Tiling A Garage like they do in DR.

Snuffy

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May 3, 2002
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Hello. I live in Florida. The majority down here think tiling a garage floor in Ceramic or Porcelain is a big NO NO. They say it will not work. It will crack and become a mess. I know that in the DR they tile everything. They do a great job with garages and outdoor spaces using what appears to be ceramic or porcelain. I have seen floors here in FL done in epoxy paints and 2 part epoxy covers and I have seen plenty of problems. I want to avoid that. I think tile is cleaner and will probably be just fine.

Does anyone know if in DR they use ceramic or porcelain or does it matter? Anything special about doing a tile job in a garage down there? I found this ceramic I like a lot but I understand porcelain is more durable. Trying to figure out if the ceramic would be fine. Of course I will be driving a car onto it.

Thanks for help.
 

Givadogahome

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Sep 27, 2011
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The tile has nothing to do with cracking or movement in any way, it is what you put the tile on that makes the difference. If the foundation/substructure is crap the job will be crap. Laying onto concrete is pretty simple. If your garage floor is concrete then you can lay directly on to of this, no technical consideration is needed. If you were to relay the whole floor then tile it might be worth thinking of a few things, but if it is a garage floor, it will be pretty solid and stable. Just get the materials and go to work.

You are correct about the tiles, and typically ceramic are more slippy, infact some are outright lethal when wet, but there are ceramic flor tiles. it's worth getting a floor tile specific for bathrooms or kitchens.

You want a 90% coverage float for the floor tiles, meaning 90% of the tile has contact with the adhesive.
 
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Chip

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Jul 25, 2007
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Santiago
Snuffy

First feliz dia del Padre! Glad to hear from you.

With regard to the floor tile, ceramic and porcelain are used here, but ceramic is more common. As long as you have a slab on grade construction you will be ok for the first floor.

With regard to the use of clay tile I have seen it in Florida. I expect the problem with the clay tiles is that the roofs any more are made of 1/2" particle board and are very flexible and thus would not provide a good base. I sometimes don't have to wonder why whenever a hurricane comes to Florida many homes are blown away. On the contrary, the homes here in the DR that have tile roof are poured in place and reinforced and are very rigid.

You could call the roof tile manufacturer and ask them but my own opinion is that you would need 3/4" plywood, not particle board, as a base. Of course I'm no expert in this area and am basing this on walking on different types of roofs.

Don't be a stranger and look me up on Facebook
 

dv8

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Sep 27, 2006
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well put tile lies on a "bed" of cement and there are no empty spaces underneath, like JDJones explained. costs more to put because of the quantity of cement but will last a long time. there are plenty of outdoorsy tiles: surface is a bit rough so they do not get slippery when wet. dominicans also use "cement tiles", not sure about the proper name. those are reddish or spotted small square tiles, very thick and heavy. but they will last ages with not a single crack.
 

ben jammin

Well-known member
Aug 3, 2007
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If worried about the concrete below cracking use a crack isolation membrane first or a superflex mortar to set the tiles like this one (I've used it many times and no cracking) Super Flex If worried about wear and tear on the tile use a porcelain tile as it is indeed usually stronger and a solid color throughout if chips and such occur.
 

Snuffy

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May 3, 2002
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Thank you all for the quick input. Yes, pretty much as I expected. The garage is nice and flat with a slight grade. It has to be etched because it has to smooth a surface. I did a test etch and it worked fine. Think I will buy a porcelain for several reasons pointed out above. More money but I want to do it right. Again, I appreciate the information.
 

dv8

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Sep 27, 2006
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check out OCHOA, they always have an offer on few types of tiles. you can also get cement, grout and glue. all you need in one place. they will deliver anywhere in the country.
i have been saying it ad nauseum: pay cash and ask for a discount, ochoa will not budge much but it's always something.
 

ben jammin

Well-known member
Aug 3, 2007
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A diluted solution of muriatic acid would not hurt as a prep, as much to clean as well as a bit of etching. Again I stress to use good thinset mortar to set the tiles in and also grout boost (available at Lowes) to mix with the grout to seal it well.
 

Givadogahome

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Sep 27, 2011
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You are saying I don't need to etch it?

Yes! Smooth is good. Will give you consistent coverage when you load the floor with adhesive. You buy tiling floats (trowels) with grooves in one side which load the surface between 30% and 90%. For the floor, you want either 80 or 90% float. If you try to lay a tile of a flat 100% bed it will pop off as soon as it takes a huge pressure, a 100% bed leaves nowhere or air to escape when sitting the tile and so often forms an air pocket. What people are saying is kind of correct, but in practice wrong. You need these grooves so when sat, and slid into position, maybe 10mm it covers nd drags the adhesive to get pretty much 100% covering and the air escapes. It is not difficult, but it is worth getting the method right, make life easy for yourself. I wouldn't worry about flex or latex in your adhesive for a garage floor, messing around with membranes and expensive adhesives on a garage floor is way overkill. If you thought your garage structure was bad then you wouldn't be aying on it. Tiles, grout, trowel, sponge, buckets, adhesive and spacers, get to work and good luck.
 

ben jammin

Well-known member
Aug 3, 2007
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I am by no means trying to get in a contest with you givadog. I enjoy your wise advise on here and obviously you have very good knowledge of setting tile :squareeye I have been setting tile on a daily basis for 20 plus years and the advise I give is what I would do in my own garage. Muriatic acid is fairly cheap... mix 1 to 4 with water, mop over the floor and let sit 5-10 mins and wash off with a hose. Your floor will still be "smooth" but now it will be cleaned of any oil products, mold, grime etc. and it will do only good in getting the right adhesion. For the 5 or so bags of mortar used to set the tiles an extra 5-10$ per bag for the good stuff is not too much for a nice job and peace of mind. Obviously the OP is doing this for cosmetics... the concrete is structurally ok for driving cars on, so to keep the grout from staining an additive to it would be worth it, at least would in my case. The ultraflex and crack isolation suggestion is only if this seems to be a problem with the slab, not for general practise. Most slabs will have done their major seperating in the first few years so if it has been there awhile and no cracking has occured then good to go without it. Peace and happy tile laying... remember, a floor is like a woman.. if you lay it right the first time you can walk all over it for life:bored:
 

Givadogahome

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Sep 27, 2011
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I am by no means trying to get in a contest with you givadog.

