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Old 04-15-2008, 08:43 AM   #1
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Laying 18x18" tile. Tips/advice?


Getting ready to lay 18x18 porcelain tile Saturday, have never laid anything bigger than 12x12. Any advice/tips that might differ from 12x12?
Going over concrete in walk-out basement with 3/8" spacers.
Got the $88.00 HD 7" tile saw to work with.
Will about 1/4 stand on the thinset do the trick? How about grouting? Normally I have no reservation about smearing over the whole tile when grouting, is this wasteful on an 18x18?
As always, group help is very much appreciated.

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Old 04-15-2008, 07:38 PM   #2
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Laying 18x18" tile. Tips/advice?


OK, tips for 18" tiles.....

The floor had better be very flat.

You should use a medium-bed thinset mortar, NOT regular thinset. Something like Marble & Granite thinset from HD.

OH.....and the floor had better be very flat!

YIKES one of those $88 saws for 18" porcelain no less?

The trowel should probably be about 1/2x1/2" or thereabouts?

Did I mention the floor had better be very flat?

Jaz

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Old 04-15-2008, 07:54 PM   #3
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Laying 18x18" tile. Tips/advice?


I already paid for the $5.00/ bag thinset, what exactly is the issue with that? We worked our you-know-whats off with a vinyl stripper and razor scrapers, flat as can be. 1/2" notched trowel is something i would have overlooked, thanks for the advice. Is 3/8" spacer the norm for 18"'s?
Was also under the impression from reviews that the saw woud do a decent job, just not super fast.
One wall of my walk-out is brick, can I just grout right along it, or do you guys reccomend leaving a space and adding trim?Was hoping not to have to put trim on my brick wall.

Last edited by B Parker; 04-15-2008 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 04-15-2008, 09:04 PM   #4
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Laying 18x18" tile. Tips/advice?


Parker,

There is NO $5 thinset that is suitable for porcelain tile, you've got the wrong stuff. Tell me what brand and type it is.

Removing the old floor covering is not what I'm referring to. I'm talking about the slab. It should be as flat as possible, hopefully within 1/8" in 10 ft. of plane.

Three eights gap is kinda wide for me, but maybe if the tile has a rustic motif? The saw might workout for you, especially for a one-time job? A side grinder might also help? I'm used to a pro saw and so I can't imagine using that little thing for 18" porcelain, see how it works.

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Old 04-16-2008, 06:58 AM   #5
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Laying 18x18" tile. Tips/advice?


This is the thinset I have ordered to be delivered, you think I may need to call and get a different kind? This is the stuff I used to lay my last 12x12 ceramic job, seemed to work fine, do you look for something different for porcelain?

CustomBlend Standard Thin-Set Mortar is an unmodified thin-set mortar that offers economy with good bond strengths for basic tile projects and is recommended for floor installations. Good for setting Saltillo and other similar clay pavers. Mix with Acrylic Mortar Admix for best results or when setting dense tile and over EGP plywood, existing flooring and for exterior applications. Meets ANSI A118.1 without additives. Meets ANSI A118.4, A118.11 when mixed with Acrylic Mortar Admix.
  • Economical formula for basic tile jobs
  • Use for floor installations and to set saltillo or clay pavers
  • Mix with Acrylic Mortar Admix for higher bond strengths
  • Offers good working time to apply and adjust tiles
  • MFG Brand Name : Custom® Building Products
  • MFG Model # : PBG13525
  • MFG Part # : PBG13525

Last edited by B Parker; 04-16-2008 at 07:01 AM.
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Old 04-16-2008, 07:31 AM   #6
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Laying 18x18" tile. Tips/advice?


I'm guessing this is more along the lines of what I need? How exactly do they differ?

Marble and Granite Fortified Premium Mortar is formulated for installing gauged or ungauged natural stone, tile 12” x 12” or larger, clay pavers, or a medium bed mortar installation. Apply up to 3/4 In. thick on horizontal applications or use as a thin-set mortar as thin as 1/8 In.. Excellent sag and slip resistance. White formulation improves installation of light colored marble. Exceeds ANSI A118.4, A118.11. Polymer-modified for strength, just add water and mix. Eligible for lifetime warranty.
  • Polymer-modified, premium mortar for stone and large tile
  • Use as a medium bed mortar up to 3/4 In. thick on floors
  • Keeps stone level during floor installations
  • Use for wall installations – Stone won’t sag or slip
  • Use with RedGard to get a Lifetime Warranty
  • MFG Brand Name : Custom® Building Products
  • MFG Model # : PBG13525
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Old 04-16-2008, 05:25 PM   #7
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Laying 18x18" tile. Tips/advice?


Quote:
Mix with Acrylic Mortar Admix for best results or when setting dense tile
That right there is what you need to do. Read the instructions and follow them. Porcelain ceramic tile is a very dense tile unlike regular ceramic you have worked with in the past.
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Old 04-16-2008, 05:33 PM   #8
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Laying 18x18" tile. Tips/advice?


