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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK whats the finer points of doing tile flooring! I got two bathrooms that are rather small that need new flooring done. I'm on a slab and told it shouldn't be all that much work to do?? Anyone?? about 80 sq ft total... looking at some 12'' tile what kinda tools should I look into? I mind you i'm pretty handy but can get aggravated pretty fast with crappy tools!! Not that I have to have the most expensive tool just anyone with good experience speak up about this!!!
 

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bike n00b
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not sure about the other tools, but definitely invest in knee pads... I thought i'd get by with folded up towels and I was WRONG! I'd talk with the guys at home depot, even if you aren't getting your materials from them... they usually have at least one guy with real experience in the department you're shopping in. GOOD LUCK!
 

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(oYo)
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I throw out some basics...

Proper sized notched trowles
paddle mixer
high amp low rmp drill
knee pads
grout float
towels
buckets
sponges
tools for tile cuts - take your pick (diamond blade for grinder, nippers, wet saw, scoring cutter)
tile spacers
basic measuring tools (laser level/plumb was cool to have on hand for my job)
grout sealer
camera to record progress for posting on the WT

That's all that comes to mind now.
 

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:lurker-eating-popco I want to try this too!

What's the cut/fit strategy around the tight bowl corner?
I'm tempted to get a 3' tile and cut a hole in the middle. :laugh:
Don't forget the heated element you can enable in winter.
 

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pew pew pew
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:lurker-eating-popco I want to try this too!

What's the cut/fit strategy around the tight bowl corner?
I'm tempted to get a 3' tile and cut a hole in the middle. :laugh:
Don't forget the heated element you can enable in winter.
i used a handheld rotary grinder. worked like a charm for me.
 

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Official thread derailer
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To hell with the tile spacers, pick up a box of 10 penny nails and you'll have perfect spacing, it's all I ever use.
 

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nom nom nom
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Home Depot had a Saturday morning class that showed how to tile. My wife and I went in with no experience and were able to tile our bathroom pretty easily.

The best advice I can possibly give is to use a wet saw. Trust me, cutting tiles without one is awfully difficult.
 

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(oYo)
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Home Depot had a Saturday morning class that showed how to tile. My wife and I went in with no experience and were able to tile our bathroom pretty easily.

The best advice I can possibly give is to use a wet saw. Trust me, cutting tiles without one is awfully difficult.

Have you used a scoring cutter? For straight cuts it can't be beat for the ease, quietness, and cleanliness.
 

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(oYo)
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To hell with the tile spacers, pick up a box of 10 penny nails and you'll have perfect spacing, it's all I ever use.
Not a bad idea, if all you want is a consistent ~1/8 inch groute line. Chances are with 12X12 he'll be looking for something a bit larger, around 3/8"-1/4" I suspect.
 

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Not a bad idea, if all you want is a consistent ~1/8 inch groute line. Chances are with 12X12 he'll be looking for something a bit larger, around 3/8"-1/4" I suspect.

For 1/4" you would need 50d nails......when you're done you could use them to slay vampires.
 

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libertine
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Get the little rubber spacers, they are very easy to use and remove. A 10 penny would give you a very small groute line for 12x12 tile.
 

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Wookie
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Have you used a scoring cutter? For straight cuts it can't be beat for the ease, quietness, and cleanliness.
If you can score and snap your tiles then you are using crap tile.

Any tile worth laying will have such a hard glaze that it won't score/snap.

Also can't score/snap natural stone which is what I usually lay now.

I've done about 20-25 tile jobs now. I'd say that for a small project like yours you can get away with one of the cheap wet saws from Homie Depot for $90 or so. And then when you're done you can toss it on Craigs List for $70 and recoup.

Or get a 3.5hp 10" overhead wet saw like me and go to town. :)

For rounded cuts or quick tiny cuts get a cheaper angle grinder($30 at Lowes) and then pick up a cheap 4 1/2" diamond blade for it. I've used the same diamond blade for years now. It'll be a dry cut so the dust will be great, so you do those outside if you can. A great tool to have for cutting a hole out for the toilet drain. Remember the cut doesn't have to be super pretty since it'll be covered by the toilet.

Use spacers, they come in a bag of 100 or like 3 cents and are cheap insurance that it's done correctly. I still use them for some jobs.

Try to be anal about the water/thinset ratio. You can eye it up but to get optimum consistancy and workability you'll want to follow instructions.

Being a concrete floor you have to be sure there isn't a seal on of concrete that will inhibit the thinset from sticking. There is an acid wash that you're supposed to scrub on the floor before hand but I can't remember what the mixture is.

Tiling is simple if you double check everything before actually slapping them down. Even if you put them down and one or two are not straight or level, you have a day or so before they are really secured. So you can pull it up or break it out, scrap off the thinset on the ground, and do it again.

Always hide your cuts.

Give me $5

Seal the grout after it cures.

Lay the tiles sober-ish

Be patient too.

