chessie_yaker

Wood-like floor tile installation

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I’ll be home on family leave for a couple weeks soon so the wife and I decided it would be a good time to do the tile in the kitchen and dining room. I always thought hardwood in a kitchen with a house full of kids was a bad idea, so I’m undoing that now. The floor that is. 
 

We picked a 6x24 wood like porcelain by Marazzi that will go with the granites and back splashes so I’m glad that won’t be a part of the project. But I wanted yalls input on backer or no backer. I haven’t ripped up the wood yet, but judging by what it looks like in the basement the subfloor is solid and the house has been up for about 25 years so I don’t think the wood will be shifting/shrinking any. I’ve read a lot about using a backer as substrate. The hardy 1/4” seems like a decent option since it will help the transition back to hardwood at the one doorway stay close to flat. Has anyone used the hardy backer or concrete panels as a substrate and what do you suggest for jointing the panels together to keep the surface as flat and smooth as possible? 
 

Second question would be for laying the tile itself. I’ve read that for the dimensions of the tile I’ll want a 3/8-1/2” U or square for the versabond medium bed and 1/8” gaps for the polyblend sanded grout. The tile manufacturer isn’t suggesting anything as far as the mortar or grout, so I’m going by non-manufacturer suggestions with bed and spacing. Sound about right? 

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Well, first I hope your floor is really stable in terms of flexure or that long tile will be cracking. On the John Bridge forums there's a flexure calculator.

 

As for underlayment I'd be using Schluter Ditra. Put it on the sub floor with modified and lay the tile on the Ditra with unmodified.

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We did a porcelain wood plank in our last house remodel.  I don't know why you wouldn't use Schulter's Ditra as a substrate and tile over that.  I remember our installer having concerns about quality issues of many porcelain wood planks- they weren't all exactly teh same width throughout their entire length and you might see the floor rising it in a off-center subway tile layout.  To account for variation, not all of the tiles were installed 50% off-center like you'd see in a normal subway tile layout.  Just something to keep in mind- ours looked great, but IMO real hardwood will always be king regardless of its shortcomings in a kitchen that is actually used by, you know, cooks.

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11 hours ago, chessie_yaker said:

I’ll be home on family leave for a couple weeks soon so the wife and I decided it would be a good time to do the tile in the kitchen and dining room. I always thought hardwood in a kitchen with a house full of kids was a bad idea, so I’m undoing that now. The floor that is. 
 

We picked a 6x24 wood like porcelain by Marazzi that will go with the granites and back splashes so I’m glad that won’t be a part of the project. But I wanted yalls input on backer or no backer. I haven’t ripped up the wood yet, but judging by what it looks like in the basement the subfloor is solid and the house has been up for about 25 years so I don’t think the wood will be shifting/shrinking any. I’ve read a lot about using a backer as substrate. The hardy 1/4” seems like a decent option since it will help the transition back to hardwood at the one doorway stay close to flat. Has anyone used the hardy backer or concrete panels as a substrate and what do you suggest for jointing the panels together to keep the surface as flat and smooth as possible? 
 

Second question would be for laying the tile itself. I’ve read that for the dimensions of the tile I’ll want a 3/8-1/2” U or square for the versabond medium bed and 1/8” gaps for the polyblend sanded grout. The tile manufacturer isn’t suggesting anything as far as the mortar or grout, so I’m going by non-manufacturer suggestions with bed and spacing. Sound about right? 

Use Ditra. Rectangular tiles should never be laid more than 30% to the one next it. Back butter,  and have a blast.

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5 hours ago, gellfex said:

Well, first I hope your floor is really stable in terms of flexure or that long tile will be cracking. On the John Bridge forums there's a flexure calculator.

 

As for underlayment I'd be using Schluter Ditra. Put it on the sub floor with modified and lay the tile on the Ditra with unmodified.

Thank you for tipping me to the deflectolator

4 hours ago, Fly By Nite said:

We did a porcelain wood plank in our last house remodel.  I don't know why you wouldn't use Schulter's Ditra as a substrate and tile over that.  I remember our installer having concerns about quality issues of many porcelain wood planks- they weren't all exactly teh same width throughout their entire length and you might see the floor rising it in a off-center subway tile layout.  To account for variation, not all of the tiles were installed 50% off-center like you'd see in a normal subway tile layout.  Just something to keep in mind- ours looked great, but IMO real hardwood will always be king regardless of its shortcomings in a kitchen that is actually used by, you know, cooks.

