Tiling Newbie And Substrate Questions - Tiling, ceramics, marble - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum
Advertisement


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Flooring > Tiling, ceramics, marble

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes
Old 06-10-2019, 11:19 AM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 60
Rewards Points: 106
Default

Tiling Newbie and substrate questions


Hi All

New to tiling and looking forward to learning and am still figuring out the terminology too. I removed the original builder laid tiles and mortar to expose the subfloor, which is OSB, (likely 1in thick - have not measured yet).

The tile was secured to subfloor using mortar and a galvanized diamond mesh lath, which pulled away nicely. I am assuming the builder stapled the lath, then put scratch coat mortar on and then tile mortar then tile.

a couple of points
1. Using a patterned porcelain tile 7.87"x7.87"x0.38"
2. the bathroom floor is 29.5"x 89" wall to wall
3. Height of subfloor to drywall: 11/16"
4. Height of subfloor to inside door jamb: 5/8"
5. Height of subfloor to the transition hardwood floor taper piece: 1/2"
6. I bought a 1/4 square trowel

My questions are...

1. Found patches of what looks like mold - these tiles have been on for over 14 years. looking around the toilet boil flange, there is no water. seems like if there was a previous leak, it stopped a while ago (i removed a sponge like material and replaced with a wax seal, a number of years ago)

Should i replace the subfloor? its going to get covered anyways with what gets decided in Q2

2. Do I lay cement board instead of scratch coat and a diamond mesh lath? What about using ditra uncoupling membrane instead?

3. Any tips for laying patterned tile

4. Worth getting a tile saw (QEP brand) or just stick with a manual cutter
Attached Thumbnails
Tiling Newbie and substrate questions-img_20190610_111953.jpg   Tiling Newbie and substrate questions-img_20190610_112006.jpg   Tiling Newbie and substrate questions-img_20190610_112028.jpg  
Amitabh9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 06-10-2019, 01:50 PM   #2
Still learning every day!
 
F250's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Birmingham, AL
Posts: 382
Rewards Points: 764
Default

Re: Tiling Newbie and substrate questions


The more experienced pros will have more to offer than I do, but I've done a good bit of tile work in each of the four homes I've owned, so I can offer my experience and opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amitabh9 View Post
...

My questions are...

1. Found patches of what looks like mold - these tiles have been on for over 14 years. looking around the toilet boil flange, there is no water. seems like if there was a previous leak, it stopped a while ago (i removed a sponge like material and replaced with a wax seal, a number of years ago)
I think that's all you need to do on this point. Might want to do a wipe down with Clorox as well, though.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Amitabh9 View Post
...Should i replace the subfloor? its going to get covered anyways with what gets decided in Q2
If the subfloor is solid, leave it in place as is. It looks very solid in the pictures you posted, so I see no sense in ripping it out and replacing it.

The only reason I would change it is if there is obvious sagging when you step in from either too thin of a material or degraded material from previous water leaks. Again, though, it looks good to me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Amitabh9 View Post
...2. Do I lay cement board instead of scratch coat and a diamond mesh lath? What about using ditra uncoupling membrane instead?
I would use the cement board, and I believe you'll find the Hardi-Backer to be easier and less messy to work with as compared to the rougher concrete backer boards.

I don't know anything about the membrane you're referring to.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Amitabh9 View Post
...3. Any tips for laying patterned tile
Not quite sure what you're calling a "patterned tile (varying sizes and colors for an overall pattern, laying out square tile in either an offset or angled arrangement, etc.).

This is just a half bath with minimal floor protrusions, and is very similarly sized to the one off my foyer hallway. Having decided to lay out a 45 pattern on 10x10 slate tiles in my foyer, foyer closet, foyer hallway, and half bath off the foyer, I would suggest NOT doing a pattern (laying out square tiles on an angle or offset arrangement).

A pattern or angled tile arrangement will just about triple the time it will take because of all the cuts -- you'll have to cut virtually every tile around the perimeter. After all, it's only what it is, and is not a public space to be abmired by all who walk through your home. Just lay out the tile straight to the doorway edge, and you can then focus on more public areas with all the patterns you want where the ratio of perimeter to total surface area is much smaller and you have more room to work. It's bad enough working in that tight of a space without the complication of a pattern.

Just my opinion.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Amitabh9 View Post
...4. Worth getting a tile saw (QEP brand) or just stick with a manual cutter
If you do a pattern, rent a wet tile saw. As to whether or not you need one... if you're laying it out straight, you can get away with either your manual tile cutter or a diamond blade on a SkilSaw, and make only dry cuts. The only "difficult" cuts you'll have, though, are around the water line and the toilet flange, and wet saw definitely makes those carefully made circle cuts a lot easier.

Personally, I wouldn't buy a wet saw unless you anticipate a lot more tile work in your future or plan on this tile job being a small part of a larger job which will take more than 2-3 days of saw use. Here's my point of reference... I'm a "tool pig" and have invested heavily over the years in specialty tools, and even with the amount of tile work I've done, I've NEVER considered purchasing a tile saw because they are so bulky and so very rarely used. Renting the saw is my first choice every time because my tile projects have always been at most a two-day task for me.


ADDITIONAL ADVICE...

1) Lay down the backer board.
2) Lay out the tile in the pattern you choose, complete with tile spacers.
3) Make all cuts for all tiles before beginning the mortar effort, and label each cut tile with the space in which it needs to go.
4) Mix and spread the thinset mortar, and install the tile.
__________________
Pete

Bark less, wag MORE, and Show Compassion to everyone you meet!

