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RE: bathroom tile FAQ's (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: bill_vincent on 09.26.2008 at 05:49 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Q) We are having porcelain tile installed in our foyer (13"x13" tiles) and in our powder room (6'x6" tiles). Both are heavy traffic areas. Is there one grout that is better for these areas than another grout? New to my vocabulary - "sanded grout" and "unsanded grout"; "Portland grout"; "epoxy grout".

A) Although there are others, for all intents and purposes, there are two kinds of grout-- portland cement based, and epoxy. The portland cement based grouts are the conventional grouts that have been around for millenniums. Although in the last few decades, they've been modified with latex and other polymers to make them stronger and more resistant to mold and mildew, they're basically the very same grouts that have been used since Greek and Roman days. There are two kinds of portland cement based grouts. One is sanded, and the other unsanded. The only difference between the two is, as their names imply, the sand. The ONLY thing that determines which grout should be used is the joint size. NOT the glaze, NOT aesthetics, NOT the material (ceramic vs. glass or polished marble), NONE of those. I'll repeat-- the ONLY thing that determines which is used, is the joint size. Anything under an 1/8" takes unsanded grout. Anything 1/8" or bigger, you use sanded grout. If you use unsanded grout in larger joints, the cement in the grout will shrink way too much as the water evaporates out of it, and the joints will end up shrinking and cracking bigtime. If you try using sanded grout in smaller joints, the grains of sand will literally clog the top of the joint, and not allow the grout to get down INTO the joint, and the grout will flake off in a matter of days.

As for the Epoxy, most epoxy grouts use a much finer "sand", and therefore can be used in any size grout joint. Further, epoxy grouts are everything people say they are. They're much easier to clean, practically stainproof, and also extremely expensive. Most epoxies will cost atleast 4 times the cost of conventional grouts, and the installer will also usually charge a premium of between 1.50- 2.50 a foot for the use of epoxy grout. There are alot of poeple who will disagree with me, but my own opinion is that for most residential installations, epoxy grout is bigtime overkill. The ONLY times I'll recommend epoxy grout is first, if you're installing a tile countertop, and two, if you have animals in the house that either aren't housebroken, or are prone to accidents. In either of those cases, epoxy might be worth the money. For anything else, though, conventional grout is more than good enough.


clipped on: 02.22.2012 at 12:46 pm    last updated on: 02.22.2012 at 12:46 pm

RE: Anybody regret tiling their shower floor? (Follow-Up #25)

posted by: breezygirl on 05.01.2011 at 05:33 pm in Bathrooms Forum

I've been meaning to come back and let you know what we decided--tile floor! I ordered a custom tile-ready shower base from KBRS based on the recommendation from someone on the Kitchen Forum. The tile pans I'd seen online until then were pre-fab sizes that just didn't quite work.

KBRS can do whatever size and curb/thresholds you want. We decided to do a pony wall with glass above for a good section of the shower beside the toilet so we are having that section of the KBRS pan made with just the flange, no curb. Then we put the curb where we wanted it for the frameless glass door. The cost was barely more than the Tile-Redi pan that wasn't the right size and had a curb all along the front.

The pan should arrive towards the end of next week. I'll let you know what it looks like when it gets here. But I don't really know how to judge the quality of it just by looking it as I've never seen a tile pan before. ;)

Thanks so much everyone!


clipped on: 12.12.2011 at 03:08 pm    last updated on: 12.12.2011 at 03:08 pm

RE: Anyone painted their kitchen ceiling a color? (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: boxerpups on 02.13.2011 at 09:14 am in Kitchens Forum

Gosh, I hope I am not too late. It has been a busy
weekend. I plan to paint my ceiling. It will be a glossy
beadboard in a light blue color. Almost white sky blue. I
can not wait...And wish I could show you pictures of my
own space.

I was inspired by many of these beautiful ideas. Maybe
they can help you visulize your kitchen.

