tile work - in progress - little red things to flatten

elphaba_gwDecember 16, 2012

Tile Work in progress -

using 12 by 24 field tile that is porcelain marble. Much lovelier than I expected. And a bonus is that there are no "repeats" along with the fact the tile was very inexpensive (can I say "cheap"?) at $2.50 per sq ft. Not finished yet so guess I should withhold final judgement.

For anyone interested in the "process", note the little red "thingies" - my tile guy explained to me that you have a little gun tile tool that you use for each of these red "thingies" that pulls out the air behind the tile and flattens the tile as much as possible, preventing that raised edge feature that happens sometimes on jobs where you don't want a raised edge.

Tiling is a lot more complicated than I expected and that includes picking out the right tile.

My tile guy says he has a whole notebook of pictures of jobs where his client wanted real marble instead of "fake" and then had the unfortunate experience of it being messed up by the wrong cleaning product in the wrong hands (i.e. maid or mother-in-law, etc).

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second try for including picture of tile with "red thingies"

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 1:51PM
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Looks intriguing. I wonder what they are called, surly not "little red thingies" :) Looks like a nice job too.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 3:41PM
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That's the Tuscan Leveling System. Is your tile porcelain or marble?

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 5:31PM
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Elphaba is that tile from Home depot?

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 8:03PM
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Tile is porcelain - 12X24

Bought it locally at Floor And Decor but same store provides ability to purchase on line. (I am only a customer and not otherwise affiliated.)
Here is the exact tile I bought -

I'll post when it is finished but at this point in the process, I am extremely pleased with my choice here.
There is a matching bullnose trim you can purchase - will need to lookup URL for trim if anyone is interested.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 9:45PM
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What do you mean by there are no "repeats"?

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 8:42AM
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I think elphaba means that the pattern on the tile doesn't repeat which often screams that it's porcelain rather than real marble. The more variation the better.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 10:53AM
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Yes, kali2024 has explained my meaning correctly.

My tile guy says that when they manufactured this stuff, they must have used a VERY LARGE slab of porcelain for a single design and then cut up into smaller tiles. I'm sure there MUST be a repeat that would show up somewhere, maybe if you purchased 10,000 sq ft or something (just guessing) but for my little bathroom, 7.5X13, there is no sign of any repetition of pattern, not yet and they are almost finished.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 1:16PM
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I thought that was what you meant, but there is a repeat in the small area you posted. Look at the bottom middle tile and then look at the tile to the left of it. The pattern is the same. It is in a slightly different place on the two tiles, but it is the same veining.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 5:34PM
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The Tuscan system is wonderful! My bathroom has a flat, flat porcelain tile floor with absolutely no lippage.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 6:08PM
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yes dekeoboe - I see it now. I'll have to tell my tile guy tomorrow that he is BUSTED! LOL! Looks like the same stamp though one is a little bit lighter. Because one is on the end where my tile guy cut the edge, it doesn't exactly match but if he hadn't cut it, I would bet it would be the same. I wonder if he is doing some magic tricks. I just took a look around the room (again) and didn't see any more but I wouldn't bet that they aren't there. They have to be somewhere - no way they could have an infinitely varying pattern (like nature) - it IS artificial after all. The nice part is that if they are there, they are subtle and few enough for me (especially at $2.50 per sq ft)

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 12:24AM
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Just showed my tile guy about the "repeat". He seemed genuinely surprised. I don't have much time but I'll upload another photo and leave it as a puzzle for you guys to find the repeats on this little section (may be upside down?).
FYI - tile is "Made in America", at least according to the box.
Little papers taped to wall in this picture are different paint samples. But I don't like any of them. Think we will go with a standard white.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 9:33AM
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Well, right off the bat I can see that the same repeat pointed out before is the same as the one to the left of the outlet in the last picture. The one above the outlet is the same as the upper left one in the first picture. Are you sure you want us to point out the repeats?

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 10:40AM
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HA, HA -- I don't mind it if you want to point out more repeats. It will keep me from bragging so much but I still must say it is absolutely gorgeous. I guess it is a good thing I don't know what real marble would have looked like because at this point I will never regret selecting this tile. It helps that I also think the tile guy is very good.

