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I Want To Make My Own Bathroom Floor Tile.

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#1 hershey8

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 10:05 PM

The vinyl finally wore out in our bathroom, so I decided to replace it with tile. Problem is, after searching six stores, I simply can't find a tile that knocks my socks off. Sooooooooo......I'm thinking a potter should be able to make his/her own tiles. I work mainly with cone 6 stoneware. Do you think cone 6 stoneware will work ok on a floor? And if so, do you have any thoughts on creating a durable, matte glaze to go on this. We have no plans to eat off of the bathroom floor, so I guess it won't have to be food safe. I plan to make tiles about 10" x  10", maybe a little larger. Not sure if they will slump if placed on an open tile setter. I have a slab roller, and am making a wire slicer thing-a-ma-bob(sp?). I thought I would slice clay from a 25 pound pug, since it's already almost the right size, then roll it to correct thickness, allow to dry a bit, then cookie cut and finish drying, then bisque fire,  and glaze fire. Any advice and/or red flags? Thanks,

 

                                                                                                       john autry (hershey8)

 



#2 Babs

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 02:07 AM

Dry your tiles slowly between boards with a bit of weight on them. There was a thread on how to avoid warping in tiles and slabs Might be worth looking for as there was a lot of great input.

http://community.cer...ping#entry50368

 

IA light textured surface may  add to t he nonslip, not too much or they will be a beech to clean.



#3 neilestrick

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 08:10 AM

You do not want to make your own tiles.

 

But if you really, really do, cone 6 clay will work just fine. 10x10 is a big tile, and you're really going to struggle with keeping them flat. Like Babs said, keep them sandwiched with weight. Take your time, don't rush them. You will probably not be able to fire them on a tile setter. Flat on a shelf will work best, which means you need a lot of shelves.


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#4 Mark C.

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 10:20 AM

This may sound strange but its cheaper to buy them.

With large tiles like that you will go thru many a learning curve

even small ones like to warp 4x4 or 6x6s so 10 x10s will try to look like bananas.

as noted wieght is your friend -good luck.

Mark


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#5 Chris Campbell

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 10:32 AM

I would suggest you talk to a tile installer BEFORE you start this project. Find out what they need in order to install it with success.
There is a reason why tile floors are perfectly flat ... Off kilter is fun for a while but a pain to clean, move things on etc.

Two ... Glaze matters, surface matters. Remember the stats on most accidents happening in bathrooms ... Think wet,, soapy.

If you have never done tile before, might I suggest you find a plain tile at the store then augment it with your decorative hand made tiles.
This way you get a perfect background for your tiles and you keep the "fun" in the project for yourself.

Enjoy!

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#6 Pres

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 10:36 AM

I have had adult students try to do much of the same thing.  It really takes time, lots of trouble, and warpage and cracking can take a big toll. We have had great success with custom bullnoses etc when extruding them. This we did because a type of tile used in a house was no longer available, but the owners wanted to keep the originals, just replace the several that had broken. After making new ones in first run she decided to replace all.


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#7 GEP

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 11:06 AM

I agree with Chris's idea ... design a floor with mostly commercial tiles, with some accents of your handmade tiles. The floor will be more functional, your workload will be manageable, and you'll still get a whole lotta handmade charm.


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#8 Colby Charpentier

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 11:29 AM

If you did end up making tile for your entire floor, you would learn to do it just as you complete the project. We're currently doing 12" x 12"s and it takes a lot more than one would expect. Here's the step by step:

Mix clay
Pug clay
Cut portions for press
Ram press tile
Smooth top of tiles with rib
Let tiles partially dry then trim edges
Dry tiles completely then sand edges
Bisque tiles
Unload and wash tiles
Wax tiles
Spray or dip glaze tiles
Wash unglazed areas
Glaze fire tiles
Seal tile with 3 coats for glazes that require it
Pack and ship or inventory product

And the yield is really low. After a couple weeks of producing this handmade tile, our large gas kiln is only spitting out ~70 12" tile per load. The start up costs are absurd, especially all the shelves, as Neil mentions. The final cost of the 12" time is $36 a piece, and the cost per square foot goes up as the tile size goes down.

I wish you the best of luck, just understand what you're getting into.

#9 Babs

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 04:00 AM

And you may need to rib out the back so that the sticking stuff catches better.

Here some clay works will sell bisqued or even green tiles and then you glaze etc yourself. Still, as abov,e firing them is pretty uneconomical, the non slip surface a consideration.



#10 hershey8

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 09:25 PM

UNCLE!  The "nays" have it. After reinforcing the floor with 2x8 -- some fool thought it would be ok to use 3/4" AdvanTech subfloor on 2-foot centers(fool and I are the same)- I installed some concrete board and installed 12x12 commercial tiles today.   I came across something I liked for a buck per tile. Grouting takes place tomorrow afternoon. Does anyone know how to make grout? lol, just kidding, cracking myself up here....hee hee. Thank you all. ja



#11 Mark C.

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 09:30 PM

If the floor flexes at all the tile will come loose

You cannot overkill that part-

Consider a new sub floor.

Make sure the cement board is really well attached

I have seen tile pop off many a springy floor.

Mark


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#12 CarlCravens

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 09:46 PM

(fool and I are the same)

 

There is no fool we chastise more than our younger self.  And none we sympathize with more, either.

 

(I'm a software developer at the same place for 8 years.  I'm constantly going, "What idiot wrote this... oh, that's my code."  There is no teacher like cleaning up after your own mistakes.)


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#13 hershey8

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 11:13 PM

If the floor flexes at all the tile will come loose

You cannot overkill that part-

Consider a new sub floor.

Make sure the cement board is really well attached

I have seen tile pop off many a springy floor.

Mark

Well, I think subfloor and concrete board are now glued, screwed, tattooed, and braced adequately. Almost added a layer of 3/4 plywood, but it looks like the bracing will work without it. Bracing got rid of the flex. Thin set mortar beneath the concrete board helped rigidify the subfloor, too. Thanks Mark, ja



#14 Chantay

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 12:16 AM

I just had slate and granite installed. Expert and experienced installer said tile cannot be put on top on plywood. Especially in potential wet area. Wood will swell and tile will crack. Even if sealed. Tile must be put on top of cement board. We had ceramic tile around the fire place. Was on top of wood. Cracked and chipped. Ended pulling the plywood to get the tile up.


- chantay

#15 GavJ

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 04:30 AM

You jest about the grout, but that is actually extremely easy. Grout is basically just sand and cement.

So... semi-homemade is buying a bag of cement and a bag of sand and mixing them (ratio depends on gap size)

although that isn't actually all that homemade, since it's not that different from buying grout.

 

Fully homemade is medium-easy and would consist of digging up some sand from a beach or whatever, and gathering some limestone, "firing" the limestone, slaking it, then mixing the sand as before.

Which is much less of a harrowing prospect for somebody who already has a kiln (limestone won't hurt it - tons of people already use limestone for normal ceramics anyway, as "whiting")



#16 Pres

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 07:25 AM

If the floor flexes at all the tile will come loose

You cannot overkill that part-

Consider a new sub floor.

Make sure the cement board is really well attached

I have seen tile pop off many a springy floor.

Mark

We have an old home (1890) and just renovated the upstairs via contractor. His recommendation for tile in the new bathroom on the master suite was a ceramic vinyl. He said with the old homes the second floor flexed enough that cracks and pops happen often. We love the floor, and the electric heat underneath it.


Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/





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