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Billranford 03-25-2011 08:55 PM

Porcelain tile install
Hi all. New to the forum. Have a professional Going to install porcelain over subfloor, using traditional mesh system. Plywood is 1/2 in. And I was planning on adding at least another 1/8 mahogany plywood so the base floor doesn't get ruined. Anyone have any suggestions or criticisms on what I'm doing before I have him come tile?


JazMan 03-25-2011 09:58 PM

Hi Jeff,

Glad you're here. Maybe we can save you from a disaster.

Non of the info you supplied is right for a tile installation. Starting with 1/2" subfloor. Please double check that.

Was there another sheet of structural, (not 1/4"), underlayment that was removed? So, get back with the thickness of the subfloor. How old is the house? Where is it? The type and size of the joists. Their spacing, and unsupported span to the inch. Also if at all possible the species and grade of the joists.

Have you talked to a tile setter yet? What's his plan of installation. Name names of products and methods. What do you mean by traditional mesh system?


Billranford 03-26-2011 09:50 AM

Hi jaz

The floor initially was linoleum, glued to a 1/4" plywood. This 1/4" plywood is attached to a 1/2" base plywood attached to wood joists. The joists are 2x8s spaced 15" apart. House is 35 yrs. I'm going to remove the 1/4" that has remnants of linoleum backing on it, and was wondering what ply thickness is best. I'm also not sure what the installer will do for a mesh system.

JazMan 03-26-2011 10:04 AM

The 1/4" ply was used for the vinyl, it adds no strength and is not a good thing in a tile installation. Remove it as planned.

I assume the joists' spacing is 16". I'm having a hard time believing your subfloor is really 1/2". Did you determine this by measuring or did you read the stampings from below? There's no way a single 1/2" can be considered a code passing subfloor.

You didn't answer what the unsupported span of the joists is, and where you are.


I'm also not sure what the installer will do for a mesh system.
Time for you to find out. This is a reason I need to know where you are. There are several areas in the USA and Canada that use a method known as "scratch-coat" or Jersey-mud job". I have a feeling this is what your guy might be planning. If so, find someone else.


Bud Cline 03-26-2011 04:27 PM


Have a professional Going to install porcelain over subfloor, using traditional mesh system
"The traditional mesh system" is not all that traditional my friend. The real "tradition" comes in the many failures that are experienced using that procedure. The so called "mesh system" also known as the "scratch-coat method" has been tested repeatedly by the Tile Council of America and that method has failed the tests time after time. It is not a method sanctioned in any way by the tile installation industry. If this is the method your installer intends to use you should be looking for a different installer. Look for a "real" professional that knows this method is verboten in the industry.:)

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