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Old 04-18-2007, 04:40 PM   #1
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5'X9' entry tile job


OK, looking for feedback folks!
looks like 1/2" over 3/4" plywood. Great! two sheets. so far so good. vinyl is ripped out. A friends opinion is, rip off the top 1/2" sheet leaving the 3/4" sheet in place. Next, replace with the hardi or cement board or whatever they call the stuff that the tile will be placed on. He insists the backing board is sufficient in deflection strength given the small 5X9 area. The house joists are 2X10 16" OC.

Any reason why this should'nt be enough structural deflection strength for a tile job?

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Old 04-18-2007, 05:02 PM   #2
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5'X9' entry tile job


IMHO, the floor should be up to spec as far as flex BEFORE you install the durock. It may help some, but not much. The rock's job is to allow the plywood to expand and contract at it's own rate and to allow the tile to do the same, effectively "decoupling" the plywood from the tile. In reality that is the only job the durock has to do. Like I said, it may help a little bit with flex, but not much. You need at least 1 1/8" of WOOD below the rock, which would be your existing 3/4" plus another 1/2" (since it's not TRUE 1/2" or TRUE 3/4").

Speaking of decoupling, the thinset below the rock should be non-modified, so it doesn't stick (as much) to the plywood.

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Old 04-18-2007, 06:14 PM   #3
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5'X9' entry tile job


Leave the 1/2", you need it, screw it down every 6 to 8" throughout, then add the backerboard or a membrane, backerboards don't add any strength to a subfloor, plywood only strengthens the flex in the span between the joists, the joists are what gives the overall floor it's strength, what's the unsupported span of those 2x10s?
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Old 04-19-2007, 12:04 AM   #4
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5'X9' entry tile job


Thanks RD,
the 2X10's are 16" OC & 51" or 53" inches. I cut a whole in the back of the pantry ie below the upper entry staircase half. Wala found a set of house plans I had always wanted but never known about!! At this point my focus or concern is about the cumulative added thickness by changing from lineoluem to tile. Currently it looks like 1 3/16" for the two plywood sheets. If I add another 1/2" durock with it's "mastic" or compound + tile depth and its substrate/compound then, I have to start figuring what it does to the bottom door frame. Does anyone know if it's normal to think about shaving the bottom of the door or adjusting the bottom sill plate? I guess some would say duh ! there are only so many alternatives like my buddy says while were installing commercial/industrial HVAC Control systems... just Get er done! I just don't want to screw up my own beautiful home. I adopt the doctors creed: Whatever you do, DO NO HARM!!!
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Old 04-19-2007, 04:26 AM   #5
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5'X9' entry tile job


I don't know if an extra 1/4" would help you or not, but you can use 1/4" durock instead of 1/2".
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Old 04-19-2007, 05:16 PM   #6
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5'X9' entry tile job


There! Now that I bought a $7.95 scraper and scraped for 20 minutes. I look at the results and say...BS!! This is not the way. Now I think I will try borrowing my dads circular saw, setting the depth at one hair less than the top 1/2 sheet of plywood and start by ripping off the top sheet of plywood. Hey the top sheet may not be the grade I want for tile laying anyway right? Then I replace with a brand new sheet of 1/2 ply of the proper type & grade, screw it down with screws instead of staples. Now I have a really clean top sheet of plywood for my thinset and 1/4 durock or hardiboard for tile placement! Any objections? Support??
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Old 04-19-2007, 06:05 PM   #7
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5'X9' entry tile job


You said your first layer was 3/4" right?

And 2 x 10's on 16" centers?

If so... ...looks good.

Just remember that circ saw won't get up close and personal with the walls. You'll have about an inch all the way around of the old ply left..and it's most likely under the walls, so taking it out won't work.

Last edited by jproffer; 04-19-2007 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 04-20-2007, 09:41 AM   #8
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5'X9' entry tile job


use ditre if you want guarantee success... I use this guy... it is super...
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Old 04-24-2007, 11:53 PM   #9
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5'X9' entry tile job


I met a tile expert last week. 30+ years experience, he now owns a carpet & tile store. I carefully explained my situation to him and he immediately said that if I left the 1/2 inch sheet on top that I would be too high by the time I was finished. I was concered about this early on. But he convinced me that the extra 1/2 would give me more problems not less. So off came the 1/2" and I'm left with the 3/4". He said go with the 1/4 Hardibacker not the 1/2". It still needs to be set in modified thinset and tile above that. I should be fine. I guess in the long run only time will tell. You guys have been a great help too. Thanks.
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Old 04-27-2007, 05:17 AM   #10
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5'X9' entry tile job


An expert said this?, good one. LMAO.

Maybe problems with height, not in strength I hope.
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Old 04-27-2007, 07:45 AM   #11
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5'X9' entry tile job


I'm not exactly clear on what problems the added height will pose here. At least, I mean what problems that couldn't be easily corrected? If door casings are the concern, or thresholds, it can be easily be made to accomodate new height. Much better to have to do a little accomodation work than tile without the proper subfloor. Talk about height differences, I tiled my bathroom over my existing tiles, over a concrete slab substrate. Had to raise my toilet, vanity, linnen closet door, bathroom door, threshold, etc. None of it was difficult. It was all worth it to me, the existing floor was Solid as a rock and well tiled. Perfectly flat and level. I wouldn't cut corners with the subfloor, it didn't become an industry MINIMUM for no reason....
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Old 04-27-2007, 09:42 AM   #12
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5'X9' entry tile job


Yep! An expert said that. If I could get 4 out of 5 agreeing on anything like those old dentist commercials I would feel alot better. I see your point about the height issue. For now the 1/2" top sheet of plywood is gone. I could'nt have used the 1/2" because the linoleum backing was completely stuck to it.

Even though the 1/2 plywood came off pretty clean, it was glued in addition to the staples. I might still add a 1/2" of new plywood just to give me a really clean and glue free substrate to work from.

???? what about edges??? I don't know if there is a typical edging or border that keeps the work edge consistent? Especially since I'm talking about an entry. This tile work will be at the inside edge of the entry. Also, what about access? How long from tile placement till I can walk on it? One draw back to a split-entry house design especially this one is that when the tile is freshly laid all access would have to use the backyard to the upper slididng glass door!
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Old 04-28-2007, 07:43 PM   #13
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5'X9' entry tile job


Stay off tile just set for at least 24hrs. do 1/2 if this is an issue with walking on in an only entrance.

Edges get covered with molding.
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Old 04-28-2007, 08:33 PM   #14
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5'X9' entry tile job


Also the "expert" that said to use modified thinset under the hardi was wrong. Modified would make it stick to the plywood...you don't want it to stick to the plywood. The purpose of the UNmodified thinset is to fill in the voids under the hardi.

The thinset holds it UP and supports it....the screws (specially made screws BTW) hold it DOWN.
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Old 04-29-2007, 02:39 PM   #15
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5'X9' entry tile job


Thanks for the info guys. Since I'm planning hardwood flooring for the main floor and the entry up to the main floor on this split-entry I suggested to my wife we wait on the tile until AFTER the floors are installed and finished. I think it would be easier to choose the tile after she sees the "FINISHED HARDWOOD FLOORS AND ENTRY STEPS." Further, I don't want any tile curing around the time I want solid hardwood acclimating.

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