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Thread: Floor Tiles

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Tokyo Japan
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    Floor Tiles

    I guess this will go under "Construction" if not carpentry.

    My neighbour Neil bought his house this year, but has lived there for 18 years, he finally worked out a deal he could live with from his former landlord.

    He wants to spruce the place up and has been picking my brain about what to do. I think he should knock the place down to just the sticks of the frame and rebuild the whole house, I mean reform the whole house. If he were to actually level the place and rebuild he would have all sorts of fun with the local government, they would take a fair bit of land from him on one side to make a footpath wider etc etc, all government headache where the home owner gets the short end of the stick, really is it bad, so to avoid that, you knock the house down to the frame is still standing and then your rebuild it, this is not a rebuild, by law, but just a reform.

    Well he has to figure all of that out first, but for now he just wants to clean some stuff up and make things look better.

    First off we dug out and cleared he back yard, don't laugh, it is a real back yard here in Tokyo, most people don't even have a small balcony they can sit on.


    These pics are taken from Neil's back door looking into his back yard.
    Along the block wall to the left there was a flower bed that was about 3 feet wide and a foot tall, we tore that out and leveled everything. The wall to the right is the neighbour, she has just had a bunch of renovations done to her house.


    Here is looking further to the right, and the corner of the neighbour's house and the small pathway that you use to get to the house.

    That was a bit of fun, we had to dig and move some dirt, his three boys enjoyed it and we all got a bit dirty and made a much nicer back yard. Next up there we are going to put down some of that plastic stuff to stop weeds growing then a bunch of bags of crushed gravel, grass would be nice, but a lot of work too, this way he gets a decent space he can use that does not turn into a bog when it rains, and will be fairly low maintenance. If he rebuilds the house, or reforms it, then he wants to build a nice grade level deck.

    On to the tiles.

    We are going to tile the concrete slabs in front of his front door and on the entrance way of his house,


    Here I've cut and laid out all the tiles for in front of the door.


    All mortared into place.


    cleaned up and ready for the grout, I'll drop by his place tomorrow morning and do that, should not take long.

    These tiles took a lot longer than I thought, mainly because out of the 14 tiles I think only four were uncut, the rest were all cut. I use an angle grinder with a diamond cut off wheel, it works well if you go at it from the back side first. My buddy Neil is also a bit of a perfectionist, so he bought lots of extra tiles and if the cut was even the smallest bit off, he'd want to toss that tile and recut it.
    I'm glad I'll be doing the grout by myself, as it looks really messy until you are done and I can imagine him fretting about it, as he has never done any tile before.

    The inside should be a lot quicker, as the only cuts I'll have to do are along the left hand wall, to make the tile fit, and that is just one straight cut for width. The inside is from the threshold of the door to the wall on the right is almost perfectly square The slab has a hump in the middle that is only about 1/8" over the six feet or so of width, so that is not a problem, I think it would go smoothly.

    Is there any one here that knows floor tiles? I've done some, but I'll admit to not being that up on it, wall tiles I've done a LOT more of. I have been using a 1/4" notched trowel, and I've not been buttering the backs of the tiles, they seem to go in and sit very nicely using just the 1/4" notched trowel, any advice on this? I wet the slab before I put the mortar on and the make a good thick layer with the 1/4" notched trowel.

    We plan to do the inside next Saturday.

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
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    Tiling always takes me much longer than I expect it to.

    Are those porcelain tiles or ceramic? Porcelain tiles are better for outdoors, much harder than the ceramics. For my environment I would have probably back buttered the tile, but I think we get a lot more freezing/thawing than you. If it was squishing out, it was probably fine.

    Looks nice btw...
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Yorktown, Virginia
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    5,021
    That space screams for a zen/rock garden! +1 on porcelain tiles if any chance of freezing. I've only done one family room floor with similar tiles and used the 1/4" notched trowel with no problems and no need to back butter. Be sure to bridge any cracks with an appropriate bridging material. I can't remember the name of the product I used. It helps keep the crack from transferring to the tile.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    I'm not sure what kind of tiles they are, I'm just laying them, I did not pick them

    I got the grout done, went well.....



    I am a bit concerned about the grout drying too fast, so when I left I misted the grout lines and then covered the whole thing up with a plastic sheet. I told my buddy to mist the grout lines again when he gets home from work.

    On Saturday we will tackle the inside of the entrance way.

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
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    ABQ NM
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    Looks good, Stu.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  6. #6
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    May 2009
    Location
    Poway, CA, near San Diego
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    Looks nice. I don't get why you had to cut so many tiles?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Floor Tiles

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Meyer View Post
    Looks nice. I don't get why you had to cut so many tiles?
    There is an existing slab that we had to fit the tiles too. The slab is just about an inch smaller than two tiles with spacers, so I had to cut 9 out of 14 tiles.

    I'm on to the inside today.

    That is what I started with. The block on the left, holding up the shoe box came out. The shoe box is attached/built into the wall so taking it off was not an option.
    Out of 30 tiles laid, I only had to cut 5 and they were all straight cuts. Buttering the backs worked just fine, got lots of squeeze out, which should mean the tiles will stay put.



    Have to wait a bit for the mortar to set, then I'll strike all the grout lines and clean up the tiles.
    It's Saturday here, I wonder if I can grout on Monday? Should be enough time for the mortar to cure.
    Of course it's raining today as well, but at least I'm working inside..... mostly
    Fun way to spend your birthday!
    Last edited by Stuart Ablett; 05-11-2013 at 10:14 AM.
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
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    Floor Tiles

    My buddy Neil had to step out for a doctor's appointment and then again to teach a class for an hour (he rents the first floor space in our building as an English School), so I was mostly working alone, well I did have Neil's youngest, a very curious and somewhat helpful 5 year old



    I just had to get a couple of shots of Neil working, just to prove to his wife that he did help out!
    He was carefully cleaning the tiles off after I struck the grout lines.

    I then REALLY started to rain, so I'm glad we were done for the day.

    I'm fairly pleased with it, the inside and outside tiles line up fairly well too.

    Now as long as he can keep his kids off of it for 24 to 48 hours I'll be able to grout it and be done.

    Cheers
    Last edited by Stuart Ablett; 05-11-2013 at 10:40 AM.
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  9. #9
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    Oct 2006
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    Thanks everyone, this job is now in the books!



    Grouting we shall go, this is the time when the whole job looks like a dogs breakfast, sure glad the client is not here to see this ;D



    After a very nice lunch of BLT made on homemade bread by my buddy's wife I got back to the tiles, the lunch break was just about perfect.
    I used a piece of plywood to kneel on while cleaning the tiles, you can really see a good "Before/After" look here



    OK that is basically done, when my buddy comes home maybe two hours after this was taken, he will wipe the whole thing down with a damp towel, just to remove any haze that might still be on the tiles.



    I now have to cut the wooden block that goes under the shoes box on the left, then I'll be really done.



    Kind of a close up, not perfect, but I think it will do.


    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
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    Very nice!

    Seems that spot under the shoe shelf would make a good pull-out drawer space (box on wheels).
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

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