Make your own free website on Tripod.com
| Home | Tips1... | Tips2... | Tips 3... | Natural Stone... | Definitions... | Links...
Reliable Tile
Tips1...

Tips...of the trade!

...one thing I hear alot is: "I need a small tile because my room is small"; well, I'll let you decide: this is quite a small bathroom in the picture below with 20" x 20" tiles; what do you think?

shower.jpg

...cracks present in a concrete subfloor must be properly treated with some type of crack suppression product or they may reappear later in the finished tile work. Crack suppression reduces the chance for a crack to transmit thru' to the finished surface. This pertains to horizontal movement, not vertical movement...

...heavy doses of paint overspray or old adhesive residue on concrete subfloors must be removed or the adhesion of the mortar will be affected...

...alot of tile work in showers is being put up over 'green board'; this is not recommended. When gypsum board becomes wet, it deteriorates. Why take a chance of a poor install of tile in a tub/shower just to save a few dollars; which, usually cost lots more to repair when the 'green board' does goes bad...

...be wary of bonding your tile directly to plywood subfloors, as the dimensional stability of plywood is questionable; and the flex inherent to wood products will also cause a problem...

...when installing 'cement backerboard' over plywood subfloors, be sure to install it properly. Do not install it only with screws. Sure, people do it all the time. The question here is not if, but when is my floor going to come loose? You should use a multipurpose thinset mortar under the board and fasteners every 6" - 8" on top, tape the joints with the tape embedded in thinset also, leave a 1/4" gap along the walls and a 1/8" gap between each piece...Don't just trust me; just read the instructions on the label! If your installer is not doing it right; get another one...
 

 
...no, 'backerboard' is not needed if you are tiling over a concrete subfloor...

...if you decide to have your grout sealed; use the best sealer you can, use more than one coat, wait the correct amount of drying time before applying, and be concerned with how you will maintain the floor; ie.: any type of 'acidic' cleaner will remove the sealer that you just applied. Don't clean a sealed floor with vinegar and water. Use a cleaner that is compatable with your sealer or a 'neutral', non-acidic floor cleaner...

...in a tub/shower; cut out the 'sheetrock/greenboard', use roofing felt as a waterproofing membrane, and a 1/2" backerboard to tile to; the backerboard will be even with the sheetrock and that way you will have a nice edge and the backerboard will last way longer than that paper stuff; there are many different types of backerboard available for you to choose from: Dens-Shield, WonderBoard, Durock, Hardibacker, just to name a few...
 
...the hot item on walls now is to leave your sheetrock in the tub/shower area and go over them with Schluter Kerdi. Do a little research on this...

 
...if you are considering going into the business; buy the best tools you can - Rubi, Felker, Target, Gundlach, Marshalltown, amongst others; they will work better and last longer; Target and Felker are two brands of tile saws that have a smoother rolling tray than MK, in my opinion; Home Depot is not the place to be buying tools unless for limited use or you are on a budget; and Rubi manual tile cutters last, are quick and accurate...

...if doing a shower floor, be sure to mud a pitch before the pan liner/waterproofing and afterwards also; if anything is flat/level down there, the water will not drain properly; the only reason I mention this is because I have seen it done wrong so many times...

 
...after installing your shower pan liner; be sure to leak test it...

...a good book to get is 'Setting Tile' by Michael Byrne; it's about twenty dollars at most book stores or home improvement centers; you could also check it out at your local library...
 
...another fine book is 'Tile Your World' by John Bridge; there is a link to his website on the links page; excellent website also that is chock full of good info...

...be careful of what you hear at 'home improvement centers'; alot of incorrect information is given out at these places; find out the background of the person giving you the information - is he/she qualified? How much tiling experience do they have?...

...it's a good idea to purchase enough tile so that you will have an extra box that you can store; if you ever have a need in the future, you will have a matching tile to do any type of repair/mod with...

...one of the most important items in the durability of your tile installation is the quality of the install; when tile is installed properly, you will have a very slim chance of it breaking on you under normal conditions...

...the two main types of grout for you to choose from are either sanded or unsanded; the main deciding factor for you is: "what is the size of my grout joint?" Less than 1/8", go for unsanded. 1/8" and over, go for sanded. It's that simple...

...there is another type of grout that may be of interest to you - epoxy grout. Yes, it costs more and is more work to put in; but, you don't have to worry as much about your grout becoming discolored...

...if using epoxy grout on a vertical surface, ie.: bathroom walls or backsplashes, make sure to use one that is designed to be used on vertical surfaces that has a non-sag additive incorporated into the contents...
 
...epoxy grout does not need to be sealed. You still have to care for your tile surfaces tho'. A new more user friendly epoxy grout on the market is Laticrete SpectraLock. It's available at Lowe's in mini-units which are quite small. You can purchase it at a distributor in larger units; but they won't have the volume buying power as a big box store so there won't be much cost savings, if any. The SpectraLock has some interesting additives. One is a glow-in-the-dark while another adds a metallic to it which I believe is called Dazzle.

...can't find an inside or outside corner trim piece; miter what you have to fit and it'll work fine...

...using a tile with no matching bullnose pieces available for wrapping an edge; use a 'schluter system' trim piece or just miter the backsides of two pieces of tile and then they will fit closely together and will look just fine with a small grout joint...i'll draw up a sketch of this one eventually...

...actually had an 'installer' tell me that you couldn't use a 4" x 4" tile in a shower floor because it was too large to follow the pitch. Get real!!!

...more to come...

this is one of those shower floors that I once had an 'installer' tell me couldn't be done!?

showerfloor.jpg

...you can renew your old, dirty grout with a grout stain; as shown below:

shower.jpg

QFJGSS7P