Thanks Bud, upon everyone's advice I called and got my order changed to include a modified thinset fro HD. Please tell me I do not need to add anything to this stuff.

VersaBond Fortified Thin-Set Mortar is a polymer-modified mortar offering strong bonds of a wide variety of tile and stone to floors, walls and countertops. Favored by professionals for its reliability and ease of use. an apply over concrete, cement backerboards, drywall, exterior grade plywood, existing ceramic tile, vinyl flooring and plastic laminates. Suitable for interior or exterior use. Meets ANSI A118.4, A118.11 specifications. Polymer-modified for strength, just add water and mix.
  • Polymer-modified, high grade mortar
  • Bonds well to plywood and concrete floors
  • Reliable and easy to use
  • Fast setting even in cold weather
  • MFG Brand Name : Custom® Building Products
  • MFG Model # : PBG16525
  • MFG Part # : PBG16525
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Old 04-16-2008, 07:45 PM   #9
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Laying 18x18" tile. Tips/advice?


Versabond is a good product, you wouldn't add anything to it. Using additives with already modified thinsets is usually counterproductive.
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Old 04-16-2008, 09:14 PM   #10
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Laying 18x18" tile. Tips/advice?


Pssheww! This project started with a flooded basement, and my pockets are wearing out from reaching in to get my wallet !
Glad to hear some good news, Thanks Bud
what is your opinion on doing this job with a 7" HD tile saw Bud?
Any tips/difference from 12" tile when it comes to grouting?
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Old 04-16-2008, 09:52 PM   #11
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Laying 18x18" tile. Tips/advice?


Brian,

It's better and cheaper to spend a little more than the minimum, than it is to spend less than you should and get cheap or the wrong stuff. In other words, there is nothing more expensive than a "cheap job'! Anyway it's your own house and you're saving 50-60% by doing the work yourself.

With the thinset, you had no choice, you would have been removing all those tiles within a short time. But it would have stuck to the slab good enough....lots of wasted $$$ and work.

In addition to this saw do you have a tile cutter? You'll need it for all of your straight cuts and you might want to also buy a side-grinder and a porcelain blade for it too. If the wet saw doesn't work out for you, install all except the L and U cuts, then rent a better saw for a day.

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Old 04-17-2008, 06:54 AM   #12
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Laying 18x18" tile. Tips/advice?


Thanks Jaz, I'm with you on the "spend a little to save alot" theory, I had just never done anything other than a few ceamic jobs over durock and the basic thinset worked perfectly fine. I needed some schooling in the ways of the porcelain. I do have a good quality straight scorer, I can assume you're saying that these work ok on porcelain?
Do I have any concerns about the grout discoloring the porcelain?
Is it safe to assume you can pretty much grout just like ceramic?
Thanks for all of the help from the group, this is a fabulous resource of very helpful folk.
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Old 04-17-2008, 05:11 PM   #13
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Laying 18x18" tile. Tips/advice?


FWIW: That $88 saw is crap for what you are wanting to do, I doubt it will cut 18" porcelain for very long. You would be netter off to spend twice as much at the very least. You can always sell the saw when you are done.

Grouting in the same process basically no worries there. Porcelains have been known to stain from the grout bvut if you'll smear the entire surface you won't notice any staining.
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Old 04-18-2008, 06:59 AM   #14
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Laying 18x18" tile. Tips/advice?


Thanks for the opinion Bud, plan on doing most of my straights with a scorer, (am going to test the saw on straights to see how it will do) just didn't want to hassle with renting a saw or running all of them back up to HD to have the notched cuts done.
What is your opinion on grouting right up to brick? 1 out of my 4 walls in a walk-out is brick, was hoping to go right up to it so I would not have to put down trim.

Last edited by B Parker; 04-18-2008 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 04-18-2008, 10:24 AM   #15
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Laying 18x18" tile. Tips/advice?


Quote:
Originally Posted by B Parker View Post
Thanks for the opinion Bud, plan on doing most of my straights with a scorer, (am going to test the saw on staights to see how it will do) just didn't want to hassle with renting a saw or running all of them back up to HD to have the notched cuts done.
What is your opinion on grouting right up to brick? 1 out of my 4 walls in a walk-out is brick, was hoping to go right up to it so I would not have to put down trim.
I have similar but different question. I'm about to lay 13x13 glazed porcelain in entrance, small bath,laundry and kitchen.
Have ripped up the underlay and vinyl in laundry , and kitchen; and have just removed 8x8 ceramic and underlay from entrance and small bath.
This is first tiling project.
I have the 13x13 tile.
HD rep suggested
Flexbond Fortified Thin Set Mortar with 1/4 x3/8 trowel. We are planning on 3/16 spacers.

Not sure where this fits with B Parker's 18x18 question, but felt it was similar and that's why it's here.

Any advice is welcome.

Thanks.

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