#1  
Old 06-01-2010, 01:21 PM
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Default Laying tile

This isn't really about oven building, but it's clearly related to the project as a whole. I have a set of 12", 3/8" granite tiles that I want to surface my concrete counter-top with. This is a topic I have no experience with. I'm doing a little research online, but would love any thoughts from the group as well.

So, the primary adhesive should be...thinset? Should I just buy a bag of this stuff instead of trying to make my own? Looks like thinset usually comes as a dry material, whereas grout comes in both dry and bucket form.

Other than those little plastic "cross" spacers, is there any other wisdom to impart with respect to positioning the tiles? Any tricks about measuring and cutting the tiles so they fit properly? I'm kind of unsure how to shape the tiles to a strange footprint, such as my counter-top with weird angles such.

Any thoughts on grout? I need a really weather resistant grout. It will be a horizontal exterior surface so it will spend a lot of its time baking under the sun or soaking under puddles from the most recent rain.

I'm kind of unsure how to start? Especially how to measure and shape the tiles.

Thanks.

Cheers!
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  #2  
Old 06-01-2010, 01:52 PM
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Default Re: Laying tile

Do not use mastic (thinset in a bucket), use polymer modified cementious thinset applied with a notched trowel (size is somewhat dependent upon the surface quality, but 1/4x1/4 should work). Precut all the pieces, thinset has a short potlife. As a rule, the main axis of the grout lines will be parallel with the long side of what you are tiling. Lay it dry and adjust from the center so that you do not end up with little pieces on any edge.

The spacers work ok, but in my opinion create weak points in the grout.

Any good quality grout will work, just seal it when done.
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Old 06-01-2010, 01:59 PM
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Default Re: Laying tile

This is how I would orient it:
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Old 06-01-2010, 02:45 PM
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Default Re: Laying tile

I was planning on rotating the tile 45 degrees. I readily admit this would increase the complexity of the cuts, but...meh, I think I would like the look better.

Even if I did it your way, 12" would basically like like squares over most of the area, not long rectangles, so there wouldn't be a long or a short axis, except perhaps in a few cornered areas.
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Old 06-01-2010, 02:55 PM
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Default Re: Laying tile

The lines just show center and orientation, which would be the same if you rotate them. Are the angled edges on 45 degree on your counter, because if not it will look mighty funky there.
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Old 06-01-2010, 03:02 PM
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Default Re: Laying tile

The oven is octagonal, so the edges wrapping around the oven are 45 and the little "rounded" corner at the right end of the front is 45, but the front also has a slight elbow in it. That is much shallower than 45...and then there's that weird angle the left end of the front.

...I imagine that since the contour of the oven and the little clipped corne is 45 that a 45-rotation would look pretty good.
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Old 06-01-2010, 04:56 PM
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Default Re: Laying tile

I can think of several quick points to add.

Spacers are great if you are bad at "eyeballing"......but don't lay them flat in the joints, stand them up so that you can remove them after the tiles set awhile.

Go a little heavy on the mortar (butter the backs of the tile) on the side closest to the oven, you want them to slope slightly, so water runs off.

With granite or marble tile the smallest grout lines are the most desirable - 1/16", no more than 1/8". Makes it appear more as a slab and not tile.

As for the mortar and grout, any of the dry products from Lowes and HD work well. I prefer the Mapei products from Lowes. It is recommended that you use WHITE thinset for all granite or marble installs, seems grey portland cement can blead through any natural stone and leave a stain or cloudy appearance to the topside.

If you opt for the very narrow grout lines (1/16") you will need to use UNSANDED grout. The medium grade sand in floor grout (SANDED) won't work into the thin joints properly.

Hope this helps

RT
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Old 06-01-2010, 05:16 PM
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Default Re: Laying tile

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTflorida View Post
With granite or marble tile the smallest grout lines are the most desirable - 1/16", no more than 1/8". Makes it appear more as a slab and not tile.
I agree. I used popsicle sticks (coffee stirs are even thinner) as spacers when I layed marble tiles in our master bath a while back. I also used a grout colored as close as I can get to match the tiles.

George
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Old 06-17-2010, 05:52 PM
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Default Re: Laying tile

well, here is a question: are tiles/thinset strong enough to last in the oven entry area? I see many people complain that firebricks on the oven entry floor become very dirty quickly
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Old 06-18-2010, 09:31 AM
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Default Re: Laying tile

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Originally Posted by leckig View Post
well, here is a question: are tiles/thinset strong enough to last in the oven entry area? I see many people complain that firebricks on the oven entry floor become very dirty quickly
I used 3/4" firebrick tiles to tile my small landing area and used DAP high heat mortar to mortar them in place due to the very close proximity to the oven chamber.
As far as the bricks becoming very dirty, I expect that to happen and if it becomes too unsightly I'll experiment by applying some dark food coloring on the tiles...
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