The Counters Blog

Thinset Decoded: A Buyers Guide To Tile Adhesives And Mortars



Therefore, this first post is going to examine the different terms that are used to describe thinset. Essentially sand and portland cement (although that’s overly simplified). You are clearly dedicated to your craft and are a great teacher. I would rather pay my tile man and get perfect results than do it myself (taking many times longer) and have many years of staring at my mistakes.


How To Install Stone Tile On A Shower Floor | Duration 1 Minutes 3 Seconds

Too many electrical outlets and the backsplash material was pricey. I am installing wood like porcelain tile over a wood substrate. If you want to cover the entire floor you would usually want to use a self leveling product. Nothing against either manufacturer but those are the bare minimum in the product line. Your best bet would be to consult a local expert that can see these things firsthand and recommend a way to install them. Won’t combining the different mortar compositions cause a problem? As long as they’re ceramic subway tile and the walls are flat. I think they have an epoxy mortar that they want you to use with their niches. This is an uncoupling heat membrane that has added insulation for going over concrete floors. Or mud bed style that ties into a traditional 3 piece clamping drain?

You may as well buy 3-5 gallons right off of the bat. Does the flexcolor help with grout discoloration from dirt?

The cementitious boards are over drywall and is screwed into the studs. Thinset is one of those things where you get what you pay for. Shower is 36” x 42” x 77” and took me about two weeks of on/off work to finish tiles. I suspect you are a beloved tileman to your customers!



12X24 (30×60) Marble Tile Installation Using Perfect Level Master™ T Lock­™ | Duration 4 Minutes 23 Seconds

Always appreciate seeing masters at their craft share his/her knowledge. However most manufacturers want you to use modified mortar for porcelain. It’s also a decoupling membrane, but their specs say that any mortar required by the tile can be used on top of it.

Unless you know something about that product that would steer me away from it?

We are wanting to tile the fire surround around our brick fireplace with some antique tiles we’ve saved for years. I would need to know more about the tiles and the surface that they would be applied to. The gray can darken the marble and could bleed through down the road. If you want to know for sure you can call their tech line and get a more certain answer. Basically you’re looking for something that is a “full contact” mortar in whatever brand of mortar you have access to. Also make sure that you mesh tape all seams and all corners.

Plug the drain, fill it up with water, and see if your theories work or not. If it actually works make sure all the water drains when you pull the plug. Flexcolor is a grout that you don’t have to seal regularly and it should clean back to it’s original color.

I understand that the unmodified thinset should not have been used for this application. So if the mortar can get through the mesh and grab the stone you should be ok.

DIY Marble Hexagon Coasters by homeyohmy.com

I twisted the clay all over to help striate the white clay throughout before rolling it into a ball and smashing it down. We’re planning on making more next weekend so we’ll have plenty when we have company next. I rolled out the clay until it was just big enough for the hexagon lid to be placed on top of. I cut the parchment paper around the coaster to be transferred onto a baking sheet.

I love how you can make them to match your decor and they’re really easy too. I thought the clay would dry to a porcelain feel, but it feels a lot more like plastic. If you make them thicker or larger, you’ll need two blocks (or 4 oz.) of clay for each coaster. Really happy you’re hear, and grateful that you took a moment to be so uplifting. In short, you can actually buy these black hexagon, marble tiles that come attached to a mesh backing.



Tile Style Part 6 Marble Floor Tiles | Duration 5 Minutes 50 Seconds

I tried this yesterday apart from the first one it was a success.

It’s so important to me to keep this a positive space, so thank you for helping me achieve that.

Air Conditioning Not Coming Through One Vent In My House by removeandreplace.com

There is one room that the air comes through the vent but it is very weak and not cooling the room. Someone may have accidentally shut off the air flow or it may have been reduced by closing it halfway.

You can take a vent cover off by removing a few screws. If the duct has dampers you can try moving it to be completely straight with the duct. I closed off two vents on the third floor room that has 4 cents. We would recommend to get a company out to inspect the venting system in your home to be sure. It may have an area that has collapsed or maybe a connecting joint is leaking. Get a flashlight and try to look into the air duct through the vent. Look into the air duct and make sure there is nothing blocking the air flow. I have one room that barely blows air through the ceiling vent. It may cost you some money to call a company for an inspection, but a leak in your venting system during hot summer months is wasting money anyway. But the vent for the living room is right where the air is coming into the duct-work.

You can also try closing the other air vents slightly and this will force more air to come out of the vent in the living room. If the refrigerant runs out, it would definitely need to be replaced.

How To Install Peel and Stick Vinyl Tile That You Can Grout! by frugalfamilytimes.com

We actually have plans to do my mom’s kitchen and hall with some groutable peel and stick. We have had a few friends see them and decide to put them in their own homes. We didn’t have to mess around with tile adhesive – and wish you all the best with yours.

