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  • Topics

  • Posts

    • Any preliminary design sketches you can share?
    • I don't think your expectations are unreasonable. 
    • Here is my main cleaning tool for between the tiles.  Plastic knives with serrated edges.  Sometimes it was hard to find white ones.  Black ones can leave markoff marks.  Finally, after decades of shopping in grocery stores, sometimes having to go to more than one, I thought to order a box of 1,000 clear ones.  It takes a big handful to do a shower floor because the teeth wear off. The thinset needs to be set up enough so it doesn't smear, but not too hard to easily dig out.  It's not as bad as it sounds, but is more work than not having to do it.  
    • The floor tile to use on compound curved shower floors has small tiles.  I mainly have always used the hex version. It all comes in about one foot square pieces held together with a mesh on the back.  If it's put down the normal way using a notched trowel that leaves standing ridges and the tile pushed down onto the ridges so that none is pushed up through the gaps between the tiles the likelihood that the mortar will be bonded all across all the tiles is not good. These squares also have a sticker stuck to the back.  I always wonder how many people pull the sticker off.  Those are some reasons for a hollow sound, because there are hollows under the tile. In short, there is a lot of possibility of pour contact all across every tile with the normal method.  I use softer than normal mixed thinset mortar, butter the backs of the tiles, and plaster a thin layer on the floor before I use an oversized notched trowel to spread the thinset.  The tile section is pressed down into the thin, but not too thin to hold the tile up thinset with the straightedge to exactly the level I want.  This lets thinset ooze up through the gaps between the tiles, but not only is the tile in the exact plane I want, but also fully bonded across all the tile backs.  This makes a mess on the top.  I'm sure pro tile layers avoid making this mess at the expense of perfectly full bonding of all the tiles.  I don't want hollows left under a tile floor that is going to get wet.  My theory is that water will get in there, never be able to get out, and be perfect conditions that mold will like.  There are many showers and bathtub surrounds where mold grows and the owner wonders why it comes back so fast with the best cleaning efforts. This mess that I make on the surface makes extra work because it has to be cleaned off.  It's easiest to be cleaned off by letting it sit for 6 or 7 hours.  It's also impossible to do a whole large shower floor in one go.  When I was building new houses, we would lay one row first thing in the morning, and I would clean it about 3 that afternoon, with the time in between spent doing something else like building cabinets. Here, it just sits and waits.  Yesterday morning I cut the first row like it needed to be in preparation.  I got a late start, and had to work on the tile saw that had been sitting for a few years since the last shower redo.  The water line from the pump to the saw had gotten hard and broke when I put it in place in the tub under the saw.  I spent more time than I wanted to finding a tube that would work in the shop and getting it replaced.  I decided to wait until this morning to lay the tile because I didn't want to have to go over there last night to clean it.  Hopefully I'll get it started this morning, but I'm waiting for it to warm up a bit above freezing before I go mix the thinset. The screw adjustment on the drain was adjusted to give me 1/8" per foot drop from the longest point away from the drain.  These drains cost $9.84.  I bought two knowing the first one would get messy from the tile setting.  That top will get screwed out and a new one put in near the end.  
    • I don't own any Woodpeckers tools. However, for the premium price they charge, I would expect a quality product, and to be made whole should I receive a poorly manufactured or assembled item. Even from a low-cost source like Harbor Freight, it is not unreasonable to expect the products they sell to perform as advertised.
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