Yesterday was pretty fun. I met the tile installer at Tile America in West Hartford. I picked out the tile for the basement and the grout color. I like the grout to match the tile, so the floor doesn’t look like a big checker board. We also ordered up the thinset.
I bought 473.44 square feet of 13″x13″ Classic Wheat commercial grade tile. That’s a lot of tile. I also bought 60lbs of Avalanche colored grout. Lastly, I bought 100 lbs of Ultraflex polymer modified mortar.
The tile guys are coming tomorrow to start the installation. The nice thing is they are going to pick up all the materials before coming here in the morning. They have a truck…I don’t. If I did, trust me…I would be at Home Depot getting the 67 cent per square foot tile. Oh, the price I pay for delivery. I had actually contemplated installing all the tile myself. Then, I thought better of it. I think I would do a good job, but then again, who is going to do my computer work for me that day? I prefer to work at what I do and let others work at what they do. The door installation validated that.
Last night, I had a few small things to take care of in the basement. I had to trim up the bottoms of the door mouldings and apply a crack prevention membrane on parts of the concrete floor.
I used my Dremel and cutting disk to cut through two and a half mouldings. The first two went very well. About half way through the third one the Dremel started sounding like popcorn. I looked down and smoke was pouring out of the motor. The whole thing felt so familiar. Man, it stunk!!! Yeah, I guess I blew up my Dremel. I will have to check my receipt to see if it’s still under warranty. To finish the job, I used my reciprocating saw, which I should’ve used the whole time. It worked great.
After that, I gave the whole floor a nice cleaning. I swept and vacuumed. If there are any cracks in the floor, you need to use some sort of a membrane. I have actually heard of people using tarpaper for this, but I chose to use RedGard. I got two gallons at Home Depot yesterday. The other option was to use Schluter-DITRA, but I didn’t think I needed that. The only thing that is wrong with the floor is a hairline crack about five feet long. You can hardly notice it. I tried to stay on the safe side.
RedGard is very cool stuff. It has the consistency of yogurt and can be applied with a brush, roller or sprayer. It goes on pink and dries red. After it dries, it’s like a layer of plastic. People use is for a crack membrane and waterproofer. I am sure you can find other uses for it too.
I basically needed to use it for that one crack, but decided to put it around all the concrete expansion joints too. I believe that you aren’t supposed to tile over expansion joints. You tile up to them and keep the joint. From what I am reading, people tile right over everything, while using no preparation and the tile floor lasts for 100 years. It’s only us who analyze the thing to death that have issues. I am going to see what the tile installer’s experience tells me. After all, he is the expert with the picture book of hundreds of jobs.
I’ll take some pictures tomorrow of the installation.