Any tile experts? Need help with flooring questions.

jeaninel

Aimara
Original poster
MFK Member
Oct 15, 2014
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california
Hey guys we recently had a flood in our home and need to have most of the flooring replaced. My living room previously had carpet and I want to change to tile. I love the look of the wood look porcelain tiles available now and really have my heart set on this. I've been doing some research and have some questions as far as having large tanks on tile flooring. When looking at the specs on the various tiles am I looking at what is called breaking strength for how durable the tile is? I'm seeing anywhere from 250 to 750 rating. I know it needs to be porcelain rather than ceramic tile. Will a tile with a rating of 251 to 499 breaking strength be ok? In my living room I have 150, 135 and 75 gallon tanks. What have your guys experience been with tanks on tile floors. Any issues with cracking from the weight of a large tank? Appreciate any advice and experiences you guys can share.
 

mr cichlid

Plecostomus
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Jan 22, 2017
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Tile has zero flexibility properties. Doesn't really matter if tile holds a pound or a ton. The structure and underlayment will determine the future of this endeavor. You said you had flood...could mean damage to joist or decking. If possible when in demo stage, double up existing joist and screw down cdx ply. If you can't then at least glue and screen cdx to existing osb. Which ever route you decide, cap with half inch durarock that has thin layer mortar between wood and underlayment (get crazy and staple chicken wire to decking prior)...screw the snot out of durarock and install tile using flexbound mortar with 3/16" or less grout lines. Remember if the wood flexes the tile pops. I went the extra mile and added support from footer to joist...more for piece of mind, enjoy!
 
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mr cichlid

Plecostomus
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Jan 22, 2017
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Also position tank perpendicular to joist spanning as many as possible
 
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Oughtsix

Dovii
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Apr 9, 2011
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When I laid the tile in my kitchen I started with a leveling compound with a mortar resistant fiberglass mesh set in it. (It has to be mortar resistant fiberglass mesh. Mortar will eat through standard fiberglass mesh) I used an acrylic primer to ensure good adhesion to the plywood floor and an acrylic additive in the leveler. The fiberglass mesh was held off the floor slightly by an electric cable heater. I used the same acrylic additive in the mortar for the tile. I recently had to remove a single tile to get under the floor. It was hell chiping out the mortar, leveler, fiberglass sandwich. Beating on it with a hammer would pop out tiny little chips and it is incredibly hard. I have peeled ceramic tile off a floor before and it was nothing close to the strength of the acrylic strenghtened fiberglass reenforced mortar.

I am also a huge fan of Spectralock pro epoxy based grout instead of the standard polyblend grout. Epoxy grout is several times stronger than polyblend cement grout and NEVER NEEDS TO BE SEALED!!!!

Like Mr Cichlid said the subfloor strength is key. Without a strong subfloor everything will flex under weight and the tile can pop off.
 
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jeaninel

Aimara
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Thanks guys! Forgot to add that I'm on a concrete slab. So as long as everything is level I think I'm good? I will look into that epoxy grout. 👍
 

Oughtsix

Dovii
MFK Member
Apr 9, 2011
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Redmond, OR
Pretty much any tile is going to have a compressive strength greater than that of your concrete slab. You should be fine as long as you do a solid tile job... i.e. no voids in your thinset. The larger the tile the easier it will be to get voids / air pockects between the tile and the concrete. Back butter the tile when you put it down and you will pretty much eliminate any chance of voids in the thinset.

I would use the acrylic primer on the concrete to ensure a good hold... but I way over build everthing and the primer would probably be way overkill.
 
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