A client wants part of his bar work-surface tiled. It will be about 28" X
84" and likely the substrate will be plywood.
My question is, can I tile it in my shop and truck it to his home or should
I install the plywood and tile it there. Is a special adhesive and grout
Yes. It will be damn heavy which means it will tend to flex and
crack unless well supported while being moved. That means even
more weight for the frame that supports it to keep it from flexing.
As for adhesives etc, don't you suppose you should use mastics
etc that are made for tile?
That's a 50-50 call. You're aceepting increased risk for increased
convenience. You'd have to reinforce the plywood to keep it from
flexing and popping off the tile. It'd also be better to do the
grouting on site.
Tile on plywood is not a great way to go. A much better installation
would be 1/4" Hardie backer board on top of the 3/4" plywood. Bond the
Hardie to the plywood with construction adhesive or thinset, then tile
with thinset. Both thinset and grout should be latex modified.
what production standards does your client expect?
if this is a low budget project go ahead and tile it yourself. a bit of
googling should get you some decent advice about tilesetting.
rec.woodworking is about, well, woodworking.
since this sounds like your first tile project, I'd recommend having
the tile professionally installed if the client expects professional
I recently installed ceramic tile in the kitchen and bath of a house I am
rehabbing, this was the first time I ever installed tile myself, in the past
I always contracted it out.
Comparing my tile job to the tile job in my current home (which was
professionally installed), my work is far superior.
Installing tile is not rocket science.
The layout of the first tile, and making sure what's UNDER the tile is
proper is actually the difficult part.
Bad layout and poor alignment is only ugly. A subfloor with too much
deflection is the gift that keeps on giving. <G>
Rocket science isn't rocket science if you know what you're doing.
As far as your work being far superior to the professionally done job
in your current home, well there's professional and then there's
professional. A builder hiring the cheapest tile sub is still hiring
professionals, but it's extremely doubtful that they'll produce
professional results. Then there's the professional that produces
clean, consistently good quality work. Hopefully the majority of
people you hire will fall into this category. The next level
professional treats his craft more like art. These last are the people
that will spend hours tweaking a layout to get it just right.
Think of it this way, if you achieved such nice results your first time
out, think what you could do if you had fifty bathrooms under your
belt. I've never met anyone who believed that the work they did ten
years ago was of as high a quality as the work they're doing now
(assuming they're not aged, injured or failing).
While I agree with you and I am sure I can do better, from what I have seen
from other's work, mine was certainly "good enough". Of course it probably
took me 3x longer than it would someone who has been doing it a long time...
yabbut you had enough exposure to tilesetting to not need to ask the
OP's complete beginner questions, I'll bet. I made a calculated guess
as to the OP's experience level- I may have been completely off base,
but if so the OP will figure that out for himself. if I'm right, I may
have saved him from making a mess of things.
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