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Leveling Wall For Tile.

 
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:54 AM   #1
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Leveling Wall For Tile.


So the tile guy I was going to use flaked on me so now it is up to me to me to do the tile backsplash in this kitchen.

Probably 35 square in total. The problem is the walls are really uneven/wavy. If only we could change gravity so I can use a self leveling compound.

Since I am unable to change the laws of physics what can I do here? What would be the best product to use?

I was thinking using battens and cement board as an option. Could I get away with 1/4 board?

This is a stucco wall. Screws don't hold well though.

Any ideas would be apreciated.

4x8 subway tiles.

Last edited by DKnafo; 05-18-2013 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:18 AM   #2
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Re: Leveling Wall For Tile.


Can you float it out with a sand/stucco/mortar mix?

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Old 05-18-2013, 09:19 AM   #3
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Re: Leveling Wall For Tile.


That could work, try to chisel off some ridges first. If it were a small mosaic you would be alright, but subway......flatter the better. You will need catipillars or rings to extend the electrical boxes. Make sure you check your faucet clearance too.
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:22 AM   #4
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Re: Leveling Wall For Tile.


All excellent points, when he said it was stucco I just figured it was an outdoor summer kitchen.
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:28 AM   #5
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Re: Leveling Wall For Tile.


I liked your thought too!
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:29 AM   #6
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Re: Leveling Wall For Tile.


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All excellent points, when he said it was stucco I just figured it was an outdoor summer kitchen.

I am not sure exactly what it is. Soft whatever it is. Wall in a Manhattan condo.

I tried to float it out with a mortar mix but that didn't go over well. I ended up just filling in the deep areas that needed patching.

Last edited by DKnafo; 05-18-2013 at 09:33 AM.
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:31 AM   #7
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Re: Leveling Wall For Tile.


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That could work, try to chisel off some ridges first. If it were a small mosaic you would be alright, but subway......flatter the better. You will need catipillars or rings to extend the electrical boxes. Make sure you check your faucet clearance too.
Were you suggesting I use the battans and 1/4 board or with TAHomerepairs?
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:51 AM   #8
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Re: Leveling Wall For Tile.


Is it plaster? If plaster you could locate the studs, screw diamond lath to it and do a" one step mud job" off solid concrete/ masonry you could remove paint/ stucco, use thinset to bond mud to it.
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:59 AM   #9
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Re: Leveling Wall For Tile.


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Were you suggesting I use the battans and 1/4 board or with TAHomerepairs?
You suggested it, I think it could work fine. I cant see the situation but TA Home and Hank have a good method too.

Thing is if you add lath and skim you end up building out nearly the same as a thin veneer board over furring.
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Old 05-18-2013, 10:20 AM   #10
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Re: Leveling Wall For Tile.


Since it's a "non-wet" area, why not just level it out with setting compound, then prime/seal it? But that would mean waiting for it to dry completely. A quicker alternative would be to trowel on some thinset to the low spots and screed it (probably vertically). Fill in pockets, as necessary, after it sets up. You could install a couple pieces of wood (vertical) to guide your screed stick.

BTW, use the quick-setting leveler for this. Mapei has one, but I forget the exact name.

Last edited by MarkJames; 05-18-2013 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 05-18-2013, 11:44 AM   #11
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Re: Leveling Wall For Tile.


Screed sticks and Ardex feather finish mixed hot. I've done this many times, comes out baby's butt smooth and dries quick too. Regular mud would work but would take more work imo. Feather finish sticks to damn near anything and it's so easy to trowel smooth it's ridiculous.
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:05 PM   #12
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Re: Leveling Wall For Tile.


When I replace a backsplash I almost always cut the old one out, substrate and all. Takes no time at all i come up an inch from the countertops, and an inch down from the upper cabs, cut out with the Fein tool, replace with whatever backerboard you choose, and you have a new, flat surface for the new tile. This actually takes less time overall, as setting the new tile goes much much quicker.
In your case, if it's the studs that are giving you the unevenness, you can tune up the stud in question when it's exposed, using a belt sander.
I never seem to have alot of luck adding material to try to correct an issue, I prefer to subtract, and rebuild correctly.
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:10 PM   #13
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Re: Leveling Wall For Tile.


Older Manhattan condo means it's probably plaster over gyp-block. That's why your screws aren't "holding".

Simple scratch coat, or the Ardex feather will be perfect.
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:14 PM   #14
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Re: Leveling Wall For Tile.


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When I replace a backsplash I almost always cut the old one out, substrate and all. Takes no time at all i come up an inch from the countertops, and an inch down from the upper cabs, cut out with the Fein tool, replace with whatever backerboard you choose, and you have a new, flat surface for the new tile. This actually takes less time overall, as setting the new tile goes much much quicker.
In your case, if it's the studs that are giving you the unevenness, you can tune up the stud in question when it's exposed, using a belt sander.
I never seem to have alot of luck adding material to try to correct an issue, I prefer to subtract, and rebuild correctly.
Probably won't work here. Substrate is the entire interior partition wall. Fire codes in NYC demand no wood framing, so they used to use a lot of gyp-block. Lightweight gypsum-based blocks that are built like a common block wall.

Takes special Jedi techniques to fasten things to them......
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:19 PM   #15
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Re: Leveling Wall For Tile.


One way to get the screed strips to hold is to butter them with construction adhesive, apply to wall, remove, let skin for a minute, reapply, then screw them in with Rock-to-Rock screws (laminating screws....very thick coarse thread) pre-drill a countersink for the heads so they don't spin out when you try to send them home.

Or....just use a long screed board over the scratch coat.....how long could the run be?
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:25 PM   #16
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Re: Leveling Wall For Tile.


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Originally Posted by BlueRidgeGreen View Post
Older Manhattan condo means it's probably plaster over gyp-block. That's why your screws aren't "holding".

Simple scratch coat, or the Ardex feather will be perfect.
Somehow i didn't see Manhattan condo, but wouldn't have mattered as Im not familiar with NYC condos. Thanks, love this site for the diverse info.
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:34 PM   #17
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Re: Leveling Wall For Tile.


Quote:
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Older Manhattan condo means it's probably plaster over gyp-block. That's why your screws aren't "holding".

Simple scratch coat, or the Ardex feather will be perfect.

So ardex feather would be good to what thickness? Would half inch work.

I will see if I can find some.

area is 12' long by 20 inches.
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:47 PM   #18
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Re: Leveling Wall For Tile.


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So ardex feather would be good to what thickness? Would half inch work.

I will see if I can find some.

area is 12' long by 20 inches.
From true feather edge to 1/2".....it's great stuff. Will stick to almost anything and sets up quick.
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:53 PM   #19
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Re: Leveling Wall For Tile.


I'm sure Precision has used it a lot more than I have.

He would be the guy for Ardex Feather advice.

I frankly would have just straightened (screed) the brown/finish coat and went from there. As far as bond, those walls are generally done real well, so you are just adding to a sound existing masonry/plaster base to get straight.

NYC has a long tradition of solid plaster work. But you can tell by looking at it.

Disclaimer: I'm not a "real" tilesetter, I just play one on CT.
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Old 05-18-2013, 01:13 PM   #20
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Re: Leveling Wall For Tile.


Quote:
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From true feather edge to 1/2".....it's great stuff. Will stick to almost anything and sets up quick.
Yep I concur lol.

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