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Old 01-30-2009, 02:42 AM   #1
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ceramic tile on 1x6 boards


I am remodeling a kitchen that adjoins a dining room. We have removed most of a wall between the two rooms for a more open effect. The floor in the dining room is 3/4" oak over 1x6 diagonal floor boards. The floor joists are 16" OC with a span of about 11'. The kitchen floor was vinyl on 1/4" underlayment, over 1/2" 1x3 T&G, perpendicular to joist over the same 1x6 subfloor boards.

The plan is to lay ceramic tile over 5/16" Durock which I am guessing would be about 3/4" finished thickness. We have removed the 1/4" underlayment and if we apply the durock to the existing 1/2" T&G slats, the finished tile would be about 1/2" higher than the adjoining dining room's oak flooring.

If we removed that 1/2" T&G, and laid the durock right on the 1x6 subfloor, the tile would be very close to the level of the Oak floor.

1] is the 1/2" T&G a good base for the durock? or should we replace it with 1/2" or 5/8" plywood over the 1x6s? if we do that, we would still have 1/2" or more height on the kitchen floor.

2] a possible location for the fridge would span the old wall, which would cause it to sit on potentially different floor levels side to side. Adjustable feet should level it i suppose, but that is another issue.

what would you suggest?

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Old 01-30-2009, 06:21 AM   #2
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ceramic tile on 1x6 boards


The subfloor for ceramic tile MUST be stiff, the usual recommendation is a minimum of 1 1/4" with the top layer being backer board glued/screwed to the subfloor. Without this, you risk having cracked grout and/or cracked or poping tiles. If there is any give to the floor, the tile job will not last.

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Old 01-30-2009, 06:35 AM   #3
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ceramic tile on 1x6 boards


Quote:
If we removed that 1/2" T&G, and laid the durock right on the 1x6 subfloor, the tile would be very close to the level of the Oak floor.
That would be an expensive disaster. Those type of subfloor slats are unstable and will disrupt the cement board taking the tile with it. PLYWOOD would be required over the slats - a minimum of 3/8" may do the trick. You could then use DITRA for you tilebacker and with the tile you would still be around 3/4"+- above the slats.

Removing the slats and starting over with plywood as you mention would be an even better deal.
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:20 PM   #4
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ceramic tile on 1x6 boards


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Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
That would be an expensive disaster. Those type of subfloor slats are unstable and will disrupt the cement board taking the tile with it. PLYWOOD would be required over the slats - a minimum of 3/8" may do the trick. You could then use DITRA for you tilebacker and with the tile you would still be around 3/4"+- above the slats.

Removing the slats and starting over with plywood as you mention would be an even better deal.
Schluter uses the term structural planks for the 1x6 subfloor. I called the 1/2" T&G hardwood layer 'slats' - just so we are on the same page...

...you are suggesting removing the 1/2 T&G and laying plywood over the 1x6 'structual plank' subfloor?

the ditra manual suggests that 1/2" ply over planks is ok with joists up to 24" OC. Since the joists here are 16" OC, I would feel comfortable with 3/8" ply i guess.

I am not sure about the ditra yet.. might just go with replacing those 1/2" T&G slats with plywood and then use durock on that, since it is available around the corner and I am not sure where to get ditra for this weekend, as that is when i hope to get at this.
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Old 01-31-2009, 11:14 AM   #5
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ceramic tile on 1x6 boards


Quote:
Schluter uses the term structural planks for the 1x6 subfloor. I called the 1/2" T&G hardwood layer 'slats' - just so we are on the same page...
Yow I know I know, toe-may-toe/toe-mah-toe.

Quote:
..you are suggesting removing the 1/2 T&G and laying plywood over the 1x6 'structual plank' subfloor?
I didn't suggest that - YOU DID. I just agreed that it was an option. I wouldn't go to all that work and expense, it isn't necessary.

Quote:
the ditra manual suggests that 1/2" ply over planks is ok with joists up to 24" OC. Since the joists here are 16" OC, I would feel comfortable with 3/8" ply i guess.
Good, now we are getting somewhere.


Quote:
I am not sure about the ditra yet.. might just go with replacing those 1/2" T&G slats with plywood and then use durock on that, since it is available around the corner and I am not sure where to get ditra for this weekend, as that is when i hope to get at this.
Gonna need to make a decision!

