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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Installing Travertine Tile in the Kitchen - Part 1

When deciding on the tile for the kitchen, I knew I wanted to go with the same tile I had used in my house in Garland. I installed the tile and knew it was a tile I could easily work with. This picture was taken in my Garland house when I was still grouting and no baseboards were installed at the time.

I bought the tile at Floor and Decor in Plano. It is from the Noce Travertine Tile Collection.

This is a smaller version of the tile I bought. This is a fairly accurate color of the tile.

Installing tile on concrete floors vs installing tile on wood subfloors is a big difference. I soon found out it is much easier to install on concrete than install on a subfloor!

First we had to install cement backer board. We purchased 1/4" HardieBacker cement boards like these:

Here are some pictures of the cement boards already down. This is also a shot of the start of my pantry. The duct tape on the floor is the rough area of where the island would sit.
What a difference my good camera makes! Here is another shot of the cement boards on the floor.
Rick positioned these in the general area of where we were going to tile. He just laid them down. We knew they had to be secured but to what extent, I had no clue. So, I googled it. How did we ever live without Google?

From this site, I discovered you must first use thin set mortar under the cement boards. Really? The instructions said if you lay flooring over just the plywood subfloor, your plywood could swell and contract causing the flooring material to break and buckle. It is especially important to use cement board in areas with high moisture such as a bathroom and kitchen area. Well, crap!

Back to the spread just enough thin set for each piece, leaving an 1/8" gap between the boards. That was great, considering Rick had already cut every single piece and butted them right up to each other. 1/8" doesn't sound like much but when it is all lined up, everything gets out of whack. Then you must tape and mortar the seams together.

Once you have the first piece firmly in place and set into the mortar, you want to secure it to the subfloor using 1 1/4” cement board screws. Drive these screws in every 6 inches around the perimeter of the sheet. Then go through the middle and drive them in every 8-10 inches. Make sure that you counter sink the head of the screw in so that it is perfectly flush with the surface of the material.

Do you know how many screws that is per sheet? After carefully looking at the sheets, I noticed these round circles all over the board. I always wondered about that, but thought it was the manufacturer's design element in it! Ha. Yeah, it was a design element alright. Designed to guide in placing the 102 some-odd screws in each freaking board! This is from a closeup shot I took of the board and I didn't even get the whole thing in view so I could point out all the little places the have marked for your screws.

You must use these special screws for this too...of course you do! Another issue I had to deal with. The guy at Floor and Decor showed me the type to use. When drilled in, they countersink so the head of the screw goes down below the surface of the board. Well, some do. That is...if you have enough strength and enough power in your drill battery to make that happen. My cute little drill gun didn't have enough umph to drill through them. I had to use Rick's Dewalt power drill that he hoards. Whatever. He thinks his tools are better than mine. (and most are, but he doesn't have to always point that out...jeez!)

So, he gives me his drill and I set to work. Keep in mind, I am doing all this while him and Zach are putting up the final side of the ceiling. After hearing me cuss and moan for about an hour, he takes a break and strolls over and checks out my progress. I had only gotten about 20 screws done during that time. (I am not exaggerating!) He says to me - You know, it is much easier if you predrill those holes before you put the screw in. I thought I was going to kill him! Why didn't he tell me that before?  I think he does that just to find some humor in messing me with. Rick? Oh, no! He would never do that sort of thing. After all, he is Every Girl's Dream.

Well, after I figured out Rick telling me to predrill the holes, things did go a lot smoother and faster. When all the boards were done, I added a mesh tape (the same I use between pieces of sheetrock) and used some thin set to hold them all together.

Finally, I was ready to install the tile.
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mackdiez123 said...

what kind of pattern did you use?

Paulette @ Once Upon a Cedar House said...

I used the Versailles pattern. You can see the layout here:

Hope this helps!

Regalo Tiles said...

Thanks for sharing a nice information.

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