If you want to have fun with finding the repeats and posting, be my guest. This would probably be good for someone who is thinking of purchasing. But as for me, I think seeing it in person and seeing that the repeats are very very subtle, I don't need any more info in that regard.

Thanks for reading and posting.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 2:28PM
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Interesting system. Clamps the edges level with the adjacent tile.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 4:20PM
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In case you didn't notice or know, lazygardens,
not only are edges leveled with adjacent tile but there is a little plastic device that attaches to the "pipe" for each red "thingie" that sucks out air so the tiles are compressed/flattened against the wall better than if you just pressed on the tiles with the palm of your hand.
I"ll try to get a picture tomorrow of the plastic device in action before all red "thingies" are removed.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 1:18AM
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Here's a picture of the plastic gun/gadget that sucks out the air behind the tile when attached to the red plastic "thingies".

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 9:25AM
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Elphaba, I'm with you on the repeats.. I didn't noticed them (though maybe a pro will and maybe if you look for it you will). And I've got 12 x 24 porcelain calacatta marble look as well. It's just as nice as the real thing and the best thing is no maintenance. Thats was my biggest gripe with marble.. I like my tile shiny and i want to be able to splatter my shampoos, hair dye, conditioners, toothpaste, bleach and everything else thats used in the bathroom without worried that it will etch, or rust etc. It looks great!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 2:35PM
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What tile do you have, kali2024?

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 3:37PM
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The TLS (Tuscan Leveling System) has been around for a while. The inventer posts regularly on John Bridge Forums. There are a number of other similar systems available, including the "Lash" system from Homer Burrito...(HD) They all work and the idea is to reduce lippage. They don't take the place of a professional Tile Mechanic....but they DO make his life easier....

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 8:29PM
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I don't think that thing is sucking air out from behind the tiles. With the gaps between tiles that wouldn't accomplish anything. It looks to me like it's pulling on those white straps while pushing on the red pieces, forcing the tiles to be the same level. Regardless, it looks like a neat system!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 2:23AM
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Elphaba, I can't believe what I just saw over on the JB forum. It is a small world :) I was looking at an extra long thread (I think over a 1000 pages) because I did a google search for hydroban. Anyway, on one of the last pages or 2 I saw this incredible bathroom. I mean, just stunning. The use of materials was brilliant. As I was reading hear and there a phrase popped out "no repeats" in the large format porcelain marble like tile. So I went back a few pages to see the beginnings, and hunted to see if I could find the repeat pattern near the floor of your image above. Sure enough there it was.

That is a gorgeous space! I can't wait to see the reveal!!! Oh, and be sure to add the details of materials and how you arrived at the lovely tile design.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 8:09PM
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You can check out the TLS system at their homesite, tuscanleveling dot com.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 1:05AM
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Thanks for the tip, enduring - I did find a picture of our shower in progress over there. And yes, I'm in love with the material but I don't think our final reveal will be that spectacular because this bath is pretty small - it is in a house built in 1935. I'm thinking that is one reason the contractor found the Tuscan leveling system helpful - things aren't always so "even" in an old house.

Also, I was thinking more about the comment I made about "sucking out the air behind" and I agree that can't be right with the tiles not grouted yet. But they do have thinset or mud or whatever behind them so this system not just reduces lippage but also pushes the tile back against the wall (the floor if you're doing floor - whichever) and seem to keep the seams pretty small/narrow which I like.

I definitely will post a picture or two and links to the tile for wall and floor. I'm especially proud of the choice I made with the help of my contractor - I can't imagine it being any prettier and coupled with the low maintenance aspect of the porcelain - I am quite thrilled. Seems you can never really tell whether it will work until you purchase the tile and have some of it installed - no cheap do-overs in the tile world.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 5:22PM
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I wish our guy would have used that system! We have some uneven tile where I can feel that it's not as level as some others, just barely if I run my hand over the tiles. It kind of bothers me, but I'm trying to let it go. Our house is also old 1906 and nothing is straight or level. We used hexagon marble on our small floor. I really like what you're using, it looks beautiful!! Can't wait to see the reveal!

    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 1:02AM
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