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Old 07-12-2009, 03:13 AM   #1
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Tile over Oak Hardwood floors (unfinished)


I have a 1960's house, original oak wood floors. I had carpet but got rid of it. Wood is in very good condition (as I've been told by experts I've had come over to give quotes). no creaking or anything. Very strong.

My mom and I are HIGHLY chemically sensitive and though we've looked at many types of finishers/sealers (even one with zero voc), we noticed all have a smell, even if it's a strong oil smell. We can't handle it.

Decided to just tile the front room and dining room. Looked into using a backboard that we had another company use to do the entry way. We were going to do it ourselves next week.

Then, I found a video on Youtube that hardwood should be finished to put tile on it because of the water (?) in the concrete/grout? Is this true because on another website I found it says, "if you don't feel like refinishing your hardwood floors, why don't you try tile" and gives instructions.
The man is the youtube video was putting the tile directly on the wood, which we're not doing, but still. I never thought about the moisture until now.

So confused. Obviously, I won't be laying the tile on the wood, but is there anything I can use (along with the backboard) to make sure that none of the wetness goes into the wood?

thanks for your help

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Old 07-12-2009, 03:18 AM   #2
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Tile over Oak Hardwood floors (unfinished)


Let me also add that while the wood is in good condition, there are are dirt/wear stains. There's one like in the center of the front room that has the wood lighter in one area. Experts said that even if they (or we) sand the floor that part may still show up (lighter than the rest, unless we stain). No expert has said the wood needs to be fixed or there's water damage, so I am not worried about that.

So while it would be A LOT cheaper do keep the wood floors, to risk having a spot like that in the middle of the floor would not look good. This is why we think tile will be better.

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Old 07-12-2009, 11:35 AM   #3
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Tile over Oak Hardwood floors (unfinished)


The proper way would be to remove the flooring and then start with laying down a good plywood if you have too much deflection in your flooring. Ditra is much faster and does a better job than cement board.
Now, you could do just what you saw on the internet, and it might hold up well, but it's a risk you shouldn't take. The oak is going to move around on you and might cause the grout to crack a few years down the road.
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Old 07-13-2009, 09:07 AM   #4
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Tile over Oak Hardwood floors (unfinished)


I've got to agree with Jaros Bro. Make sure you take the time to do it right
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