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Other stories by Michael Byrne

  • Q&A: Setting Ceramic Tile Over Long-Span Steel Joists

    Q. The plans for a new house call for saltillo tile over a 3/4-inch plywood subfloor with 1/2-inch concrete backerboard (Durock) thinset and screwed to the plywood. The floor joists are Dietrich Trade Ready Floor System 12-gauge steel joists at 16 inches

  • Buildup in Shower Drains

    Q. Recently I've run into a couple of incidents where a crystallized white substance has formed on the shower floor and in the drain. In both cases the showers have mud-set floors and are entirely tiled. The water is from a public source. In one case, the

  • Shower Pan on a Slab

    Q. While I was removing the old tile from a concrete shower pan in a slab foundation, a portion of the 1x5-inch raised concrete lip separated from the slab below. It appears that the lip was formed and placed on top of the slab, and there is nothing tying

  • New Slab Over Old?

    Q. I am renovating a barn where the existing concrete floor slopes approximately 6 inches in 30 feet. The architect wants me to build a level floor using wood sleepers with foam insulation in between, then pour a minimum 11/2-inch-thick radiant slab betwe

  • Q&A: Floor Tiles vs. Wall Tiles: What's the Difference?

    Q. One of the tile showrooms where my remodeling clients shop has tiles displayed in two sections, one for floors and one for walls. What's the difference between a floor tile and a wall tile? Is it possible to interchange the two?

  • Q&A: Cleaning Grout

    Q. I have a client who had a tile floor put down a few years ago. The tile installer told her the grout already had a sealer in it so no additional sealer was ever put on. Now the grout is stained, and she has been trying to clean it with bleach (the grout is white) but cannot stand the fumes. Is...

  • Q&A: Various Reinforcing Mud-Bed Tile Floors

    Q. What's the right type of mesh to use in a mud-bed tile floor? Should I use a self-furring lath (like the type used in stucco work) so that it centers itself in the mud?

  • Q&A: Tiling Over Old Linoleum

    Q. Is it okay to tile over an old linoleum floor? I'm concerned that the tiles might contain asbestos.

  • Kitchen & Bath: Prepping Wood-Framed Floors for Tile

    Prepping wood-framed floors for tile

  • Q&A: Steam Room Details

    Q. My customer wants to have her combination steam room–shower tiled with a nonglazed floor and wall tile she has already purchased. Is the tile suitable for this type of application? I would use Hardie’s Tile Backer for a substrate and the appropriate thinset mortar.