Having followed the thread and reading all your posts, you sound like a
reasonable guy. I think I would agree with SQlit. If you do the demo,
joist and plywood replacement you have a straight project for bidding. As
long as you have 110-120% of a quality tile most guys should be willing to
work with you because all they have to do is add underlayment, set tile and
grout. Most contractors like simple bids. It is the o'sh*** that are
uncovered that cost them money.
Pricing depends on where you are and how busy they are.
Thanks to Colbyt and SQLit. i have 130% of tile or so.
I really like this suggestion. Indeed, I can do the demolition, repair
of joists and I can lay plywood. This is a straightforward project for
me. I am mindful that there can be surprises about just how much has
rotted, but I can deal with them, it is just a question of time.
Since it's the tiling that I do NOT want to do, I can indeed offer it
(and laying Durock) as a straightforward job to the tiling guys.
Let me make sure I understand: first I screw on plywood, then, on top
of it, goes durock, and then glue and tile. Is that right?
The tile guys may prefer to install the wonderboard or durock because of the
potential installation issues.
They may need to float a thin layer of thinset under the board to achieve a
level surface they will warrant.
Then the tile is set using thinset and grouted.
I think your best option is to offer them a solid 3/4" plywood floor
securely installed with joists 16" OC. If you really want a strong floor
add bridging or blocking between the joists every 6-8 foot. Both are cheap
and add a lot of strength.
Tile setting in Phoenix starts at $2.50 a square foot PLUS materials. It is
easy to get to the $3-4 range for labor. Maybe you should consider doing
the demo yourself. Then looking about for someone to do the install.
If you can do the above, you can do the tile. Really, laying tile isn't
1. Find center of area
2. Draw x-y axes (felt tip pen) making sure they are perpedicular to
3. Decide if edge or center of tile should be on axis lines. Which
depends on how much the tiles at the room edges will have to be cut -
generally, you want the cut tiles to be as large as possible.
4. Lay tiles on your axis lines being *sure* that the edge of each lines
up with the edges of the others (use a long straight edge). For spacing
between tiles, use the plastic "crosses" to align tiles .They are
available for various grout line thicknesses. Keep in mind that narrow
joints are harder to lay and keep straight than are wider (1/4+) ones
and that any errors will be more obvious; the larger the area, the more
this becomes true. Take some time doing the tiles on the axes...their
alignment determines how well all others line up.
As you lay the tiles, use a "beating" board to set the tiles so that the
top surfaces are all the same. A beating board can be just a piece of
3/4 ply with a piece of low pile carpet (or an old towel) folded over
and fastened to the top. To use, lay board over a couple of older tiles
and the newer one(s) and tap with a mallet so top of new is same height
as top of old. After beating, make sure all edges are as they should
5. Lay the rest of the field tiles using the plastic crosses for
spacing. They don't have to be all laid in one session, you can stop
6. Cut your edge tiles. Rent a diamond blade wet saw or use a "snapper
tile cutter". Put the cut edge toward the wall.
7. Wait a day or two and grout. Follow the instructions on the grout
container. There are two types of grout..."sanded" and "unsanded".
Unsanded is for very narrow joints (1/16+); the sanded (probably what
you will need) is for wider joints and the sand has been added for
8. Wait a day or two and seal. Personally, I like silicon sealer.
Follow instructions on container.
Not quite. First ply, then the cement board is *securely*
screwed/nailed flat to the ply. Best to use a layer of thinset between
the two so that surface irregularities in the ply are filled. Goal is
to have a stable, *FLAT* surface. Repeat, FLAT!
To lay the tiles, use thinset mortar. It should be jmixed ust stiff
enough to form ridges. Just flop out enough for a few tiles then "comb"
with a notched trowel. The combing assures that you have the same (and
sufficient) mortar under each tile. When you lay/beat the tiles, the
ridges left in the mortar by the combing will spread out so that the
tile is fully supported. The notch size in combing trowels varies...you
need to have one appropriate for your tile (probably 1/4 x 1/4
notches) - install instructions for the tile should tell you.
dadiOH's dandies v3.06...
