HELP! 6 x 24 tiles are bowing

cloubJanuary 26, 2011

My tile guy was here today to install 6 x 24 porcelain floor tiles in our bathroom. He is laying them in a brick pattern. Unfortunately, the tiles do not lay perfectly flush. I really don't want to lay them straight together. I liked the staggered look, and that was the whole reason I chose this tile. Anyone have any issues with longer floor tiles, and if so, what did you do about it?

I sent the tilers home. They'll be back tomorrow morning, and I'm hoping to come up with a solution by then. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 1:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What brand of tile is it? Have you contacted the manufacturer or the seller? Did you buy the tile or did the installer?

There was a good thread here on some of this (but with 12 x 24) you can do a partially staggered (no more than 33% overlap)... at least with 12 x 24.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 2:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

How do you do a 33% overlap without having a 66% overlap at the other joint? Unless you insert another smaller tile for a flemish bond effect?

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 3:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The tile is Ceramica Magica Pitti from Italy. I ordered it online ... not from the installer. Thank you for including the thread on the 12 x 24 tiles. I appreciate the information on there, and will share it with the installer tomorrow.

I'm hoping if we do the partially staggered with a slightly larger grout line that it will work out okay. I don't mind a little lippage, because I really love the tile. I just didn't want to be tripping on it :)

Thanks for your help!

Here is a link that might be useful: sweet chaos

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 3:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Definitely check out brickton's link. As I understand, most (maybe all?) large format rectangular tiles have this issue. The longer ceramic tiles warp during the firing process.

See bill_vincent's response on how to address this issue:
... If the tiles were laid out soldier course, you couldn't even see it. But set them up in a normal brick joint tight to each other, and it would've been a nightmare. That's what they were originally looking for, and then TCNA came out with their warning about large format rectified porcelain and warpage. So we went with a 1/3 brick joint and a 3/16" grout joint instead of a tight joint.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 4:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This is something inherent in ALL large format tiles. This came out from The NTCA (national Tile Contractors Association) and the TCNA (Tile Council of North America) about 2 years ago, and was distributed to all contractors by Daltile:

Rectified tiles continue to increase in popularity, particularly in the commercial arena. For years, the industry and Dal-Tile have recommended that Rectified tiles can be installed with a 1/16" grout joint. However, from the contractor�s perspective, installations have become more time consuming and difficult to ensure compliant installations when attempting to install a Rectified tile with a 1/16" grout joint. In response, the new TCNA (Tile Council of North America) Handbook addresses this issue by recommending that the width of the grout joint used be determined by the ANSI A108.02 specification which states that the actual grout joint size shall be at least 3 times the actual variation of facial dimensions of the tile. To simplify: Rectified tiles, regardless of size, shall have a grout joint width no less than 1/8". As a result, Dal-Tile is changing its recommended grout joint width to be 1/8" for all of its Rectified tiles.

In addition, we will no longer recommend in our literature that Rectified and Non-Rectified large format rectangle sizes (Ex: 12" x 24") can be installed in a brickwork or running bond pattern where the overlap is 50%. The reason for this is that the allowable warpage for a tile based on ANSI specifications can create an installation issue when large format rectangular tiles are installed in a brickwork/running bond pattern. This allowable warpage can create a scenario where lippage is inevitable given the overlapping pattern. To mitigate this effect, Dal-Tile will be removing the brickwork pattern from our catalogs and literature. This will be replaced by a new pattern that will be referred to as a "Staggered" brickwork pattern where the overlap does not exceed 33%, and the grout joint width must be a minimum of 3/16".

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 6:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

How do you do a 33% overlap without having a 66% overlap at the other joint? Unless you insert another smaller tile for a flemish bond effect?

EVERY tile will have both a 33% and 66% overlap, like this:

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 6:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Does that mean that as long as the middle of a tile never abuts a joint the lippage will be within an acceptable range because it is 1/3 from the edge an not right at the midpoint?

