20x20 Tile

 
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Old 02-08-2008, 09:50 PM   #1
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20x20 Tile


Hey guys/gals,
I am about to put 20x20 ceramic down and I wanted to make sure I am right or wrong on my trowel notch. I pretty sure I need to use a 5/16 deep trowel, am I right? Thanks.
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Old 02-08-2008, 09:53 PM   #2
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Re: 20x20 Tile


The bigger the tile the bigger the notch is what I've always done. I wouldn't do less than 3/8" deep with 1/4" spacing.

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Old 02-08-2008, 10:20 PM   #3
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Re: 20x20 Tile


Read your sack of mortar. I think they'll recommend a 3/8 x 1/4 on even 12x12 and up, maybe a 1/2 x 1/2 on 20x20's.

The tile guys must be off tonight. I'm surprised this hasn't started WWIII.

Post a thread on how to do a balcony or something and we'll see the fur fly.
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Old 02-08-2008, 10:21 PM   #4
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Re: 20x20 Tile


Yeah I have do have a 3/8 x 1/4. I thought it was a 5/16., I was wrong...boo hoo.
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Old 02-08-2008, 10:27 PM   #5
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Re: 20x20 Tile


Hi Norm and Rich,

There is no single correct answer to this. Lots of wrong ones though. With 20" tiles with a standard textured back I would recommend either a 1/4x1/2x1/4, or I might lean towards a 1/2x1/2 trowel, even larger might be needed?

Before you start the installation, can you tell me what the substrate is? If it's a wooden subfloor, have you consulted the framing and subfloor sheet requirements for tile? If it's a slab, are there any cracks or control joints or cuts? In either case that floor had better as flat as your kitchen table.

Specifically what thinset are you planning to use? Get back with answers to my questions above before you do anything.

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Old 02-08-2008, 10:40 PM   #6
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Re: 20x20 Tile


I have been taught it's more of the back of the tile that determines notch size. Besides, the bigger the notch size, the more mortar your putting down and there's a real good chance you're gonna have lots of mortar oozing from between the tiles. On ceramic that size, you'll probably need to experiment with back buttering too. I guess it really depends on how level the floor is. But remember the purpose of the mortar is to adhere the ceramic to what's under it, not to act as a floor leveling compound. You can make up some of the leveling with mortar but you shouldn't rely on it.
Start with your 3/8 x 1/4, mix a small batch and test a few pieces. Better to find out then that your trowel is the wrong size than to have a full bucket of mortar and realize it then!
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Old 02-08-2008, 10:44 PM   #7
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Re: 20x20 Tile


Quote:
Originally Posted by JazMan View Post
Hi Norm and Rich,

There is no single correct answer to this. Lots of wrong ones though. With 20" tiles with a standard textured back I would recommend either a 1/4x1/2x1/4, or I might lean towards a 1/2x1/2 trowel, even larger might be needed?

Before you start the installation, can you tell me what the substrate is? If it's a wooden subfloor, have you consulted the framing and subfloor sheet requirements for tile? If it's a slab, are there any cracks or control joints or cuts? In either case that floor had better as flat as your kitchen table.

Specifically what thinset are you planning to use? Get back with answers to my questions above before you do anything.

Jaz
Thanks for the concern, my mother doesn't even care this much! It will be on a wood floor and I am using hardi backer as the cbu. It has 2x10 underneath at 16 o.c. I already went around and screwed the plywood(nalied previously) down for addition hold. The floor is quite flat and is only about 10 years old. I was going to use a modified thin set by laticrete. It is supposed to be for large format tiles.
where can I get the frmaing and subfloor sheets?
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Old 02-08-2008, 11:00 PM   #8
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Re: 20x20 Tile


You can check with the John Bridge Deflectolator to make sure you're good to go.

http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/deflecto.pl
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Old 02-08-2008, 11:04 PM   #9
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Re: 20x20 Tile


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Old 02-08-2008, 11:10 PM   #10
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Re: 20x20 Tile


I've always used a trowel with a tooth-depth that's equal to the thickness of my tile.
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Old 02-08-2008, 11:11 PM   #11
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Re: 20x20 Tile


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
Does this mean I'm good to go or are you just happy to see this thread?
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Old 02-08-2008, 11:14 PM   #12
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Re: 20x20 Tile


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom R View Post
I've always used a trowel with a tooth-depth that's equal to the thickness of my tile.
That was sort of my thought too. I used a 3/8 deep on some saltillo with a dollop a while back and 1/2 seems to thick for ozzing purposes as angus was saying.
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Old 02-08-2008, 11:31 PM   #13
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Re: 20x20 Tile


I hate like hell to say anything around here anymore.

The was two-fold because the information given was in my opinion good information and everyone seems to be under control......so...... (Not that my opinion matters.)

Nothing to add.

Well OK OK OK.

Keep a bucket of water and a sponge at your side at all times and if the thinset purges you can clean it up immediately.

Twenty inch tile can be a bummer if the subfloor isn't perfectly plane and they usually aren't. Spread the thinset and use the flat side of the trowel to "key" the thinset into the substrate and THEN comb the thinset in straight lines. THEN if needed you can skim some thinset onto the back of the tile using the flat side again. I have found "back-buttering" is usually required with tile that big.
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Old 02-08-2008, 11:45 PM   #14
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Re: 20x20 Tile


As I said there are many variables. You will probably have to try several trowels? Start with whatever you think and set about 2 tiles. Lift then right away to check for thinset transfer, you want at least 85% coverage. If you don't have it, go to the next one. Make sure the thinset is mixed fairly stiff, but workable.

If it was me and I was using a medium-bed mortar, (which one?) as it appears you are, I would not even consider the 1/4x3/8x1/4, that's my standard trowel for 12-13" tiles. I would start with the 1/4x1/2x1/4 but have a 1/2x1/2 standing by. They even make a 3/4" for certain situations. Remember when the tiles are beat-in, you should have a thinset thickness of a minimum 3/32-1/8", even a little thicker would be good with those huge things. Also remember, a trowel with 1/2" deep notches does NOT leave 1/2" tall ridges of thinset.

As for the subfloor system, we also need the unsupported span of the joists, species and grade if you can read that info off the joists and type of subfloor, thickness and number of sheets.

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Old 02-09-2008, 09:52 AM   #15
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Re: 20x20 Tile


20x20.... xx

13x13 is my limit for 3/8 notches.
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Old 02-09-2008, 10:01 AM   #16
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Re: 20x20 Tile


According to Taunton Press "Tiling Complete" 18 inch square and larger porcelain and stone tiles, Average 30 SF to 40 SF coverage per 50lb bag thinset,

trowel size: Square Notch: 3/4inch by 9/16 inch

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Last edited by orson; 04-13-2008 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 02-09-2008, 11:54 AM   #17
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Re: 20x20 Tile


Like they would know!

The size of the tile IS NOT the only consideration.
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Old 02-09-2008, 03:13 PM   #18
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Re: 20x20 Tile


I figured I'd copy it straight out of their book and see what kind of flack I got since you guys are all quoting lower notch sizes. I usually find Taunton books to be pretty good, oh well.

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Last edited by orson; 04-13-2008 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 02-09-2008, 03:17 PM   #19
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Re: 20x20 Tile


"Taunting Books"?
"Pretty Good"?

Is that like "military intelligence"?

So where is it?
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Old 02-09-2008, 03:20 PM   #20
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Re: 20x20 Tile


I must be even denser than usual, I'm not catching your drift....I take it you don't like Tauton Press books?

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Last edited by orson; 04-13-2008 at 08:34 PM.
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