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Large tiles on a concrete floor


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Hi All, I'm hoping to pick your brains before I take on my next project to save any disasters.

I am going to be tiling a floor space of around 60m2. The tiles are ceramic measuring 45 x 45. The floor is flat concrete that was laid serveral months ago so has had plenty of time to go off. The 3 areas I wanted advice on are the following:

Laying:         I was planning to work in sections, giving the floor a wash of 2 parts PVA to 1 part water and then laying onto that area before it has fully dried with adhesive applied to the floor with a rounded edged trowel as well as a smoothed layer of adhesive on the back of the tile due to the size. I was also planning on wetting the back of the tile slightly before applying the adhesive to it. Will it matter what size spacers I use or is that just a case of personal preference?

Adhesive:     I was not sure eactly what adhesive to use but was thinking of Fermafix Technique at €37.95 per 25kg but would be open to suggestions of a better or more suitable product such as something from the Weber range perhaps? I was also wondering how much adhesive is likely to be required. I was estimating at about 250kg?

Grout:           I will leave the floor for at least 24 hours prior to grouting and apply it using a float quickly following by cleaning with a moist sponge and then polish of any residue with a soft cloth. I don't forsee any problems with the task but my problem here is what product to use? The products efficiency is my main issue although colour would have some bearing as well; white is not a good plan on the floor so I suppose grey or ideally a sandstone would be favourable provided the product is up to the job as well. The last thing is how much am I likely to need? (dependant on the spacers I realise).


If anyone has anything to add to or warn me away from on the techniques I had in mind I would love to hear it and also some help on the products and quantities requried would be great.

Thanks in advance for any help.


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Did the same at our place.   We used exterior patio tiles in a lovely cream riven pattern, advantage being they are frostproof, not affected by heat or cold, waterproof and have anti-slip surface already.  Easy to maintain as they just mop down.   They are big tiles 500x500mm to make a flagstone effect  but big tiles equals less grouting!.  We also got a brilliant deal on them from Brico Dept so they do work out cheaper.  (Remember to make sure they fit into your tile cutter though, or use 4inch angle grinder with masonry cutting disc)

Laying tile tiles should be on an adhesive applied to the sealed concrete in a manageable working area so you can reach to lay the tiles easily.  Adhesive should be applied with a wide serrated float.  Start at the door view line line and work away so that the tile line runs straight and then you won't see the cuts as you look into room.   Another reason we used these tiles was that they had wobbly edges cos in a wobbly old house it hides the edges better.

Grout - Buy a limestone waterproof grout.  Note that the best way to buy tile adhesive is not ready mixed in tubs but powder form that you mix yourself - rapid set in 4hrs or normal overnight set.

Ours looks magnificent, even if I say it myself!

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   ok my view ...

   donot pva  the floor ... you are going to use expensive " glue " ( why I don`t know , when the floor is good I just use the cheep €10 a bag stuff and never had a tile lift yet ) and stick it to wall paper paste . Just get a long flat float and prime it  first with the "thin set " as thin as you can ,this will take out any low spots and give a good key for the bond

 ok  mark out the floor first .. find the centre of the room  in both ways and " ping it " with a chalk line . now dry layer in both directions one course of tiles ,if you find you have say a 1" cut left at one side and a nearly full tile the other adjust the line and try to make both side cuts the same--- ish  ..do this in both directions and adjust  your chalk line to suit . make sure any door ways etc do not have the same problem .

   you are going to use a round nose float .. I like to use a square float on tiles that big  but thats just me , I just lay on the mix with a wide scraper ( because it`s easier to get it out of the bucket ) and then float it with the notched trowel .

ok yes I do wet the back of the tile I just dip the ends of my fingers in a bucket of water and flick it on to the tile just before I lay it

 buy your self a good grouting float ...like say a MEJIX one this will take off 99.999% of the grout ( but wear two gloves  it gives me blisters every time I use it)  and no need to clean the tiles till next day . I just brush them with a soft brush and hoover them

 for info only good luck


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Somebody who's done this a lot once told me to begin by thinking about where most people will enter the room from (say the front door if it's your main room).  Chalk a straight line as Dave says, from the door across the room and begin at the line then work either way from there.  The principal of this apparently was that people notice the finished effect mostly from that point of view and rarely see the edges, so it looks better.  Certainly, I've been really impressed with the work of his that I've seen so far.
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Save your self loads of time grouting and cleaning by following what the local carreleurs do here, I did!

Go to a sawmill or any brico shop that cuts wood to measure, ask for a sack of sawdust (sciérie, je pense), pour on the diluted grout as per instructions and spread around with a tilers raclette on a groomhandle.

Have a cuppa and a ciggy if you so wish and after about 40 minutes (I cannot recall exactly and it will depend on temperature) when the excess has started to dry sweep it up in a scrubbing action with a balai coco.

It took me about 1/2 hour to do 40M2 and you will be left with perfectly finished joints, polished tiles and no residue to clean.

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go for the weber products as they say pick your lines decide where you prefer to have the cut tiles grout diagonally and wash with water diagonallyonce it starts to dry we sometimes use a ragleage to make the base dead level and then seal it before tiling
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