Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
hershey8

I Want To Make My Own Bathroom Floor Tile.

Recommended Posts

hershey8    13

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)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Babs    386

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.ceramicartsdaily.org/topic/5467-clay-rolled-on-a-slab-roller/?hl=warping&do=findComment&comment=50368

 

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
neilestrick    1,381

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mark C.    1,807

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chris Campbell    1,088

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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pres    896

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GEP    863

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Babs    386

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hershey8    13

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mark C.    1,807

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
CarlCravens    58

(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.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hershey8    13

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chantay    101

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GavJ    0

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")

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pres    896

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×