Tile for basement..cheap stuff from the HD...

andrelaplume2September 7, 2012

I am thinking of installing some inexpensive cheap ceramic tile from HD or Lowes in my basement workroom, and in the path that goes from the bottom of the stairs to the washer. My floor is concrete. Its smooth, no cracks or anything. I have to water issues...assuming the water or washer ever go!

I am on a buget and would attempt tis endeavor myself. I have tackled studding and drywalling and think I have access to a wet saw from a relative. How hard is it to mix the thinset and lay such tile. Must you have grout lines? My preference would be to but the tiles among each other...is there a reason not to do this?

The basement is not mean to be a focal point or anything...just a clean place for the kids to hang out. I see HD and Lowes have tile anywhere from .57 to .68 a sq ft at any point in time. It s ceramic. I have not yet checked the PEI rating. Is it suitable for a basement floor? If unglazed (more non slip???), would this be a decent tile to put down...or is it junk that will crack if something is dropped on it or dragged across it etc etc. Pros / Cons..appreciated. Thanks!

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We laid tile in the basement. The floor had no cracks or holes. But! It was very unlevel from settling.

If you tile make sure to use a floor level before laying the first piece. You may need a good layer of self-leveling compound set down. We used 200-lbs for a little over 600-sq' area.

Check prices at a local tile store, too. Sometimes their prices are better than the big box stores. And, they usually are more knowledgable about different setting compounds, new types of grout, how to properly space tiles depending on size, etc.

That's where I learned about Laticrete Permacolor grout. It contains a sealant that resists mold, mildew, common household germs, etc.

If you don't like the look of grout lines, you could use 1/8-inch spacers. I think that is the narrowest available. There's also a 3/16-inch. Then choose a grout that matches the predominant colour in the tile.

FYI our entire basement cost 1550-USD and we used wood-grain 6"x24" planks with two rows of 4 18"x18" squares in front of the outside door. That did include delivery charges, tho. This was all from our local shop. And they put up with all of our silly questions and dumbfounded looks with grace and aplombe ;-)

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 4:22PM
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thanks for the information!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 8:25PM
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For grout lines (yes, you DO need them) shuffle up a dozen or so tiles on edge and measure any size variations. The cheaper the tile, the more difference you'll find. Multiply the variation by three...this is the minimum grout width for that tile.

Take a long straightedge and inspect the floor. Is it flat? Humps and birdbaths need to be addressed if more than a quarter inch in ten feet. The bigger the tile, the more critical this becomes to avoid "lippage."

Sprinkle some water in various areas. It should absorb into the concrete within a few minutes. If it doesn't, the floor might have a sealer and needs to be roughed up or the thinset will not adhere properly.

Thinset should be mixed in a 3 or 5 gallon bucket with a 1/2" drill and a mixing paddle. Put about 2" of cold water in FIRST and slowly add the powder (Versabond from HD is fine) until you get a "buttery" like consistency. Let it sit for at least five minutes and then mix it again. Probably a 1/4" trowel will work for anything up to about a 12" tile, if the floor is pretty flat. The thinset should just hold the ridges without slumping. A good idea is to "burn" in a coat of morter on the tile backs. Just use the flat side of the trowel to put a paper-thin coat on right before you set it, assuring a good bond.

Hope this helps and doesn't discourage you...

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 11:40AM
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