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Rubber underlay for large porcelain tiles

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  1. #1
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    Default Rubber underlay for large porcelain tiles

    We have a bit of difficulty bringing up the height of our tiling to match other floor heights. It's on a concrete slab.
    We'll use standard porcelain floor tiles, I believe 10mm thick. We need to have the finished tiled height of 17mm. How can we achieve that? Is rubber underlay any good - certainly would be the easiest to install. What other good options we have? Can 'ceramic tile underlay' be used, or is it only for ceramic tiles? We don't want nails into the slab.
    Self-levelling?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    is the difference 7mm plus tile or 17mm plus tile ? If its only 7mm with a large format tile , you should be able to lay with a large notched applicator

  3. #3
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    To use something like rubber would be the best way to break the tiles and you don't want that... do ya.

    I think you have answered your own question "ceramic tile underlay".

    You say the tile is 10mm the advisive probably raise it another 2mm, for the 5mm difference is it really worth the hastle. You'd never notice the difference with edge treatment.

  4. #4
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    how large is the area?

    can you just ramp up the end tiles? it would be the same cost to lay down fibro sheeting as it is to use more glue and a larger notch trowel.

    rubber underlay will have too much flex, which will crack grout and the glue probably wont stick the best either.

    depending on the area, maybe just use floor leveling compound near the side of the room that joins the other floor.

  5. #5
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    Thanks all to your replies.

    Jiggy, it's the total finished tiled height of 17mm, ie. from the slab to the finished tile flooring. So the 17mm has to cover the thickness of the tile, glue and whatever they use to make up for the remaining height difference to bring it all up - total of 17 mm. The most likely "remaining height difference" would be around 5-6 mm (according to a few tilers we managed to talk to). Tile is 10mm, glue 1-2 mm.

    Other floor covering which adjoins this tiling is 17mm height so we have to match that. We were going to ignore the height difference and just leave that tiny step of 5-6mm, but then realised that the skirting boards then cannot "fit", or in other words, they would look funny on that abutting area.

    Rod1949, what do you mean by "edge treatment"?

    Scotty, the area consists of 2 separate areas, all up not more than 25 m2. What did you mean by "ramp up the end tiles" - you mean raise them at those ends to meet up the other flooring? In that case, would they be slippery and hazardous? Or is it a normal practice? If we use floor leveling compound near the side of the room that joins the other floor, would it be a liquid compound or it has to be cement based so it doesn't spread to other areas?

    One of the tilers said that it's not possible to use more glue as it will just fall under the weight of the tile (600x600 polished porcelain) by the time the glue dries the following day. Does that make sense? I asked about the non-slump glue and he said it doesn't matter, it's all pretty much the same when it comes to heavy tiles and the glue gets squeezed out under the weight, so they can't build up that much height.


  6. #6
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    1 t0 2 mm is a ridiculously low amount of adhesive for large format tiles, because the tiles are larger they spread the weight more evenly, should not be a problem having 7 mm , plus you can ramp down by a mm or two over a couple of tiles without any noticible effect.

  7. #7
    2K Club Member Dr Freud's Avatar
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    Just to clarify, from the slab to the top of the existing tiles is 17mm.

    Your tile is 10mm.

    You have to make up 7mm.

    This is just about the perfect height. Use a good rubberised cement based adhesive, I use Davco Ultraflex because it is smooth and creamy, but any old rubberised will do.

    Use a 12mm steel notched trowel, just a few bucks at the hardware. The flatter the trowel is the lower the height of the ridges, so you will need to operate the trowel at close to 90 degrees to the floor to get the full 12mm.

    The notches create 12mm square ridges of adhesive with 12 mm air gaps between each ridge, kinda like this:




    Note: DO NOT lower tiles as indicated in this picture. Lower the tile perfectly flat and place it gently with all of the tile touching the adhesive at the same time. This clown in the picture is pushing adhesive towards them before the tile has a chance to equalize its weight over the adhesive.

    When the tile sits flat on the adhesive, the weight of the tile should gently lower the tile (as you jiggle it into place). It will not squeeze all the adhesive out as the 12mm ridges will soon touch each other as the tile lowers, and it can go no lower.

    The adhesive height will now be 6-7mm, as often the tile does not lower to the full 1/2 height of the adhesive ridges. Use spacers to keep the tiles even and you won't have any drama's. If your tiler told you the tiles will "push out" most of this adhesive, he is a clown. The only place for the adhesive to "push out" will be through the grout gap. Do you have any idea the type of weight or pressure required to squeeze out this much adhesive through a grout gap, even when the adhesive is soaking wet, let alone overnight. Your tiler obviously doesn't.

    So go for the 12mm trowel, your height will be perfect. If you are 1mm or 1/2mm out at the join to the new job, just add about 1mm more adhesive at the join (or 1mm less if you are higher).

    Edge treatment is a stainless steel or brass strip you can place between these new tiles and the existing flooring covers. It keeps the systems separate to avoid breakages or cracks if say for example you decide the change the old tiles. Some people also add strips over the joined area, usually where joining carpets or floating floors. You can view many of these online or in flooring shops at your leisure.

    Good luck.

  8. #8
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    Thank you so much guys! I am at my wits' ends, since the tilers I spoke to were adamant that there would need to be a step because they can't make up the 6-7mm height difference - other than using self-levelling agents or some kind of sheeting (on which he would not even elaborate, and I'd like to know what gets installed in our brand new house!! ).

    So, how can I find a tiler in Sydney who would be willing to use a 12mm notch trowel and who would listen to us (when we present your ideas as ours !!)?! We gave our details to a few tilers and were expecting a site visit, only to never hear back from them!

  9. #9
    2K Club Member Dr Freud's Avatar
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    Sorry, can't help with that one.

    If finding hard working good quality tradies was easy, this site would be out of business.

    There are plenty out there, it just might take some looking, because they are usually booked out far into the future just by referrals only, not by advertising.

    Word of mouth is always good, so someone reading this close to you may know one.

    Or there's always DIY.

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