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Old 12-22-2012, 10:52 PM   #31
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Help Laying Marble Floor Tile


So, there are 2 big questions that are the next step in the process:

1) I hear there is quite a range of marble from soft to relatively hard. Also, there seems to be variation as to the quality of the tiles and how closely they match that varies with supplier. I know I want a honed Bianco Carrara, but how do I decide which company I get it from? I can find it at stores and on the internet anywhere from $6/square to $20/square. I don't want to pay more for the same product, but don't want to skim on price and waterdown my end result. Any help is appreciated...as I said above, we saw some samples from Stone Partnership, Inc today and they looked spectacular but at almost $16/square.

2) This is a rookie question, but what is the best way to level my floor? I know there are many available self leveling liquids that harden...are they the way to go? Which one(s) is/are the best? Also, I know I level before ditra, but I want to do so after subfloor too, right?

Thanks a ton!

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Old 12-24-2012, 07:19 AM   #32
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In addition the the 2 questions above, I have one last follow-up on cutting the tile.

I was pretty settled on the Dewalt 10" wet tile saw. However, some people have recently made me second guess that saying I would rather have a rail saw, such as the Imer combi.

2 Questions related to that:
1) The rail saw is more expensive....how is it better or more versatile?
2) In order to make the saw multi-use and be able to cut pavers, do I need a 10" blade? There is a equal priced Imer (combi 200) with an 8" blade but the depth of cut is only 1.5 inches vs. 3 inches or more with the 10" blades. I assume the depth of cut is the limiting factor in how thick of an object you can cut, correct?

Thanks again!

BTW, sorry for starting other threads....I thought that was a better approach but apparently was a rookie mistake. I'll keep everything in this thread from now on (although I'm not sure I have any "fans," Jaz....just people I'm annoying with ignorance!)
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Old 12-24-2012, 07:30 AM   #33
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About saws----If you can only own one---the DeWalt 10" would be the choice---

A very versatile style of saw that allows you to make complicated shapes--and use the blade as a grinder to clean out corners---you need one like this.

That Imer bridge saw is wonderful---however,it's strength is making straight cuts and perfect miters----You would need to add an angle grinder to complete the clean out of inside cuts---

I love bridge saws and bring one to all jobs now that I understand them---but they have limitations----If one saw is what you own---make it the 10" DeWalt.

Just my opinion based on 20 some years cutting tile----
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Old 12-24-2012, 07:45 AM   #34
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Mike-I appreciate your input and respect your opinion. I had been told the opposite of what you said, which is the rail saw was much more versatile and if I only could have one saw it should be a rail. Glad to hear your opinion and certainly it does make sense. I had settled on the Dewalt before being made to second guess myself so figured I'd investigate fully before purchasing.

Do you have any tips for the questions about regarding selecting honed marble? Any expertise on leveling floors? Or is that a Bud and Jaz question?

Once again, I'm very appreciative of all the help everyone has given me. Hope you all have a Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-24-2012, 07:55 AM   #35
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I'm not as knowledgeable on marble as Jaz or Bud---so if they return,listen.
As to leveling----I use Jifset and never had a failure or ever had trouble working the product.

Bud and Jaz have used many different brands ---so they may be able to offer you more insight--
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Old 12-24-2012, 08:23 AM   #36
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I have both saws and I wouldn't trade my slide saw for 2 rails. I don"t like the rails except for large tiles. By that I mean over 16x16.
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Old 12-24-2012, 11:59 AM   #37
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The quality of natural stone can vary widely. Two aspects, its natural characteristics and how well it was fabricated into tiles or slabs. Where the stone came from is important but its quality can vary from block to block even when it's in the same area. Pure luck sometimes.

Fabrication quality can be controlled. But today's machinery allows good quality in most cases. It all depends on what market the fabricator is aiming for. Quality control, maintenance of equipment and pride is essential.

If possible try to inspect a few unopened carton for appearance. You're looking for consistency in color and mottling.

Do you know where the stone was quarried? Where fabricated?

