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Old 12-29-2008, 11:17 AM   #1
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tiling on the diagonal


HI,

New to the forum, hoping to get some good advice.
I am putting wood-looking tile in my downstairs, tiles are 16" x 6". I want to go on the diagonal to make the long hall way look less like a bowling alley. How should I start? Along the longest axis of the room, in a corner? not quite sure what would be best.

Thanks,

Ken

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Old 12-29-2008, 11:44 AM   #2
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tiling on the diagonal


I don't believe there is one right way of doing this. What I like to do is dry fit and make sure you're not going to end with very small cuts on any one wall. Taking your time now can save you a lot of headaches later! For some reason, diagonal patterns can get confusing because of cutting 45 angles.
If you're looking for something different, maybe try a herringbone pattern. I like that pattern with the faux wood tiles. Here's one I did (in progress):

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Old 12-29-2008, 12:00 PM   #3
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Angus,

Thanks for the quick reply. The pic looks great, very similar tile to what I am going to use. I have discussed the herringbone pattern with the wife, still want to go with diagonal. My floor plan is pretty open, large family room, leading one way to kitchen and the other way to entry and dining room. Would you recommend starting in the middle on diagonal reference line or at a wall once dry fit?

Ken
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Old 12-29-2008, 12:18 PM   #4
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It's really a mater of convenience once you've dry fit. If it's a large area, it may take multiple days to install. Is this an area that you can stay out of for days? If not, start your tiling in a manner that will allow you access to the room during each day. I mean, if you have to walk through this area to get to the bedrooms, start on one side. You can tile 1/2 one day, with access on the part that isn't tiled yet. Next day, you'll be able to walk on the tile so you're good to go for the other side.
There really is no right or wrong way to do this. Just make sure you don't back yourself into a cornering when laying the tile and make sure you don't start in two different places assuming (even after dry fitting) that you'll match up perfectly when meeting. When you dry fit, lay down some chalk lines to give yourself a grid to follow. Use a little hairspray over the chalk lines so they don't smear away. The dry fit will be very helpful, especially with showing the wife how it will look (BEFORE it's too late). It will also help you understand what will be your best place to start...or finish up. Like I said, don't back yourself into a corner!

Good luck!
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Old 12-29-2008, 01:34 PM   #5
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angus,

i have always been curious how useful the chalk lines are once you get started; do they not get covered up with thinset, then what?
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Old 12-29-2008, 01:57 PM   #6
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When you trowel thinset, you should spread only in smaller sections so it won't start curing before you set the tile. The grid lines will help guide you on how much thinset to spread for the number of tiles to be set.
I understand your concern but it's one of those things that once you start, you'll understand how to use the lines to your benefit.
Another way of achieving the same concept is to set a mason's line about 2" off the ground. You can use 2 screws set into the baseboard area on opposite sides of the room and stretch the line across. While no where near as helpful as the chalk lines, it give you 1 or 2 straight edges to follow. Actually, when I'm doing multiple areas that are connected, that's what I use to keep my lines straight (eg. kitchen into laundry room). But again, it's one single line.
The trick with chalk lines is to keep the thinset spreading to a minimum until you get the hang of if. Also, a cheapy laser can help you too. If you place it down one row, even if the chalk gets covered as you go, you have the laser line to follow.
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:44 PM   #7
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Angus,

More questions, if you do not mine.
The entire downstairs that I plan to tile had some of the crappy vinyl flooring that came with the house. I have scraped it with razor blades, and in doing so found that in some places the paper backing is damp. Now, we did recently have lots of rain and snow here, so I assume that this is seepage from the melting snow and rain. Do I need to seal the concrete floor before proceeding to tile? There are places that have glue residue from the old flooring; how virgin does the concrete need to be?

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Ken
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Old 12-30-2008, 09:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenk1959 View Post
Do I need to seal the concrete floor before proceeding to tile? There are places that have glue residue from the old flooring; how virgin does the concrete need to be?
Absolutely do not seal the floor. Thinset won't adhere properly to any kind of chemical coating on the floor.
What was your plan for laying the new tile? Were you going to lay directly over the cement? I would suggest using Ditra before the tile. Although there is the initial expense, it will help some of the potential problems that may be in your future tiling directly over the cement.
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Old 12-30-2008, 10:08 PM   #9
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"how virgin does the concrete need to be?"

How well do you want the tiles to bond?You're going to want to remove the glue residue for best results.

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Old 12-31-2008, 01:10 AM   #10
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i thought that ditra was for sub-floor movement issues, not so much for water penetration/seepage problems. yes? this seems to be a once in a while dampness issue; will it cause problems later?
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Old 12-31-2008, 01:40 AM   #11
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Ditra is an uncoupling membrane. It is also waterproof. If your slab has any movement, Ditra will help "uncouple" the tile installation from the floor movement to help prevent tile or grout cracking. Also, since it's waterproof, it will not allow any moisture penetration above it. This will keep any moisture below where it can evaporate back out. To make the installation 100% waterproof, you'd have to add another Schluter product; Kerdi-Band over the seams of the Ditra.
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Old 12-31-2008, 04:04 PM   #12
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Would it be necessary to rent a floor buffer and use a sanding disc to get the concrete down to the bare bones, or is scraping with razor blades adequate?
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Old 12-31-2008, 04:23 PM   #13
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If you can find a small concrete grinder with a vacuum attachment, it will make your life a lot easier.....and your house less dusty.
Example:


But yes, you could rent a larger one. A small angled grinder will work too but can get messy.
As Jaz said, how well do you want the tiles to bond????? That's really your answer.
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Old 01-02-2009, 02:56 PM   #14
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Have you installed the under floor heating products? I have a quote from the tile vendor for 4 areas, ranging from 30 sq ft to 60 sq ft. Is it required to have new dedicated circuits installed for these? Have you seen installations where the heating units tapped into existing circuits with no trouble? I want to get started laying tile, but if I need to wait for delivery of the heating hardware can I get a start on the entryway? Do I need to increase the notch size to accommodate the heating pads?

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Old 01-02-2009, 05:26 PM   #15
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Is it required to have new dedicated circuits installed for these?
Yes, this is usually the case. Larger installation can even require 220V circuits.

Have you seen installations where the heating units tapped into existing circuits with no trouble?
Nope

I want to get started laying tile, but if I need to wait for delivery of the heating hardware can I get a start on the entryway?
You can start/stop your tiling where ever you'd like but if you are tiling some areas that will have the wire/mat heating, I'd be worried about a height difference between the areas that don't have the heat.

Do I need to increase the notch size to accommodate the heating pads?
The manufacturer of the heating element should give you all of the specs necessary for installation, from setting material to tools needed to electrical requirements.

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