I also just did my bathroom with peel and stick (no grout) after 16 years.



How To Clean Stone Tile Removing Stains From Tile | Duration 4 Minutes 51 Seconds

Not sure if that’s the “correct” thing to do, but it worked and it was easier. It will look fine at first, but the grout is eventually going to crack along those joints.

While they are thicker they still are not as thick as ceramic tiles.

Nonetheless, the grout seems to be holding up well (we are one year in now on our peel-and-stick grouting experiment). My grout has held up just fine and those are two high-traffic areas of my home. I am currently putting the tiles down in my master bathroom and plan to grout those as well. I was skeptical when we started but it turned out fantastic. For the price/time investment, the peel and stick is tough to beat. We used a leveling patch compound first because there was some unevenness to the floor after removin g the old vinyl tiles. But my question is, what product do you use to clean the tile?

Is it just the beveled edges that differentiate groutable from non-groutable vinyl tiles?

Regular peel and stick would t have this space and it could mean thin grout that would chip and break easily. Maybe try it out with a few tiles on a piece of plywood first? Didn’t read anything about using a saw in the installation instructions. We waited almost 24 hours to re-wipe the grout haze off the vinyl, however, it’s not coming off. I did not remove the baseboards but butted the tiles against the wall. No cracks in the grout – a good subfloor makes all the difference.



Cleaning Floors How To Clean Tile Floors | Duration 1 Minutes 19 Seconds

We then sealed (and covered up) any imperfections from the cut by using white silicone caulk. I slightly sanded my pre-existing linoleum floor then installed these tiles, wouldn’t this save a lot of work?

We left a small gap next to the baseboard and then filled it with grout. These joints should always be caulked to allow for flex and expansion which the rigid grout can’t handle without cracking. Did you have to remove the old flooring or can you just go over the existing tiles?

If the old flooring is loose, or heaven forbid, there’s a problem under it (mold or rot?) you are in trouble.

I do see that yes these tiles are thicker than your basic self stick tiles and yes they do have the beveled edge that makes them groutable. And you’re right about all the extra steps that go into installing real ceramic.

Since then, we’ve been cleaning with normal floor cleaning products when needed and the grout seems to have stayed in place (even around the tub, where soapy kids splash). You have helped me finally make my decision to purchase vinyl peel and stick groutable tile. I am almost finished with the demo and really needed to get off the dime and decide. We used groutable vinyl tile in our master bath and it looks great, but now we can’t find the right color groutable vinyl tile for another bathroom. The tiles made for grouting are quite a bit thicker and allow some depth between the tiles for the grout. The grout able tiles are a bit more expensive – but having to rip the floor out and do it over would be so much more costly!

That made things go much faster and so much easier on my arthritic hands.

How long did you wait to re-wipe the tiles after you grouted? I just did my bathroom too and actually had the exact same sheet vinyl as you did before.

Hardwood To Tile Transition by homeconstructionimprovement.com

You really need to plan the floor transitions before you start any flooring installation. As you can see in the adjacent photo, the use of a transition threshold molding is the easiest way to take care of this problem.



Tile Style Part 5 Granite Floor Tiles | Duration 5 Minutes 39 Seconds

Also, a doorway transition where the running boards are perpendicular to a doorway. If you were to remove the baseboard trim in those photos you would see a 1/2″ gap all around the room. If you are putting hardwood inro your house you should cut the bottom of the jam to fit the flooring under it. Tile is at entry and under wood sove, so 2 edges meet together by float and tile. Todd, do you have any thoughts about how to make that transition?

However, it sounds to me that you need a special transition piece.

Most likely there is a transition piece that can be glued to the concrete adjacent to the tile. I have purchased 3/8″ porcelain tiles which are to be installed throughout the remainder of the house. In fact, the photo in the article shows my transition from wood to tile and there is a very slight 1/16″ to 1/8″ difference (tile higher than the wood). Do you have any of the old tiles left over (spares)?

How should we transition from the floating floor to a stairwell, with railings? To the right, a half flight of stairs up to the main level of the house. The hallway runs to left, with an open railing about 3 feet. The railings can be removed and reinstalled or even replaced. This way you could but up against the curb with the floating floor and use a piece of quarter round or similar to cover the transition. Most building codes only allow a small deviation in rise from one step to the other.

The other side of the threshold could be dado’d to the right height to lay on top of the wood. Never done this, so one concern is of course, fastening one side securely may present possible cracking, etc – but its sure seems like a cleaner finish – any thoughts on whether this has been done / works / is durable?

