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rtastad 10-03-2013 09:50 AM

Kitchen Tile - Subfloor Question
We are replacing the floors in our kitchen. We removed some cheap-o laminate to find some old funky linoleum. We removed said linoleum, but have had no luck trying to get the paper that appears to have been the back of the original flooring. How much, if any, of an issue will this be going forward?

The construction: we are lucky enough to be looking at 3/4" subfloor on top of the original 3/4" plywood flooring. Joists are 2*10 spaced 16 inches apart with a span of about 13 feet.

The plan: I know there is much debate over whether to tile under cabinets or not. We chose to raise the cabinets but not to tile under them. From here we plan to use Thinset/Durock (screwed to subfloor, not joists) then tile, which will be a combination of 13*13 and 20*20 inch glazed porcelain tiles in a pinwheel type pattern.

Again, is this paper on top of the existing subfloor a big problem?
How much thinset should be used for Durock? (1/4" notched?)
Am I overlooking anything else?

Thanks in advance. And please be kind...I'm new to this!!

JetSwet 10-03-2013 05:33 PM

My question would be how do you know you have double. 3/4" ply?.... And not 3/4" and luon over it.
If you do have 2x the 3/4" then you could take top layer off replace with 1/2" then tile under cabinets is a option for hight.

rtastad 10-03-2013 05:56 PM

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There seems to be a 3/4" underlayment throughout the house. Some was OSB (where we had carpet) but the rest seems to be plywood. I snapped a transverse photo from an air return. This looks ok right?

JazMan 10-03-2013 09:10 PM

Yes, the subfloor looks ok. :thumbsup: Most times there'd be some 1/4" ply under the resilient floor, but not here. So the double 3/4" gives you very little deflection between the joists, and the joists themselves should be plenty stiff for ceramic at 13 ft. span.

You never said how old this flooring might be. It's possible that the backing you see contains asbestos so be careful. You shouldn't be walking on it cuz you're making dust. I recommend you only remove anything that is thicker than 1/64" +- and mist it with water while working with it. Then place in double bag and dispose of accordingly.

Re-screw the underlayment as needed be installing the Durock. The thin set under the boards needs to be a little thin consistency than normal and expect about 85-95 ft. per 50# bag. Don't forget the seam tape.


rtastad 10-03-2013 09:19 PM

It's from ~1975. When did they quit using asbestos?

JazMan 10-03-2013 09:41 PM

Asbestos backings were use in sheet goods well into the '80's. No all backs were asbestos, but most were. Got pics of the old flooring, and the backing too?

That's why we always recommend removing the 1/4" underlayment with the flooring still attached. But no luck for you. Still, don't panic.


rtastad 10-03-2013 09:52 PM

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Thanks for your expertise. Is this a good enough shot?

JazMan 10-03-2013 10:21 PM

That's an asbestos back alright. I'm not sure what brand that is, but Armstrong called it Hydrocord. Anyway, you're not supposed to sand or scrape it dry.


rtastad 10-03-2013 10:28 PM

Great! Haha. Luckily we'll be installing the Durock this weekend. Will tread lightly in the meantime.

rtastad 10-05-2013 07:26 PM

Durock installed today! Went very well. When is the soonest we can tile? Is tomorrow too soon?

oh'mike 10-05-2013 08:31 PM

Tomorrow will be fine---no need to wait at all--

JazMan 10-06-2013 09:21 PM

The only time you have ta let it "dry" is if the big game is on.:whistling2: Otherwise keep going.


rtastad 10-10-2013 03:19 PM

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Just an update. We finished tiling last night. Grout party tomorrow. We are happy with our work so far

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