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Old 04-11-2007, 01:12 PM   #1
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18x18 Travertine Stone Tile Install...


Hi All,

1. Is it necessary to thinset mortar the 1/4" fiber-cement subfloor onto the plywood (new construction) subfloor?

I was planning to staple the fiber-cement with 1" staples Then lay the travertine tiles over white thinset with 1/4" notched trowel.

2. I prefer no grout lines on the travertine tiles...is it possible or wise? Maybe at the most a 1/16" spacing?

Thanks for the advice,
Rod

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Old 04-11-2007, 03:04 PM   #2
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18x18 Travertine Stone Tile Install...


I have asked tiles guys about applying thinset to the back of the cement board. They have told me it is not necessary. But, I would not staple, but screw the backerboard to the floor. There are special screws for this. You can have no grout lines, but I would think that it would be better to ensure that no water or dirt gets between the cracks. Small grout lines that blend with the color of tile works the best.

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Old 04-11-2007, 03:32 PM   #3
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18x18 Travertine Stone Tile Install...


I think this is classic case of Do It Right The First Time. Thinset is cheap, takes minutes to mix and apply, and adds rigidity to your installation. Use the screws that are specifically made for cement board, again, they are inexpensive, and will penetrate the backerboard far more easily than any less expensive substitute. If this is new construction, there is no reason to cut corners. You definitely want grout between the tiles so that the entire installation can be sealed against moisture, or you could use an epoxy grout and skip the sealing stage.
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Old 04-11-2007, 06:44 PM   #4
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18x18 Travertine Stone Tile Install...


Bedding the board in thinset is not optional. If you go to the website for the fiber cement board you are using and go to their installation page you will see that its required, not optional. Skipping this step will result in failure over a few short years.

If you will be installing travertine you will need a minimum of two layers of plywood totalling 1 1/4" underneath the fiber cement board. You can not get away with one layer of plywood with natural stone. Your floor must also meet deflection of L720 for natural stone. This is twice the requirement for ceramic tile. What size are your joists, what is their on center spacing and what is their unsupported span from below. What is the subfloor, plywood? OSB? How thick and how many layers?
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Old 04-11-2007, 11:30 PM   #5
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18x18 Travertine Stone Tile Install...


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Originally Posted by HJ1 View Post
Bedding the board in thinset is not optional. If you go to the website for the fiber cement board you are using and go to their installation page you will see that its required, not optional. Skipping this step will result in failure over a few short years.

If you will be installing travertine you will need a minimum of two layers of plywood totalling 1 1/4" underneath the fiber cement board. You can not get away with one layer of plywood with natural stone. Your floor must also meet deflection of L720 for natural stone. This is twice the requirement for ceramic tile. What size are your joists, what is their on center spacing and what is their unsupported span from below. What is the subfloor, plywood? OSB? How thick and how many layers?
USG Fiberock allows stapling to subfloor without thinset mortar:

http://tinyurl.com/3dlonx

Thanks for clueing me to check the manufacturers recommendation. I will double-check the joists and make sure it can handle the weight of the flooring. Good point!

I was wondering why it is necessary to mortar in the subfloor if something like stone tile will be set into it since the stuff weighs a ton and the floor ain't going anywhere.

My goof was to get $3/sqft travertine...so many of the tiles have nasty imperfections and fill-ins. Never again!
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Old 04-12-2007, 05:52 PM   #6
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18x18 Travertine Stone Tile Install...


I just read your link. Read the top of page 7. You do need to bed the board in thinset. Bedding the board in thinset fills any voids that may exist between the subfloor and the underlayment. Not doing it is almost a guarantee that it will fail in the future.
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Old 04-12-2007, 05:58 PM   #7
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18x18 Travertine Stone Tile Install...


A couple more things. I don't use fiberrock so I'm not familiar with it. I'll make a couple suggestions though. Do no use type I organic adhesive as they suggest on a floor. Mastic should never be used on a floor. Use thinset. Also the staples thing doesnt sit right with me. Use backerboard screws or galvanized roofing nails to secure the board. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 04-13-2007, 09:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HJ1 View Post
I just read your link. Read the top of page 7. You do need to bed the board in thinset. Bedding the board in thinset fills any voids that may exist between the subfloor and the underlayment. Not doing it is almost a guarantee that it will fail in the future.
Okay, it is under LAMINATION. I missed that!

Guess I will have to rip up one bathroom underlayment....shoot.

I am wondering what kind of "failure" will happen, out of curiosity.

Thanks for the heads up
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Old 04-13-2007, 09:33 AM   #9
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18x18 Travertine Stone Tile Install...


Typically grout starts to crack and come loose in around a year or so. You can also have cracking tile after a period of time. Being that you are spending time and serious money to do this, better to do it over now and do it right.
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Old 04-18-2007, 06:36 PM   #10
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18x18 Travertine Stone Tile Install...


Like stated above, if that floor doesn't meet specs for stone, don't even think about installing it, do not butt them, use at least a 1/32" joint, 1/4" trowel won't do it either, you need at least a 3/8" one, you'll have to backbutter every tile with the flat side of the trowel as you set them, notched side on the floor, that floor better be dead flat or you'll have problems.
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Old 04-29-2007, 04:35 PM   #11
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18x18 Travertine Stone Tile Install...


I laid some travertine on a 18' X 15' patio. We dug down 6" and put 4" of processed, tamped gravel down. I followed that with 2" of sand that also was tamped down. I layed the tiles butt to butt ( with no grout space) as was suggested in numerous arcticles. I tamped the tiles down with a rubber mallet. We had a heavy rain the next day and now have several that rock. Should I have given them some space between tiles?
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Old 04-29-2007, 06:13 PM   #12
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And you did this with travertine tiles?

They should have been motared to a concrete slab.
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Old 04-30-2007, 06:19 AM   #13
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Below is the url of one of the sites that recommended that the tiles be laid in sand alone.

http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/gf_des...482151,00.html
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Old 04-30-2007, 04:47 PM   #14
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How thick is your travertine?, by the way, that site is a joke.
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Old 04-30-2007, 06:17 PM   #15
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18x18 Travertine Stone Tile Install...


Why do you believe that the site is a joke?
The tile is around 1/2 to 3/4 " thick.

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