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Old 03-09-2011, 08:18 PM   #16
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Tiling over expansion joint - confused


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We'll It's not too bad the Tilling over Expansion joint because the space is be further moderation because yun po vacancies that are not available it is better to use and held a beautiful house repairs depend on you..
Can you rephrase that cory? No idea what that means.

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Old 03-10-2011, 10:32 PM   #17
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Tiling over expansion joint - confused


The space with the board is definitely an expansoin joint! It is there because a concrete slab of that size will definitely crack unless it is reinforced with plenty of steel. In the photo, it looks like the concrete has moved away from the board. If that is true and you had tile over it, you would have a crack in the tile the width of the concrete movement. The previous owner probably installed the carpet because it is the cheapest and can tolerate movement between the two concrete pieces.

I too thought about wood laminate flooring because then the expansion joint would not be an issue. But I think the varying temperatures and water drips will likely make this a poor idea.

If this were my home, I would look at one of the following two options:
1. Vinyl click laminate. There are a number of Vinyl products that snap together like wood laminate but would take water drips much better. Some look like wood planks and others look like tile. I looked at one product the other day that was made to look like ceramic tile. I always ask questions like "What makes this product better that the other one?". The clerk informed me that this product had wax in the joints that makes it more water resistant. If you look up 'Alure planks' you will find lots of bad experiences. But there is a new product called Alure Ultra that I would consider. There are many similar products.
2. Ceramic tile. (personally I am partial to ceramic tile). I would lay ceramic tile with a 1/4 inch space directly over the expansion joint. This joint would NOT be grouted, but would be filled with a matching acrylic caulk. This would still allow for some concrete movement without cracking tile or Grout. I can see your concrete contracting in the winter months and then expanding in the summer. Depending how much the concrete shifts, and your tolerance to a crack in the floor, you may have to recaulk once a year. This would give you an annual maintenance cost of $10-20 per year.

I would simply stick the tile directly onto the concrete with a good 'crack prevention' mortar. The experts may advise ditra or some other product to deal with possible concrete expansion.
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Old 03-10-2011, 10:39 PM   #18
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Tiling over expansion joint - confused


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I would lay ceramic tile with a 1/4 inch space directly over the expansion joint. This joint would NOT be grouted, but would be filled with a matching acrylic caulk. This would still allow for some concrete movement without cracking tile or Grout.
That's do-able!
Use MegaFlex to install the tile.
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:16 PM   #19
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Tiling over expansion joint - confused


Handy Andy & Bud - thanks for the feedback, exactly what I was looking for so thanks for taking the time to explain it. (yes Jaz, Ive already thanked you:-)

I am still deliberating. Mainly because I want the look of tile, but I'm not really in favor of a larger 'grout' line over the expansion joint. I guess I was hoping that with the installation of a membrane, or ditra, I could eliminate most of the chances of having the tile crack. Really hard for me to gauge though as I only have less than 9 months in the house - except to say that the porch is not at all climate controlled. The main reason the carpet is out now is because it was mildewed.

Ceramic tile is definitely an option for us that we'd consider. Handy Andy, I had looked into the Alure planks when I was renovating my basement, but decided to use Berry Flooring laminate instead (based on feedback) but I havent seen any of the Alure products that immitate tile, so I will look that up, thanks.
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Old 03-21-2011, 01:21 AM   #20
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Tiling over expansion joint - confused


Since my last post, I noticed another product that could work. It is a vinyl product that is meant to be grouted. I noticed it at Home Depot next to the Alure products but did not pay much attention. If it is a floating floor, it may work. Worth looking into.

Also, I keep coming up with more problems/ideas:
1. It ocurred to me that if you had a mildew problem with the carpet, there may have been moisture coming up from the concrete. You could do a moisture test by taping a 3' square of heavy poly onto the floor for a while and see whether you get condensation under it. The result could affect your decision.
2. In your photos, the gap either side of the board makes it look like the two concrete slabs have moved apart. The board would have been tight when the concrete was placed. I suggest you take an accurate measure of this space now (while the weather is cold) and then measure it again after a few weeks of warm weather (late spring). I would not be surprised if it were to close up a little.
3. Put a straightedge across the expansion joint to see whether there is a little ridge on either side. You may need to chip this off.
4. You seem to feel that a 1/4" grout line is big. If you look around, you will notice some tile installations with 3/8" or larger grout lines. This really is mainly a personal choice but should not be a biggie if the grout color is close to the tile color.

Let us know what you what you end up doing. (After photos).
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Old 04-12-2011, 03:56 PM   #21
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Tiling over expansion joint - confused


Just wanted to come back to this and follow-up. The tiling is now complete. I went with a porcelain tile (rated for freezing temps) as opposed to natural stone (slate, my first choice) for a few reasons. First, I wanted a narrow tile for the expansion joint area, and secondly, the tile we chose - which emulates hardwood flooring, matches the rest of the house and flows nicely....and lastly, this was less expensive and doesnt need to be sealed.

I went with Pro-Red 963 over the joint which was thin-set, and it came out great - level, even, and well-sealed. I had gotten a few opinions on the condition of the slab and joint, and what product to use, the slab was in very good shape after 7 years with no cracks and deterioration. I also set the tile in the same direction of the joint, with the narrowest tile in this style (4"w x 24"l) t minimize stress across the area where the joint is. The majority of the floor was done with a sanded grout, except for the area (2 rows) over the joint which used a latex-based non-sanded grout in the same almond color.

Here are some pics of the process / progress. All that is left to do now is apply base mouldings once everything is set.

I want to thank everyone here for their input and ideas. I feel like I did the right thing, and did it right, and thats all I was looking for. This site is tremendous.

The before (with carpeting):


The exposed slab/expansion joint before:


The thinset/Pro-Red application:


The tile layout / application:


The finished product (minus mouldings):


Last edited by jkr77; 04-12-2011 at 04:08 PM.
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