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Old 10-15-2008, 12:58 PM   #1
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Okay.. down to angled pine subfloor... what next?


It's become an obession now to get tile in my kitchen. I tore off the old vinyl and linoleum flooring to find a 1/2" plywood subfloor covered in fuzzy tar paper and full of nails. Rather than deal with all those nails and trying to remove the fuzzy stuff.. I went and bought the biggest prybar I could find and took out all the plywood.

Now I'm down to a clean slate of angled pine subfloor (not tongue & grooved).

My plan was.. and you can tell me if I'm thinking wrong here.. to put down a layer of 1/4" plywood, a layer of thinset, and a 1/4" layer of cement board to receive the tile. This combination would leave the smoothest transition between the tiled kitchen floor and the hardwood floor of the livingroom.

The joists are 16" on center and the span is around 12ft.

Couple questions:
  • What is the prefered method of attaching the plywood; screws, adhesive, both?
  • There was a black paper layer between the original plywood and the planks... is this something I need to replace? I'm not sure I see the purpose of it.

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Old 10-15-2008, 01:48 PM   #2
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Okay.. down to angled pine subfloor... what next?


I do not have tile but i do have an old house. the 'subfloor' in my house is 3/4'' thick centermatch planks. Since the house is old there were gaps inbetween the planks so we put down tar paper as a 'vapor barrier'. then we screwed down 1/2'' plywood.

Maybe thats why they put down tar paper.

I am assuming your house is on piers so if it gets wet under your house you might need a vapor barrier as such. whatever you put down on the subfloor you should screw into the joist with long screws and screw into the subfloor with shorter ones.

I am not a pro at this so i may be wrong on this one.

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Old 10-15-2008, 02:11 PM   #3
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Okay.. down to angled pine subfloor... what next?


Quote:
Originally Posted by skipjack View Post
It's become an obession now to get tile in my kitchen. I tore off the old vinyl and linoleum flooring to find a 1/2" plywood subfloor covered in fuzzy tar paper and full of nails. Rather than deal with all those nails and trying to remove the fuzzy stuff.. I went and bought the biggest prybar I could find and took out all the plywood.

Now I'm down to a clean slate of angled pine subfloor (not tongue & grooved).

My plan was.. and you can tell me if I'm thinking wrong here.. to put down a layer of 1/4" plywood, a layer of thinset, and a 1/4" layer of cement board to receive the tile. This combination would leave the smoothest transition between the tiled kitchen floor and the hardwood floor of the livingroom.

The joists are 16" on center and the span is around 12ft.

Couple questions:
  • What is the prefered method of attaching the plywood; screws, adhesive, both?
  • There was a black paper layer between the original plywood and the planks... is this something I need to replace? I'm not sure I see the purpose of it.
What you propose will work as long as the total thickness of the floor will line up with the other floors it meets up with, the transition.

The black paper is a moisture barrier. I would remove it and put it between the cement board and the plywood.

Screw the planking down to the joists. This will assure that these do not move on the joists and make noise in case you miss the joists when putting down the plywood.

When securing the plywood use screws and glue. Lots of both. This will prevent squeaking down the road.

Then your vapor barrier, cement board (screwed) and then your tile.

I have done this and my floors are really solid. I just did one a month ago and the owners called to tell me how solid and quiet the floors were.

My wife is constantly telling me how she loves her kitchen floors that I just redid in the same way only used snap in laminate and how quite they are compared to the old original oak floors in the living room.
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Old 10-15-2008, 05:44 PM   #4
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Okay.. down to angled pine subfloor... what next?


If you put the "tar" paper between the plywood and the cement board, you can't use thinset to bond the two together as specified by most tile mfgrs. Check to be sure you're not voiding your warranty by not following installation instructions. The black paper between layers of subfloor also helps decrease squeaks (as well as vapor barrier) from the two pieces of wood rubbing together where they're not tightly fastened.
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Old 10-15-2008, 07:58 PM   #5
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Okay.. down to angled pine subfloor... what next?


Let's keep this from getting out of hand. So much bad advice given already.

Marvin,
you gave 5 points of advice, but 4 of them are wrong. Sorry, but this is a tile forum, by your answers we now know you are not in the tile installation business. What is it you do anyway?

Never use 1/4" plywood in a tile installation. It adds little or nothing in strength. That goes double if the ply is luaun.

Compromising the structure is no way to install any floor JUST to keep within a certain height. If you want the floor the same height? Install the same floors in all rooms.

As stated before, the paper must NOT go under the CBU, thinset goes there.

Only subfloors are glued to the joists. Underlayment should not be glued to the subfloor, unless you are able to do a 100% liquid glue lamination. Applying beads of glue from a tube actually creates many voids and a weaker floor.

Skip,

Re-screw those planks to every joists first, 2 screws per. You must have, or had a moisture situation in the area. So you can install tar paper over the planks, under the new underlayment. You should then install min. 1/2" underlayment grade plywood perpendicular to the joists spaced 1/8" apart and 1/4" gap around edges. Normally the underlayment should NOT be fastened to the joists, but in this case I would. Also screw the 1/2" ply to the planks, 2 screws between joists.

Then install the CBU per manufacturer's directions. Check back here if in doubt.

Jaz
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Old 10-16-2008, 09:34 AM   #6
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Okay.. down to angled pine subfloor... what next?


Thanks for setting things straight Jaz Man. Just as a side question, how does Hardie backer compare to regular cement board? I recently used a piece to do a wall repair and put FRP over it. It sure is lighter and a bit easier to cut. Has it proven acceptable for tile backer? Seems most of the guys I see are still using Dura Rock.
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Old 10-16-2008, 12:20 PM   #7
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Okay.. down to angled pine subfloor... what next?


Hardie is probably the #1 seller CBU around? When I used to use CBU's, my favorite was PermaBase, but I used Durock more because of availability. There are minor differences between the major 'all' cement boards. Hardie is 90% cement.

I avoided Hardie on floors because you must install expansion joints in the center of any room that is 15 ft. or longer in any direction, and where the room makes an "L". No one every followed those directions. A few years ago Hardie simply removed those directions and now their instructions give little information. Their attitude may be something like this: "buy it it's good stuff".

On floors I use Ditra whenever possible. Showers I use ONLY KERDI method. Noble also has some good products.

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Old 10-17-2008, 09:36 AM   #8
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Okay.. down to angled pine subfloor... what next?


Thanks. I've just got a small area in front of my front door (3'x6' maybe) and the coat closet I'm going to tile. I've cut Durock before and the Hardie is definitely easier to work with. I'll leave showers and larger areas to the pros.......

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