Calling the tiling experts.

After much trepidation I have decided to attempt a d-i-y effort to lay 300x300 ceramic floor tiles in a new ground floor entrance lobby and shower room. The existing surface is screed over a wet piped heating system.
The first move has been to acquire a cheap tile cutter which arrived this morning. (Erbauer ERB337TCB) Apart from the weak and inaccurate guide the only criticism seems to be the width of the supplied blade; leading to lots of grinding paste. Has anyone tried a different disc?
I intend to lay using a diamond pattern; lots of cutting! Presumably I need to work from the junction of a centre line drawn down the middle of each area.
Any gotchas to avoid?
Tile cement recommendations?
Best cement spreader?
Grout? I hope to find a buff/orange/grey tile so grey grout?
What %age allowance in tile purchase quantity?
The adjoining floors will be engineered Oak as discussed earlier. A d-i-y threshold strip as suggested may avoid tricky cutting.
regards
--
Tim Lamb

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Tim Lamb wrote:

I used Mapei Keraquick - but you may or may not find it too fast set (workable for about 1/2 hour-3/4 and walkable on in a few hours) Mapei do others.

Anything metal with the correct notch size, which depends on your desired bed thickness.

Mapei do lots of coloured grouts.

For a small area and big tiles, I would sketch it out, count them and add a few extra for buggeration. That is worth the effort anyway as you'll soon see if you have an awkward bit with 1cm slivers of tile - often moving stuff slightly can really optimise things.

Solid oak threshold, screwed down with stainless or brass screws, seal the oak with multiple coats all over before fitting as it will get wet. Silicone along edge adjoining tiles - use a coloured silicone similar to tile grout.
'twas what I did and it worked well :)

--
Tim Watts

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Tim Lamb wrote:

- assuming that the floor is level. Don't. lLay strings with a spirit level and lay a course to those. Also don't be afraid with rapid set cement of having a very variable cement bed. Its expensive to use a lot yes, but it is only done once.
- assuming that dried cement will be easy to remove from the tiles. It isn't, wash each tile course with wet sponge and bucket of water as you go, then again after its laid. When set, take off the dust with brick acid and more wet sponges and clean water. Same goes for post grouting.
- assuming that dot and dab will hold a floor tile securely for all time. It wont. use a full bed and tamp the tile down until the cement squidges up into the grout lines. Remove that with a bit of something suitably shaped, and reuse on the next one.
- watch out for screed sucking the water out of the cement. I am no fan of PVA under tiles. I sloshed water in the area I was about to tile instead.
- watch out for cement on the hands, Buggers them. But its only the one jib innit?

Rapid set over screed. Cant remember the brand I used,. It was about half the cost of the tiles/slates.
Oh. I remembered
http://www.tilefixdirect.com/index.php?app ìom&ns=prodshow&ref=AXX7R22K
Sodding brilliant. And the 2 hours set is correct. The mix is unusable after about 45 minutes, and walkable on gently after 2 hours.

anything. I used a pointing trowel and float. Because you are tamping down properly with no voids, it doesn't matter about making a wavy surface.

I would say so though where I have buff tiles I have used a yellowish BAL grout.
http://www.londontile.co.uk/category/grout.html?gclid=CMSWzdOgxrACFUcKfAodj2S2Yw
I think probably 'classic vanilla' but there is a wide selection to choose from..in the Ardex range anyway.. really Ardex is siomply the best to use period.

5% over, maybe 10-15% for odd shapes in smaller rooms. You end up cutting up offcuts until you have half a dozen tiles worth of unusable dross left over.
Consider a tiled skirting board as well...

there ios no such thing as tricky cutting with a tile saw :-)
huge fun, buy they always make you soaking wet! Consider doing this outside the house.

--
To people who know nothing, anything is possible.
To people who know too much, it is a sad fact
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On 11/06/2012 12:06, Tim Lamb wrote:

Tile cutters are good for the fiddly bits, but its hard to beat a good score and snap machine for the ordinary straight cuts...

Take plenty of time with the initial layout - carefully check where tiles end up at walls etc, and eye lines of grout runs etc. Don't make the mistake of selecting a start point that is "easy" or does not need many cuts etc - it ends up biting you later!

If its going to get wet repeatedly, then something cementious (i.e. powdered rather than acrylic ready mixed)

Big plastering trowel like design with notches...

Bal / nicobond etc.

10% if doing square cuts - probably higher if doing diamond - say 10% plus a linear run of tiles equal to half the room perimeter.

Sounds like a good plan.
--
Cheers,

John.