SLC; There are many brands and I've used Mapei, Laticrete, Tec, Custom (HD) and others. I can't say I've had problems with any of them, but it's hard to compare. Each time was under different conditions, so I can't compare how another brand would have worked.

Just follow the instructions to a "T", have help if it's a sizable area. Make sure you have more than enough product on hand and have water measured etc. If not careful you can create more unevenness with self leveling. Self leveling products need a little help, they do not really level themselves. You have to pour in the right area and often push-pull it a bit.

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Old 12-24-2012, 01:18 PM   #38
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Great replies guys...thanks so much!

Ok...I have some decisions and things nailed down...someone tell me if I'm heading the totally wrong way but I'm going with the 10" Dewalt saw. I will be putting subfloor down over the tongue and groove heart pine (which sits on 16" center 2x10 joists). I'm planning on 3/4" grade I exterior plywood...if there is something better than that please let me know. After getting the subfloor down we'll use a SLC (one of them that Jaz mentioned) to get things nice and level. When I use the SLC do I have to cover the entire floor or just raise the low spots to the level of the highest part? In other words, do you need some SLC covering all wood?

I'll do some more research on the marble. By report from the tile store, this Stone Partnership, Inc. in NJ is a quality place and has a very selective process to assure that tiles match very closely. I don't have experience or tile from several places to compare, but that is what I was told. I'm having several stores price the tile from Stone Partners to get the best price I can. I just hesitate to spend twice the price on a tile that I only know is better through word of mouth but at the same time I don't know how to determine that for sure prior to ordering.

Thanks for the help! I will be back soon with more questions I'm sure. Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:05 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDIYer
When I use the SLC do I have to cover the entire floor or just raise the low spots to the level of the highest part?
That's the tricky part. You have to know what the level of the floor is and where it's not flat. If it's not flat in the low area, you might be able to do only those. If it's not flat in the high areas, you may have to pour a lot more than you first thought. Although you may not be trying to level the floor, the material goes with gravity. Sometimes SLC is the wrong material to use. Patching cement/compound might be more appropriate.

3/4" exposure 1 plywood (ext. glued plies), is what you want. Might not be called exposure 1 cuz exposure 1 is subfloor rated which means t&g. So might be ext. glue underlayment, no t&g.

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Old 12-24-2012, 05:55 PM   #40
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Exposure Ratings

Exterior Fully waterproof bond. Designed for applications where panels are subject to permanent ongoing exposure to moisture.

Exterior - Exposure 1 Fully waterproof bond, but not intended for permanent ongoing exposure to moisture.

Exterior - Exposure 2 Interior type with intermediate glue. Intended for protected applications where only slight exposure to moisture is likely to occur.

Interior2 Designed for interior applications only. - [Copied from Internet.]


"Exposure 1" plywood is available in both T&G and square-edge. The tile industry recommends using Exposure 1 because of the moisture in thinset. Exposure 1 will not be damaged by wet thinset as it cures on the plywood.

The recommendation also states "exterior grade" because of the type of adhesives used to assemble the plys, the adhesives are moisture resistant and will not allow the plys to de-laminate.

The recommendation also states "underlayment grade" plywood. This has to do with the quality of the exposed sides of the plywood sheets. One side should be smooth for the application of tile-setting products.

Keep in mind that grading and marking of plywood's are voluntary and there can be variances in markings from region to region.

NONE OF THIS says "CDX" is acceptable because it is not. CDX is a low quality product and may contain many hidden voids in the interior plys.

NONE OF THIS says "treated" plywood is okay because it is not. Treated plywood typically has a high moisture content due to the treating process and will warp and distort over time as it dries. Some building codes do not allow the use of treated plywood in interior construction.

Last edited by Bud Cline; 12-24-2012 at 06:10 PM.
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Old 12-28-2012, 07:42 AM   #41
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So, when I go to get the subfloor (which I'll probably do at ProBuild) I should ask for "exterior exposure 1 underlayment grade plywood?" Just trying not to sound like an idiot and make sure I get the right thing...

