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Old 02-05-2013, 11:52 AM   #1
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tiny tile project


I am attempting my first time project. I need to replace 2 or 3 12x12 travertine floor tiles in my bathroom (they have cracked & crumbled). I have no idea what is under them, a good bet would be whatever was the cheapest/minimum subfloor that could be used (we have a condo where many corners were cut by the contractor). I would like to know what is the best thinset to use for such a small project, keeping in mind that this is the only bathroom and I have to remove the toilet to replace a tile (so drying time is critical). Is there a pre-mixed product, does color matter (white or grey), modified/unmodified, etc? How soon can I grout, and how soon after that can I replace the toilet? Also, I may replace 1 tile that needs a cut (is there an easy/cheap way to make a cut that will be hidden under the toilet)? Thanks so much for the advice!

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Old 02-05-2013, 12:05 PM   #2
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tiny tile project


As to thinset---you will want a modified thinset---they come in white or grey---you could also use a rapid set that will allow you to set and grout in a matter of two or three hours---

I suggest you break out those bad tiles and see what is going on before making big plans---if the failed tiles are near the toilet--the failure might be a symptom of a leaking wax ring--

You might have some hidden issues----go break up one of those tiles and let us know what you find--also --what is the floor made of?

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Old 02-05-2013, 12:21 PM   #3
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tiny tile project


It's the second floor of a 70ís building (so not a concrete slab). The floors everywhere else in the unit are squeaky (don't really hear it in the bathroom). I assume it's plywood, maybe backer board. Unless It was required by code, it's not there (I think ditra is doubtful). I'd like to be prepared to get in and get it done (since once the toilet comes off I'm living toilet free until the tile sets, gets grouted, and toilet is replaced).
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:51 PM   #4
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You could knock out a tile without removing the toilet---just to see if you have backer or not---

Plan on using rapid set----if this is set on wood----do not use the rapid set---you need a high quality modified thinset---rapid set ,in my experience, does not bond well over wood---
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
Is there a pre-mixed product, does color matter (white or grey), modified/unmodified, etc?
The pre-mixed adhesives are generally used for wall tile. They don't always dry correctly on the floor.

Color does not matter for the thinset. The theory is that white is used under light colored grout. You don't want your thinset showing through the grout anyway, so you need to make sure to clean the thinset from the grout lines before grouting. While you tile, you can keep the lines clean with a sponge. After the thinset is hard, you may need to scrape (with a flat head screw driver or 1/4 in chisel) any thinset that is too high because it was "squeezed" between the tiles. If you take care to clean the the grout lines, you don't have to worry about the color of the thinset.

Quote:
How soon can I grout, and how soon after that can I replace the toilet?
Depends on the adhesive you use. The bag will have that information. In general, I would wait overnight. So, you could set the tile in the afternoon. Let the adhesive set up overnight-when you will need the toilet the least. Then, grout in the morning. You don't have to wait until the grout is completely dry to set the toilet. You can set it maybe an hour after grouting. Just don't caulk it down to the floor until the grout is dry.

If your tile is laid directly on wood, replacing the tiles is a temporary fix. Eventually, you will have to replace the entire floor, but replacing the few tiles can get you by for awhile.
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