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Old 06-04-2010, 03:23 PM   #1261
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Bud, I think I am doing something like that. I used a wood ledger as my guide for the second row up from the bottom, making sure that it was plenty low enough so that I will have to cut all the bottom row tiles.

I am going to continue the same tiles around the walls outside the shower, so I also had to make sure that there was enough meat left to cover the outside walls once the floor was done. Am I making any sense?

I'll give you a pic after the fact.

It also sounds like I may have done something similar to what you say about grinding the circle around the tiles. I didn't realise that I didn't need that lip. I I thought that the lip would allow some sort of solid surface to put a sealer between the drain and the tile.

So, with what I have done, what sort of sealer would I use...silicone? Or...?

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Old 06-04-2010, 06:13 PM   #1262
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Quote:
Bud, I think I am doing something like that. I used a wood ledger as my guide for the second row up from the bottom, making sure that it was plenty low enough so that I will have to cut all the bottom row tiles.

I am going to continue the same tiles around the walls outside the shower, so I also had to make sure that there was enough meat left to cover the outside walls once the floor was done. Am I making any sense?
Makes perfect sense to me. See...we don't need Byrnes. Brilliant minds think alike!!!

In most of my projects in higher-end homes I also install wainscot tile in bathrooms on the walls not in the shower. They always include some type of linear decoration near the top of the wainscot. I always do the math then start at the top and progress down the wall. Finishing slightly less than a full tile at the floor. This guarantees a perfectly straight line at the top where it is near the average person's line-of-sight. Any error in stacking the tiles goes to a grout line (down range) where it is harder to see. All of the walls are completed less the bottom row of tile, then the floor, then the bottom row of wall tile.

My builders used to just shake their heads and think I was nuts until they realized I was producing projects that were several clicks above what they had received from earlier tileguys. I will admit tho that being a perfectionist can be a handicap.

Quote:
It also sounds like I may have done something similar to what you say about grinding the circle around the tiles. I didn't realise that I didn't need that lip. I I thought that the lip would allow some sort of solid surface to put a sealer between the drain and the tile.
In this case I don't worry about it. I grout and fill any crevice around the drain assembly with grout then while the grout is soft I dig out the upper two-thirds of the grout and later caulk the crevice I created. The seal is important at the top. Effectively I am doing the same thing you are doing with your lip but probably in less time. But then, as you know when hired to do a job, time is of the essence.

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So, with what I have done, what sort of sealer would I use...silicone? Or...?
I have a strong personal dislike for 100% silicone in a place such as this. The stuff is just too hard to tool and to get to look like something. It makes a mess that is difficult to clean up. I always use color-matching caulk. It is available to match any color of grout made. Even tho it is "siliconized" it is toolable with a wet sponge and a wet finger and a lot more manageable.
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Old 06-04-2010, 06:32 PM   #1263
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OK then...we obviously have this thing sussed!

Now my only remaining question is your choice of caulk.

For many years I did a vast amount of deck building, many of them covered with Duradek vinyl. The caulk of choice was something called Vulkem. The stuff is just terrific. Seemingly totally bulletproof and water resistant to the nth degree. It's definitely not 100% silicone, and I could check the label to see what it contains if it will help.

It isn't cheap, but it is good. I have almost a case of it here in a colour which just might be OK.

Would I expect to find such caulking as you use at a decent tile store?
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Old 06-04-2010, 07:03 PM   #1264
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In the states any legitimate tile store has access to the colored caulks. Home Dept also stocks a few of the more popular colors. There are two or three makers of color matching caulk but I would have to go see what I have on hand to get the names. When I order tile and grout I just tell the store to send me some caulk to match and the grout and brands really don't matter to me. It's all been pretty good stuff so far.

With two exceptions now that I think about it. It seems the sanded caulk always burps when you least expect and it disrupts the flow. The other problem is the damned tubes purge something terrible. You can turn them off well ahead of time and they still run-out a pile of good caulk.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXX

OK here we go. Custom Building Products offers their caulk under their Polyblend label (same name as their grout) out of Seal Beach California. This is the brand sold in the states at Home Depot. www.custombuildingproducts.com.

Mapei International brands their caulk as FlorCraft. It is also distributed in Canada but some of the label is scratched off and I can't read it. www.mapei.com.

Another brand that comes to mind is Color Fast also in California I think. You might also find those locally through a building supply.
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Old 06-04-2010, 07:11 PM   #1265
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We have HD here and a couple of tile stores.

I hear you about the tubes puking all over the place...I have tried putting a nail in the tube - still seems to get out. I have some little rubber hats which Lee Valley sells for putting over the end of a glue bottle. Maybe I will try one of those to see if it helps.
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Old 06-04-2010, 07:56 PM   #1266
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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Post 1266 Edited.
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Old 06-04-2010, 10:35 PM   #1267
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Hmmm, that last post is intriguing...

I read your blogs, and two things have come to mind. Firstly about not using any gypsum products.