Martha Stewart

KBD Award Kitchen

Lennox File

Arlene Kitchen Remodel

Boston Design guides


Sky Blue Chicago Home Mag


clipped on: 02.13.2011 at 10:38 am    last updated on: 02.13.2011 at 10:38 am

RE: xpost: my new tile floor is CRUNCHY! (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: mongoct on 12.21.2010 at 06:41 pm in Flooring Forum

Snooze alert, long post:

Judith, a follow-up for you. You wrote: "Hi brickeyee, there is definitely only 1 layer of plywood beneath my tile. One layer of plywood with SLC poured over that and tile over that. No second layer of plywood or cement board product."

A little background for you. There are two areas of delflection that need to be considered when tiling; the deflection of the joists along their length, and the deflection of the plywood between the typical 16" on-center spacing between adjacent joists.

The joist deflection is usually not a problem for ceramic tile 12" square and smaller. It certainly can be, but other things are usually at fault.

A single layer of plywood, however, does not have enough flexural resistance across the 16" joist spacing to properly support tile. That's where the two layers of plywood come in, it's typically 3/4" subfloor covered with 1/2" underlayment, with the panel seams offset from one layer to the next.

The SLC could have then been poured over the plywood underlayment, and then tile over the SLC.

As brickeye mentioned in his previous post, cement board over a singe layer of plywood is no good either. Cement board is not structural. It simply acts as a transitional material when going from plywood to tile. But it does not add strength to the floor like a second layer of plywood.

What your guy did, which was SLC over a single layer of typical plywood subfloor, and tile over the SLC, does not meet and industry standards. It's inadequate.

Any flexing in the subfloor may cause the SLC to fracture. Any further flexing, when you walk across the floor for example, will cause the fractured SLC edges to rub against one another, causing the crunchy sound you hear.

As you've discovered, the grout and tile can look perfect, the floor can feel perfect underfoot, but the installation is nonetheless broken.

To tile over a single layer of plywood, like 3/4" plywood subfloor, you'd first need a membrane like Ditra. Ditra is an uncoupling membrane, meaning that it acts as a go-between when transitioning from the plywood subfloor underneath the Ditra to the tile on top of the Ditra.

Ditra is about 1/8" thick and it has a 3-D waffle-type pattern on it, you can sort of think of it as a shock absorber. The 3-D waffle structure absorbs minor flexing from the subfloor below the Ditra, and by absorbing those flexural stresses, it does not pass them on to the tile and grout above.

For your floor, assuming your joists are properly sized, I'd want to remove the tile and the SLC. The tile could be cut flush at the base of the vanity, the vanity would not necessarily have to be pulled.

Since your subfloor will be somewhat ratty after the demolition, I'd then install new plywood underlayment over the subfloor. Then either cement board or Ditra over the underlayment. Most likely Ditra to minimize elevation gain. Then tile.

Adding 3/8" plywood underlayment over your subfloor to provide a clean working surface, followed by Ditra over the underlayment, will raise your floor height by about 1/2" less the thickness of the SLC that was removed. So if you had 1/4" of SLC over the original subfloor, your new tile will be about 1/4" higher than your existing tile.

3/8" ply for underlayent is about the thinnest I like to use, I'm not a big fan of 1/4" due to it being too flimsy. But that's personal opinion.

If you can cope with that added height at the door threshold, as well as coping with your vanity countertop essentially being lowered a bit (because the floor surrounding the vanity was raised), terrific.

That's just one option and my personal opinion.


clipped on: 02.09.2011 at 08:09 pm    last updated on: 02.09.2011 at 08:10 pm

RE: painting walls after cabinet install (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: macybaby on 01.21.2011 at 08:42 am in Kitchens Forum

The main thing is to get the tape of and carefully clean any paint off the wood before the paint has had time to cure. If you do it soon, you can usually use a finger nail to remove any paint that managed to get under the tape (you still need to try hard not to get any on the tape). The tape isn't there so you can be sloppy - it's there just in case you slip a bit with the brush.

If you wait a week, the paint will be much harder and difficult to remove.

BTW- this is the first time in 30 years of married life I got to paint the kitchen walls BEFORE the cabinets were up. It's so much easier to do, but I like to change colors so I've painted around kitchen cabinets often.

