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Black & Decker The Complete Guide to Ceramic Tile, Third Edition: Includes Stone, Porcelain, Glass Tile & More (Black & Decker Complete Guide) Paperback – September 1, 2010
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-When retiling (as opposed to starting from scratch) how much do you need to remove? Just the tiles and grout, or other things? Which things? How can you tell?
-What are my options?
-How do I do it?
The book answered the first question not at all, the second question partially, and the third one fairly well. I think most of the 'how to' problems in this book are organizational. For example, there is a handy section in the 'how to tile a granite countertop' section suggesting how to tile odd angles on countertops (I have some) which isn't included in the previous chapter, basic countertop tiling. Where it would make much better sense to put it! Also, you will find some things done differently in different sections (for example, on the countertop section, the edge tiles are put on last, but in the kitchen island countertop section, they are put on first, with different methods of suspension to keep them from sliding down as they dry. They give no reason for doing it differently. It would make better sense to include both methods, and perhaps a brief explanation for which tiles work better with which?
Maybe I'm weird. I like to know 'why' I'm doing something. I feel it helps me make better informed decisions. For example, the book gives you two options for countertop minimums: 2 3/4" thick plywood sheets or 1 sheet with an additional but thinner layer of cement board. The book makes no differentiation and describes both as 'acceptable'. After ripping up my tiles, I found that the previous remodelers had gone for the two sheets of plywood option, which, without the moisture protection cementboard gives, had begun to rot out, turning my quick retile job into a full counter replacement job. Around a sink you DEFINITELY want cementboard, as it is moisture & mildew resistant! And a plastic barrier in between the cementboard and plywood while you're at it. But if I hadn't researched, I might have made the same mistake as the previous remodelers because the book doesn't tell you.
Also, some of the 'basics' sections were a bit...lacking. Mixing mortar for example. It would be nice to know how long you have to wait after you feather over joining tape, before you can cover it with mortar again to lay tile, for example, or to list the mortar:water ratio if you are not mixing the whole bag at once because you don't need to mix a 25 lb bag (the smallest size available) of mortar to feather the joints. And we also found out the hard way that the 'small amount you can hand mix without needing a power mixer' is very small indeed: 5 lbs mixed by hand worked well, 10 lbs was about the maximum, 15 lbs broke every mixing stick in the house. 15 lbs of mix probably would have fit into a large kitchen mixing bowl. It's not a lot.
Summary: This book will get you started, but make sure to look up your options online on DIY websites or you might make uninformed decisions that may cause problems later. And even if you only need the book for one project, read the whole thing, because some really helpful basic information like how to suspend vertical tiles or methods of dressing non-right angle corners might be stuck in a non-related, non-basics section.
I decided that watching my friends and You-Tube videos were not enough, so I decided to purchase this book as a supplemental guide to laying tile. Hey, it was well worth the money I spent. Yes, you can probably find all the information in this book on the internet...somewhere. But I'd rather have my information from a trusted source.
I have not watched the DVD in the back as of yet. So no comment there.
So far I've done a shower, two floors, a back-splash, and small counter. I used the knowledge the book provided to complete each task.
As with any home construction project, you have to do it to learn it. A book can only take you so far and as far as books go--I recommend this one.
Only disappointment in both books was how to lay mosaic tile, the stuff preglued on mats that you see in the big-box stores (shown on the cover of this book, actually). It looks beautiful, but try putting that on a WALL! (isn't quite as difficult if you are putting it on a floor). The mortar comes up through the mat and between the tiny tiles (3/4" in my case) and makes a huge mess and makes it impossible to grout later. Both books give no useful advice on this, nor does the internet in general. (I did figure come up with an ingenious idea and it worked: putting a thin layer of mortar on back of mosaic, letting it dry, then putting it on wall like a normal piece of tile. Worked perfectly! Contact me if you need more info).
Most recent customer reviews
It assumes way too much . . . And we know what assumes means.