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Old 10-27-2011, 11:14 AM   #1
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Help with Tile Installation for First-Timer


Hello!
We are attempting our first tile installation in the kitchen. We have tore out 3 layers of lino and luwan (spelling?) and got down to OSB board. The tile guy we hired says that the morter will not stick to the OSB board, so just nailed down 1/4" hardi-backer board on top of OSB. Floor is almost all the way level, but about 1/2" slope over an area of approx. 5 feet to one corner of kitchen... We did use tape on seams and morter, and now we are ready to lay tile... is there anything I can do to correct this slope? Is that amt. of slope really that terrible? I have a feeling we should have leveled it out using morter BEFORE we put down the cement board? I can't rip it out now... it was nailed down with hundreds of ring shank nails.... Just some friendly advice from an expert would put me at ease....
House was built in 1898, and floor leveling is not terrible for this old of a house, I believe....
Thanks in advance for your advice!!!!

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Old 10-27-2011, 11:21 AM   #2
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Help with Tile Installation for First-Timer


You could not have levelled the floor with mortar and then installed the cement board, it doesn't work like that. So without knowing it, you are on the right track so far.

Tile doesn't care if your floor slopes but the problem may be (depending on the size of tile used) [the problem may be] when the tile crosses over the beginning of the slope there will be some serious lippage in the tile edges. Meaning tile edges will be higher than adjacent tiles, be ugly and create a tripper maybe.

The professional-fix would be to pour some Self Levelling Compound (SLC) into the low area and feather the edges of the compound onto the existing more suitable surface. Regular mortar will not do this, it will take SLC.

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Old 10-27-2011, 12:04 PM   #3
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Help with Tile Installation for First-Timer


Thanks Bud! Boy, you are very helpful on here -- I've already read through many of your replies... ok, so I will get some SLC, and this can be laid along with the morter before we lay tile? The tiles we have are rectangular shape, like 8 x 3 I think... ??? Is it a big deal we did not use morter under the back board? Also -- big deal we used ring shank nails instead of screws?
Thanks again for your help!!!
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Old 10-27-2011, 12:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
ok, so I will get some SLC, and this can be laid along with the morter before we lay tile?
SLC is mixed with water and poured on the floor. It will immediately begin to flow and level on its own but it will need some troweling at the edge to feather the edge and blend it with the existing floor surface.

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Is it a big deal we did not use morter under the back board?
Yes it is. ALL cement board manufacturers require their cement board be installed in a fresh bed of thinset tile mortar. If it is not done, movement will result. Movement will ruin a tile floor pretty quick.

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Also -- big deal we used ring shank nails instead of screws?
Can't imagine why you would do that when the instructions clearly say to use either galvanized roofing nails or coated cement board screws. The fasteners must be alkali resistant. Don't know that ring-shanks are.
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Old 10-27-2011, 02:59 PM   #5
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Ok... thanks for response, maybe i will start ripping out the hardibacker tonight to re-do it with morter underneath... then hardi-back board, then self-leveling morter, then regular morter than tile, grout, etc.
thanks for your help. and we did use galvanized roofing nails, i think? but i think we will go for using the screws after we rip it out!
thanks again for your help!
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Old 10-27-2011, 04:09 PM   #6
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Screws aren't totally necessary. Roofing nails work as well and aren't as much hassle. If you do opt for using screws use the proper cement board screws and BE SURE you use the ones with the square drive. Cement board screws will have the proper alkali resistant coating, they will have double thread one high one low, and they also have little nibs under the head so that they are self-setting. Typically unmodified thinset is used under cement boards. Install/apply the thinset with a 1/4" X 1/4" X 1/4" notched trowel.

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