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Old 07-17-2006, 01:57 PM   #1
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tiling help

i'm adding ceramic tile (approx 12") in a small 1/2 bath in the bottom floor of my townhome (3'x7'). the floor system is joists (unsure of size, but i can measure).

the linoleum was pulled up today and it appears that the subflooring is just one layer of 5/8" standard (no APA rating stamp) plywood. this was measured in a seam in the floor.

everything that i am reading says that i need at least 1-1/8" of subfloor, but that i should use a cement backer board.

does that mean 1-1/8" PLUS the backer board? or would i be fine with just adding 1/2" cement board on top of the existing 5/8" subfloor (to equal 1-1/8")?

i'm assuming i need to pull up the baseboard and reinstall later. i've read to pull the nails out the back. is there an easy way to get the baseboard off without messing up the paint on the walls?

should i also cut the bottom of the door jamb so that the tile can fit underneath it, or just run the tile to the edge of the door jamb and caulk (or grout?) the gap?

the door appears to have enough clearance for the new floor height. it is hollow core and the guy at work said, if i need to cut it, to score the faces of the door with a razorbefore cutting so that it does not splinter.

thanks in advance


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Old 07-17-2006, 02:10 PM   #2
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General rule is 1 1/8 subfloor including the substrate, in your case the backerboard.

Yes you should cut the door casings to fit tile underneath, but not the jambs. A good way to do so is to use a special saw designed for doing exactly that called an undercut saw - you should find it at your local Home Improvement Chain Store for cheap. Just remember that when you cut, lay the saw not only on top of a tile for the proper height but also lay a small piece of cardboard down on the tile to represent the thickness of the thinset that will be there when you lay the tiles. The door clearence can easily be adjusted by cutting the door. Remember you can pop the door off its' hinges by removing the pins in the hinges and not have to weaken the hinge contact with the jamb by unscrewing it. Your buddy had a good suggestion, scoring the door first will definitely guard against splintering - i think you'll be surprised at how thin and flimsy your door really is when you cut it. When you do cut the door, if its the first time its been cut, there will be a solid bottom. When you cut it off, if you cut high enough that you get into the hollow part, you should chisel the masonite off of the solid bottom and reglue into the freshly cut door after you are done. Good Luck.


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Old 07-18-2006, 01:15 AM   #3
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When you put tile down you should figure out the span (unsupported length) of the joists, their size and spacing. Tile MUST go down on a very rigid surface. Depending on those numbers I would put down at least 1/2" pywood at 90 degrees to the existing and then cbu bedded into unmodified thinset. Then thinset and tile. If you're careful you should be able to start pulling the base in some less conspicuous spot (behind the toilet perhaps) then when you have added all the flooring any scratches will hopefully get covered by the base when you reinstall it an inch or so higher. Luck.
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Old 07-18-2006, 05:28 PM   #4
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i'm assuming i need to pull up the baseboard and reinstall later. i've read to pull the nails out the back. is there an easy way to get the baseboard off without messing up the paint on the walls?
Run your razor knife along the top, this will keep the paint from peeling up with the drywall when pulling the molding off.
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