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Old 09-20-2010, 12:21 PM   #1
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Need to replace foyer tile


Hi everyone. I replaced my front door yesterday and when I removed the old door I found that a portion of the sub floor was rotted. The foyer is tiled, so i started removing the tiles until I found good wood. Cut out the rotted wood and replaced with new and installed the door.

Now I'm left with the decision of re-installing the tiles I removed or just tear them all out and install new. Two of the tiles broke on their way out and I don't have extra. So now is the perfect time to replace.

My question is. Since this is an entry way and I live in new england, should I use a cement board or a hardy board over the plywood sub floor before installing the tile? or just lay 1/2" or 3/4" plywood on top of the subfloor?

Also, does a certain type of tile work better in an entry way (porcelain, ceramic)? So far the wife has picked out a slate looking glazed porcelain tile in a pattern that alternates with 12" and 6" tiles. And she'd like the tile at 45 degree angle. See picture


My other question, would this layout with the small tiles be ok in small entry foyer? The foyer is maybe only 6' X 4'? I realize that there would be a lot of cutting because of the angles. I'm just worried that if a 6" tile falls on an edge in front of the stairs, that because it's cut in half it could be more susceptible to damage. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

here is a picture of the foyer before the door installation. As you can see it's pretty small.

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Old 09-20-2010, 12:47 PM   #2
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Old 09-20-2010, 05:40 PM   #3
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Always install tile over a proper tile backer product never directly over plywood. (That's not to say it can't be done) There are regular cement boards and there are fiber-cement boards, either will work just fine. Hardibacker may be less messy to work with.

Porcelain tile is ceramic tile. Porcelain is actually of a better quality and works best for entries. If a slate look is the what you want then the porcelain tile that mimics slate is your best bet over real slate.

The smaller cuts won't matter as long as they are properly embedded in the thinset mortar. Don't use mastic and don't use premixed anything from a tub for the adhesive. The porcelain tile won't care if you live in New England or Old England it will work great.
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Old 09-20-2010, 05:45 PM   #4
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Old 09-20-2010, 05:47 PM   #5
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Old 09-20-2010, 05:52 PM   #6
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Old 09-20-2010, 09:24 PM   #7
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"We're sorry, the number you have reached has been disconnected."
Story of my life! My number has been disconnected because I never get any checks for doing this stuff.

And yet.........
I just keep doing it.
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Old 09-20-2010, 09:49 PM   #8
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thanks for the advice Bud. i read a couple of your blog entries and they helped clear things up too. I went and looked at real slate tiles to get an idea of what they look like, and I was a bit put off by the variations in shapes and thicknesses. I have a feeling that since this would be my first attempt at tiling, I may have a hard time leveling everything with tiles of all different thicknesses. Especially since I have to make sure the tiles go in flush with the existing stairs.

I think tomorrow we're going to look at the porcelain tile the wife likes in person to see if we really like. Maybe even bring a box home to how the colors match. Hopefully I can hand the pattern.
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:08 AM   #9
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moopey,

I'll give you a superficial crash course in slate tiles.

Real slate can be beautiful stuff. It is available in many many sizes and basically comes two ways when shopping floor tile type slate.

The inexpensive slates that are found at places like Home Depot are not the best quality slates available, most are coming from China like everything else these days. I would stay away from that junk.

Slate is available in "gauged" and "ungauged". This refers to the thickness consistency. Gauged slate is honed and uniform in size and thickness, while ungauged slate is erratic and varies in size thickness.

In your part of the country some of the best slate in the world is quarried right there in Vermont. Vermont slates are world renowned for their quality and machine-ability. You should be able to readily find Vermont slate in your neck of the woods. The cost may be a factor though.

The ungauged slates are desirable to some people that want a super rustic look but they do create issues you wouldn't want to deal with.

The lessor ungauged slates also have a terrible reputation for shedding-off wafers over time. Constant foot traffic can cause shedding from now on with the more rustic slates.

Slate is formed in layers of course and layers is what you get. There can be many layers inside the single thickness of thick ungauged slate whereas Vermont slate comes from a stone of higher density and generally a single layer (so to speak) is used to perfect a single tile, therefore shedding isn't an issue. Cleaning is easier also with gauged slate.

Since quality porcelains came along, they have mimicked slate very well and truthfully porcelain slate-looking-tile is your best bet from a long lasting trouble free standpoint.
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Old 09-21-2010, 12:54 PM   #10
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Need to replace foyer tile


wow, thanks bud. awesome info. long lasting and trouble free is what we're looking for. the natural slate we had looked at was from home depot and the tile thickness varied like crazy. some even had thin spots only about 3/16" thick.

After reading your posts I'm going to start shopping around for a porcelain slate tile. i'm looking to borrow a wet tile saw from a co-worker in the next couple weeks so hopefully I can get started on this little project and wrap up the entry way. I'll keep everyone posted on the progress.

Thanks again
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Old 09-21-2010, 01:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
...the natural slate we had looked at was from home depot and the tile thickness varied like crazy.
Yup! That would be the slate to stay away from.
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Old 10-24-2010, 06:29 PM   #12
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Need to replace foyer tile


Update.....

It's been a while. Since the last post I've decided on tile. My friend works in construction and offered me some Provenza porcelain tile that looks like wood planks. It was left over from a job and he had more than enough to tile my foyer. and it was free!

So finally after finishing up other projects, I started ripping up the old tile and wood backer board the previous homeowners installed. As I removed the old backer board I realized that my sub-floor in in much worse condition than I thought. I thought the only problem spot was near the front door but I quickly realized that termite damage has taken it's toll on the foyer sub-floor. I had to stop half way through because I didn't have the material or the tools to complete the project today.

My friend will be coming over tuesday evening to look things over and hopefully we can rip up the old sub-floor and replace everything.

I'll keep everyone posted and try to snap some pics.

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