Last edited by F250; 06-10-2019 at 02:03 PM.
F250 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 06-10-2019, 04:40 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 60
Rewards Points: 106
Default

Re: Tiling Newbie and substrate questions


Hey

thank you for the thoughtful response.

I think i will leave the subfloor in, quick Clorox clean. The floor itself feels strong and solid. i was walking around, lightly bouncing, etc. all seemed fine. the area around where the mold is, is also solid, not wet or sagging down.

doing some more researching... with the cement board, i add 1/4" in height. plus the 3/8" height of the tile. I would be at 5/8" in height before adding the mortar, then i would be slightly over the transition piece to the hardwood.

If i go Ditra upcoupling membrane - i start at 1/8 plus 3/8 plus mortar, with a potentially cleaner transition. Cost wise, similar to the cement board and a little googling and it seems like a popular product and less overall work vs. cement board.

In terms of patterned, let me clarify... see the picture. The tile itself has a decoration on it. (not laying a pattern like outdoor stones)

Home Depot canada sells a wet tile saw for $85, vs. renting at $37 a day. Dont really have plans to do another room... but i could in theory rent for one day and get all the cuts done (when i dry fit all the tiles).
Attached Thumbnails
Tiling Newbie and substrate questions-8020841243260_ca.jpg  
Amitabh9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 06-10-2019, 04:59 PM   #4
Still learning every day!
 
F250's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Birmingham, AL
Posts: 382
Rewards Points: 764
Default

Re: Tiling Newbie and substrate questions


OK. I've been doing a little reading on the Ditra, and what I find is that it starts with a 5/16" thick layer due to the waffle structure... not 1/8". It appears that the actual material thickness may be 1/8", but once the waffle patterns is created, the total "layer thickness" is 7mm, or 5/16".

Link to the website where I found the information >>> https://www.schluter.com/schluter-us...TRA-XL/p/DITRA .


If you use a 1/4" notched trowel for the thinset under the tile, you can assume half that height (1/8") for the final "settled" mortar layer thickness.


If you do use a wet saw, you can always slightly bevel the outer edge of the last row of tiles as a transition to the other flooring height, and using simple acrylic paint, you can paint the entire beveled edge black with an artists brush to sort of decentuate its presence. My wife and I have had excellent results with painting tile defects to match the tile colorings, but she's the artist in the family and is fully responsible for making it work the way it has for us.

Yet another means of handling this transition is ti leave a 1/4" gap between that last row of tiles and simply bevel the grout as the transition.


With a wet tile saw at $85, I might be tempted to get one if you think you'll ever tile anything again. Then again, they are bulky, and you'd have to have a place to store it out of the way.
__________________
Pete

Bark less, wag MORE, and Show Compassion to everyone you meet!

Last edited by F250; 06-10-2019 at 05:02 PM.
F250 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2019, 05:11 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 60
Rewards Points: 106
Default

Re: Tiling Newbie and substrate questions


thank you - based on what you read - am i okay with the Ditra? or better off with cement board then?

is the ditra xl 5/16? and the ditra 1/8?

copied from the website

DITRA has a nominal 1/8" (3 mm)-thickness which minimizes tile assembly thickness and reduces transitions to lower surface coverings
DITRA-XL is 5/16” (7 mm)-thick to create an even transition between typical 5/16” (7 mm)-thick tile and 3/4” (19 mm)-thick hardwood flooring

i like the idea of less work with the ditra.

at $85 - i am tempted to buy too... could always put the wet saw in my garage somewhere - like you, i also hoard tools.. lol... one day... i will use it.. i just know it
Amitabh9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2019, 08:27 AM   #6
Still learning every day!
 
F250's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Birmingham, AL
Posts: 382
Rewards Points: 764
Default

Re: Tiling Newbie and substrate questions


I had looked, but missed the Ditra thickness (as compared to the Ditra-XL). Good eye, there!

Although I have a hard time imagining a layer of only 1/8" allowing for a substantial structural integrity, I understand its attraction to you from a "transition management" perspective. Personally, being an engineer, I ALWAYS over-engineer virtually EVERYTHING. The thing I'm thinking of is the integrity of a thinner structure in the event of soil compaction and expansion with moisture changes, and the effect that can have under your foundation from a "house settling" point of view.

If your house foundation is rock solid stable and does not move or shift with really dry or wet periods, then the Ditra will probably be fine. If, on the other hand, your house experiences some movement in those moisture extremes, I would think that either the tiles or tile joints may crack over time with the thinner underlayment structure.

Again, I'm no expert at all, and have never used anything like the Ditra product before, so my concern may be unfounded.

Hopefully, some other guys will chime in who have experience with the product.


Shifting off-topic... I've had a long history of hoarding and accumulating tools, but am currently in the process of deeply challenging myself to get rid of unnecessary duplications (i.e. not multiple hammers, per se, but too many hammers of the same size and style). I'm selling off all the extra stuff and will be using the proceeds to help purchase my dream table saw ('80's vintage Powermatic Model 72 with a 3-5hp motor and 12"/14" blade capacity - cuts 4-1/2" thickness at a 45 setting). With what I've cleaned out thus far, the garage is actually looking a lot better and I have plenty of room to finally store and organize all my tools while keeping my worktable and bench top spaces OPEN and READY FOR WORK!
__________________
Pete

Bark less, wag MORE, and Show Compassion to everyone you meet!

Last edited by F250; 06-12-2019 at 08:34 AM.
F250 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





Top of Page | View New Posts