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Old 12-03-2013, 08:13 AM   #1
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Installing Wood Plank looking Tile


I have about 400sq/ft of tile to put down that I will be putting down over a concrete slab. My buddy is telling me that I need to start in the exact middle of the floor for my first tile and work towards the walls. Is this correct?

My other question is since I am trying to make the floor look as much like real wood as possible wouldn't I just install the tile in the same manner that I would install laminate wood flooring?

Can I just butt the tile together as close as possible for the smallest possible grout lines? no spacers needed?

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Old 12-03-2013, 08:53 AM   #2
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Installing Wood Plank looking Tile


If you look on the dark bar right above your first post you will see a button for "Search". Do a little digging. There are several threads on this topic you may find helpful.

First step is to figure out your placement. IOW if you start with a full tile along one wall, will you end up with tiny little slivers on the opposite one? Figure out what will look best. Then I'd snap a line across the middle of the floor, lay a row along that line and work out from there.

You are right that a small grout line will look more natural, but you do need a grout line. Not all your tiles will be identical, the firing process can affect them, so they may not fit together perfectly without grout.

Lastly, how flat is your floor. Larger (longer) tiles are less forgiving and avoiding lippage (where the edge of one tile sticks up higher than the next) can be a challenge. You need to make sure your slab is FLAT. You might also consider a leveling system like Lash or Tuscan.

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Old 12-03-2013, 11:45 AM   #3
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Installing Wood Plank looking Tile


Thank you for the reply Blondesense. I am also located in southern missouri but on the east side.

The slab is flat with the exception of one crack but it will be patched before the floor is installed. The tiles I am using are 6" x 24" so nothing crazy long or wide. As for the exact dimensions of the room I would have to double check that to see if I would end up with tiny slivers on one side.
What size grout lines would you recommend if going for a natural wood floor look?
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Old 12-03-2013, 09:59 PM   #4
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Installing Wood Plank looking Tile


Hi all,

Quote:
Originally Posted by tango
I am trying to make the floor look as much like real wood as possible wouldn't I just install the tile in the same manner that I would install laminate wood flooring?
Not sure what you mean here. But, as with laminates, few will think the floor is real hardwood. Because the tiles are all the same size you'll get a repeating pattern. You need to be careful and layout several boxes before commencing. What size are these tiles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tango
Can I just butt the tile together as close as possible for the smallest possible grout lines? no spacers needed?
Yes, no spacers needed, but the smallest recommended grout space in the industry is 1/8". Many go smaller, but you'll make the installation more difficult. Remember you need expansion gaps around the perimeter and probably within the field. What's the size of the room, longest run, got a sketch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tango
My buddy is telling me that I need to start in the exact middle of the floor for my first tile and work towards the walls. Is this correct?
I would never start in the center, but you can. One problem is that you may be working yourself into a corner with no easy way out. If the room isn't squared (all walls at perfect 90), you will get different size cuts against the walls. It's hard to xplain without a sketch.

I would snap a line equal to a certain number of rows plus grout and expansion joints from the main/longest wall. Then measure to the opposite wall to check. You can move the line a bit towards the wall to square up. Then do the same for the other two walls. Snap a line a few rows from the side wall making sure it's square to the long line. Check the squareness using the 3 - 4 - 5 method. (Pythagorean theorem), Adjust as necessary and double check. Lastly, dry lay a row of tiles in both directions.

If I lost you, I'm sorry. It would be helpful if you could post a drawing.

Jaz
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Old 12-04-2013, 06:36 AM   #5
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Installing Wood Plank looking Tile


I was actually at a manufacturer's seminar last night, and they mentioned that they are getting tougher on dealing with claims from installs where medium bed mortar wasn't used and the tile offset by only 1/3 as recommended. Large format tile like that wasn't ever meant to be laid in a random offset pattern. Medium bedding mortar is about 2x-3x the cost of a bag of thinset, depending on where you shop, and that's why a lot of installs skip using it. Tile isn't perfectly flat. It has a slight bow to it, and large format shows it much more than a 16x16. If you lay it in a random pattern, that bow will become very apparent by creating lippage. It's magnified by a non flat floor. Lippage is trippage when you go to walk on it.

Large format tile isn't very DIY friendly. It's not real friendly to a pro either, but they usually have the experience to wrangle it into submission. And it alls starts with the prep. As most good jobs do.
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