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Old 08-07-2007, 03:54 PM   #1
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Installing backerboard - replace particle board?


Hi all -

I plan to install about 150 sq. ft. of tile in my kitchen and entryway. I've done tile before, but this is the first time I've done an area of this size.

My main question concerns my existing subfloor - should I replace my particle board with plywood? Currently, it looks like this:



Basically, I have ugly 1990 vinyl adhered to 1/2" particle board, which is nailed w/ ringshanks into tongue-and-groove 2x6's....which then sit on top of 2x12 floor joists. There is NO give in the floor, plus it is very level.

To match the adjacent floor's height, I need to put down 1/4" cement backboard, then the tile. So, since a proper backerboard install requires both screws AND thinset, should I rip out the particle board then put down plywood, or does anyone think I can get by with installing the backboard right over the particle board? Pulling all those ringshank nails gives me nightmares, but particle board + water from kitchen sink = disaster.

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Old 08-07-2007, 07:06 PM   #2
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Installing backerboard - replace particle board?


Your suspicions are right. You really should remove the particle board and replace it with a suitable layer of plywood underlayment. If the joists are spaced 16" apart, 1/2" ext. grade will be fine, B/C or better, NO CDX cheapo stuff. Fasten the underlayment to the subfloor, try to avoid hitting the joists, use fasteners just long enough to go thru the 2x6 sub.

Jaz

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Old 08-08-2007, 10:52 AM   #3
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Installing backerboard - replace particle board?




(sigh)

Yeah, that's what I figured. Looks like it's time to break out my crowbar and a 6-pack. I suppose doing it right is better than doing it twice.

I assume I should just cut around the base of the cabinets?
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Old 08-09-2007, 06:07 PM   #4
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Installing backerboard - replace particle board?


Hopefully the cabinets were installed before the particleboard was. Cutting 1/2" thick board could be tricky if it is under the cabinets too.

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Old 08-10-2007, 11:18 AM   #5
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Installing backerboard - replace particle board?


Unfortunately, the cabinets sit on top of the particle board. They are toe-nailed (screwed, actually) into the subfloor through the particle board.

I can get within a few inches of the base of the cabinets with my circular saw, the last few inches I'll have to chip out by hand. This stuff is like pressed oatmeal, I'm glad it's coming out.

I've finished removing about 1/3rd of the particle board and installing new 1/2" ply in the entry and closet...now on to the kitchen. At $25/sheet for the plywood, I'm taking my time with my cuts!
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Old 08-10-2007, 04:39 PM   #6
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Installing backerboard - replace particle board?


Twenty-Five dollars a sheet......is that all?

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Old 08-11-2007, 03:50 PM   #7
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Installing backerboard - replace particle board?


Quote:
Originally Posted by JazMan View Post
Your suspicions are right. You really should remove the particle board and replace it with a suitable layer of plywood underlayment. If the joists are spaced 16" apart, 1/2" ext. grade will be fine, B/C or better, NO CDX cheapo stuff. Fasten the underlayment to the subfloor, try to avoid hitting the joists, use fasteners just long enough to go thru the 2x6 sub.

Jaz
I think I'll stray from my norm on this one, and say to leave what you have alone. Normally I am the first one to scream "trash it" any time the words particle board come up, but with it secured to t & g as you describe, and since you will be isolating the tile from it with a layer of tile backer board, I would not hesitate to leave it personally.
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Old 08-11-2007, 03:54 PM   #8
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Installing backerboard - replace particle board?


oops..Guess I should have read all the posts befor putting my 2 cents in. I would have seen your follow up about having much of the particle board already torn up
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Old 08-12-2007, 05:16 PM   #9
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Installing backerboard - replace particle board?


Hey, no worries TSeeker, in other parts of the house we have left the particle board intact and we've had *zero* problems. Then again, I've never had to remove so much vinyl before, so I figured it would be best to remove everything. I hate scraping vinyl.

I thought I'd update my thread with a few pics. If anything, it might help someone with their home project. Plus, it's better than working, right?

Here's a shot of the entryway that I finished a couple days ago. New plywood is down with a 6 and 12 screw pattern.



And here's a shot of the kitchen, as-is. You can see the old ugly vinyl, the 2x6 tongue-and-groove, and of course an area with the new plywood:

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Old 08-13-2007, 07:11 AM   #10
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Installing backerboard - replace particle board?


Just curious JazMan, why do you not advise screwing into the joists?

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Originally Posted by JazMan View Post
Your suspicions are right. You really should remove the particle board and replace it with a suitable layer of plywood underlayment. If the joists are spaced 16" apart, 1/2" ext. grade will be fine, B/C or better, NO CDX cheapo stuff. Fasten the underlayment to the subfloor, try to avoid hitting the joists, use fasteners just long enough to go thru the 2x6 sub.

Jaz
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Old 04-29-2011, 10:32 PM   #11
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Installing backerboard - replace particle board?


id listen to JazMan he's steering you in the right direction

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