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Centex2011 01-10-2013 11:30 PM

Stilelock flooring
1 Attachment(s)
I am going to be redoing the floor in our bathroom due to a leak from a backed up toilet and 4 different layers of flooring (2 linoleum layers and 2 tile layers + lauan under it all). I am ripping everything up and laying down Stilelock tiles. For those that have never heard of it, it is a floating ceramic tile flooring. Real ceramic tile set in a heavy duty plastic base, no mortar, no grout, as the grout is built in and has a click-lock system. Here is a photo of some I laid as an entryway (excuse the unfinished trim, other thing have taken priority over the trim):

Attachment 63514

The above was laid over existing linoleum (it can be laid over any flooring except carpet). Since I am ripping everything down to the subfloor of the bathroom do I need to put down a moisture barrier? Here is the plan:
Rip out all other flooring down to the original wood floor, which is on top of original slat subfloor. Possibly lay down T&G plywood subfloor, then install the Stilelock tiles. Since this is a floating floor, I wasn't sure if the moisture barrier was necessary or not, or if it would be a bad idea in the bathroom.

joecaption 01-11-2013 08:41 AM

Very bad idea in a bathroom.
It's not going to be doing much floating with a toilet bolted down to it.
Stick with tile, or sheet goods

Centex2011 01-11-2013 09:08 AM

Thanks Joe for replying. Even though I will probably stick with the Stilelock tile, I will take your comment under consideration. Do you have a suggestion as far as moisture barrier or no moisture barrier under the tile.

joecaption 01-11-2013 10:12 AM

6 mil plastic, it really needs to be run up the walls under the baseboards.

DannyT 01-11-2013 11:28 AM

what happens when water from another backed up toilet gets under this floating floor?

zakany 01-11-2013 11:51 AM


Originally Posted by DannyT (Post 1091004)
what happens when water from another backed up toilet gets under this floating floor?

It floats. :laughing:

I'll just let the OP know that I looked at using this product when I remodeled my master bath (replacing vinyl sheet with something better). I ended up just learning how to tile and laid porcelain tile over Ditra.

To your question, I'm unclear what sheet plastic will do. Are you trying to keep moisture from coming up from below, or do you want to contain the moisture from above?

Centex2011 01-11-2013 03:16 PM

Zakany, why did you decide not to use it? As far as the moisture barrier, I was just thinking I might need one to keep any moisture from penetrating the subfloor from the top, like condensation from showers. If it is not necessary, that's one less step I'll need to do.

One of the main reasons I am using this flooring, it goes down fairly quick (and this being our only bathroom, that is a big plus) and if something happens (tile cracks, subfloor damage, etc) it is easily removed, replaced, and repaired. Hopefully I will not be sorry I went this route. I really like how it came out in our entryway. If this turns sour, then I guess it will be easy enough to remove and replace with something else.

joecaption 01-11-2013 09:22 PM

Anything with seams is a bad idea in a bathroom.
The toilet may cause the flooring to pull apart when it expands and contracts.
One over flow and water will be trapped under the floor and will cause mold and the flooring to fail.
A quality linolium would have none of these issue and could be laid just as fast.

747 01-12-2013 04:01 AM

Yes i have seen it. It was installed in a bathroom on a floor.

zakany 01-14-2013 08:44 AM


Originally Posted by Centex2011 (Post 1091164)
Zakany, why did you decide not to use it?

Stilelock is not compatible with wet environments. Sometimes my bathroom floor gets wet after a shower. After learning more about flooring, it seemed to be easier and more durable to just install porcelain tiles using thinset.

When I demo'd the vinyl sheet in my bathroom, I found mold at the shower interface. I was removing the luan, anyhow, but that could have caused rot over time and I would have never known until much too late.


As far as the moisture barrier, I was just thinking I might need one to keep any moisture from penetrating the subfloor from the top, like condensation from showers. If it is not necessary, that's one less step I'll need to do.
Flooring applications subject to standing water voids their warranty.


One of the main reasons I am using this flooring, it goes down fairly quick...
That's why I used Ditra underlayment in my bathroom. I planned and pre-cut my tile, had all my materials, etc. I think we lost the function of that room for two days. One to tile, another to grout.

Since this is your only bathroom, though, going tile is not a good DIY option. In your case, the best way to get a tile floor is to hand your keys to an installer while you go on a vacation.

Centex2011 01-14-2013 10:38 AM

Well, I looked at the Stilelock website and it says it's "a perfect choice for entryways, living areas, kitchens, and bathrooms", as long as the area is not subject to STANDING WATER. Unless their definition of a bathroom and my definition is different, it sounds like my application is fine. Their warranty page says:

"To be covered by this limited warranty, the product must be installed indoors in a residential application, not subject to standing water, located in the United States of America, Mexico or Canada following the American Oleanīs StileLock Installation Instructions, which include care, maintenance and other considerations".

My bathroom has never had standing water in it that came from the shower or the sink or the toilet that wasn't immediately wiped up. A little moisture on the floor after a shower, sure, but that is to be expected.

I am not trying to be obnoxious and say "I don't care what you say, I'm going to do it my way", I am just saying what the company says you can use it for. I am going to go ahead and use the tile, simply because I have it and do not have the time nor the money to go with something else. Hopefully this is not going to be a big mistake. If it doesn't work, then since it is not permanently attached, I can replace it relatively easy with something else (in theory anyway). Thanks for all of your replies and advice.

DannyT 01-14-2013 11:27 AM

if you are going to do it your way anyway why ask for opinions?

Centex2011 01-14-2013 12:35 PM

Well, actually I didn't ask an opinion on the flooring (not trying to sound like a-hole, just stating a fact). My original reason for posting was to find out if I should lay down a moisture barrier under the tile since this was not a permanently adhered floor. Although, looking at my post the last sentence does sound like I was asking about the tile too. I apologize for the confusion. I had looked at the website and warranty info and felt this was good idea for me. I asked Zakany why he decided not to use it because I didn't know if he had personal experience with it. I really do appreciate everyone's advice and opinion and I actually thought about and wondered if this was a good choice. At the end, I felt this is a good choice for me. If down the road this turns out to be a horrible decision and I have to redo the work I did on the subfloor, I will be the first one to come back here and say y'all were right, do not use this in a bathroom.

Again, not trying to be obnoxious or a now-it-all, just trying to do what i feel will work for me after considering everyone's advice. Thank you all for your advice.

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