Monday, November 17, 2014

Tile to Hardwood Transition: barrier free shower considerations

Typically a tile to hardwood transition is not a huge deal.  Not something to consider or even plan ahead.  But what about when your bathroom door is only a foot away from the bedroom.  Lets say your barrier free curbless shower is also right there.

This transition from the bathroom tile to the bedroom's hardwood also acts as a secondary capillary break.


You can see that the transition is a stainless steel tile edging.  The hardwood guys left a back bevel cut on the flooring but shimmed the floor up so that I need to shim the transition and the tile guys had to set the floor tile heavy.

These are all little things but all add to the complexity of the bathroom build.  Did the tile guy use a medium bed thin-set?  Not sure.

Notice where I installed the transition. Right on the center mark of the door.  That is where it should go and looks the best.  This door is really close to the shower entry.  The shower has no curb - no dam and a primary capillary break is installed only 12" or so from this secondary break.  These capillary breaks something I insist on, on my shower builds and something that I picked up from studying the Australian Shower Proofing Code Books.

Hope this helps.  I will be adding a detailed post of photos fot these two capillary breaks this week.  Those of you with the password should like this photo album.  I took a ton of pictures showing the steps and the progress work.


It's hard to see from this picture but I had to remove the ouzze out of the hardwood glue from the bathroom first.  Then I did not like that the floor was raised so much.  When I pressed hard on it could  sink it a little so I used wedge shims to stop this.

I did not want water ever making it this far so I treated this spot as a second capillary break.


These photo's below showing a Marble Tile transitioning into Engineered Hardwood Floors.  The wood cheated up a little with shims, glued and braced with the weight of a glue bucket. If you see glue ooze out like this resist the urge to wipe it with a rag.  It is easier to cut out later.


The wood was shimmed a little to meet the 5/8" Tile Transition.  The white tile is carrera marble 1'x2'.


The pails of Mapei Ultrabond ECO 975 are very heavy and help brace this wood while the glue kicks off and starts setting up.




Saturday, November 15, 2014

I Marmi Tile Installation Tips

After opening and shuffling seven boxes (42 tiles 1'x2' 30cmx60cm) I tried as hard as I could to make the Calacutta Gold Looking I Marmi Tile look like a slab. It was not possible, I worked on it for two hours and used 100% overage. I settled on a tame down version of the photo below and then changed my mind after looking at this photo. 



I searched a few pictures to see if anyone else achieved it and could find no examples online.

My client came by to sign off on the tile layout (6" offset running bond) and asked me to make her bathroom look like this photo below. I showed her the picture on my IPhone.


My First Installation Tip

"Don't try and re assemble the pieces so they look like one big slab"




This was my final attempt at making the pieces look like one large slab.  I realized it looked forced and had too many non natural elements.  I aborted since I could not order 1000 square feet of tile to set 500 square.


I went with a more random look.  Here and there I'll pair up a couple of tiles to get a longer visual design line on the vein details.  I like this so far.  Tile is being installed over Strata Mat in this photo.



I love this.  But the offset is too great.  New industry guidelines call for a max 1/3" off set or running bond.  This works for that detail but the maker of the tile asks for a max 6" or 15cm offset.  This is 1/4 off set.  


Same two tiles stacked up with the right offset does not look as good.



I'm keeping the joints tight.  Eye balling each set.  Using my straight edge as a guide.  

Often with rectified tile you will see a directional arrow.  I did look for this the first day and must have missed it.  Yesterday I noticed an arrow on the tile and at days end struggled with one corner.  Not bad so far.  Tile is going in slick.

I do regret the 6" off set and think it would have been better to work out a true 1/4" measurement and use something closer to 5 3/4".  Standing back and looking up I can see the fourth grout joint not meeting. Here are a few more pictures....


One of the best tools for checking trueness of a tile floor is often a tile like this.  See how the center is a little high?


The floor went done well.  I struggled here with this one tile. I could not get the tile's bottom right edge to meet nice.  I tried. Re tried and then aborted.  Going back today to reset this tile and the last two.


There is enough of these tiles with a slight bow to them that a 1/8" grout joint is a good idea.  The key I think is keeping the tops level and then fudging the lip page ever so slightly at the corners.  My 6' level is for the big picture.  The four foot for placing. And the two foot metal level the work horse.  This level I use the most.





























Close but not good enough.  I shortened the right side to slide the vein detail over.


This required removing roughly a 1/4" and milling a new factory edge for the right side.  Once done the left side miter return for the window wall was made. Then the tile set.




With the tile shortened this vein detail looks great.  Next step to mark the left side.