Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Flooring

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 12-15-2012, 07:28 AM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 65
Share |
Default

Help Laying Marble Floor Tile


I am wanting to lay marble floor tile in the foyer of a house we are renovating. I admit I have never laid floor tile before. I am relatively "handy," enjoy woodworking and working on cars, and have done several other jobs during our renovation. I am also a surgeon so have good attention to detail (ok....I'm a little obsessive-compulsive or anal) and am plenty intelligent to learn things. However, I have never laid tile.

I have 2 questions I would appreciate honest answers to:
1) Is it unreasonable for a person like myself to try to lay this tile? I have read about it and think it sounds like a job I can handle but I don't want to tackle it if laying tile is way too ambitious.
2) I will need to clip one corner of every tile. I know I need a wet saw to do this and that you can rent them. However, given the pace at which I will be working, random times, and the fact that for better or worse I hate renting and just like to buy things I would prefer to just buy the saw. What saw would you guys recommend? Any links to where I can buy them would be appreciated!

Thanks in advance for your help and advice!

DrDIYer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2012, 07:47 AM   #2
DIY staff
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Kane county,Illinois
Posts: 21,237
Default

Help Laying Marble Floor Tile


We walk a lot of first time tilers through the job----

Marble requires a very stiff floor--so you need to tell us about the floor structure--

Marble is set with a narrow grout line---so the floor must be flat--very flat----

As to saws---those are 12x12 so an overhead cutting saw would be the first choice--
But almost any saw --bridge saw or under mount saw will do if equipped with a marble blade.

__________________
New members: Adding your location to your profile helps in many ways.--M--
oh'mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2012, 08:54 AM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 65
Default

Help Laying Marble Floor Tile


Thank you very much for the response! I'm always appreciative of people like you guys who are willing to lend your expertise in these chatrooms.

The floor is an issue that I wasn't going to bring up until I decided whether or not to tackle the job. Since it sounds like it is do-able for me, let me start. When we bought the house there was ceramic tile from the late 70's. I chipped that up along with the thinset. When we got down to the subfloor, it was plywood that some people told me was too thin so I'm currently ripping that up. Underneath that is heart pine hardwood, which is laid directly on the joists. My tentative plan was to rip up the plywood and get down to the heart pine. Over that I was going to do thinset, then ditra, then thinset, then marble tile. I am ripping up more subfloor today so I will keep you guys posted and add some pictures. I will know more about being level after the subfloor comes up. We may have some issues there as well.

As for the saws, I did some quick internet searching and it looks like the prices aren't unreasonable, but I'm still not sure what I am looking at or for. Can anyone elaborate more? I am familiar with saws for woodworking but am totally in the dark on cutting anything non-wood. If the overhead is the best, I would lean towards that. Just so I understand, I do need a wet saw regardless of which kind, right? I will say that while I don't want to spend an absurd amount, I do like buy quality, commercial grade items. I like having quality that will last and do a great job as long as it will not costs thousands or dollars.

Thanks so much once again!
DrDIYer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2012, 10:52 AM   #4
Tileguy
 
JazMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Troy, Michigan
Posts: 3,962
Default

Help Laying Marble Floor Tile


DrDIYer,

That is not the way you'll want to proceed. You need some structural plywood over the planks. No Ditra or concrete board over planks.

I'm about to leave my desk so more details later. Meanwhile I'm sure someone will tell you more.

Jaz
__________________
Tile 4 You LLC Troy, MI

DITRA Installs - KERDI Watertight-Mold-Free Showers. I have NEVER made a mistake, I thought I did ONCE, but, I was WRONG! A+ BBB rating - est. 1987 - over 50 yrs. exp.
JazMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2012, 04:27 PM   #5
DIY staff
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Kane county,Illinois
Posts: 21,237
Default

Help Laying Marble Floor Tile


The floor structure---it must not flex----(deflection) so first we need :
The size of your floor joists
Grade or species--(Hemlock--fir--pine--other?)
Spacing--12"--16"--24"--???
Unsupported length---how far from the foundation to the beam?

