to use spacers. Unless you are working with rectified tile, the tile will not be the exact same size and spacers will throw your layout off. Its best to grid the entire floor and fit the tile inside the boxes. This way if the tile arent exact in size it'll be less noticeable. Cheaper tile will vary a little more in size. Grout will make your minor imperfections a little less noticeable.

And lastly, the complete mess I made. I looked like I just came out of a thinset mixer myself when I was all done.
I look like that every day. Be proud of it. You are supposed to look like that.
 
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Old 07-13-09, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by HeresJohnny View Post
Unless you are working with rectified tile, the tile will not be the exact same size and spacers will throw your layout off. Its best to grid the entire floor and fit the tile inside the boxes. This way if the tile arent exact in size it'll be less noticeable. Cheaper tile will vary a little more in size. Grout will make your minor imperfections a little less noticeable.
I wonder how many people would not presume the tiles are perfectly the same size. If what you say is true, this surely has to have caused people to do jobs that come out looking like an abortion!
 
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Old 07-13-09, 07:46 PM
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HeresJohnny,

Its your first job so dont be so hard on yourself. Several things here though. Did you mud and tape the joints of the cement board as you set the tile or do you do it before. If the mud dries before you set the tile, you'll have some high spots at the cement board seams and the tile will not sit flat over them. Was the floor flat, or were you trying to make up for it with thinset? Did you use a large enough notch trowel to get full coverage on the backs of the tiles? Too small a notch, and the tiles may rock causing one side or corner to raise up over a high spot in the underlayment. A larger notch trowel will give you more leveling ability on a not so perfectly flat floor.
When I laid the cement board down, I taped and mudded the joints and then tiled a week later. Is the wrong? Should I tape as I go? Also, I didn't use a margin trowel when I taped the seams and I made a little of the mess on the seams, so I had to use a belt sander to flatten out my high spots.

I know, don't laugh... I made a mess of the joints initially..

Also, I used Rectified porcelain tile.

I used 1/2"x1/2" Sq notch trowel for my tile job.

The floor was almost flat (as posted in the past thread). I only had a few spots that I had to make up for it in thinset.

In the end, I did my best. I am just looking for how to improve my DIY jobs next.

The thing that bothers me the most is it's not perfectly flat...

How do I know if I was putting too much thinset down?
 
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