A few subfloor questions, if you guys don't mind:
1) When I lay the subfloor, is it better to do so in large sheets or are seams ok as long as you fit them snuggly? I have several objects to work around and was wondering if I can cut pieces and do it the easy way or if I should struggle a bit and keep larger sheets when possible.

2) When I put the subfloor down, I think you guys said nail it to the joists and screw it to the heart pine T&G and intentionally miss the joists. Why do you miss the joists? Also, what type of nails and screws are recommended?


Lastly, in light of what some of the respected opinions have said, we are still considering if even the honed marble is too risky for scratches. We like the look of natural stone but don't want it to get ruined. On that note, what are the downsides of granite? Why don't you hear more talk about granite? We're going to look at some today...any insight and/or advice is appreciated!
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:07 PM   #42
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Guys-I am getting ready to put down some subfloor. I could really use some assistance on a few items before I do that, if you don't mind:

1) I currently have the T&G heart pine down. Should I level before or after I put down subfloor? I know I do it before ditra, but am not sure if I do it before or after the subfloor.

2) Why do I miss the joists with screws? Also, what screws and nails should I use? (or does it matter?)

3) How thick does my subfloor need to be? The ditra manual says for layer II you need 11/32", 3/8" nom. Can I use 3/8" or 1/2"? Or, do I need 3/4"? I want the floor to be stable, but the less I can use the better so I don't end up with a small mess raising molding, doors, etc.

Thanks a lot!
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:28 PM   #43
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Doc,

I thought you had settled on using 3/4" ply as the underlayment. BTW, to avoid confusion. The "subfloor" is the planks on the joists. Any new plywood over that is not the "subfloor", it's the "underlayment".

I don't remember you ever telling us the width of those planks or if they're perfectly flat, cupped or bowed. That info will determine my answer to whether you could go with a thinner underlayment. However because of the planks, you can not go with 3/8".

1. You should never patch or SLC over planks.

2. To help isolate any movement of the joists. Flooring or deck screws, not cheapo drywall screws.

3. The Ditra manuel does not say to use 3/8" over planks. refer to above for the rest of your Q. Let us know about the planks.

Getting a little confused since you've posted the same project elsewhere. Don't want to answer the same question twice.

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Old 02-23-2013, 11:03 AM   #44
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Jaz et al-Sorry to be MIA for 6 weeks...we had a new daughter arrive a bit early which definitely sidetracked me and furthermore, we moved into our renovation project home which required urgent attention to other projects. Anyway, I am back to the foyer tile now and would certainly appreciate some continued support!

To summarize and refresh everyone, I will be laying 16x16 white carrara marble floor tile from Stone Partnership Inc in our foyer. I ended up purchasing the Dewalt 10 inch tile saw. The joists are 2x10s spaced 16 inches. The longest unsupported span is 11 feet. The subfloor is heart pine T&G planks which are 2&3/8" wide. Although they are very old, they are in good shape without significant cupping or bowing. They aren't sanded but you can walk on it and it's flat. I will be putting down exposure 1 exterior underlayment grade plywood prior to ditra.

The most pressing question right now is how thick the plywood needs to be. The thinner the better so I don't have a lot of issues raising doors but obviously I want it to be adequate to support the marble. In the end I'd rather deal with the doors than have to replace cracked tiles or the entire floor.

Also, what are the recommendations for nails and screws putting the underlayment plywood down? Someone said to nail to the joists and screw in between intentionally missing the joists. Out of curiosity, why do you miss the joists with screws? Exactly what nails and screws should I use in my situation?

Thanks again so much--your time and help is very much appreciated!
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Old 02-24-2013, 05:36 PM   #45
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Congrats on the new arrival, I'll be looking for the cigar in the mail.

If the planks are solid and perfectly flat, I think 1/2" would do. In any case 1/2" in the minimum so if it were me I'd want thicker. And since you're using Ditra, you're saving height anyway. Alternatively the installation methods would be a mud base which is in itself 1.25 min.

Fasten the subfloor first, then the underlayment only to the subfloor. Use underlayment screws, deck screws, no drywall screws ever.

Jaz

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