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AlfredMD 08-17-2012 12:37 PM

installing tile for easy removal, without damaging subfloor?

I am trying to find a way to install tiles for easy removal/replacing. This is because in the future I might want to change the floor tiles, but do not want to damage the underneath water heating PEX tubing system. On top of my PEX tubing system will be a layer of wonder board (cement board) set with thin set. Underneath the PEX tubing system is just a slab.

If I install the tiles directly on the wonderboard with thinset, in the future when I try to remove the tiles, I worry about damaging the wonderboard. Does it help to install nobleseal or Ditra on the wonterboard first? In the future, when I try to pry up the tiles, will the bond break first at ditra or nobleseal? Is there a way to install tile without thin set (glue of some kind, for example) for easy removal? Thank you!

Alfred in MD

joecaption 08-17-2012 04:15 PM

Not going to happen.
Concider laminite that looks like tile, shhet linolium that has a tile pattern (the type that does not get glued down or even Allour strip linolium.
All of these will look like tile but can just be lifed off the floor.

Bud Cline 08-17-2012 04:23 PM

Funny stuff there Alfred, funny funny stuff.:yes:

joecaption 08-17-2012 08:02 PM

Why take the time to figure out what flooring you really want and do this just one time?

DannyT 08-17-2012 08:13 PM

im wondering how he's gonna screw down that wonderboard without hitting the tubing.

joecaption 08-17-2012 08:42 PM

I'm no tile pro so I was waiting for someone like Jazz to see this post.
I was thinking the same thing. I've never heard of just laying it on thin set with no fastners.
May be able to lay out the lines where there is no tubing.

oh'mike 08-17-2012 09:14 PM

You need to embed the tubing in a cement slurry---this is not my area of expertise--but that's the way it's done---

JazMan 08-17-2012 09:36 PM

I think I know what you're trying to do. You are thinking of installing pex, then install concrete board around it, not over it. Totally silly way to go, not good.

You should install the pex then have someone place either 'mud' or Gypcrete over the tubes. There's data on that method all over the place, many variations. I think the mortar needs to be about 1 1/2" thick. Then install tile over the mud or Ditra, or prime with liquid membrane if Gypcrete was used. We do not install concrete backer on concrete, it's kinda hard to fasten for one..........


AlfredMD 08-18-2012 11:15 PM

Thank you guys, I decided to abandon my old plan and adopt proven methods. I will use deck mud instead of wonderboards around pex tubing (to the same height), then install reinforced mud bed (3/4") on top of that.

Alfred in MD

Bud Cline 08-19-2012 01:44 PM

I don't understand why you are trying to re-invent the wheel. You aren't the first person to do this, please use proven methods. Deck-mud isn't the answer in your case either you won't be happy with those results.

Use Self Leveling Compound and do it correctly and easily.:)

gregzoll 08-19-2012 03:33 PM

I really need to go get some Popcorn, since this will turn out to be a very interesting thread, next to the one asking how to turn an electric appliance into using gas.

Bud Cline 08-19-2012 04:20 PM


I really need to go get some Popcorn,
Are you going to grow your own popcorn using never before tried methods or are you just going to do what everyone else does and buy some at a store that sells it?:) The good thing about popcorn is it ALL comes with instructions based on proven methods of popping that have been tried and proven by those that have come before you. The only real variable is the strength of your microwave. Some people may like to add some extra butter but that doesn't change the original method of popping the popcorn. Of course you could make your own butter if you are so inclined.:yes:

rusty baker 08-19-2012 04:35 PM


Originally Posted by gregzoll (Post 992193)
I really need to go get some Popcorn, since this will turn out to be a very interesting thread, next to the one asking how to turn an electric appliance into using gas.

I brought my lawn chair and some beer.

Bud Cline 08-19-2012 04:53 PM


I brought my lawn chair and some beer.
Did you manufacture that lawn chair yourself using beer cans and caution tape? Or, did you buy it from the lawn chair store ready-made and proven?

AlfredMD 08-19-2012 05:08 PM

Bud Cline, The reason that I could not use SLC over tubing is that I can't mix and pour large amount of SLC in a short time (240 sqft). Mud bed is more time and labor intensive but I can do that all by myself. I saw this method several times on the internet and may it be considered proven?

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