If you are thinking about use the new SnapStone Porcelain Floor Tile that is out now, you will want to take the time to read this. I decided to use this tile in my bathroom in a very old house. The results that I got with this tile were much better then I expected that it would be.
When the floor of my old bathroom got so bad that I could no longer take the pain of looking at it, I decides that it was past time to do something new. The problem was that I live in a very old house that was severely neglected for many years and even the piping froze one winter, causing water damage to the floors of the house. The bathroom floor was just covered with cheap stick down linoleum tile that no longer was being held in place by anything other then the weight of the tile. If you had sticky wet feet the tile would stick to your feet and come up as you walked on it. Something definitely had to be done.
As I was looking through the local big box store, I notice the SnapStone porcelain tile. It looked like just the thing that was needed for my situation. I did some research and found no major problems from people. I talked to the salesman in the store and of course they recommended the product highly. So, I decided to take the plunge and purchase the tile. The price of the tile was on the upper end of the scale, but not have to totally rip up the floor and redo the subfloor was going to offset that cost. The flexible grout that is to be used with this tile also was high priced, but if the floor was going to flex, then the grout had better flex too. The other great attraction to this tile system was that I figured that I could start the project and finish it in one night. The bathroom was only about 40 sq. ft. of floor, so it was a small project.
I started the floor in the evening on a Friday night after everyone had their showers. The cutting of the tile went well with my 4″ battery angle grinder and a 4″ diamond cut wheel. The backer on the tile allowed for the imperfections in the existing floor. Snapping the tiles together, took some hammering with my rubber mallet, and the last tiles I forced together using a small pry bar, hooking the bar over the end of the tile and pulling it forcefully in place. I had some problems with the whole floor assembly moving around, being that the bathroom was so small and the tile floats, allowing it to move as the tiles were snapped together. Constant checking was required to make sure the floor was staying where it was supposed to be.
The tile part went real well and a few hours later I was mixing the grout and grouting the seams. The SnapStone system worked great at holding the gaps for the grout joints. The special grout worked well and went in easily. The main thing to watch is that the grout will settle in the joint and refilling of the joint is usually necessary, as the grout settles. The tile washed easily and after the 24 hour time period required, you could walk on it. I did restrict the traffic for a couple more days, to make sure that the grout setup well before heavy traffic was allowed on the floor.
Overall, I have been very satisfied with the product and the way the floor has turned out. The base was very bad and the floor still seems to be holding up well. I you have a problem floor, or are just looking for an easy way to lay a porcelain tile floor, then I would recommend this product.