How to install tile?

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Old 08-08-14, 03:55 PM
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How to install tile?

Ok. I will be starting my bathroom reno in a few months and need to get thinking about what I need and how to do it. Are there any books to be recommended for DIY tile work? My bathroom is small and will be primarily tiled on the floor. Probably will be a ceramic tile, though nothing has been chosen or thought about at this time.
 
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Old 08-08-14, 04:00 PM
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Let's start with the basics: what's the size, spacing and unsupported span of the floor joists? What's the flooring on top of the joists currently (all layers)?
 
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Old 08-08-14, 04:49 PM
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Once Mitch's questions are answered, the process, if you don't have to beef it up any, will be to install 1/4" Hardiebacker or Durock in a bed of thinset using screws to attach it to the subflooring. You can also use Ditra, less the screws, but it will be a little $$$$$. Once the underlayment is in place, dry run your tile to see how it fits best from side to side, and from doorway to wall. You can set your possible cuts up better that way. You don't want a 6" tile on the left with a 1" tile on the right, for example. Let us know how the tile will end at the door, so we can suggest termination methods. What flooring is in the hallway, or room adjacent.
 
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Old 08-08-14, 05:02 PM
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Hmmmm... guilty of multiple threads on the same subject. :NO NO NO: Maybe the mods can combine to keep the flow going?
 
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Old 08-08-14, 05:57 PM
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Z can you list (copy and paste the URLs) the convergent threads? We can compress them.
 
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Old 08-09-14, 05:08 AM
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I provided a link to this thread in my other thread. It was in plumbing and the tiling is OT there anyway.

The area to be tiled is 3 1/2' x 6'. I'll have to do some crawling for exact info, but the joists are 16" or less OC. I know there is some variation on joist spacing on the first floor, but this is the 2nd floor and I don't know if they did the same. The joists are 2x6 and I think span 10' to the first wall underneath. The floor is 3/4" t&g pine.

Currently the floor is vinyl stick tiles in and outside the bathroom. There is another layer of tile (vinyl, linoleum?) underneath and it may contain asbestos. I have not had it tested. I was hoping to not disturb that layer and to put the cement board on top. But if I need to thinset that down, this could be a problem.

I kind of wanted to do a marble threshold at the door, but I think I might do an oak one. The downstairs bathroom is like that and it looks nice.
 
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Old 08-09-14, 06:26 AM
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The joists run the length of the room.

After you install your cement backer, then get a good self leveling primer and roll/brush onto the cement board. After it dries (2 hrs) you can pour some self leveling compound and then feather our the edges after if cures. Read the fine print on the self levelers, they vary on how thick you can make a pour. You also have to massage the stuff. It is not simply a pour and go, you have to push it along.

The reason for installing the cement backer first is, that if you self level over plywood, you are supposed to add felt paper and wire mesh. With a SLC primer, you can bond direct to cbu.
I like the idea of pouring over the cement board because I won't have to drive screws through the floor leveler. I also like the idea of using ditra here as well. If I use ditra, I won't need to cement board?
 
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Old 08-09-14, 06:37 AM
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At 10' you are pushing the limit on 2x6 floor joists, however, the T&G pine is a bonus. Is there any cross blocking installed? That will assist as well.

Sometimes you luck out and the tiles are stuck so poorly that they literally pop off the floor. The only time you have an issue with asbestos is when you go to town on it with power tools and try to cut things out. If you pop them off with a 3" stiff putty knife and they come out whole, you should be fine. Test one or two and if they don't cooperate, we can skim over the divot and look at a plan B. However, all precautions should be observed. You can buy a Hepa Filter mask at the box stores for $25 to $30, same for a hepa filter for your shop vac and have the bath fan turned on or a window open with a box fan blowing out. Crack a window in an adjoining room to create a negative pressure situation.

Marble or wood will work for a transition. You can also use metal Schluter strip that come in dozens of profiles.

Edit-you posted while I was typing

Don't know if you can SLC over ditra, probably have to put the ditra over the SLC.
 
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Old 08-09-14, 06:44 AM
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Don't know if you can SLC over ditra, probably have to put the ditra over the SLC.
I didn't mean to combine my two thoughts. The ditra doesn't need to be screwed down so I wouldn't want to do that.

What would be a plan B for going over the existing tiles?
 
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Old 08-09-14, 06:54 AM
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Plan A is to remove all vinyl tile down to your subfloor and then build up to proper specs.

