Arts and Crafts: Porcelain Tile

I am at the point in my project where I lay the tile.

I am really glad I slowed down and thought about this now.  As I am laying out some tiles for installation, I am noticing that the tiles are not flat and they “rock”.  After further examination, I notice that the tiles are not the problem.  The tiles are perfectly flat.  The floor is not.  It turns out, this type of tile requires a standard of flatness that simply does not existin most floors.  The tiles are 36″ long and 6″ wide.  This accentuates the flaws in the floor.  Thicker adhesive will not correct the problem.  Wider grount lines will help a little but not enough.

Making the floor flatter is a whole new level of work that I am unpreparred to do.

My proposed solution.  Cut the tile from 36″ to 18″ on those section that “rock” in order to give the high spot someplace to go.

Second alternative:  use the small flexibility inherent in the tile to bend it and glue it down solid.  I don’t think this will work. I think it will come up over time, or even crack during normal shrink/expansion of temperature changes.

If I had it to do all over again, I would have gone with smaller tiles.  But then, I didn’t get a choice.




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4 Responses to Arts and Crafts: Porcelain Tile

  1. Og says:

    There is thick mastic that will deal with voids. If you’re using the mix-it-yourself thinset, mix it four times as thick as you would, then gradually back off until it is the consistency of warm fudge. Use a 1/4″ notched trowel.

    The other alternative is to use a leveling compound, that you pour in, and sets perfectly level and flat. You have to use enough to fill the space between the lowest spots and the highest spots. Its not fun.


  2. Og says:

    Bummer. THick mastic is the answer then, you’re kind of stuck with it. You may yet have to grind off some high spots, if they’re really bad. You can rent a scabbler, but you can also just use a 6″ weld grinder.


  3. Heresolong says:

    I think you are better off figuring out how to use the leveling stuff. Reroute the dog or something. It will be the easiest in the long run.


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