....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
having gone through all of the above (ok, haven't grouted yet) I can offer a
few tips for the newcomer at this you won't find in books or on the back of
1) If you rent a wet saw, which I'd advise for tiles > 4 inches or so, make
sure it's square at the rental place. Bring a rafter square. I had the
misfortune of cutting most of my tiles with one out of square and then last
night had the pleasure of cutting a few tiles that had to be resized with a
square one. Night and day. A newish blade is really nice too.
2) Don't mix all the thinset at once. I wouldn't mix anymore than 25 lbs at
a time. According to the instructions on the bag a batch will last about 4
hrs in the bucket. That's probably a bit on the conservative side but not
by much. Covering the bucket with a moist towel helps it last. Obviously
keep it out of direct sunlight. They say not to add water to it after
mixed. This is basically correct though I found you could get away with
adding just a touch of water to stiff thinset to loosen it up if needed. By
a touch I mean lightly get your hand wet and give the bucket one flick of
the hands worth. We're talking like 1/2 teaspoon or so. I didn't need to
do this until after about 4 hrs or so. Generally you can just stir it to
get it fluffy again.
3) Unless you're from krypton DO NOT try to mix thinset by hand. Aside from
being a gargantuan task you won't get it as well mixed as it really should
be. Get one of those mixing paddles and buy or rent a 1/2 inch chuck hi
torque drill. I just bought a cheap B&D for the job and it worked
4) If you have any obstacles to tile under spend the couple extra bucks and
get margin notched and grout trowels.
5) I'm not sure of the best way to spread thinset yet. I used a small
pointing trowel to spread it evenly over the current working area and then
used the notched trowel to notch it. That seemed to work. Trying to spread
the thinset with the flat side of the notched trowel wasn't quite as easy as
using the smaller one.
6) If you can, try and leave a 1/4 inch or so from surrounding tiles clear
of thinset. This makes it much easier to clean the grout lines of thinset.
Don't leave too much of a gap. You don't want the edge of the tile hanging
in space, grout can only do so much to stablize. Use a small screwdriver to
clean the grout lines of thinset immediately after you get the tile in
7) You can never have too many clean rags, I used the heavy duty paper towel
like rags. You'll need a slop bucket too. When you clean thinset from the
grout lines, or clean up blobs of thinset that fall off the trowel (and they
will) use a fresh one. Trying to use dirty rags just spreads more thinset
where you don't want it. Get the rag wet first too if you are wiping the
tile. Otherwise just wipe the screwdriver off in a dry one. Once the rag
starts to get filled with thinset just throw it into the slop bucket and get
a clean one. Don't skimp yourself on clean rags.
8) Plan ahead how you will lay the tiles keeping in consideration
a) remember you can't kneel or step on freshly thinsetted tiles. not ever.
b) you have to be able to "escape" from the work area. don't tile yourself
into a corner.
c) you need room for the bucket of thinset, your slop bucket, your bucket of
clean water, your box of rags, and you. You can get away with putting the
box of rags and maybe the slop bucket onto freshly set tile. I wouldn't try
it with the bucket of water and definitely don't put the bucket of thinset
down on them.
9) All in all I found it wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought it was
going to be, even after having made some of the stupid mistakes that can be
inferred from my advice above. Thinset seems pretty forgiving, and the
tiles are easily set into place on top of it. Just take your time and keep
your lines straight and it will turn out great.
A sequel to the story.
Several contractor TURDS who promised to show up and look did not show
up at all.
One gentleman showed up and quoted $2,800 for redoing 70 feet of
tile. That works out to approximately $44 per tile. Holy shit! The
gentleman was told to forget about it.
We then called a bulgarian gentleman who quoted us a sensible price of
$450. After me suggesting a few extra things to do, the price rose to
He showed up on time and did a job that rates a solid A.
He also has a great 4 year old son who enjoyed our water slide
On Mon, 27 Jun 2005 19:05:06 GMT, Ignoramus6767
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