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Old 02-02-2010, 03:12 PM   #1
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Preparing to tile in bathroom. Questions


Just got finished ripping up all the old floor in the bathroom. I have it down to the old floor. Here is a photo: The plan is to install a more traditional octagon, and dot tile. Do I need to add some kind of leveling agent to the floor before I add the cement board? As you can see there are some areas that were previously patched with plywood. This is not perfectly leveled with the old floor. The previous owner installed some laminate sheets in that spot to make it more level before adding plywood on top. Or could I add cement board directly on top of it?

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Old 02-02-2010, 03:15 PM   #2
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Preparing to tile in bathroom. Questions


I also installed my first tub. I initially wanted cast iron, but it would be too difficult to move around to get in there. Fiberglass seems fine.

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Old 02-02-2010, 03:18 PM   #3
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You CAN NOT apply any "levelling agent" before the cement board. That's not the way to do it.

That particular floor is going to need a layer of (3/8" minimum) plywood first. You should not install cement board directly to that slat-wood surface. The tile will not last.

The cement board MUST be placed in a fresh bed of thinset mortar (atop the plywood) as it is installed. Install the cement board into the thinset and use the recommended fasteners and see what results. If the floor is not flat/plane after that, THEN is when you flatten out (plane) the surface.

Remember the cement board seams must also be taped when you install the tile.
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Old 02-02-2010, 03:38 PM   #4
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So, if I started with 3/8 plywood, how thin could I go with the cement board? I'm afraid of raising the floor too high. As it sits now the hallway leading into this bathroom is level.
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Old 02-02-2010, 03:48 PM   #5
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Cement board comes in 1/4", that's the smallest. Home Depot however sells a product called Schluter DITRA. DITRA is a plastic tile underlayment membrane that is only 1/8" thick. DITRA is one of the better tile underlayments on the market right now.
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Old 02-02-2010, 04:02 PM   #6
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Don't worry too much about a rise in your flooring - however much it seems less than favorable, it's always ideal to do the flooring right instead of too thin or incorrect. . . don't skimp on materials! They've been developed for a reason.

<-- Says the woman who knows from bad experience after bad experience.
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Old 02-02-2010, 04:07 PM   #7
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So I could go 3/8 on the plywood, then a layer of DITRA? From there I could lay down the tile? I've seen that stuff on those home shows before. Isn't it orange? It looks like foam, is it? I should also note I'm considering installing a warming system under the tiles. Thanks for the advice so far.
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Old 02-02-2010, 04:14 PM   #8
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Jheeeezh!

Now there's a warming system? Why didn't you say so? That changes things a lot.

What type of warming system? Which brand?

I can recommend the Suntouch system by Watts Radiant. I have no vested interest in the Suntouch, I can only tell you I have installed a few dozen of those systems and they are great and the customers love them.

Now, you can add the 3/8" plywood, install the heat system, then cover it with 3/8" of Self Levelling Compound, now you're ready for tile.

The Levelling Compound (SLC) will correct any out-of-plane problems with the floor. You'll be a little higher than the adjacent room but that happens all the time.
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Old 02-02-2010, 04:23 PM   #9
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I've looked at a few, and I'm also waiting for a local store on a quote for the brand they sell. http://www.warmlyyours.com/ - This was one I was considering. How does the suntouch compare? So when I add a warming system, why is there no longer a need for cement board? Also, whats the best way to apply 3/8 of leveling compound over the entire bathroom floor? That seems like quite the job.
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Old 02-02-2010, 04:24 PM   #10
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This the company you're referring to? http://www.suntouch.com/
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Old 02-02-2010, 06:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
waiting for a local store on a quote for the brand they sell. warmlyyours
That's a good product also. They are basically the same thing.

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So when I add a warming system, why is there no longer a need for cement board?
The SLC replaces the cement board.

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whats the best way to apply 3/8 of leveling compound over the entire bathroom floor?
Mix it according to directions and pour it on the floor.

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That seems like quite the job.
Nothing to it. A room that size can be done in about forty-five minutes, start to finish.

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This the company you're referring to? http://www.suntouch.com/
That's them!
I can also recommend you buy the "programmable thermostat", you'll be glad you did.
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Old 02-02-2010, 06:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
That's a good product also. They are basically the same thing.


The SLC replaces the cement board.


Mix it according to directions and pour it on the floor.


Nothing to it. A room that size can be done in about forty-five minutes, start to finish.


That's them!
I can also recommend you buy the "programmable thermostat", you'll be glad you did.
So the warming system is installed onto the 3/8 plywood, then covered in SLC?

What brand SLC do you recommend? I only have a Home Depot in my town, and some smaller hardware stores. I can order it online if necessary.

I've only used SLC on a small job involving a recessed area in the floor that some old tiles were ripped up. So, that was really simple since it was contained. I'm just having a hard time trying to visualize how I would do an entire room. I believe the bathroom is only 50 sq/ft minus the tub area.

I have read about those thermostats, and they sound like a great idea. I don't plan on warming the floor all day, but it would be nice to have a warm floor first thing in the morning.
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Old 02-03-2010, 09:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
So the warming system is installed onto the 3/8 plywood, then covered in SLC?
CORRECT!
Install the plywood, caulk any seams, leak proof the entire room, install the primer necessary for the SLC, install the heat system, install the SLC, install the tile.

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What brand SLC do you recommend? I only have a Home Depot in my town,
PERFECT!
Home Depot sells Level Quick made by Custom Building Products and it is an excellent self leveller.

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I'm just having a hard time trying to visualize how I would do an entire room.
TRUST ME!
Your room is small and very manageable. Four bags, tops.

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Old 02-03-2010, 09:57 AM   #14
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If you have hardwater you'll want to buy pre-bottled water to mix your leveler, thinset, grout, etc etc - unless you buy premade.

I speak from bad experience, minerals and other junk can really muck up all your good effort.
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:18 AM   #15
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Quote:
If you have hardwater you'll want to buy pre-bottled water to mix your leveler, thinset, grout, etc etc - unless you buy premade
DISAGREE!!!

Hard water can have an effect on grout color but won't hurt the thinset or the self leveller.

NEVER USE THE PREMIXED THINSET PRODUCTS - ESPECIALLY ON A FLOOR

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