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Old 02-07-2010, 12:23 PM   #1
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Sub floor blues


Hey DIY'ers,
Can someone help me understand what I'm looking at here.....
This my kitchen floor(home was built in 1954, standard cape in NJ) that I plan on re tiling. The tiles look to be siting on a concrete sub floor. The hard wood flooring does not continue into the kitchen.
Is is safe to assume there is a stable wood sub floor underneath the concrete?
Can I tile over the wood sub floor? Do I need to pour another concrete sub floor? Can i use concrete backer board? Or what would the best way to proceed with re tiling this floor?
Please lend your experience.
Thank you in advance
S
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Last edited by Stcrosby; 02-07-2010 at 12:24 PM. Reason: added info
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Old 02-07-2010, 12:25 PM   #2
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Sub floor blues


Do you have a crawl space under this ?

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Old 02-08-2010, 04:30 AM   #3
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Sub floor blues


no. the basement is directly underneath, which has a drop ceiling.
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Old 02-08-2010, 07:04 AM   #4
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Sub floor blues


Looks like they put down self leveling over the metal screen
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Old 02-08-2010, 12:55 PM   #5
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Sub floor blues


What is the real thickness of the concrete? Does it get thicker beyond where it meets the hardwood?
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Old 02-08-2010, 01:00 PM   #6
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Yeah, this is not going to be fun.
That is concrete with wire lath.
But most important here, is that it appears that the last job was done incorrectly. There should NEVER be a one inch height difference between finish floors.
In any home remodel, you always should remove the old before adding the new. The guys that did your tile did not remove the old, they just went right over it.
I'll bet you have a sub floor over the joists, which the strip oak is sitting on. Then in the kitchen they laid plywood over the subfloor, then vinyl or something. Then the tile guys came in and laid a bed of mortar right over all that, rising the tile up an inch. Shortcutters!

Go in your basement, pull down a ceiling tile and look up, you'll probably see 1x4 or 1x6 boards laid at a 45 degree angle. You'll need to remove every layer of flooring upstairs until you expose this.
Then lay your hardi-backer and then tile, and you should be within one quarter inch of the finish height of the oak.
You'll need the right tool for the job, go rent a demolition hammer.
(It's an electric powered chisel.)
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Old 02-08-2010, 02:14 PM   #7
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HOLD ON!

Let's wait and see what is really there rather start dictating methods based on what we speculate is there.

What is seen in the photos could very well be an old fashion mud-job that is as thick as what is seen AND the adjacent hardwood. In that case the cement could be about 1-1/2" thick and removing it would create the need for a great deal of fill that is I'm sure unanticipated at this time.

Let's wait and see before we go nuts with thing.
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Old 02-08-2010, 03:17 PM   #8
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Bud- The concrete stops just under the wire mesh. Under the concrete is, what looks like tar paper??, then I think I can see wood, just not sure if its plywood or the joists. So to answer your question the concrete only continues down about 1/8" or so past the oak strips. I was reluctant to go crazy ripping up any more tile then I had to, not knowing what it was going to entail to replace.

Dairy-I believe they(previous homeowners who had this tile done) raised the height so high because the hard wood floors you see were covered with carpet, for many years.
And yes I have 1x6's over the joists.
So do you guys recommend ripping up all the tile, wire, concrete and then laying backer board down to tile over??

Thanks again

Last edited by Stcrosby; 02-08-2010 at 03:19 PM. Reason: added info
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Old 02-08-2010, 03:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
So do you guys recommend ripping up all the tile, wire, concrete and then laying backer board down to tile over??

Yup! That's about all you can do with that scenario. Your kinda lucky they used paper under all of that. Wear some glasses, gloves and a heavy long sleeve shirt, that mesh can get very abusive to your skin.
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Old 02-08-2010, 03:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stcrosby View Post
So do you guys recommend ripping up all the tile, wire, concrete and then laying backer board down to tile over??
I recommend ripping up the tile, wire lath, concrete AND the layer under that tar paper.
The correct way to do this is to expose the 1x6s and start from there.
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Old 02-08-2010, 04:01 PM   #11
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Let's see what's under the paper first.
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Old 02-08-2010, 05:08 PM   #12
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Be careful----Homes built during that time often have THREE layers of flooring.

First--1x6 on top of the joists--------
Second--1x2 furring strip--used to sandwich electrical conduit between 1x6 subfloor and finished floor
third--finish floor(oak strip or plywood)


Check in the basement--see if you can find a hole in the 1x6 subfloor-is there 3/4 inch of space ?

Have fun--be careful--Mike--
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Old 02-08-2010, 05:34 PM   #13
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Sub floor blues


Thanks guys. I'm most likely going to tackle this, this weekend. I'll report back.
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Old 02-18-2010, 07:49 PM   #14
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Ok so the tile, concrete sub floor, paper and wire mesh is up. It looks as if there isold oak strips directly underneath. I have not tried ripping these layer up to see whats under it yet.
Floor appears to be level.
Bottom of cabinets are 4 5/8 from floor.

Can I tile directly over this wood?
Should I lay hardie backer board down and tile over that?
If so do I need to continue ripping up all the wood until I get to the 1x6s(that lay over the joists) and install the backer board on the 1x6s?

I'm installing 13x13 ceramic tiles with pre mixed north american adhesive mastic.

Looking for any advise as I have never done this before. Just tiled our back splash last weekend and it came out great.
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Old 02-18-2010, 08:07 PM   #15
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You can not install tile directly to the wood you have and you don't want to install the backerboard diectly to that wood either. The floor requires a layer of plywood, then the tile backerboard, then the tile. Plywood of 3/8" thickness is the minimum requirement.

What size are the floor joists and what is their spacing? What is the free-span of the floor joists?:0

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