There is no contest in offering advice my friend. The guy is asking what he needs to do to make a good job, not what he 'could' do, then the overkill alarms ring loud with all the new products and methods pushed into a trade that really is not difficult, nor needs to be expensive. 70% of new products pushed into the tiling market over the last 15 years are absolutely pointless money spinners. Just because products exist is not reason enough to use them. The only quality products that have been introduced over the last 30 years are the quality of latex adhesives, which aren't required on concrete slabs, won't do any harm, but not required so why pay for them.
Anyway, we are 6of1 and half a dozen of t'other, so he should do well if he follows the advice offered. Mind you, I'll bet my hat he screws the setting out up, that is where the real skill comes in.
 

Snuffy

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May 3, 2002
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There is no contest in offering advice my friend. The guy is asking what he needs to do to make a good job, not what he 'could' do, then the overkill alarms ring loud with all the new products and methods pushed into a trade that really is not difficult, nor needs to be expensive. 70% of new products pushed into the tiling market over the last 15 years are absolutely pointless money spinners. Just because products exist is not reason enough to use them. The only quality products that have been introduced over the last 30 years are the quality of latex adhesives, which aren't required on concrete slabs, won't do any harm, but not required so why pay for them


Anyway, we are 6of1 and half a dozen of t'other, so he should do well if he follows the advice offered. Mind you, I'll bet my hat he screws the setting out up, that is where the real skill comes in.

It is pretty much a rectangular room. I will watch a few videos on how to set it out. That doesn't concern me. My concern is getting the adhesive correct. I want a 90 percent float, but on top of that I want to back butter the tiles...right? That is what I get from local tile people.
 

Givadogahome

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Sep 27, 2011
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No, absolutely not. You want to load the floor, about as far as you can comfortably reach with the float. Once you have that area nice and uniform, then set the tiles into the adhesive on the floor. If you load the tile you will not get it right, t s bad practice, dot and dab, usually meaning a dot on each corner and a dab in the centre. This is no good fr a floor job, forget that method, it is amateur BS.
do as I said, then you can tile big areas easily. It the tile on the adhesive about 10mm from where you want it to be, then slide it on the adhesive, into position, the adhesive naturally mixes into 100% coverage as the grooves in the float will typically be 10mm.
once your off you can get a good speed up.
 

Givadogahome

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Sep 27, 2011
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For setting out, the most important thing is to make sure you don't end up with any difficult cuts, or tiny slithers to take off and your cutter will struggle on anything less than 15-20mm. Take into account pipes coming up for radiators or boilers etc. you'll want to try to get them so you just have to nick off the corner rather than drilling the centre of a tile, if possible, but not always the case. Just spend a good few hours working it out, get a long straight edge and mark up in chalk on the floor, use different colours fr different possabilities, then decide which works best and start from any of your main feature points.
Really, laying tiles is easy, marking properly is what takes the brain power. You'll see what I mean when you come across things when doing it and you'll think 'oh, if I'd just done that instead.........'.
Enjoy.
 

Criss Colon

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Jan 2, 2002
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When the idiots laid the tile at "La Plaza de laSalud", they put 5 dabs of mortar on each tile,one on each corner,and one in the middle.When we rolled in the equipment,most cracked as the wheels rolled over them!
I put down sheets of plywood to distribute the weight.Worked great.
However,many tiles have continued to break,some from foot trafic.
As far as using plywood,or "CHIPboard" as a subfloor,I can't believe anyone who knows anything,about the DR would allow that!
The termites are waiting for their "Dinner".Not to mention the water disolving the glue!
CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC
 

Jack Olsen

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Jul 30, 2012
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In the US, tiles are rated for coefficient of friction, moisture content and hardness. The coefficient of friction will determine how slippery they'll be, moisture content is for freeze/thaw issues, and hardness is a PEI rating which has to do with some commercial building codes. I put tile in my garage, and it was the first tile setting I had ever done. Four years later, I'm still very happy with it. It's a great floor option for a garage.

As others have indicated, cracking is an issue with the way the tile is installed, not (generally) with the strength of the tile itself. Usually, your tile will be stronger than the concrete it's sitting on. But like concrete, it's very strong in compression, but weak in tension -- which means that any void will create a potential area for cracking. So you 'double-butter' both the floor and the tile to get the kind of coverage Givadogahome is talking about.

Here's a video showing my hitting my tile with a four-pound sledge hammer. You can see it makes the camera jump.

Tile Strength - YouTube

My concrete pad was poured in 1925 and had suffered a lot of earthquake-related heaving in its lifespan. I did not make much of an attempt to flatten it out, but I was careful to bridge the more severe elevation changes. I'm very happy with it. Here's a picture, although the site will apparently not let me post pictures.



There's more information about the garage at The 12-Gauge Garage