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This forum contains 53 topics and 168 replies, and was last updated by  rsc3441 1 month, 1 week ago.

Brownstoner July 31, 2013 at 10:53 am

We've Updated Our Spam Protection

Our tech team has made some pretty big updates to combat spam in the Forum.

*One is a plugin that should filter out most of the attempts by spammers to register in the first place.

*Two, Forum users now have the ability to mark spam when they see it. If enough users mark a post as spam, it will automatically disappear.

Very sorry for all the spam lately. We hope this puts a lid on it.

Tile August 4, 2014 at 12:25 pm

Porcelain tile on concrete — some general advice needed

Our finished basement flooded and the the hardwood floor and plywood subfloor were ripped out. We are left with an exposed concrete pad that is mostly covered in tar (put on, presumably as part of the original flooring job). There are several divots in the concrete pad from where the subfloor was pulled up. The attached pictures, taken during the demo of the floor, show the general state of the concrete pad.

Anyway, we want to install porcelain tile. We have had a few different people come by and each has a different recommendation for how the installation should be done:

mud job
self-leveling concrete
cement board
ditra system
thinset directly on the concrete pad

Without seeing the floor, does anyone have any general ideas or thoughts on when it is appropriate to use the different methods above? If there was some unanimity in the approach by the different contractors, I would not be inquiring here. The diversity of opinion leaves me wanting some general guidance.

As always, many thanks!

  1. basement-2.pdf
Tile July 9, 2014 at 6:52 pm

Ceramic floor tile installer?

We are looking to replace our basement hardwood floors with ceramic tile. Any recommendations of installers would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks!

Tile April 8, 2014 at 12:00 pm

ISO Someone to Tile the vestibule of a brownstone

Any recommendations for a contractor looking to do a quick job in May 2014. The tiles are on there way we just need the labor. Space is roughly 30 sq. ft.

Since this is the entrance of our home we are looking for person who is licensed, professional, experienced, clean, and efficient (but doesn’t cut corners).

Please no self promoting. I’m only looking for client recommendations.


Tile March 29, 2014 at 3:14 pm

Corner round tiles for old bathroom

I’m trying to replace some tiles in my 105-year-old bathroom. I need only 4 of them, They go on a corner and are therefore curved, 6″ long by 1 1/8″ wide, off-white (warm). Does anyone have them to give or to sell?

Tile March 9, 2014 at 2:31 pm

Exterior stone work

Hi. New to forum. I want to create a sound surface to add sandstone to the front of my home on the planter boxes. I was think of solidly bolting down hardibacker concrete panels as a surface to put my scratch coat on. The other work was done by a pro and he is too busy to bid the rest so I want to do it myself. The wood is old a rotting on the top but it is solid. I would drill the concrete board and bolt it through the wood to the backside. The rock is just there now to visualize the idea.

Tile February 24, 2014 at 8:16 pm

cement tile installer

We’ve ordered cement tile for our kitchen backsplash.
Does anyone have any recommendations for an installer?
We want someone who has experience with this.
No rush jobs. Need it done right the first time.

Antoinette in Bed Stuy

Tile February 11, 2014 at 12:09 pm

To Tile or Not? Advice for encaustic cement tile in entryway?

So we have a small area at our front door, 7′ x 3, that was already stripped to its original subfloor before we bought the apartment. We thought encaustic cement tile would be beautiful there, but once we bought it and had it shipped (and anyone who has ever looked into this tile knows how expensive shipping is) I immediately realized our problem: we have approximately 1″ depth to work with (before the door won’t open, and we are not replacing the door for many reasons) and our tile is 3/4″ thick.

I know it’s not a great idea to use a flexible thinset or Ditra directly over the subfloor (without ply or cement backer) but could we do it? I mean, they didn’t have ply when they originally installed encaustic tile in these old brownstone entryways… right? I do know this means we might see some cracking but if we use small grout joints between the tiles and leave a little expansion space around the edges?

The other option is to cut our losses: sell the tile and install more hardwood or just put down a 1/2″ ply and a 1/4-1/2″ all-weather carpet.

Thoughts? Thanks!

  1. photo4


Tile November 15, 2013 at 3:53 am


I’m a silent reader of this forum before but I find this place interesting so I decided to join. Hope to have more conversation and sharing here. Cheers everyone.

Tile September 10, 2013 at 2:18 am

Granite tile or Onyx?

There are two tiles available as you all know. I want it to be stylish and durable. Nowadays everybody’s got marble and granite tiles. I was searching for something unique stone and choice. Is Onyx tile good as a countertop? will be last long?

Tile August 2, 2013 at 7:50 pm

How to clean vestibule tile

We just moved into our ditmas home and have a lovely entry with seriously filthy tile, saddles and missing tiles. I would love to do a deep clean of the tiles and saddles and looking for comments on how to do so (I am assuming the tile is ceramic and the saddles some sort of stone). Also looking for a source to fill in the missing tiles at the edges. Thanks!

Tile June 16, 2013 at 7:18 pm

Which looks better and will be safer: Honed or polished floor tile?

Replacing bathroom floor tile with 1″ hex and have choice between polished and honed. Which is better choice for floor? Like the look of polished but wonder if it will be slippery. Any suggestions?

Tile June 16, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Built-in Bookshelves

Anyone have recommendations for someone who can do built-in bookshelves? We’re looking to install shelving on either side of our fireplace. We’re thinking storage on bottom with doors and open shelving on top. Interested in your recommendations, photos, and any ball park estimates you can provide. This would be our first time doing something like this so I’m unsure how much I should be saving for this project. Thanks in advance!

Tile June 16, 2013 at 7:17 am

Fire-Proofing Exposed Beams In Basement

Can anyone recommend an approved clear-coat product, or a company that sprays exposed wooden beams to improve the “burn time” of the beams?

The DOB needs a one hour burn time for ceilings when the ceilings separate legal apartments.

We would like to keep the wood beams within our LEGAL basement rental EXPOSED, and have been told there are spray-on INTUMESCENT paints that have city-approved MEA numbers which will do the trick.

Has anyone gone this route with exposed wood beams?

Tile June 12, 2013 at 11:47 am

seeking Bathroom tile/Handyman–Park Slope Vicinity

This is a small job (just a few hours of work): I need a tile person to take up about 25 sq ft. of glazed Italian tile from my bathroom floor (damaging as few as possible) and then replace them (I have a limited supply of spare tiles, in case a few are damaged) and regrout the area once a plumber finishes some work in that area.  Any suggestions from Brownstoner readers would be appreciated.  Contractors seeking to do this job discouraged from answering…I’d like to find out about you from a satisfied customer.

Tile April 30, 2013 at 7:21 pm

Tiles for Balcony?

Hello All,
My neighbor has nice tiles on her outdoor balcony (pictured).  She does not recall where she got it or what it’s called.  I’m looking for some recommendations on something similar —> a nice outdoor tile that is non-porous as we have a BBQ (grease stains) and plants out there.  Any ideas?
Also, could you recommend someone who would be able to do the work? 

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