Then we will address the sub floor---
__________________
New members: Adding your location to your profile helps in many ways.--M--
oh'mike is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to oh'mike For This Useful Post:
drtbk4ever (12-20-2012)
Old 12-15-2012, 08:18 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 227
Default

Help Laying Marble Floor Tile


Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDIYer View Post
I have 2 questions I would appreciate honest answers to:
1) Is it unreasonable for a person like myself to try to lay this tile? I have read about it and think it sounds like a job I can handle but I don't want to tackle it if laying tile is way too ambitious.
2) I will need to clip one corner of every tile. I know I need a wet saw to do this and that you can rent them. However, given the pace at which I will be working, random times, and the fact that for better or worse I hate renting and just like to buy things I would prefer to just buy the saw. What saw would you guys recommend? Any links to where I can buy them would be appreciated!

Head to Lowes and buy a good, middle-end saw if you're going to be doing this a lot.

Head to Home Depot and buy a Ryobi porcelain/ceramic/stone cutting table if you're going to be doing this once or twice. Much lower end, but respectable and will do the job. Loan it to your friends. Just make sure the low-ender you buy handles stone and marble, and you get the right blade.

What you need is a surgeon's focus when handling the saw. Don't bull**** with people; wear safety goggles, watch the blade, be aware of what you're doing. That's all. Power tools are not dangerous until you look away and yammer at the hot bikini carwash babe and cut your hand off.

Other than that, building floors is easy. Just remember marble is very soft and vulnerable to acids. Ceramic is harder; porcelain is a very hard type of ceramic, highly stable. The most important part of any job is to do the right job and to do the job right. Marble is a respectable material, just be aware of its limitations--like using unfinished oak wood instead of alox-finished hickory, which is harder wood with a hard finish that resists staining and water. We can't make every floor and every furniture surface out of granite and expect it to look good.
__________________
If you can't explain why, then you don't know what you're talking about. I'll keep asking until I find someone who does.

Last edited by bluefoxicy; 12-15-2012 at 08:22 PM.
bluefoxicy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2012, 08:40 AM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 65
Default

Help Laying Marble Floor Tile


I will work on more specifics on the floor for you guys so you can guide me. I misspoke before--the plan was to put subfloor back down then the thinset, ditra, thinset, tile. There was also a suggestion that I should pull up the heart pine planks and put subfloor directly over top that and forget the ditra. I've gotten many different opinions so far which I why I came here.

About the saw, I looked at Home Depot last night and they have a 7" Ridgid saw with stand for $469. I see there are a ton of portable saws you sit on the ground or a table for much less. I would probably draw the line around $700-$800 for a nice saw but am willing to spend that much because I'm saving 2-3x's that much doing this myself (so I feel justified in adding tools to the shop) Will 7" work well? Can I do it with the 4"? Or, do I need to go to 10"? Two things that are important to me are 1) making sure it does a great job on the tile and 2) that it is easy to make reliable cuts and is safe. I will have to clip the corner of every tile in a reliable manner so the easier it is to set it up and make the same cut over and over again the better.
DrDIYer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2012, 12:28 AM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 65
Default

Help Laying Marble Floor Tile


I spent some time tonight ripping up plywood and wanted to give some specifics on floor structure in hopes a few of you can give me your opinions on how to proceed.

My floor joists are 2x8's. I believe they are mostly heart pine, although some of them are just pine. They are spaced 16 inches. Overtop the joists is pine tongue and groove planks. Furthermore, I do not have exact measurements yet but I am definitely going to have some leveling issues.

So, should I...
Option 1) Lay new subfloor, followed by thinset, then ditra, and lastly thinset and marble tile. And if so, at what stage do I level the floor and how? Or...
Option 2) Rip up the old pine planks, level the joists with shims, put down solid subfloor with or without ditra. Or...
Option 3) Shut up and listen to someone who knows what they are talking about and do something totally different.

The core of my house was built in 1850. There was total renovation and some additions in 1978. I think I have ripped out all the renovated materials at this point and everything left (the pine planks and joists) are the old house.
DrDIYer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2012, 05:27 AM   #9
DIY staff
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Kane county,Illinois
Posts: 21,237
Default

Help Laying Marble Floor Tile


You didn't give us the unsupported length of the joists---these doll floor joists--are they rough sawn 'true' 2x8s?

Post a couple of pictures if you can---antique houses tend to be unique and seldom fit into our span charts---

As to the subfloor? I suggest that you leave the pine 1x6 and overlay that with 1/2 or 3/4" bc plywood (exposure 1--exterior)

I'll leave the leveling and Ditra to Jaz--I am not experienced with it---

Your saw? The size of the table is the key----you are going to be making a bunch of clip corners---will a 12x12 tile sit on that table on a diagonal?

