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Old 09-23-2012, 12:10 PM   #1
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Is my existing underlayment OK for tile?


Hi all,
I'm rennovating our house (a 1950 ranch) and am just about to do the kitchen. The existing floor over the joists consists of 3/4" wood strips covered by 5/8"plywood topped by what looks like 3/8" luan or plywood. I am going to put some type of tile (perhaps 12" or larger) and I know that ideally I should strip away everything down to the wood strips and then add new plywood and then cement/fiber board before tiling. The problem is that the plywood (which appears to be in good condition) is securely attached and I think will be difficult to remove. Also, the luan is really attached (glued?) to the plywood, so I can't easily remove it without doing a job on the plywood. So can I just clean up the surface of the luan somewhat (it has some black adhesive redidue) and the use a little self-levelling compound and then tile? I know tiling over wood is not ideal, but I did it in the bathroom using thinset specially designed for use over plywood and it came out great. Also, the floor is a little uneven, but solid and not at all bouncy. I might be able to put 1/4" cement board over the luan, but would like to avoid this due to height issues. Sorry for the long post, but thanks for any input!

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Old 09-23-2012, 12:27 PM   #2
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Is my existing underlayment OK for tile?


Tile should not be be laid over 1/4" , it needs to go.


Last edited by joecaption; 09-23-2012 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 09-23-2012, 01:53 PM   #3
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Is my existing underlayment OK for tile?


I concur with Joes post. The luon 3/8" or 1/4" needs to come up. Post a pic of what 3/4" ply you have and what the condition is that might need to come up as well. Joist specs are also is what needs to be considered as well for any tile.
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Old 09-23-2012, 02:31 PM   #4
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Is my existing underlayment OK for tile?


And you must put thinset under the CBU.
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Old 09-23-2012, 04:32 PM   #5
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Is my existing underlayment OK for tile?


Hey all: thanks for the advice! I'm going to try to replace everything over the 3/4" wood planks. But as the original plywood is firmly attached, what might be the easiest way to get rid of it? I was thinking about using my circular saw to cut (down to the top of the wood planks) manageable squares in the plywood to pry up.
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Old 09-23-2012, 05:08 PM   #6
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Is my existing underlayment OK for tile?


Why not get rid of the old planks to? There not doing you any favors under tile.
And yes that the way to do it, just cut it in sections.
If any of it runs under a wall of under something like the cabinits you can use a Toe Kick Saw, it will cut right up againt the wall or toe kick with out damaging it.

I use one of these when demoing a floor.
http://www.thegutster.com/

Northern Tool is where I bought mine.
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:06 PM   #7
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Is my existing underlayment OK for tile?


The top layer of underlayment should be removed and hopefully was not glued, (should never be glued), anything is possible though. Can you cut into it and see. If stapled or nailed it'll come up fairly easily. Once gone, you can use the 5/8" ply as the base for your concrete backer or membrane, then the tiles. There is no reason to replace the 5/8" unless it's damaged.

Joe said;
Quote:
Tile should be be laid over 1/4" anything, it needs to go.
He obviously meant to say, "Tile should not be be laid over 1/4" anything, it needs to go."

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Old 09-23-2012, 09:03 PM   #8
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Is my existing underlayment OK for tile?


You are so right as always, I goofed big time on that one.

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