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Old 08-03-2011, 03:35 PM   #1
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Tiling over plywood and planking


I have a house that was built in 1956 and I want to put down a tile floor in the kitchen.

The kitchen is approximately 12'x22' and the floor joists are 16" OC. The floor will be abutting a 3/4" hardwood floor (that is on top of the original 3/4" diagonal planking) so I want to try to avoid having a lip where they meet.

The kitchen floor has the original 3/4" diagonal planking and then I placed 1/4" plywood over that and screwed the hell out of it! That now leaves me with 1/2" space between the top of the 1/4" plywood and the hardwood floor it is next to. My next plan is to put down a layer of 1/8" ditra and then porcelin tiles ( not sure if 12"x12" or 18"x18").

My question is will this be enough support under the tile to prevent tiles and grout from cracking? Thanks for the help.

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Last edited by oh'mike; 08-04-2011 at 03:48 PM. Reason: added spaces using the enter key
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Old 08-04-2011, 11:06 AM   #2
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Tiling over plywood and planking


Personally I would have gone for a 1/4" cement product (durock, hardibacker, etc) rather than plywood. With plywood you are following the contour of the subfloor wether it's flat or not. When you glue and screw cement board down it stays flat and that's what tile needs to adhere to in order to be as strong as possible. So you might be ok if the subfloor is nice and flat, but I doubt it is.

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Old 08-04-2011, 12:58 PM   #3
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Tiling over plywood and planking


Quote:
Originally Posted by chronojosh View Post
I have a house that was built in 1956 and I want to put down a tile floor in the kitchen. The kitchen is approximately 12'x22' and the floor joists are 16" OC. The floor will be abutting a 3/4" hardwood floor (that is on top of the original 3/4" diagonal planking) so I want to try to avoid having a lip where they meet. The kitchen floor has the original 3/4" diagonal planking and then I placed 1/4" plywood over that and screwed the hell out of it! That now leaves me with 1/2" space between the top of the 1/4" plywood and the hardwood floor it is next to. My next plan is to put down a layer of 1/8" ditra and then porcelin tiles ( not sure if 12"x12" or 18"x18"). My question is will this be enough support under the tile to prevent tiles and grout from cracking? Thanks for the help.
Your finished floor is only going to be as good as your sub floor. Putting tile over the plywood, even though the plywood may seem to be strong enough to hold it, probably isn't.

Tile is heavy and needs a strong stable subfloor that will not bend or move when you walk on it, put heavy objects on it, etc. You need to reinforce the sub floor with cement board of some kind, 1/4". If you don't, your tiles will crack and there goes the time, money and effort.

Ditra is a great product under tile, although you don't necessarily need it over the cement board. The thin set you could use to further prevent any cracking of tiles and grout, is Flexbond, (HD has that) or try Lowes, but I don't really know what they have that would be it's equivalent.

Flexbond is much more expense though. If you don't want to spend that extra money, Versabond at (again, at HD) is a great alternative, although it doesn't have the same advantages Flexbond has, it's a good stand-by. It's easy to mix, just add water, no need to use a bond enhancer. Each 50 lb bag will cover about 45 to 65 sf.

About that "lip" meeting up to the hardwood floor, that shouldn't be an issue. Just use a hard surface reducer, which is specifically for two hard surfaces that meet, but are not the same height. It will make a nice smooth transition, (no trip hazard).

You would use a t-molding only when the two hard surfaces are the same height. P.S....with an area that big, a bigger tile looks much better than a 12 x 12. The 12 x 12, will look crazy busy and too much for the "eye" to adjust to. The larger tiles (16 x 16 or better yet 18 x 18) will look so much better, more ascetically pleasing to the "eye" and just better all around.

Last edited by oh'mike; 08-04-2011 at 03:47 PM. Reason: added spaces using the 'enter' key
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Old 08-04-2011, 04:03 PM   #4
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Tiling over plywood and planking


First of all----Every one----use the 'enter' key to add spaces---I just can't read a long post without any spaces.


Now--on to your job----Is the floor strong enough for tile? Give me the joist size (2x?)
Unsupported length (foundation to beam) spacing and type of wood if you know. I'll run the numbers for you.

Next---That 1/4" ply needs to be removed and replaced with something thicker.

3/8" is the minimum--but I would not want anything thinner than 1/2" b/c exterior glue.

After that will be the Ditra or 1/4" Durrock or wonder board---set in thinset and nailed with roofing nails or screwed.

If you wish to use Ditra One of the other tile folks will fill you in.

Schluter is very specific about the thinset used with Ditra---as I recall only unmodified is recomended

However ,I am not a Ditra user so we must wait until someone with real first hand knowledge comes along.

A tapered wood reducer will take care of any height difference between the old and new--no one will notice.---Mike----
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