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Old 04-12-2011, 08:58 AM   #1
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Tiling over an old hardwood floor


I have a front entryway thats maple hardwood. It is not servicable and I want to tile over it. adjacent to the entry way is 8mm laminate wood flooring. I want to tile the entry way and use a transition strip to tie them together.

Can I lay down unmodified thinset directly on top of the old hardwood followed by ditra and then tile over the ditra with modified thinset and porceline tile?

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Old 04-12-2011, 10:27 AM   #2
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Tiling over an old hardwood floor


i think the answer to this depends on "whats under the hardwood" and what condition the hardwood is in.

Usually you will have some poor areas of subfloor under floors that old. Are any of the planks loose?

I would NOT do it because i think the longevity of the tile job would be in doubt. Rip the old floor out, verify subfloor is appropriate and replace/repair as needed....start with a good foundation.


EDIT: Plus...why would you miss the opportunity to turn a simple lipstick tile job into a major structural renovation?

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Old 04-13-2011, 06:06 AM   #3
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Tiling over an old hardwood floor


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i think the answer to this depends on "whats under the hardwood" and what condition the hardwood is in.

Usually you will have some poor areas of subfloor under floors that old. Are any of the planks loose?

I would NOT do it because i think the longevity of the tile job would be in doubt. Rip the old floor out, verify subfloor is appropriate and replace/repair as needed....start with a good foundation.


EDIT: Plus...why would you miss the opportunity to turn a simple lipstick tile job into a major structural renovation?
The 3/4" hardwood is on top of 7/8" tungue and groove plank flooring. They are both structurally in good shape. My main concern was whether is was okay to put thinset directly on an old hardwood floor and if I should use an unmodified thinset between the hardwood and the ditra, followed by modified between the ditra and tile.

My tiling projects in the past have placed tile on hardi board. But because of transision issues and the fact that part of this space is a coat closest I don't want to deal with intricate hardi board cutting.
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:44 AM   #4
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Tiling over an old hardwood floor


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My main concern was whether is was okay to put thinset directly on an old hardwood floor
No! No! No!
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:54 AM   #5
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Tiling over an old hardwood floor


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No! No! No!
Care to explain? It seems to me that putting ditra onto hardwood would be similar to putting hardi onto hardwood
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Old 04-13-2011, 11:27 AM   #6
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Tiling over an old hardwood floor


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No! No! No!
Agreed. You will be breaking mortar joints and popping tiles in the air as that subfloor and the hardwood on it flexes with no substrate under your tile.

Why not just pull the hardwood out if you are done with it and do this right?

Last edited by user1007; 04-13-2011 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 04-13-2011, 11:28 AM   #7
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Tiling over an old hardwood floor


I'm sure Bud had to run off to a job, but you can bet he'll be back to xplain further.

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i think the answer to this depends on "whats under the hardwood" and what condition the hardwood is in.
NON SENSE! There is no circumstance or condition that would make Ditra (or even concrete backer), OK over hardwood or any plank floor.

The hardwood needs to be removed and then 1/2" or thicker plywood underlayment installed followed by your Ditra. You MUST install Ditra using a good quality modified thin set, (unmodified will not work over wood), then install the tiles with a good unmodified thin set mortar.

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Old 04-13-2011, 05:14 PM   #8
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Tiling over an old hardwood floor


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Care to explain? It seems to me that putting ditra onto hardwood would be similar to putting hardi onto hardwood
Well actually the end results would be very similar.
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:19 AM   #9
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Tiling over an old hardwood floor


I have to admit I'm a little suprised to find out that this wouldn't work. In the end I'd have over 1.5" of solid subfloor followed by hard tile board screwed on an 8" grid. The floor seams very sturdy right now. Add in the tile board seems more than enough.

Why would this have a tendency to pop tiles vs a traditional plywood subfloor?
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:50 AM   #10
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Tiling over an old hardwood floor


rip it out.
There are a couple of really knowledgeable people telling you that.
sometimes we don't get the answers we want to hear...
gonna cost $$ to buy tile, ditra, thinset, tools (if you don't have them), finishing strips, transition strips. Do you want to spend that once, or twice?
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:52 AM   #11
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Tiling over an old hardwood floor


Every time you step on a plank floor, even one perfectly installed, the boards you engage, flex. They also expand and contract individually with humidity and temperature changes. A sheet of plywood does not, or it only does corner to corner as a unit.

The flexing of a plank foor may be imperceptible to you but pieces of tile and the grout between them will feel it even with tileboard (not a structural material like plywood), thinset, and so forth. Even if the tiles don't pop on you, you will be regrouting on a regular basis.

I still do not understand why, if you have pronounced the hardwood dead and gone, you are resistant to just spending an hour, ripping it out, and putting down 3/4 ply for backing as recommended? Something nostalgic about the done in hardwood?

Last edited by user1007; 04-17-2011 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:09 AM   #12
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Tiling over an old hardwood floor


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Well actually the end results would be very similar.
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:23 AM   #13
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Tiling over an old hardwood floor


Don't get me wrong. I appreciate the help and I trust what you experts say. I may just find another flooring option. I hate the thought of putting vinyl flooring or anything else down. But I might have to. This entry way is small (36 sq ft) but it is not a simple square shape and to cut the hardwood out to replace with plywood would be a pain in the butt. I have a built-in cabinet and a coat closest that I'd have to work around. I don't believe I could fit a single piece of ply in there without having to place it down in puzzle-piece fashion. I guess I would run into the same problem with tileboard. Thats another reason I was hoping I could use ditra.

Oh well, I bow to your knowledge. I will not put tile on the hardwood.
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:44 AM   #14
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Tiling over an old hardwood floor


Quote:
to replace with plywood would be a pain in the butt.
Life's a b****....and then you die!

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Old 04-17-2011, 12:29 PM   #15
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Tiling over an old hardwood floor



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