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Old 04-26-2008, 10:33 PM   #1
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Tiling questions


A couple of tiling questions relating to my bathtub surround:

1) I have 4" tiles that I was planning on using spacers on. My dad mentioned to me that the tiles were probably "self-spacing", and don't use spacers. When I butt them up against each other, they do indeed have a small, uniform 1/16" gap between tiles. Spacers or no?

2) How do I do corners? Do I butt tiles up against each other or use some sort of special corner tile?

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Old 04-30-2008, 01:41 PM   #2
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You do not have to user spacers for those tiles.
I do not understand your question about corners. There is no special corner tile. You will install the tile up to the wall leaving a space. Then your baseboard will cover this space.

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Old 04-30-2008, 09:53 PM   #3
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mdalli, What should we call you?
When it comes to the corners, chances are the two walls might not be plumb (vertically level). This may cause you an issue if your corner spacing on the first (bottom) row is say a 1/16 but when you get to the top the spacing may grow or shrink. Be aware of that so you can cut each tile that will butt up to the corner appropriately. As for what to do about corner spacing, I would try to keep it the same as the rest of the tile although you don't grout in the corner, you use caulk. You may get some expansion in that joint so a grout would crack, the caulk won't. Make sure that your bottom row is level when you start and don't use the tub lip as your level line. You will also caulk between the tub and the tile.
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Old 05-01-2008, 12:33 AM   #4
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Tiling questions


Thanks guys for your tips, I really appreciate it. Especially the part about using caulk instead of grout.

You know, I've found that doing this stuff isn't that hard if you take your time and exercise great attention to detail; I'm convinced that most failures are due to a lack of the latter.

Any suggestions about cutting ceramic tile? I'm thinking of renting a tile saw.
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Old 05-01-2008, 07:57 AM   #5
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Renting a wet saw will make your life much easier. What size tiles do you have? Also, speaking of failures, what type of adhesive do you plan on using? What is the backer material on the walls? Choosing improper materials on either can and will lead to failures.
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Old 05-01-2008, 09:50 AM   #6
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Tiling questions


angus242:

- 4" ceramic tile
- premixed thin-set mortar
- Easyboard from the Home Despot
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Old 05-01-2008, 10:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdalli View Post
- 4" ceramic tile
- premixed thin-set mortar
- Easyboard from the Home Despot
With 4" tiles, make sure you rent the appropriate size saw. A 10" blade would be overkill.
Easyboard will do just fine. Are you considering some type of waterproofing for EasyBoard, seams and screw holes? A product like Red Guard can be brushed on and create a waterproof seal. You could also use Schluter Kerdi. Also, make sure you use alkali-resistant fiberglass mesh tape for the seams.
You are aware that moisture can get behind the tile and grout, right? That's why you would need a waterproof membrane. Directly from Custom's website:
"EasyBoard is unaffected by water but is not a water barrier. If the area below/behind the backerboard must be kept dry, a waterproof membrane must be used."
You're asking for mold if you don't waterproof.
Finally, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER use a premixed thinset in a wet location. I'm trying to help YOU. Premixed thinset is not a true thinset mortar but an organic adhesive mixed with an aggregate (sand) which is added to resist compressive stress. Premixed thinsets may be used in place of mastic for non-vitreous ceramic tile installed in dry areas not subjected to foot traffic but should never be used to install floor tile, stone, semi-vitreous, vitreous, or impervious tiles (e.g. porcelain or glass tile). In other words....DON'T USE IT FOR YOUR TUB SURROUND!!!!!!
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Old 05-01-2008, 10:02 PM   #8
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I'm so glad you made that post about not using premixed thin-set! I was about to do the same thing! I could just see it in my mind, the tiles falling off a week after the job was done! My company uses Cement board for all wet areas and meshes the seams and screw holes. We DO grout the corners and then we caulk overtop of that. It's hard at the best of times to get a neat caulking job never mind doing a line a 1/4 inch deep and you can't always get silicone caulking to match your grout so we often have to use translucent silicone instead and without grout behind it, it would look horrible.
If your walls are a bit off, tile the back wall first, then start at your outer left and right edge and work into the back corner. Doing it that way would leave any uneven lines not directly visible from standing in the bathroom as the meeting joint would be on the side walls not staring right at you on the back wall.

With a spacing that small, make sure you have UNsanded grout for the job. Sanded grout will not pack into the lines properly and could leave gaps and leaking. Also remember if you're grouting only one wall at a time and then taking a break you could get different colours of grout out of the same bag. Best way to avoid this is to grout all at once with only one batch of grout, but if you can't...
1. dry mix the grout powder as the pigment settles to the bottom
2. measure out cup per cup what you're using, ie. 3 cups grout and 1/2 cup water.
3. Use the same temperature of water, the temp and water source can cause changes in grout colour.
4. stick to the same cleaning technique. If you OVER wash you will get a white haze on all your grout and the grout you thought was a taupe now looks silver, then you have to get into chemicals to get rid of that and that can damage your tub, so avoid the issue at all costs first.

Also check with your local tile store (not HD, though they may sell them too, but our HD is twice the price to our store and our saw is better), we sell wet saws for the DIY that would cut even a porcelain tile, 8" diamond blade included for 69.00, most places it would cost you that for two days rental and if you're new and want to take your time, that can quickly add up as you get one week into the project and see that you're not done yet and you're still renting the saw.

Most of all have fun with it. It's really not all that hard, just time consuming and detailed. Your base is the key to a long lasting job though, get your preparation done right, don't cut any corners!
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Old 03-16-2009, 02:08 AM   #9
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Tiling questions


Hey Guys!

I'm brand new to this forum and in all honestly, I'm a backing board/tiling virgin (apart from doing one simple row of tiles in our main bathroom)

Anyway, we are currently working on a reno project in our basement bathroom, namely the shower stall. We have ripped everything down to framing level and are currently dealing with the plumbing side of things.

My question is, we are thinking about this Easyboard product, but have no experience on wall prep. Does it need any underlay, or does it simply get nailed to the studs?

... forgot to mention, we are installing a 32"x36" base, and hope to tile the back and side walls.


Thanks in advance,
Cal


Last edited by Calman; 03-16-2009 at 02:18 AM.
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