Two votes for ditra. Yeah the hardwood is great, except for in front of the sink, compactor and stove. I plan on doing the 1/3s layout rather than the subway pattern. 

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Just another note on wood like tile planks. They are designed to look like wood and have grooves in them to simulate

cracks in bark. How nice. The issue is when you grout, make sure, within say 15 min or so you clean those tiles off very, very well or  it will make a very hard to clean mess that you will live to regret. They look great when done, just make sure you clean them with a vengeance right away. Enjoy.

 

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A lot of people who put tile in a kitchen rather than wood quickly regret it. Wood is much easier on your feet, knees, dishes, glasses, kids etc.

If it's a tile trying to look like wood, use the thinnest, practical grout joint possible 1/8", 3/8-1/2 will look chunky on any tile.

Gellflex makes a good point, with any floor tile, the subfloor really needs to be level and stable. I prefer a cement board underlayment, glued, screwed (seems obvious but......make sure the screws are below the top of the board), tape joints. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

28 mins ago, petergulickjr said:

A lot of people who put tile in a kitchen rather than wood quickly regret it. Wood is much easier on your feet, knees, dishes, glasses, kids etc.

It is hard on anything you drop, true, but it wears like...rock. There's no place in the house that gets the traffic the kitchen does except the bath. Wood doesn't like heavy traffic nor water. In my nicer rentals I put porcelain, in my funkier ones I use click vinyl in a stone pattern. Using wood pattern in room next to a room with a different wood floor seems wrong! 

 

This stuff is 8mm and nearly as heavy as porcelain. Carrying even just 170 ft to the 4th floor was a bear.

606bcff79b412_kitchenfromhall.PNG.7d6e0cd9cbf10997475a1096fd074e08.PNG

Edited by gellfex

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I used laticrete permacolor select grout about a few years ago when I refinished my basement.  Doesn't have to be sealed.  I found it easy to work with and it has held up great.

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Just wanted to update the thread with where things are. Hardwood was ripped out last week and I prepped for the transitions and ditra. Laid that a couple days ago and started exploring different patterns that wouldn’t look like a pattern. I landed on a modified 1/3 pattern where every other full tile got 2” added to it and staggered the 1/3s. It broke it up nicely and I’m thinking once the grout is in it will look good. Going to be mixing the mortar soon and getting this stuff stuck down. 
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Side note going back to gellfex’s note on flexure... I used the calculator on the site you posted and it worked out to where I could go with natural stone and have some headroom. Thanks for the tip. After running the numbers through I felt better about the load weight and longevity of the substructure. The subfloor is 3/4” ply and joists are on a 16”c, steel beams and foundation give max span less than 10’ in any spot. Good to go :howdy:

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1 hour ago, chessie_yaker said:

AD451D82-853C-484F-B8F7-5E671E79543E.jpeg.796142458e3071c90d6345d7bed7006d.jpeg

Umm, I would have pulled the DW & compactor 1st and tiled under them. It's a classic fustercluck to find that the tile or flooring has locked in the DW and makes it impossible to replace!

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21 mins ago, gellfex said:

Umm, I would have pulled the DW & compactor 1st and tiled under them. It's a classic fustercluck to find that the tile or flooring has locked in the DW and makes it impossible to replace!

I think anything less than 34" under the DW and your screwed, we used to install for sears and people would build up their floor they weren't happy when the answer was remove tile or cut counter and put in a butcher block

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8 hours ago, gellfex said:

Umm, I would have pulled the DW & compactor 1st and tiled under them. It's a classic fustercluck to find that the tile or flooring has locked in the DW and makes it impossible to replace!

Way ahead of ya. I chocked them and the stove with some chunks of leftover wood flooring and raised the feet up so I can easily relevel after the grout cures. Also, the hardwood that was in place was 7/8” with the vapor barrier and I’m able to cheat the bed to come just below that for the appliances and match at the one transition to hardwood. I used this and the carpet transition I did earlier is money. 
image.jpg.f54ee15cc00e4b802c64ac6522f547ca.jpg

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5 mins ago, chessie_yaker said:

I chocked them and the stove with some chunks of leftover wood flooring and raised the feet up so I can easily relevel after the grout cures.

It's stuff like this that makes DIY often a better job. A "pro" would come in and not give a f**k about you being screwed later on. I once had to smash a toilet a "pro" had tiled in rather than remove and reset after tiling. The cast iron radiator got the same treatment. I use the quotation marks to separate a monkey getting paid to do something they're not competent at vs a true professional.

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