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wombosi 12-31-2008 08:20 PM

First tiling job- last minute feedback sought

I'm ready to apply tile to my 5X7' bathroom floor.

I didn't quite prepare the subfloor as Angus recommended, so if you're reading this Angus, I apologize.

I did a very nice durock job, nice tight seams, carefully cut around pipes and such. However, one piece has a bit of a bow down in one area of about a square foot or two. I did my best to shim this underneath the CBU, but it still looks significantly bowed. In my humble opinion it is solidly supported, althought definitely not pretty underneath. The only thing it's spanning is a few edges of shims at the most 1/8" thick.

1) Can I address this low spot in the floor with mud before I set my tiles? Do I apply extra thinset in this area in an attempt to level it out?
This is the area at the end of the tub, so it won't be really noticeable.

2) Do I need to pull up the CBU and do a better job of shimming/leveling? It's already screwed down, but I guess I could pull it.
I don't think it can be done any better with shims, because it's needed from more than one side, and there's no way to fill in the middle of two rows of shims without leaving a thicker edge that doesn't taper.
Long story short, this is part of the area where I had to patch the floor. Nothing quite lined up, new floor was thinner than old, etc.. Even the old floor is kind of all over the place. IN general the durock is very flat and close to level in both directions. Just this one spot bugs me. If you guys tell me eto forget about, I'm fine with it.

2) Any advice in terms of where to start tiling in the room, and how to lay it out?
I'm using 5/8' X 5/8" mosaic tiles that come in a square foot grid. I suspect I won't need to cut any of the tile itself (just cut the backing and remove pieces as needed), but I am concerned with how to get a uniform look and not like a I smacked down a bunch of square foot units.
Should I use spacers between each piece?

Do I start on one wall? in the middle of the room?

3) How soon after setting the tiles do I apply the grout? How soon after that do I seal the grout and tiles?

Thanks to all, and to all a Buon Cappo D'anno.

Bud Cline 01-01-2009 11:27 PM

:) Take it Angus:)

ponch37300 01-02-2009 12:12 AM

I'm not a tile guy but from what i have read you should use thinset under your backer board to fill any voids and totally support the backer board.

SemperDIY 01-03-2009 12:13 AM

2 Attachment(s)
I always use thinset under my backerboard for just that reason. You really don't want to have any bounce or movement. In your case, you are using very small mosaic tile, which will be good in the fact that you won't have a tile crack, however you will have a lot of grout in between those tiles which will potentially crack and chip out over time from floor flexing. If you still haven't started, I'd pull up the questionable piece at the very least and slap some thinset under it vs. being sorry later.

As for how to start... you never just want to pick a wall and go for it. Careful planning is 99% of a good tile job. Depending on the age of the home, walls are rarely square with each other, especially in bathrooms for some reason. I usually will measure a foot or so (depending on the tile and grout width chosen) off of one wall at two locations and strike a line the length of the room. Then I will use a framing square and mark a new line perpendicular to the first, one foot off of the adjacent wall. (See photo below) You also need to check opposing walls for parallelism. Some rooms have a square corner but the walls across from one another converge at one end, (Kinda make a shallow V shape.) Always square off of the wall that people will see... for example, if you are doing a bathroom that is out of square, try to have your tile parallel to the visible walls, and have the errant runout against the wall that has things like the vanity, and toilet. (Things to break up the line...) In the first photo, there are pencil lines 12 1/4 inches off of the wall and bathtub... that's where my first row of tile goes, following those two lines to make an L shape. The second photo is the finished job.

A couple of parting notes: #1) I would use spacers that are the same size as your mosaic spaces (probably 1/8 to 1/4") to blend the tiles together. #2) You will probably want to use a 3/16" notch trowel for your thinset, there will be a lot of thinset squeezing up between all of those grout spaces... you picked a challenging tile for your first job. #3) Dry lay your first row (without thinset) and make sure everything lays up the way you plan and make adjustments as needed. This will be your anchor row that everything feeds off of. #4) Depending on what thinset you use, 24 hours after the last tile is placed is usually sufficient to wait for grouting. I've waited far less (tile and grout in the same day) on jobs where I used fast setting mortars, but I would recommend using the manufacturers guidelines. #5) I usually wait 3 to 5 days before sealing unless the homeowners absolutely have to use the shower, or heavily use the floor before that. (only bathroom , etc...) I hope this helps... feel free to e-mail me with any further questions.

angus242 01-03-2009 12:30 AM

Actually, Durock states to use thinset under ALL, not just some of the panels on the floor.
You don't use thinset over CBU to make up for any dips in the floor..that should be taken care of underneath with an appropriate product.
You definitely didn't take my advice but I think you went a bit further and did almost every aspect least sounds like it.
I tried. :surrender:

Bud Cline 01-03-2009 10:15 AM


You don't use thinset over CBU to make up for any dips in the floor..that should be taken care of underneath with an appropriate product.
If you do it this way....How do you then fasten the CBU to the substrate? Nails/screws used to install the CBU would destroy the fill below.

Am I mis-reading this?:)

angus242 01-03-2009 10:56 AM


Originally Posted by Bud Cline (Post 206158)
Am I mis-reading this?:)

Yes. I was merely talking about leveling the floor, not how the CBU should be properly installed (or not).

Bud Cline 01-03-2009 01:02 PM


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