EDIT: The tool list above looks good. I would also add to that a Margin Trowel



They are useful for all kinds of stuff. Just buy it and use it you'll fine 100 uses for it. :)

Oh and if you're using 12x12 tiles and your floor is very level use a 3/8" x 3/8" square notch trowel for the whole job.

If you are only doing these two bathroom I would say buy very very cheap tools, they will work just fine for a few jobs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
To hell with the tile spacers, pick up a box of 10 penny nails and you'll have perfect spacing, it's all I ever use.
how do you get the heads out from under the tile ?? :tongue_smilie:

Home Depot had a Saturday morning class that showed how to tile. My wife and I went in with no experience and were able to tile our bathroom pretty easily.

The best advice I can possibly give is to use a wet saw. Trust me, cutting tiles without one is awfully difficult.
hummm, might have to do this...

Not a bad idea, if all you want is a consistent ~1/8 inch groute line. Chances are with 12X12 he'll be looking for something a bit larger, around 3/8"-1/4" I suspect.
Have no idea what size looks good/normal?? Isn't it travertine that has no groute line or very small??

If you can score and snap your tiles then you are using crap tile.

Any tile worth laying will have such a hard glaze that it won't score/snap.

Also can't score/snap natural stone which is what I usually lay now.

I've done about 20-25 tile jobs now. I'd say that for a small project like yours you can get away with one of the cheap wet saws from Homie Depot for $90 or so. And then when you're done you can toss it on Craigs List for $70 and recoup.

Or get a 3.5hp 10" overhead wet saw like me and go to town. :)

For rounded cuts or quick tiny cuts get a cheaper angle grinder($30 at Lowes) and then pick up a cheap 4 1/2" diamond blade for it. I've used the same diamond blade for years now. It'll be a dry cut so the dust will be great, so you do those outside if you can. A great tool to have for cutting a hole out for the toilet drain. Remember the cut doesn't have to be super pretty since it'll be covered by the toilet.

Use spacers, they come in a bag of 100 or like 3 cents and are cheap insurance that it's done correctly. I still use them for some jobs.

Try to be anal about the water/thinset ratio. You can eye it up but to get optimum consistancy and workability you'll want to follow instructions.

Being a concrete floor you have to be sure there isn't a seal on of concrete that will inhibit the thinset from sticking. There is an acid wash that you're supposed to scrub on the floor before hand but I can't remember what the mixture is.

Tiling is simple if you double check everything before actually slapping them down. Even if you put them down and one or two are not straight or level, you have a day or so before they are really secured. So you can pull it up or break it out, scrap off the thinset on the ground, and do it again.

Always hide your cuts.

Give me $5

Seal the grout after it cures.

Lay the tiles sober-ish

Be patient too.
$5 and you will come do the install and everything?? sweet when you coming over?? :whistling:



seriously thanks guys
 

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Wookie
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Have no idea what size looks good/normal?? Isn't it travertine that has no groute line or very small??



$5 and you will come do the install and everything?? sweet when you coming over?? :whistling:



seriously thanks guys
What are you using for the floor? Natural stone or ceramic/porcelin? You will always always want a grout line. 1/16" is really as small as you can go. If you go that small you'll need to use unsanded grout or epoxy grout(all I ever use). The problem is, most tiles aren't perfect in their cuts. So one might be 1/16" bigger and the next 1/16" smaller. So if you have 1/16" or 1/8" grout lines you're going to end up with a pretty effed up looking floor trying to get everything to sit straight.

Ceramic: 3/8" grout lines are great for ceramic/porcelin. I think 1/4" is starting to look a little big. I did a floor at 1/4" and wasn't happy with it(the owner was though so whatever).

Natural cut stone: is more expensive usually and is more precise in it's cuts. So you can get away with 1/8" easy. I wouldn't do a 1/16" grout line at all until you are more experienced.

Also try to think of something to do different. Adding a little accent here or there is a nice touch.

Here's a pic of my 2nd floor bathroom.



The above picture is actually the first tile job I ever did. I figured I should practice on my house before messing up someone elses. :) I'm happy with the outcome for being my first time. I used one of those $88 Home Depot saws for the job.

---

The backsplash in my kitchen is Travertine. I took 18x18" tiles and cut them down to 6x3.75" tiles for a brick look. Used 1/16" grout lines. No problem there because I cut the tiles myself so I know they were all precise in their measurements. I used my newer high end tile saw to cut them too, I wouldn't recommend such a thing on one of the $88 HD specials. :)



Actually took this picture to show someone a loaf of bread I made from scratch but there's the out of focus wall. :) I wish the cutting board wasn't there or you could have see the granite countertop that I tiled.
 

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Actually took this picture to show someone a loaf of bread I made from scratch after I ate it.
Fixed for ya.

Seriously, awesome tile work, Rags! Do you still do a lot of those jobs in Cha-town?
 

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Curmudgeon
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899 Posts
Rags,
I need to put flooring in my basement. It's cement now. How would you suggest I proceed to avoid water / moisture issues? I'm open to all forms of flooring. I guess I'm asking what your experience with basements is.
Thx.
 
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