Plan B would be to work over the vinyl (asbestos?) and build up from there - Less optimal. I am not a proponent of tiling over vinyl anything. Have done my share of removing tile done this way, and there seems to always be significant bonding issues. Also, the vinyl is not solid and has some flex to it which is a death sentence for tile.
 
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Old 08-09-14, 07:15 AM
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The vinyl tile layers should come up no problem. The older tile is definitely stiffer than the vinyl stuff. I'm just not sure what was available then. I believe the tiles were installed in 1951.
 
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Old 08-09-14, 07:03 PM
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In 1951 the tile would have been probably linoleum or asphalt, They most likely would have contained asbestos and so would the cutback adhesive.
 
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Old 09-14-14, 08:47 AM
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What if I use warmboard? I want to add some heat to the space and this might be the best way. Do I need to insulate under the warmboard if it is on the second floor?
 
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Old 09-14-14, 10:55 AM
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Ok. Now I'm leaning more towards some electric radiant under the tile. I think that is going to be far easier than running pipe for hot water. I originally felt the cost of running the electric was going to be too much, but after doing the math, it would run me $8 a month if it was on for 24 hours a day. So, it isn't going to add much to my bill at all.
 
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Old 09-21-14, 05:49 AM
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Alright. I have read the manual on Ditra and here is my current plan. I have t&g subfloor. I will install:

1/2" plywood
electric radiant heat
floor leveler
specified thinset
ditra
specified thinset
tile

Ditra specs a minimum 2"x2" tile size. Anyone know why? I am probably going to put 1" mosaic down.
 
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Old 09-21-14, 06:52 AM
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1/2" plywood
Floor Leveler
Specified Thinset
Ditra Heat
Specified Thinset
Tile

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCq8GEluaRg
 
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Old 09-21-14, 12:46 PM
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Yeah. I saw that after I ordered my radiant heat, but it doesn't matter anyway. The smallest Ditra-heat is too big for my bathroom.

So am I ok with what I plan?
 
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Old 09-29-14, 03:51 PM
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The manufacturer of the radiant heat suggests putting a minimum of 1/4" foam insulation down. I would put this between my subfloor and 1/2" plywood. Anyone have thoughts about doing this? It is a heated space below the bathroom.
 
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Old 09-30-14, 04:00 AM
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Do you have a link to the radiant heat manufacturer website that I can review?
 
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Old 09-30-14, 03:49 PM
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Here is the website: Electric Radiant Floor Heating and Heated Floors by InfraFloor

Here is a direct link to the installation manual: http://www.infrafloor.com/docs/infra...structions.pdf

I'm thinking I will forgo the insulation. The only 1/4" available is fanfold, and I really don't want to add another 1/2" to the floor.
 
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Old 09-30-14, 07:03 PM
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Look into Wedi board.... Found at local tile shops. It is a foam board with a cement and fiberglass mesh tape embedded on the surface to make it even more rigid. Don't even consider fan board, Not for ht same use. This is designed for use with tile. I would trowel a thinset bed to lay it in. You can probably do it over the plywood. Comes in many differing thickness depending on intended use.

https://www.google.com/search?q=wedi...ed=0CAcQ_AUoAg
 
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Old 10-01-14, 04:30 PM
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Interesting. Then put radiant on top of that, then the ditra?
 
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Old 10-01-14, 06:23 PM
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I think that you can eliminate the ditra altogether. Embed the SLC on the wedi (prime with SLC primer first) and then tile directly over that. Ditra is an uncoupling membrane and is sometimes used in Lieu of CBU. You are technically using CBU with wedi as it is a cement laden product that is a go between for you different layers. But invest in the Wedi, which supports your radiant goal and ditch the ditra in this mix, it becomes redundant.
 
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Old 10-02-14, 03:36 PM
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Please define SLC and CBU.
 
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Old 10-02-14, 03:39 PM
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SLC, self leveling compound.....CBU, concrete backer underlayment like Hardiebacker or Durock.
 
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Old 10-04-14, 04:44 AM
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Thanks chandler.

Will the Wedi be waterproof? Should I use Kerdi band on the seams and around the wall?
 
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Old 10-11-14, 04:32 PM
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Carrara (Carrera) Bianco Honed Big Basketweave Bardiglio Gray Dot Mosaic

Are there hand tools I can use to cut this tile with?
 
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Old 10-12-14, 04:09 AM
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Some people use a grinder with diamond blade, but that creates a ton of dust. I think you will be hard pressed to cut that with a manual tile cutter as the pieces are so small and you have to do each one individually. A wet saw will make short order out of any cut you would need to make.
 