I would use my bridge saw for that---but the clip could be done on an over head saw if the table is large enough.
__________________
New members: Adding your location to your profile helps in many ways.--M--
oh'mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2012, 07:41 AM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: outside ocala fl
Posts: 3,203
Default

Help Laying Marble Floor Tile


I have used that saw you were looking at and yes it will work fine for what you want. Another thing about marble to be aware of is the color as this makes a diff. in what thin set you use.
ToolSeeker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2012, 09:45 AM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 65
Default

Help Laying Marble Floor Tile


Thanks for the feedback. As for the unsupported length...forgive me for my ignorance, but I need a little more information on what information you need from me. I don't completely understand what I need to tell you.

I believe what I have would classify as "rough sawn" 2x8's. But, I'll post a few pictures...let me try to take some today. May be hard to do in the crawl space below but I'll try.

I agree leaving the pine planks sounds like a good idea but I just didn't know how to level it if we do that and still get the stability I need.

As for the saw, I'm going to start a new thread about as well as other tools that I need that so people can chime in but I'm leaning towards the 10" Dewalt...may be a bit overkill but I think it should do everything I need to do.

Thanks once again for the help. I really do appreciate you guys taking the time to lend a hand!
DrDIYer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2012, 09:48 AM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 65
Default

Help Laying Marble Floor Tile


Also, we are using white carrara. Each tile with me cliped on the corner and there will be a black 2x2 tile placed in the middle of 4 clipped corners to form a black "dot." I know green marble is hard to deal with, let me know if there are any special considerations for white carrara.
DrDIYer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2012, 09:14 PM   #13
Tileguy
 
JazMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Troy, Michigan
Posts: 3,962
Default

Help Laying Marble Floor Tile


DrDIYer,

The word span means the distance of the two objects that support the joists, usually one is the foundation wall, the other the center beam. Measure accurately, although since your house is very old our answer may not be as accurate as usual.

Your choice of Carrara Marble means the joists and subfloor need to be very stiff and very flat. It's also soft, requires lots of maintenance and is liable to stain and turn yellow under certain conditions.

So, give us the framing info, your plans for the subfloor and the new underlayment. I like Ditra better than CBU's. Any leveling with cementitious material is done before Ditra, but after CBU. (concrete backer unit).

Jaz
__________________
Tile 4 You LLC Troy, MI

DITRA Installs - KERDI Watertight-Mold-Free Showers. I have NEVER made a mistake, I thought I did ONCE, but, I was WRONG! A+ BBB rating - est. 1987 - over 50 yrs. exp.

Last edited by JazMan; 12-18-2012 at 09:17 PM.
JazMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2012, 09:18 AM   #14
Member
 
GBrackins's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Fairhaven, Massachusetts
Posts: 2,808
Default

Help Laying Marble Floor Tile


DRDIYer,

what Mike is asking for I believe is the length of the floor joists from support to support (what supports the joists from below?). Marble tile typically requires only 1/2 of the deflection (sag) in a floor joist as allowed by most building codes. Typically marble tiles require a stronger floor than other finishes or you run the risk of cracking tiles (notice I said tiles and not grout).

do you have a full basement, or do you have a crawl space?

actually take a tape and measure the joists to the closets 1/8" (width, depth) and post that along with the length of the floor joists (from support to support). Based upon the wood species, dimension of the joists and the unsupported span of the joists the deflection (sag) limits can be calculated and determined if the deflection meets the tile requirements, or if additional joists must be added.

Make sense?
__________________
Gary

"You get what you pay for, and sometimes free costs more!"
GBrackins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2012, 03:31 PM   #15
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 65
Default

Help Laying Marble Floor Tile


I hear you loud and clear! Thanks for the clarification. My house does have a "cellar" but this portion of the house is built over crawl space. I will get down there and take some good measurements and let you guys know what I find. Thanks for your help!

DrDIYer is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Coloring/staining tired marble floor smileibiza Tiling, ceramics, marble 16 12-11-2011 01:12 PM
Adhesive for Marble Threshold Twister Flooring 11 05-14-2011 01:20 PM
marble tile in bathroom floor Arianeg Flooring 1 03-18-2008 03:07 PM
laying marble tile...does pattern matter that much? tarheelblue Flooring 3 03-02-2008 01:04 PM
Joining Marble Backsplash to Marble Countertop JLF377 Building & Construction 1 07-29-2007 12:27 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.