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Old 09-10-2011, 09:53 PM   #1
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Tile Questions...


Hello, I'm remodeling a small half bathroom (no shower or tub) and want to tile the floor (and part of the walls, too). The existing floor is a simple laminate. I was told to reinforce the floor with Sureply, secure it with high performance rust resistant screws and then set the tile over the Sureply using thin-set mortar. The Sureply is down and secured and I've laid out my tile pattern. So here are my questions:
1. The walls aren't perfectly plumbed, so in some spots, I have an uneven gap between the tiles and the wall. What is the best method to attack this? I have up to an inch between the last tile and the wall in one spot. What should I do if there's more than an inch from the wall on both edges of the floor? Shift the whole pattern over to one side and then cut a ~ 2-inch strip for the other side?
2. Can you put floor tiles on walls? I have painted drywall walls. My tiles are 12x12. I am aware that you have to use a different mortar and grout for the walls.
3. What should I use where the floor tiles meet the wall tiles? Grout or caulk?

Thanks for your help,

Jay

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Old 09-10-2011, 10:40 PM   #2
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Where are earth are you getting your information?

There are already issues with what you have done so far. I think I'll leave this up to someone else. Good luck with what you are doing.

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Old 09-11-2011, 12:00 AM   #3
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Sounds like Lowes help to me since they sell Sure-Ply. Don;'t liston to those idiots.
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Old 09-11-2011, 05:40 AM   #4
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I'm not sure what 'sure ply' is---the ideal surface for tile is a 1/4" cement backer board--set in thinset and nailed or screwed. ---Plywood can be used but bonding problems are a frequent result.

As to the layout---you want 1/2 tile or more at the edges of the room if possible--so shift the layout 6" and see if the cuts are better.

To stick the tiles to the floors and walls use a powdered modified thinset---Same product for the walls and floor.


Look through the flooring and the tiling sections here---Many recent projects just like yours.

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Old 09-11-2011, 09:52 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone and Jim you are correct...it was Lowes.
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Old 08-24-2013, 07:03 AM   #6
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Jim F -
It's not very accurate to say "those idiots" and then identify all of Lowe's when doing so. Just like every business in the world Lowe's consists of a range of employees. I know that those employees can come right out of highschool green in home improvement or they can be installers who couldn't afford the ridiculous cost of insurance and came to Lowe's.
Having both worked @ Lowe's before & being a customer I can say that from Florida to Maine I've never shopped @ or worked @ a store that didn't know that Sureply type boards must NOT be used when tiling. The question is was right the person asked? Do you ask your mechanic about your computer? - NO! Just like I won't ask a cashier or Electrical pro @ Lowe's about how to install tile flooring.
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Old 08-24-2013, 06:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MD816
Jim F -
It's not very accurate to say "those idiots" and then identify all of Lowe's when doing so. Just like every business in the world Lowe's consists of a range of employees. I know that those employees can come right out of highschool green in home improvement or they can be installers who couldn't afford the ridiculous cost of insurance and came to Lowe's.
Having both worked @ Lowe's before & being a customer I can say that from Florida to Maine I've never shopped @ or worked @ a store that didn't know that Sureply type boards must NOT be used when tiling. The question is was right the person asked? Do you ask your mechanic about your computer? - NO! Just like I won't ask a cashier or Electrical pro @ Lowe's about how to install tile flooring.
If your in lows or HD and ask electrical guy in that department I want to put tile in my bathroom and I'm almost positive that guy will tell you or bring you to tile section and hand you off to some one that has maybe knowledge in that area.
A lot of people come here cuz they got horrible advice at HD and lows and found out the hard way.
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Old 08-24-2013, 06:48 PM   #8
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We have some pros here and a lot of experienced homeowners---If a weak or bad answer is suggested someone here will correct the post---

Lowes is typical of any store---the main qualification is this,"Can you work for what we can afford to pay?"