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A golden rule for any first time tiler. ;-)
--
*Cover me. I'm changing lanes.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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On 11/06/2012 18:02, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

The number of times you see it broken though is astounding....
Full tiles at one side of a room, and a 1/2" strip of them at the other etc. Particularly important where the walls are out of true - a slight taper on 4" of tile is far less noticeable than on a 3/4" rip that tapers to almost nothing.
--
Cheers,

John.

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OK
Good point!

Yes. This is an entrance hall with a toilet/shower room off at 90deg.
I will leave an untiled rectangle to take a thin doormat behind the front door.
The building is not quite to design so I shall have to get some accurate measurements. I wonder if Google sketch up has a facility for laying out tiles:-)
regards

--
Tim Lamb

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On 11/06/2012 17:17, Tim Lamb wrote:

It does in fact...
Create your base layer (i.e. room shape) then make that a "group" (i.e. a group of 1 thing) so that things you stick on top of it do not interact with it.
Now create a tile. Pull it up a bit into the third dimension so you don't see it "Zee" fight with the base layer, and lay it in your starting position.
Now select move, tap CTRL to turn the move into a copy. Drag it to the adjacent tile position, leaving your grout line. Once in place the type xn where n is the number of copies you want.
So x20 would give you 20 copies of the tile spaced by the same offset multiple[1]. That will create a row of them. You can then rubber band select the row, and copy that a repeated number of times to do the whole room. If you then select all the tiles and group them you can now slide them about as a group on the floor until you get the layout you want.
[1] if 20 turns out to be wrong, you can immediately type x15 or x25 etc to adjust the number of copies. This trick is how I did things like the rafters, tile batten, and tiles on this diagram:
http://wiki.diyfaq.org.uk/index.php?title=File:TilesRow2.jpg
--
Cheers,

John.

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John Rumm wrote:

[Snip one way to do it]
The way I did it was to create a texture the size of one tile plus one row and column of grout, you can then apply this texture to the floor then right-click the floor and using Texture/Position slide it around, the advantage is that you don't need to construct a suitably sized array of tiles.
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Tile size: the bigger the tile, the less easy it is to get a nice level result.
Spacers: Tiles vary in their dimensional accuracy. Plastic tile spacers dont provide for any real life variation. Bits of card from the tile boxes work a bit better IME.
Electric tile saws: these produce a fine spray aimed straight at you. Hardly noticeable at first, but unpleasant by the end of the day. Simple solution is to stand to one side when using it.
Wastage: last time I bought 10% extra, when using an electric cutter. I used up almost none of that 10%.
Batch numbers: beware of batch numbers when buying tiles. Each box has a batch number, and sometimes one batch doesnt match another.
Appliances: don't be tempted to avoid tiling under the appliances. If you do, you're liable to run into major kitchen trouble down the line. Of course you can, if you want to cut costs, use the cheapest thing of the same thickness where its not seen.
Adhesive: Next time I floor tile I'll simply use sand & cement. Excellent in all ways but one, it takes about 3 days to build up enough strength to walk on. If youre only doing a bit a day this works ok. Spend the 90% adhesive saving on something else. PS tiles should be dunked in water overnight before laying with cement.
Grout: be sure to seal it with lithofin or similar, it makes cleaning it possible. Save some grout leftover, so 20 years later you can clean the grout abrasively and wipe a fresh layer on to make it look new again.
Tile cutter: when you're finished with it, if you've got no tablesaw you can fit a wood cutting blade (slightly larger, check clearances).
Decoration: you don't have to stay with the same tile repeated all over. One can include a centre decoration, eg in mosaic or geometric pattern, borders etc. But only do this if the design actually looks good, a poor uninspired design will look poor and uninspired.
NT
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Good luck with that....
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ps GIMP also does the tile fill.
NT
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On 12/06/2012 11:12, NT wrote:

I find the spacers very good because they *do* allow subtle variation (or at least the ones I have). One size used inline with the grout line, a little wider used rotated 90 degrees, a pair is a little wider still etc. Usually allows enough to tweak out any adjustments as required.

and get one that has a water collecting rim round the edge - keeps more of it in the machine for longer.

If using different batches, mix up the tiles before you use them so that you don't get a visible transition.

Yup their grout protector I have found very good.

Going to make a very piddly little saw, and the motors on those are often fairly feeble.

--
Cheers,

John.

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Sounds like you got better ones, mine didnt. So another thing to look out for.

Check they look ok mixed though, sometimes they really dont.

rpm and motor power are in the right region. Depth of cut is piddly, but better than none.

NT
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wrote:

I'm amazed at how few do that with brick work with english brick work I see in english videos.

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