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Old 03-01-2008, 09:14 AM   #1
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A couple of Q's about tile installation


I just installed a new subfloor in my kitchen, and have been planning on installing ceramic tiles in this room.

the joists are true 2x6.5", spaced 16 on center, over a 61" unsupported span.

I put down 3/4" plywood in this room.

I was planning on installing cement backer board right on top of this. Is this OK? Or should there be underlayment between the subfloor and the cement backer.

I also plan on tiling the adjacent room, which has the original subfloor which are 3/4" thick 2" wide wood planks installed perpendicular to the subfloor. Will it be OK to install cement backer right on top of this, or should i put down some sort of underlayment? If so, what kind of underlayment should i put down?

Also in my kitchen the back of the room slopes down 1" in the last 2.5 feet of the room. Is this worth correcting? If so how would you do it?
Leveling compound?

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Old 03-01-2008, 10:34 AM   #2
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A couple of Q's about tile installation


Okay. In the Kitchen, you're fine with the subfloor and joisting you have, to go over it with cement board, so long as this is ceramic and not stone. As for that dip in the floor, I think before you decide to just fill it in, it might be a good idea to find out what's causing it. I can guarantee you it wasn't originally framed that way.

As for the next room, you really don't want to have hardwood underneath a tile floor. My preference is always to remove the hardwood before you build the tile subfloor. The reason is that its seasonal movement can be pretty extreme, and that's the very last thing you want underneath tile.

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Old 03-01-2008, 10:45 AM   #3
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A couple of Q's about tile installation


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Okay. In the Kitchen, you're fine with the subfloor and joisting you have, to go over it with cement board, so long as this is ceramic and not stone. As for that dip in the floor, I think before you decide to just fill it in, it might be a good idea to find out what's causing it. I can guarantee you it wasn't originally framed that way.

As for the next room, you really don't want to have hardwood underneath a tile floor. My preference is always to remove the hardwood before you build the tile subfloor. The reason is that its seasonal movement can be pretty extreme, and that's the very last thing you want underneath tile.

Bill thanks for the info

As far as the slope is concerned, here is what I think the problem is:
the kitchen is approx 8x10', and its sitting ontop of a stone foundation that is approx 5-7 on the interior, and is about 16 inches thick. So, the back of the kitchen hangs off the foundation about 1-2 feet, I think this is causing the slope. Would you still recommend using a self leveling compound here?

As far as the other room, what I currently have is: tile over tile over hardwood over wood plank subfloor. Do you still consider the plank subfloor to be hardwood? The house was build in 1927, after all this time, would this wood still be affected by seasonal changes?
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Old 03-01-2008, 11:30 AM   #4
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A couple of Q's about tile installation


Before I'd do anything with that kitchen floor, I'd look into doing some major structural reworking. I pretty much had a good idea of what your answer was going to be. You want to get a structural engineer involved and see about jacking that back up and reinforcing it. FIlling that with SLC would be putting a band-aid on a gash.

As for the other floor and hardwood, yes. ALL materials will always move. It never stops. They expand in the spring and contract in the fall, not to mention what humidity does to them in between! If the floor you want to go over is not hardwood, you can get away with putting a layer of 1/2" plywood over it and then either cement board or a membrane. AS for the tile over tile over hardwood over planking, I don't know what to tell you. In the BEST of circumstances, there's no way that floor should survive. Why it has, I can't tell you.
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Old 03-01-2008, 11:38 AM   #5
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A couple of Q's about tile installation


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Before I'd do anything with that kitchen floor, I'd look into doing some major structural reworking. I pretty much had a good idea of what your answer was going to be. You want to get a structural engineer involved and see about jacking that back up and reinforcing it. FIlling that with SLC would be putting a band-aid on a gash.

As for the other floor and hardwood, yes. ALL materials will always move. It never stops. They expand in the spring and contract in the fall, not to mention what humidity does to them in between! If the floor you want to go over is not hardwood, you can get away with putting a layer of 1/2" plywood over it and then either cement board or a membrane. AS for the tile over tile over hardwood over planking, I don't know what to tell you. In the BEST of circumstances, there's no way that floor should survive. Why it has, I can't tell you.
hmm, I gotta think about the structural engineer bit. I'm not sure I have the budget to deal with that right now. Do you think its something that requires attention?

Also, I should have mentioned that the tile thats currently installed is vinyl.
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Old 03-01-2008, 12:53 PM   #6
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A couple of Q's about tile installation


Let me put it this way-- something is making that side sink. It wasn't built like that, and it's going to continue to sink until something is done baout it, or it finds rest on some other brace. In the mean time, any tile you install will keep popping because of the movement. Even if it's done moving, once you fix it properly, whatever you've done to account for it and give yourself a flat fllor is going to pop, and you're going to end up redoing the floor again. Seriously, I'd see about getting that taken care of first, and THEN worry about the cosmetics. If you can't afford to do anything now, you might want to save up until you can.

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