Tiling a laundry/furnace room

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by blown, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. blown

    blown Engineer

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Wichita KS
    A friend of a friend asked if I was interested in tiling her laundry room. I said sure, then when I saw it found out it was more than just a laundry room. It's an odd-shaped room that has the laundry, furnace, water heater, and a small storage area. She wants it ALL tiled in, basically everything you can see so it looks clean/tidy.

    My concern is around the floor drain and the drain pipes that are set into the concrete floor. I'm not sure if it's cool just tile right up next to that or if there is something special that needs to be done to prevent water from getting under the tile. Also, I want it to look nice of course. And, is it OK to tile around the water heater or should the heater sit on top of the tile?

    If I agree to do it, I plan to use Ditra as the underlayment. I haven't checked with a straight edge but it all looks pretty flat other than a couple small craters that I'll have to fill in with something.


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    Last edited: Nov 3, 2011
  2. electrichillbilly

    electrichillbilly New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    turtlepoint, pa
    looks like the first thing you gotta do is bury that cast dain line. depending on whats up with that you can change and reduce to pvc the drain your ytalking about whas to be raised to the new floor height, also it will lokk like a true hack job if you tile around the hw heater. odd shaped room is the least of your problems from what i can see.. room need not been exactly level but does need to be flat. if you've never laid tile start with a test board to get the hang of things, layout your floor with at least 1/2 full tiles aqlong the perimeter.
    snap chalk loines and work on a three foot sq area at a time, always leading with a tile, checking the lippage on the next tiles with a straight edge..
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,817
    Location:
    New England
    Raising everything up to gain access so you can tile will be a major pain...and potentially expensive as even around 1/2" could make the ductwork, gas lines, water lines, etc. no longer fit. If you didn't tile everything, when it came time to change the furnace or WH, you'd likely never get another one to fit exactly, and then you'd have something looking lousy again. It looks like they're using the floor drain for their washing machine outlet, and the piping to that is messy, and should be cleaned up.

    I think I'd pass on that job.
  4. blown

    blown Engineer

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Wichita KS
    Why do I need to bury the cast drain line? Can I not just tile around it? Or change it all to PVC and only bury the part that's already in that little trench?

    Why does the drain need to be raised? Can't I just tile up next to it and calk around the edges around the drain so any spills would go into the drain?

    I'm just asking these questions to further the discussion; I'm not trying to pretend like I know what's best.

    She said "it doesn't need to be perfect" but I told her I would only do a job if I'm sure I can do a professional quality job (albeit MUCH slower than a pro would do it). I'm afraid someone else is going to come along and tell her "sure, I can just tile right around everything, that's no problem, trust me I'm a pro and that blown guy doesn't know what he's talking about" and not care if it causes her trouble in the future.
  5. dlarrivee

    dlarrivee New Member

    Messages:
    1,172
    Location:
    Canada
    You're talking about doing a half-assed job, and then professional quality... make up your mind.
  6. blown

    blown Engineer

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Wichita KS
    I'm just trying to understand exactly WHY all of those things should be done, not just so I know what to do but so I can explain it to her if (or more like when) I turn down the job so she won't get screwed by someone else looking to make a buck.
  7. dlarrivee

    dlarrivee New Member

    Messages:
    1,172
    Location:
    Canada
    Your friend wants neat and tidy and you plan to caulk your tile to the side of an exposed pipe in the floor... do I really need to say more?
  8. blown

    blown Engineer

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Wichita KS
    So are these things more about what looks bad, or about what will cause problems in the future?
  9. Terry Love

    Terry Love Plumber

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    Bothell, WA
    The piping to the floor drain is ABS plastic.
    I agree with Jim about getting too close to the fixtures already in place, that at some point will need replacement and may not be the same size. That part is not normally done with flooring. That's utility room stuff. I would leave some of the flooring undone around the furnace and the water heater.

    Getting someone to drain and move the heater while you tile would be two trips out for a plumber. That darn near buys a new tank.

    As to what you do with the pipes above and below grade, at some point that decision needs to be made, or not made?
    Okay, I'm laughing too hard now. I can't even think what I was going to say.
  10. blown

    blown Engineer

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Wichita KS
    I doubt they want me (or anybody) to bury any pipes in the concrete floor. So I'm not sure how to work around that issue other than just not tiling that area or doing it "half-assed" like dlarrivee put it.
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