I'm thinking of doing it again - we changed our plan and installed cabinets on the south wall. Now with so much "almost white" in the kitchen, the soft sage on the walls is washing out and looks white too. I think I need to go a few shades darker - The good part is other than the small hall off the kitchen I have almost no wall space in the kitchen.


clipped on: 01.21.2011 at 01:29 pm    last updated on: 01.21.2011 at 01:29 pm

Vertical or drawer storage for pans, pics inside - help me choose

posted by: melaska on 10.10.2010 at 12:32 pm in Kitchens Forum

Good morning all :)

I've been perusing the kitchen forum for months now getting ideas together for our new build this Spring. I really want vertical storage for cookie sheets, pans, etc.

Here are some samples I've culled from you all:

Don't know whose this is but I really love this one:
vertical storage

One from Buehl which is the short horizontal shelf underneath:
vertical storage buehl

This is from sabjimata - I really like the drawer idea, too:
drawer vertical storage sabjimata

I initially planned to have this storage above my fridge. I'm tall so there is no problem. But, I will also have lots of drawers. One advantage I see with the drawers is you can store multiples items in the same space whereas the up-high I couldn't do that. But, the area above the fridge is a great use of space & I can always store the small items elsewhere. Hmmm, maybe I can do a mix of both?

If you have examples of yours - I'd sure like to see...thanks! :)


clipped on: 01.11.2011 at 03:07 pm    last updated on: 01.11.2011 at 03:11 pm

RE: OMG my Shaws sink has pressure cracks!! (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: brickeyee on 01.09.2011 at 12:58 pm in Kitchens Forum

"...drains, faucets, etc., must be hand-tightened (to avoid cracking)."

You might be surprised how tight you can get things when they are only "hand-tightened."

I can get things tight enough that most of the guys I work with cannot loosen them without tools, and my regular plumber can get them tighter than I can.

Making sure the joint has some decent durometer rubber to conform to the surfaces is a much better way (and the rubber acts as a locking mechanism).


clipped on: 01.09.2011 at 02:36 pm    last updated on: 01.09.2011 at 02:36 pm

RE: OMG my Shaws sink has pressure cracks!! (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: cat_mom on 01.09.2011 at 11:44 am in Kitchens Forum

We were told for our porcelain/fireclay bathroom sinktops, that the drains, faucets, etc., must be hand-tightened (to avoid cracking). I hope you can resolve this with minimum hassle. You certainly don't need this.

Good luck.


clipped on: 01.09.2011 at 12:08 pm    last updated on: 01.09.2011 at 12:08 pm

RE: Advice on how to finish edges of glass tile backsplash (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: davidro1 on 01.04.2011 at 02:34 pm in Kitchens Forum

The metal edge is often called a Schluter profile.

Search for these to see images:

A. minimalist, bar, line

aluminum, with some color

schluter Schiene-AE20
schluter Schiene-AE30
schluter Schiene-AE45

or stainless:
schluter Schiene-E20
schluter Schiene-E30
schluter Schiene-E45

B. sloped transition

schluter reno-U-AEU35

schluter reno-tk-AETK60
schluter reno-tk-ATK60AT


clipped on: 01.04.2011 at 02:51 pm    last updated on: 01.04.2011 at 02:51 pm

Advice on how to finish edges of glass tile backsplash

posted by: lcl77 on 01.04.2011 at 12:50 pm in Kitchens Forum

We're in the process of finishing up the glass tile backsplash in our kitchen. On the edges where the glass tile does not abut against a cabinet or door moulding, it looks unfinished to me and I'm looking for advice on what people usually do in these situations. Here are photos of what the tile currently looks like.

Note that the grout hasn't yet been inserted between the tiles so that may contribute to the unfinished look.

1. Pic1 - tile ends with cabinet line in the middle of a wall so left edge is exposed
2. Pic2 - tile ends on wall perpendicular to cabinet so both top and right edges are exposed
3. Pic3 - a kitchen I saw which uses metal liners to finish off these edges.

So do you think that the edges need to have something like the metal liner to finish off their look? If not, what are alternatives?



clipped on: 01.04.2011 at 02:51 pm    last updated on: 01.04.2011 at 02:51 pm

Please help with pics of apron sink reveals and installations

posted by: remodelfla on 12.18.2010 at 08:57 am in Kitchens Forum

I searched old posts which I know addressed these things but couldn't find them. DH is confused on how to hack/install our sink cab for the 36" curved front farmhouse sink. Please, if you can, post pics on how you installed yours.