I will come clean and tell you I have Fiberock in the solarium. This is obviously all your fault for not letting me know I shouldn't use a gypsum product at least 6 months ago. Wassamattayou?

However, in my defense I will say that the company says it is perfectly OK to use in this application, and it even has some water resistance. So I hope I didn't mess up there too badly.

And it seems that you prefer to use a modified thinset in almost all applications...right?

I was just marking out a few of the T/C tiles with pencil, and managed to get one line in the wrong place. Are there any tricks to removing a pencil line? I have scrubbed it hard with soap and water and 90% has gone, but the line is still barely visible. Fortunately, the line will be right at the edge of the floor and may be buried under the lower shelf.

Thanks.
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Old 06-04-2010, 10:52 PM   #1268
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Bud...forgot one thing...I was looking at the tiles which I cut to go around the drain, and you said the lip isn't necessary.

After thinking about that for a few minutes I can see that it might even be an impediment. So I'm going to cut it off.
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Old 06-04-2010, 10:54 PM   #1269
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There is a cautious start made on cutting some of the first terra cotta tiles.

I figured I might as well start at the far end, at least I won't have to trample over freshly laid tiles as I carry on. But, naturally, this is where all the worst fitting will be.

Might as well get on with it...so I pulled out my handy dandy adjustable french curve to get the tiles to match pretty well at the far end of the solarium.
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:01 PM   #1270
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There is barely room for the tile to fit under that round plant shelf, even though I have cut a little more wood off the bottom.

The small square tiles are thicker than the big squares and octagons, which are just over 9/16". The small squares are 1/32" under 3/4".

Here we are transferring the curve from the shelf to the tile.
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Old 06-05-2010, 09:36 AM   #1271
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I will come clean and tell you I have Fiberock in the solarium. This is obviously all your fault for not letting me know I shouldn't use a gypsum product at least 6 months ago. Wassamattayou?
Hold on! Fiberock is a water resistant tile backer suitable for tile installations of course. No problem there. I think I was referring to tiling over gypsum floor and wall patches because thinset mortar just doesn't care for those types of gypsum products. It has a hard time maintaining a bond.

Quote:
And it seems that you prefer to use a modified thinset in almost all applications...right?
In most all cases.

Quote:
I was just marking out a few of the T/C tiles with pencil, and managed to get one line in the wrong place. Are there any tricks to removing a pencil line? I have scrubbed it hard with soap and water and 90% has gone, but the line is still barely visible.
http://home.howstuffworks.com/how-to...ad-stains4.htm

The above article says "washing soda"! What the heck is that?

Quote:
I figured I might as well start at the far end, at least I won't have to trample over freshly laid tiles as I carry on. But, naturally, this is where all the worst fitting will be.
Typically I do a complete layout with grid lines that consider two tiles and two grout lines. Once the grid is down on the substrate I can begin tiling anywhere. Usually "anywhere" means deep into a room where I can back out as I progress and cut tiles to fill to the walls and obstacles as I progress.

Quote:
There is barely room for the tile to fit under that round plant shelf, even though I have cut a little more wood off the bottom.
Don't forget you need room for the thickness of the thinset also.
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Old 06-05-2010, 10:12 AM   #1272
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Morning Bud:

As always, thanks again for your succinct reply.

The reason I mentioned the Fiberock is because apparently it is made with a high percentage of re-cycled gypsum. I did go on to the company website to learn all I could, and to that end, the company even has a 15 year warranty on the product. So, I wasn't concerned about it - until I saw your blog. And then I thought, Oh, No! This stuff is nearly all gypsum!

However, it is apparently nothing at all like drywall, which would be toast the first time it got wet.

My wife might know what washing soda is. Maybe it's a mixture of Coke and soap!

As far as the layout goes, it sounds like I did as you suggest. I snapped some lines the length of the floor to establish the base pattern. This floor is completely irregular, there are no straight sides at all. I will see if I can locate a pic of the floor and add it to this post.

Yes, I need room for the thinset for sure, and that is actually why I cut the wood back a little.

OK...found a pic, but you can't quite see the whole floor. It's at least as bad at the near end as it is at the far end. But you get the idea.
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Old 06-05-2010, 10:21 AM   #1273
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Jheeeehz!

......and I thought I was masochistic!

That's pretty amazing!
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Old 06-05-2010, 02:18 PM   #1274
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Why, thank you kind sir. This is a pic from some time last year I think. The fiberock wasn't down then, and it has been down for awhile.

I'll be getting to sticking the first dozen or so tiles down right after I finish posting here and wiping out the rest of my emails...so back later with the first terra cotta tile pic...I hope.
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Old 06-05-2010, 07:22 PM   #1275
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Thanks to Bud, I now have the first three rows stuck down, and the fourth row just sitting there.

It is a slow process getting these tiles down party due to the different thicknesses, partly due to their irregular shape, but mostly due to my inexperience.
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