The metal edge is short in each room and it will not allow the carpet to come to the appropriate location directly under the door. Two areas will have doors (bathrooms) another area is kitchen to formal livingroom. There are several basic issues that arise at the floor transitions. This can occur if you install a hardwood floor over an existing floor adjacent to a flooring material that will not be changing. This is where most situations involve some sort of wood transition strip. For example, angle transitions from ceramic to hardwood like a fireplace hearth. If so would you use silicone, or grout to fill the gap?

However, it’s not possible to do at door openings without looking awful.

You need a transition piece that sits over both materials to hide the gap. The big issue is whether the transition holds the floating floor in place securely along one side and end.

Have you checked with the manufacturer of the floating floor?

However, you’re probably going to have to have it milled or mill it yourself. Imagine the top photo (with no door case) with the ceramic tiles advancing down exactly to the edge/corner of this side of the wall (in other words, extend tiles area by 5-6 inches). So, the news tiles will be 1/8″ higher than the “old” tiles. If so, is wood acceptable to use or is there a better solution for porcelain tiles?

I would be most grateful for any feedback you are willing to supply.

I think you may find that the 1/8″ difference is so small that it doesn’t end up needing a transition. The house is a split entry, raised ranch, with a standard floor plan.

The living room is to the right, with an open railing, about 8 feet. Otherwise, it seems we’d have to use a transition moulding between the floating floor and solid wood around the stairwell perimeter. This new wood curb would need to be slightly higher than the new floating floor. First off when you raise the new floor you raise the “rise” of the last step up and this can be somewhat dangerous. The existing floor is 3/4″, the new floor (with pad) will be maybe 1/8″ lower. I was thinking of using a wood threshold piece with the portion that normally rests on top of the wood actually sitting on and overlapping the tile. Any chance you can have the top of transition flush with the top of tile, leave a 1/4″ gap between the two and grout the space?

I did my transition this way with grout without any problems. We’re thinking about either using a sanded caulk that matches the grout for the tile, but additionally, thinking about securing the transition side of the laminate to the sub-floor (wood) – leaving all the expansion to happen on the wall-side, where we can better live with the gap concept. The ajoining bedrooms have carpet that have a metal edge that separate the bedrooms from the current hardwood that exists in the hallway.

How does it work to plane out the higher wood for 12-16″ to eliminate the trip problem?

In our first home we had a slate entry that opened onto new 3/4″ high wood, it wasn’t too bad actually with a proper transition piece. Any suggestions for an easy way to remove the paint?

Rather than replace the entire floor, we are trying to come up with a way to put another type material (tile, stone, etc.) in the damaged area and keep the undamaged laminate.

Things That Inspire: Subway Tile by thingsthatinspire.net

It looks as appropriate in a 1920s bungalow as in a new home. We dressed up our kids bath with a baseboard piece that makes a nice transition to the white hexagonal floor tile both aesthetically and for ease of cleaning. Can you think of any other option that does not scream a particular decade?

I am sure you will make the best decision, but bet the ceramic tile would be pretty swell once installed with nifty fixtures, etc. Mosaics look great when they are first installed but after about six months all the white grout looks black and dirty from all the heavy use and getting it white again is almost impossible! Maybe check out her portfolio and source list for inspiration.

Love the square drain – would think it would also take the tile install less time to install as opposed to a circular one. I didn’t want the soccer ball hex pattern for the floor so we bought white sheets and hand marked where we wanted black tiles inserted to add a splash of black, as well as a thin black pencil line in the shower. I have white tile in the kids bathrooms in my current house, and the walls have stayed pristine, but the floors have not. But only you can decide if you will love it the many years bathroom tile lasts.

Simple, clean and sophisticated will always be in style in my book. Classic, timeless, along with the many options can be accented to be unique in it’s own way with all the other elements introduced with it. We are trying to replicate that look in our new shower!

Gray or dark grout is another way to make the pattern of the subway tile more pronounced (and also hides dirt quite well!). We didn’t use wall tile (only around shower), but wall tile capped off with a rail-type piece is very finished looking.

I made the mistake of using white grout and am paying for it on my hands and knees!

I would stay away from gray grout with white tiles as it can look a tad dirty, just my opinion. I used white with just a hint of black for my boy’s recently renovated bath. Definitely use a dark grout on the floor, especially if you have boys!

If you are looking for an added detail, you could use a subway tile with a beveled edge. I also used plain white subway tiles in the showers (above the tub). The tiles are a classic because they were everywhere in the early to mid-1900s. We used white grout on the walls (showers) and almost six years later, it still looks nice and white. Don’t romanticize the subways, you don’t want your bathroom to be or smell like a subway. They should have a square, as opposed to round or pillow, edge, however.

I also use this glass for my new mirrors where a color-correct reflection is critical). The bathrooms you have posted are exactly my taste, no tumbled marble in site!

I have used a very soft off white crackle and another hand made same color and do not ever see them losing their appeal. I use them on my polished nickel – they get all of the water spots out!

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