Some tile store advice is almost as bad----I should know,I worked in one 20 years ago--no tile training,just how to sell---

I've had a lousy relationship with a local tile shop---they are clueless there . Twice I've had to send entire orders back because of their ignorance.
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Old 08-24-2013, 07:03 PM   #9
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- Sites like this are def a help to do-it-yourselfers. I agree that big box stores aren't always holding employees to the standards of people in a trade who are licensed.
- However, I also have a lot of experience w/ licensed installers who don't have the resources major companies do. In our region of the U.S. a lot of installers are recommending SurePly under tile. It's also common that they do not recommend to store employees or customers after a site inspection to use grout sealers to increase longevity & durability or epoxy grouts in wet areas like kitchen backsplash or bath. It's the store employees who are essentially training the installers.
- I frequently reference the NTCA and manufacturer specs & warranties. Those are both great resources I highly doubt installers reference all to often, if at all. Yet it's their responsibility to evolve w/ the trade.
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Old 08-25-2013, 12:21 AM   #10
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I was told to reinforce the floor with Sureply, secure it with high performance rust resistant screws and then set the tile over the Sureply using thin-set mortar.
This should be OK. SurePly is actually warranted for tile installation. However no wood product is going to be optimal for tile. Traditionally cement backer board is used, but personally I prefer Ditra.

In any case, if you need to reinforce your floor, I can see the temptation to use SurePly as both a structural reinforcer and the tile substrate, 2-in-1. Even better would be to reinforce with plywood, and then underlay with cement board or Ditra.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taregreen View Post
1. The walls aren't perfectly plumbed, so in some spots, I have an uneven gap between the tiles and the wall. What is the best method to attack this?
Ultimately this is a matter of opinion, even for the pros. There are some generally agreed upon basics, but you're going to have to study your layout and choose the lesser of evils. If you have to tradeoff, decide where you want the tile to look its best, and go from there.

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2. Can you put floor tiles on walls?
Yes, however wall tiles tend to be a bit lighter, which is helpful when installing wall tile. However floor tile is perfectly fine.

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Originally Posted by Taregreen View Post
I am aware that you have to use a different mortar and grout for the walls.
I don't know why that would be so.

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Originally Posted by Taregreen View Post
3. What should I use where the floor tiles meet the wall tiles? Grout or caulk?
Caulk. Most grout manufacturers make matching caulk for each grout color. Also, match sanded caulk with sanded grout, and vice versa.
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Old 08-25-2013, 12:24 AM   #11
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Just like every business in the world Lowe's consists of a range of employees.
Correct. Sometimes they startle me with their expertise and knowledge. And sometimes they startle me with their ineptitude. My local store has a plumber that hasn't failed to solve any plumbing problem I brought him. It also has a paint associate that can't even read a can of paint.
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Old 08-25-2013, 08:04 AM   #12
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This is an old thread, so I wonder about the need to reply to it....nonetheless, one or two recent statements make me question things:

(a) I am not aware of any NTCA method that allows 1/4" plywood (like "Sureply") to be used as a ceramic tile underlayment; maybe there is one, but I am not aware of it. Maybe Sureply comes in other thicknesses but still.

(b) This might mean that the Sureply warrantee is invalid in all but a very few installation instances. Their warrantee is therefore misleading, in other words.

(c) since this thread was started, things might have tightened up somewhat, like standards.

(d) I think "Sureply" is a "premium" underlayment plywood not because of its superior strength or any other physical attributes - but for the supposed 'greenness' - and location - of its manufacture.
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Old 08-25-2013, 08:11 AM   #13
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Correct the only thing that should be under tile and of 1/4" in size is cement board.
Sureply is either mythical or magical.
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:16 AM   #14
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Well, I don't know if there's any connection between TCNA and manufacturer warranties. There are no building codes with tile per se on a floor that I know of, since it's not a structural element or safety concern. I think a manufacturer can warrant whatever they want.

I don't know that SurePly has any special physical properties either, although it's conceivable it does. Maybe there's something special about the glue between the plies, that helps with movement or something, who knows.

But I guess the point is that many thousands of tile installations that have been put onto plywood are doing just fine. And some are not.

Ditra comes in 1/8" and 5/16" and both are fine as a tile substrate, in addition to cement boards. There are other manufacturers than Schluter of products similar to Ditra, such as Noble.

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