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jpc 12-14-2010 03:27 PM

ceramic tile, underlayment questions
checked this sites forums out pretty often and gained a bunch of help from your guys. Recently having a disaster with my central air component thats in the attic went wrong and filled my attic up with water, walls, flooring, alot of things, so i went from a hobbiest woodworker, to full time remodeler when im not at my real full time job,lol. On to my questions,...being i have11 of the 35 i need duroc backerboards to do the last two rooms with ceramic tile, the rooms being my living room and dinning room.I was kicking around the idea of using the backerboards around the doors and major flow areas, and whats left being sheeted with either the bc grade or ac grade ply that i have tons of. Of all the research ive done on all of this doesnt seem to be the way to go...Thoughts or opinions or suggestions would be awesome.Although i do not want to compromise the money i have tied up in the tile, By putting something crapy underneath it, was hoping you guys had some ideas. Money is the major factor, especially this close to just sucks because now is when i have the time off work to do. thanks again guys

epson 12-14-2010 04:10 PM

Ok you have several alternate ways to accomplish the strong underlayment required for ceramic tile installations here are a few:

1) Just a single layer of plywood isn't rigid enough to stop floor deflection. It needs to be covered over with an additional layer of exterior grade plywood to achieve a total thickness of at least 1 1/8. You can either (A) Cover the plywood with a cement backer board which you have (11) of or (B) Cover the existing plywood with a second layer of exterior grade plywood. Under either of these, a thin-set mortar is applied to eliminate air gaps and the joints should be staggered.

2) Cement Backer Board which you have (11) get more to finish the floor.

3) Mortar Bed or Mud beds which are used by professional tile contractors mostly and if money is an issue then this is not for you. But a very good alternative if you can afford it.

Bud Cline 12-14-2010 09:05 PM


Under either of these, a thin-set mortar is applied to eliminate air gaps and the joints should be staggered.

You WOULD NOT use thinset under a second application of plywood. The thinset is used only under the cement board application.

Tile can be applied directly to plywood (exterior grade plywood) but the method can be problematic. And...the correct thinset must be used.

A base subfloor thickness of 1-1/8" is no longer a mandatory requirement. Cement board manufacturers are guaranteeing installations of their product over as little as 5/8" of plywood subfloor if other criteria are also met.:)

jpc 12-14-2010 11:47 PM

hey thanks guys, being that im budget oriented,ill do the dinning room, which i have enough backer board, and put the rest of the material out in shop till i can do it right, not a huge rush as the flooring in the living room is still useable, only bought and decided to put down the tile because i had the left over money from the insurance that i saved, again thanks guys

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