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Old 10-19-14, 05:07 AM
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How do I treat an outside corner where cement board meets drywall? I only want to tile to the corner and not around it.
 
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Old 10-19-14, 05:22 AM
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The last couple inches would be drywall. Hopefully you have sufficient nailing surfaces, if not add a stud. Finish the corner as you would any drywall corner with metal corner bead. Take your tile up to the corner and finish with a bullnose tile that ends at or near the edge of the corner.

Don't forget to tape and give a quick skim to the joint between the cement board and the drywall.
 

Last edited by czizzi; 10-19-14 at 06:03 AM. Reason: add tape comment
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Old 11-02-14, 10:29 AM
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When I use floor leveler, how do I keep it from flowing down penetrations in the floor for piping?
 
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Old 11-02-14, 12:09 PM
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You need to build a dam out of something that is not a hard surface. I have used cardboard up against a tub (which gives needed expansion gap), I have used paper folded over many times to create the same air gap. I have also hot glued scrap rubber moldings to create a dam (was for a wall exit commercial toilet where the platform it sat on was of different dimensions from the one replaced and I had to build it up with materials). Thick Foam window insulation or backer rod would suffice as well.
 
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Old 12-08-14, 04:11 PM
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I purchased this product: Schluter®-DITRA uncoupling membrane mortar | TEC Skill Setâ„¢ because I have Kerdi to install.

It is unclear to me if it is ok to use with my tile. I have a white marble mosaic for the floor and ceramic for the walls. The instructions state the following under "Limitations": "Not for installing green marble, other moisture sensitive stone tile or resinbacked marble; use TEC® Skill Set™ Marble Mortar."

Link for the instructions: http://media.hbfuller.com/documents/...rtar_N0214.pdf

I got this from Lowes, but the guy at the tile store said unmodified thinset would be ok for my tile. This product is specificalle labeled for Schluter products and I don't know if there would be much difference between this and another unmodified thinset.
 
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Old 12-08-14, 04:24 PM
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Any thinset will work with your tile, the differences have to do with the substrate you will be adhering you tile too. So, un-modified is called out for use with Kerdi uncoupling membrane. So, Kerdi to CBU or what ever = un-modified thinset. Kerdi to tile= un-modified thinset.

The issues with marble are that the thinset may "bleed through" and effect the color of the finished product. Therefore, you want a neutral base color thinset (white) that will not impart a color to the finished product. The un-coupling thinset probably is grey and can bleed through the stone.

Un-modified is not as sticky as modified and therefore may not work well with resin backed tile.
 
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Old 12-08-14, 05:49 PM
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Will it really bleed through 3/8" marble?
 
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Old 12-09-14, 03:42 AM
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Marble is notorious for stain transfer. Just wait until you walk a dirty foot path from the door to the toilet. The oils from your feet will cause the marble to darken a little. Likewise with the darker thinset. It has coloration that could migrate to the surface, or at least cause it to darken somewhat.
 
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Old 12-13-14, 05:35 AM
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Should I tile the walls or floor first?
 
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Old 12-13-14, 07:01 AM
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I always do the floor first and then the walls. That way the wall tiles cover the gap needed against the wall for the floor tiles. The corner is finished with color matching caulk to simulate a small grout line.
 
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Old 12-13-14, 08:00 AM
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Haha! I was finishing up my plumbing connections today. Had the wife stand on the bathroom while I turned the water back on. Well, I didn't have a plug for the shower head and the valve was on. Oops! I even have the shut offs on the mixing valve. It did not occur to me to turn those off beforehand. No leaks in the plumbing. I really thought I'd have trouble on a couple joints. I'll be getting a plug so I can test the shower head connections.
 
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Old 12-13-14, 10:59 AM
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LOL Drooplug - Just to let you know, you only make that mistake once. I always go through an elaborate checklist to make sure that never happens. Yet still, I turn on the water and RUN to the bath that I was working in just in case. I usually leave a sink or two open in another room to relieve some pressure when I turn things back on.

For a plug, you can take a 4 inch long 1/2" iron pipe and cap from the plumbing dept at the depot. Use tape and thread compound and set it with channel locks. I will also suffice to stay in place while you tile and or sheet rock (if the head is up high enough). I have also sweated my own plug out of copper components. Currently, I have several plugs that I bought that are pre-made with sealing gaskets and such. They are re-usable.
 
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