Also, Fla. Joshua will need to know how I want the reveal done. I'm not certain... could you also post pictures of different reveals?

Sorry if I'm asking for something that was once already addressed. I couldn't find the pictures doing a post search.
Thanks as always!!


clipped on: 12.19.2010 at 05:58 pm    last updated on: 12.19.2010 at 05:58 pm

Help with mounting a range hood---do we need to modify the wall?

posted by: artemis78 on 12.18.2010 at 03:14 pm in Appliances Forum

Thought we had gotten through the hard part of installing the range hood now that the ducting and electrical is done, but apparently not!

We have a Kobe wall-mount hood and are trying to figure out how to hang it on the wall. DH's read of the directions is that if there are not studs spaced at the same distance as the mounting brackets, we need to knock out the wall behind it and build a frame for it to hang on. (The directions say "if needed" you should add a cross-beam between the studs from behind for it to hang on.) However, the mounting brackets are only 8 inches apart, and I assume nobody's studs are only 8 inches apart---so I'm wondering if there is another solution here. We literally just plastered and painted this wall, so I want to be 100% sure this is the way we are supposed to do this before we take a hammer to it!

Would love to know how you hung your wall-mount hood securely. Thanks!


clipped on: 12.19.2010 at 05:57 pm    last updated on: 12.19.2010 at 05:57 pm

RE: Bill V or Mongo -- help with the caulk vs grout issue (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: bill_vincent on 11.07.2007 at 04:11 pm in Bathrooms Forum

They did a steam shower with Redgard??? You might want to call Custom Building Products' tech line and see what they say about that!! I might be wrong here, but I don't believe Redgard is approved for such use!! As for the outside corner, that shouldn't be a problem with respect to grout vs. caulking. I don't know why, but that's the way it works. It's much more important in inside corners.

I asked him to use siliconized caulk that's made to match the grout and he said it looks cheap

That's just out and out laziness. it looks just like the grout!! How's it going to look cheap???


clipped on: 11.09.2007 at 02:33 pm    last updated on: 11.09.2007 at 02:34 pm

Bill V or Mongo -- help with the caulk vs grout issue

posted by: labradoodlelady on 11.07.2007 at 01:51 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Somehow, during that long period of construction, I never noticed/focused on the issue of using caulk and not grout where the tile changes planes. I've been in the house for two months now, and as far as I can tell, none of the corners/plane changes are caulked. It's grout everywhere, and some of it is already starting to crack.

So I had my contractor and his tile guy over to look at it. The GC says they don't use caulk because it always shrinks and looks ugly. He reminds me I have a 12 month warranty, and every time I find a grout crack, they'll come out to fix it.

Then the tile guy says he's going to "prime" the grout where it's already cracked, and go over it with a layer of caulk. Except I thought I read on here that putting caulk on top of grout is a no-no?

Then there's the issue of the outcorner done with 4 inch listells has a ragged, quarter inch grout joint. The tile guy painted over the grout with white porcelain paint, which has started to chip, so it wouldn't be as noticable. Am I going to have problems in the future with this joint, if the grout starts to crack?

Here's the corner:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

What about my steam shower? They encased the whole room with Redguard, but it doesn't look like any of the edges, corners, joints have been caulked. I haven't found any cracking here yet, though (I did find a lot of grout still on the tiles in the corners, which I hadn't noticed before).

Is what they are proposing to do OK? Help!



clipped on: 11.09.2007 at 02:32 pm    last updated on: 11.09.2007 at 02:32 pm

RE: What was your best bathroom remodeling decision? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: hoffman on 02.19.2007 at 10:47 am in Bathrooms Forum

Best decisions:

1)Installing a handheld showerhead on a slide bar in addition to the overhead rainshower.
2) Installing glass shelf betweeen sink and medicine cabinet
3) Splurging on marble mosaic floor tile


1) Not specifying caulk (instead of grout) in corners!
2) Only installing 2 (now wish I had 3) corner shelves
3) Not personally selecting beadboard for wainscot (contractor purchased low quality wood)


clipped on: 11.09.2007 at 12:01 pm    last updated on: 11.09.2007 at 12:01 pm