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 8:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Close enough. The reason for using no less than a 3/16" grout joint is so that it'll hide the slight bit of lippage that will still exist.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 11:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

So these tiles, although trued up to be exactly the same size and perfectly square, are still not flat? Seems like a fatal flaw, and a strong argument in favor of gauged stone tiles.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 2:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I installed 13x36 Porcelenosa with a glassy finish on my shower walls, they seemed to be perfect. With 1/16" grout line they were a pain to install and avoid lippage. gave myself a B to B+. They also have floor tiles, very high quality and reasonably priced for the quality and style. Also installed 6x24 Daltile on another floor and they seemed fine, though I used quarter inch grout line with 50% staggered pattern. A- on this install, much easier.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 2:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for all your help! Bill, I appreciate the information. I shared it with the installer, and the floor is looking good. Grout will go in tomorrow, so I guess that will be the true test. What would I do without this forum? :)

Here is a link that might be useful: sweet chaos

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 5:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Tiles are fired at extreme temperatures. As such, they tend to flex somewhat in the process. Some are actually "cut" from larger pieces to attain the slinder "wood look."

Quality varies tremendously. Best advice is to "sight down" the material to select the straightest tile. Sure, it's a "crapshoot" and the better dollar typically gets the better tile.

When you stagger them at 1/3 settings, you MAY be able to minimize the "lippage," but you "pays your money and you takes your chances..."

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 8:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Can I use a true running bond then with a 12 x 24 tile if my grout lines are 3/16" to 1/4"? I don't care for the other staggered patterns.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 4:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes, although the lippage will be more evident than with a 1/3 stagger. Much depends on how bowed they are...

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 1:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Sandra Guerrero

Hi there

I bought 6x24 floor porcelain tiles. I want them to b installed on my bathroom wall from bottom to top. They are heavy what kind of adhesive or thin set should i buy? and i want then to b installed in vertical position.

Thk u for your help.

    Bookmark   on Wednesday at 6:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

To Sandra Guerrero:
I am so happy that you are so sure of yourself and went ahead and purchased your tiles before you consulted about the installation of same.
First and foremost. You need to have as close as practical, a very FLAT wall surface.
Next. You should get an experienced tile installer.
Second. You should get at least a "medium bed mortar" to handle the weight of the tiles and allow to infill any indentation in the wall surface. The "Custom" brand happens to be highly recommended, you can use any of the following three mortars; A) "Custom" Large Format Tile Mortar. B) "Custom" Complete Contact-LFT or the C) "Custom" Pro lite.
Third. Each tile should receive a full buttering of mortar before installation. The buttering shall be applied with a large notched trowel running in the same direction and the tile shall be applied with the butter ridges running vertically.
Fourth. At the very beginning you said that you wanted the tiles to be installed with a brick like running bond. If this is what you want, do NOT have the tiles off-set 50% like a common running bond. Instead, offset the tiles 33% of the length or about 1/3 its length. This will help minimize the buckling of the tiles.
Finally and most ideally. You would want your installer to use, "T-Lock" masters and adjustable wedges plus PLM crosses at the corners, which shall remained in placed untill the mortar sets.
Furthermore, you may want to log on to the following website for additional information:
Good luck;

    Bookmark   on Wednesday at 10:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
John Whipple - By Any Design ltd.

Careful with your stagger or off set. Some companies now are specify less than 1/3 running bond or 33.3%. 33.3% is the max you can go - it does not mean it is recommended.

I'm wrapping up a job with I Marmi 1'x2' tile from Italy. They want max 6" offset or 25% running bond.

Here I'm playing with the tile trying to find a nice flow to the veining detail. Thinner tiles tend to bow a little more. We just installed some last year - the wood grain look and the tile man had to open up the grout joint a bit because the tiles did have some crowing to them.

1 Like    Bookmark   on Thursday at 5:18AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Nervous about going curbless, need to decide this week. Issues, cons?
To be quite frank, we'd be doing this for looks only....
Marble bathroom question?
I am a lurker on this forum and have learnt a lot from...
Has anyone seen an interior door handle like this in the States?
Sorry for the link but I couldn't find an image to...
Finished Conestoga cabs bathroom
This wasn't our usual full DIY, we paid for the tile...
Does anyone know where to sell a brand new vanity
looking to sell locally only and tried craigslist this...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™