DITRA is sold at Home Depot. There are two DITRAS available, only one is boasted as working with 24" spaced joists but that's not your concern here anyway.
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:00 AM   #6
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ceramic tile on 1x6 boards


I still need some clarification...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
Yow I know I know, toe-may-toe/toe-mah-toe.

I didn't suggest that - YOU DID. I just agreed that it was an option. I wouldn't go to all that work and expense, it isn't necessary.
As to the toe-may-toe/toe-mah-toe... seems we have 2 types of 'slats' here.

I used the term 'slats' in reference to a layer of 1/2"x3" T&G hardwood slats laid perpendicular to the joist over 1x6 structural plank subfloor laid diagonally on the joists.

When I proposed removing the 1/2" T&G slats and leaving the 1x6 subfloor planks, noting that if I didn't add plywood the height would be kept close to the adjoining dining room oak floor level, you replied:

Quote:
Those type of subfloor slats are unstable and will disrupt the cement board taking the tile with it. PLYWOOD would be required over the slats - a minimum of 3/8" may do the trick. You could then use DITRA for you tilebacker and with the tile you would still be around 3/4"+- above the slats.

Removing the slats and starting over with plywood as you mention would be an even better deal.
Correct me if I am wrong again, but it appears to me that since my premise was to have already removed the 1/2" hardwood T&G slats, you are here calling the 1x6 subfloor planks 'slats' and are suggesting that removing even these and laying new plywood direct on the joist would be even better.


My main question was: is the layer of 1/2" hardwood slats good enough to support durock? or should I remove those slats (again, leaving the 1x6 subfloor layer) and replace it with 1/2" nom. plywood? IOW, how would this 1/2" layer of [then] existing hardwood slats compare to 1/2" plywood?

I didn't elect to remove the 1x6 subfloor plank layer and start over with a modern 3/4" T&G plywood (which is what I interpreted your "even better deal" remark to mean)- though I have done that on other occasions. I note that some feel this is unacceptable since the wall plates sit on the 1/6 subfloor.

We peeled the layer of 1/2" hardwood slats off, and used ringed nails to secure the 1x6 subfloor planks better to the joists. The plan is to sand off a few high spots and then glue & screw/nail 1/2" plywood underlayment over this 1x6 subfloor.

As this is a family freebie, I am getting lots of suggestions from inlaws, some of whom have a little more tile experience than me. I like the idea of Ditra [and I did find my local Home Depot stocked it, TYVM] because it is thin and would help keep the transition between the new kitchen tile level closer to the dining room oak floor level.

None of the inlaws ever heard of Ditra before and question how well the tile/thinset would 'stick' to that plastic and not lift easily. Since my main contribution to this project has been construction and electric, I am more than happy to leave the tiling to them. I just want to provide a solid base for them. But i would also like to learn some and understand the different methods.

As it stands now, we'll have 1/2" plywood underlayment over the 1x6 plank subfloor.

Consensus here is that the Ditra goes back to Home Depot, be it fear of the unknown, resistance to change or valid concerns. I like that it is only 1/8" thick but its not my battle.

That pretty much leaves deciding on either 5/16" or 1/2" Durock. The durock manual indicates the thinner is fine for floors and countertops, and I'd like to keep the total thickness down as much as possible (which is why i had advocated the Ditra). But some say 1/2" is the way to go. Since much of what i have read here seems to indicate thickness of these cement boards doesn't add any stiffness or strength, is there any advantage to using 1/2" over 5/16"?

The next question is what are the acceptable or preferred ways to install the cement board to the plywood underlayment? Modified or unmodified thinset? Roofing nails or screws?

Then, for the tile itself -- Modified or unmodified thinset?

Final question. Should the drywall go on before or after the tile? 'A friend of a friend' says before. But I'd like to keep the bottom edge of the drywall above the tile level, to avoid any water wicking. Any recommendations there?

thanks for your input. its appreciated.

Last edited by thumbs; 02-05-2009 at 12:04 AM. Reason: clarity
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Old 02-07-2009, 09:26 AM   #7
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ceramic tile on 1x6 boards


I agree with bud on everything except the purchasing Ditra at Home Depot.
You can find it much cheaper from an online surce and you will not have to pay tax.

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