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Old 11-17-2008, 10:13 PM   #1
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Kitchen subfloor questions


Hello to everyone!
This is my first post. I am a new member who has just joined and I enjoy what I am reading but I still have some questions regarding subfloors so I appreciate in advance any help from all our tile experts. I am just a handyman who likes to do things right for my family and save some money at the same time. But also my wife is getting tired of no kitchen so I am willing to listen for any ideas to speed things up. Even if I have to hire someone. But I am getting confusing ideas even from actual tile contractors. One tile contractor said after viewing the new subfloor that all he would do is put 3/8 fir stapled over the new subfloor then tile. He would NOT warranty if I put 1/2 hardie board down (according to instructions on hardie website). I am getting ahead of myself, here are the details:

I am in the middle of a total kitchen gut job on our family home (not a flipper). Everything is out of the way, the electric and drywall are complete. I am getting conflicting ideas and suggestions regarding tiling our kitchen and foyer with 18x18 porcelain tile. It is a 25 by 13 area with a 6 by 12 foyer going into it that will be tiled. It is a 1984 split level with no dining room. There was 3/4 tongue and groove OSB originally on the subfloor with 1/4 luan and then ceramic tile (which was cracked). I ripped this all the way to the floor joists (what a pain) which are 2x10 16o.c.. I then installed 3/4 tongue and groove plywood (glued and screwed) in the foyer. It was suggested to me by a carpenter friend to go with fir (same type as plywood) the rest of the way in the kitchen. I did that (much easier to lift by myself). I also installed 2x10 blocking every 40in and tied into my rim joist where needed because I couldn't take out the old subfloor all the way. I can get to the subfloor from the basement.

So after all this work by myself (I have another full time job) I really want to do this right. I went to the schluter website to look into ditra but then I wonder about levelling issues with uneveness at the old OSB edges and new subfloor and some of the original joists have some minor crowning problems. The website says all levelling problems must be taken care of before installation. Any suggestions? What type of leveller to use if I go with Ditra? Or should I go with 1/2 hardie board so it's stiffer? I am butting up to Bruce hardwood flooring in the livingroom. But I don't care about heighth issues because that floor is being replaced in the spring so I can make it up then. Also approximately how much is Ditra xl a square foot? One tile contractor wanted 500 labor to install 1/2 hardie board. I am getting to the point of what is my time worth with the holidays coming up and the cabinets will be in in 2 weeks.

I am sorry for the long post and I hope you all I have a good night. I'll sleep on it.

Thanks,
John

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Old 11-19-2008, 09:57 AM   #2
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Kitchen subfloor questions


Quote:
One tile contractor said after viewing the new subfloor that all he would do is put 3/8 fir stapled over the new subfloor then tile.
Must be Exterior Grade Exposure-1 Underlayment - just any plywood is not acceptable.

Quote:
He would NOT warranty if I put 1/2 hardie board down..
There is something wrong with this guy, move-on and find a tileguy that knows what he is talking about.

Quote:
I then installed 3/4 tongue and groove plywood (glued and screwed) in the foyer.
Again... Exterior Grade Exposure-1 Underlayment should have been used and this application SHOULD NOT be glued to the primary. Fasteners also SHOULD NOT penetrate the floor joists, they should penetrate only the primary subfloor.

When using DITRA you should level first using a Portland cement based filler.

When using Hardiebacker YOU MUST level after the Hardie is installed. You could use 1/4" Hardie by the way.

Hardi costs about .70 cents per square foot whereas DITRA XL may cost around 2.00 per square foot, maybe more in some places. After all the work you have done the DITRA is overkill and a waste of money.

I have to warn you that unless you know what you are doing...using 18" tile on a floor that isn't perfectly plane may be a mistake.

Quote:
Or should I go with 1/2 hardie board so it's stiffer?
What makes you think Hardie is stiffer? You been talking to that first tileguy again? Run him off will-ya please!!!

Quote:
One tile contractor wanted 500 labor to install 1/2 hardie board.
That's a fair price if you buy the Hardie. If he is supplying the Hardie you better jump on that one right now. Unless that quote was from the first tileguy again. If so forget it.

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Old 11-19-2008, 07:27 PM   #3
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Kitchen subfloor questions


Bud,
Thanks for all your detailed responses on a overly long winded post, done too late at night. I will take all your advice, but what kind of screws or nails would go under the hardieboard that puts down the underlayment? Would they need to be exteroir for the thinset contact? Also the quote:

I then installed 3/4 tongue and groove plywood (glued and screwed) in the foyer.

This was the new subfloor over the joists(all exterior grade 1).
Thanks again for the help,
John
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Old 11-19-2008, 09:59 PM   #4
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Kitchen subfloor questions


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I will take all your advice, but what kind of screws or nails would go under the hardieboard that puts down the underlayment?
I'll probably get a feud going but to tell you the truth I wouldn't worry about those screws. Screw heads in concrete will be here centuries from now.

The cement board requires a special screw for more than one reason. In that case I would seek out the "self drilling-double threaded-high low threads with the diggers under the head and coated."
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Old 11-28-2008, 12:57 PM   #5
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Kitchen subfloor questions


I posted this on another thread that was talking about expansion and the need for gaps around the underlayment. Then I thought about it, and I think I needed to put it under this post. Sorry!


"If you install hardie over underlayment with modified thinset, doesn't the thinset fill in the expansion joints that were between the underlayment seams? I'm getting ready to do this and I have a tile job with a southern exposure getting alot of light from a patio door. Thanks for all the great info."
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Old 11-28-2008, 01:20 PM   #6
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Kitchen subfloor questions


you are saying you have 2x10 floor joists and I'm assuming they span 13'. what I always do is install my tiles on a mud base of 3/4" or more. this way the mud takes up any unevenness of the floor. when your finished you will have one even,flat and level floor to set your tiles. you say its a split level house. the one thing I hate to see when I climb the stairs up to the kitchen is a floor that is all wavy because of the backer board taking the original shape of the floor. Your going with a wide tile so the mud job would be perfect.
some tile men might argue with me about the floor backer, but I'm still old school. MUD MUD. nothing is more beautiful then a smooth flat floor. BOB.
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Old 12-08-2008, 09:17 PM   #7
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Kitchen subfloor questions


Hello to everyone. Been out of town I am ready to get tiling. I have since installed 1/2 underlayment on top of 3/4 subfloor (not screwed into joists).

Do I really need Hardiebacker now? I'm thinking yes, you don't tile over wood, but what about all that weight on the floor? I'll have close to 2in of floor when I'm done instaliing the porcelain tile.(1and1/4 in of wood, 1/4 Hardiebacker, two coats of thinset and tile). This with 2x10, 16 inches on center, maximum unsupported span is 13ft. Is another backer board lighter and as good?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-09-2008, 09:16 AM   #8
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Kitchen subfloor questions


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Is another backer board lighter and as good?
WEDI
EasyBoard
Green E Board
DITRA
DITRA-XL
Denshield

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