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Old 07-15-2008, 11:27 AM   #1
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pltwood over vinyl


about 5 years ago, I remodled my kitchen. I made a serious mistake by laying cheap peel & stick vinyl tiles (and I mean cheap-$.38 per sq ft). Well, now they are coming up and cracking, etc. When I layed them I used glue, even though it was peel & stick. Now I have purchase porcelain tile with a hardness rating of IV. I want this installation to last a lifetime. I think that the peel & stick will be very difficult to remove (especially the adheisive underneath). What I am thinking about doing is laying a 1/4" plywood over the vinyl, mortar, then cement board.
Is this acceptable? remember, I want this to last a lifetime! I layed the peel & stick directly on the subfloor, which is 3/4" plywood. Our house sits over a crawl space w/ 2 x 8 floor joists 16" apart.

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Old 07-15-2008, 11:51 AM   #2
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My opinion is you're going the wrong direction. Can't change the past but vinyl over the subfloor was a bad start.
Do you know what the unsupported span of the joists is? That is important to understand your joists deflection rating. Having only 2x8 is a slight concern.
Until we know the span of the joists, I'm just speculating but I would abandon the 1/4" ply idea. Assuming your deflection is going to be questionable, you should think more towards 5/8"-3/4" ply, then Ditra, then tile.

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Old 07-15-2008, 12:04 PM   #3
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my joists are 16" apart, and 10 ft is the longest span
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:15 PM   #4
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I'd recommend 5/8" B-grade plywood and then Ditra.

Read up on it:
http://www.schluter.com/5372.aspx
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Old 07-15-2008, 05:25 PM   #5
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that means I could be raising my floor level up to 2" right? That just won't work with my carpet. What are my other options?
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Old 07-15-2008, 05:59 PM   #6
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I was wrong about the thickness of my sub floor too, it's over an inch thick. it may be two layers, I can't tell for sure. It seems very sturdy and in good condition.
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Old 07-15-2008, 07:06 PM   #7
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You might have what they call 2 for 1 subfloor, which is 3/8" and 5/8" plywood sandwiched together. Good and stiff stuff. 2x8's 16"oc at 10' span doesn't concern me.

Removal of the tiles would be ideal of course. I don't think the idea of putting some plywood over it would be all that bad, provided you get it screwed down really well. Then you could use thinset to bed a layer of 1/4" wonderboard or hardieboard as a substrate to your tile. Backerboard on floors should always be set in thinset and have the joints taped and mudded with thinset. You could probably skip the plywood, but I doubt that you'd get any adhesion between the thinset and the old vinyl tiles.

Angus' suggestion of Ditra would be the ideal installation, but it often isn't feasible to build up the floor an inch or two, not including the tile.
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Old 07-15-2008, 07:07 PM   #8
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Before Angus beats me to it, be sure that the mesh joint tape that you use is intended for backerboard use. Not the same as drywall mesh tape.

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