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Old 03-24-2010, 10:15 AM   #1
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subfloor conflicting advice?

Preparing to lay tile for bathroom floor. Purchased 1/4 inch hardi type backer board for floor. Sub floor is very solid and thick (t and groove 2x6's and then 3/4 plywood). Linoleum on top of that. I was told to leave the linoleum and then screw down the backer board to the floor and then use motar to lay tile. I was told I do not need to use thinset to set the backer board to the floor, but have also read I should use thinset to lay the backer board. Question: can I just screw down the backer board (with screws recessed a bit) and then motar? Or would thinset be better? Salesman at big box store said he had 20 years of tiling experience. I am laying 6x6 tiles - about 60 sq feet. Note, I was also told I could lay the tile directly on the linoleum but I did not want to do that at all.

I meant to add: the motar I was sold is Mapei Ultraflex 1 tile motar with polymer.

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Old 03-24-2010, 11:39 AM   #2
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subfloor conflicting advice?

Have had question answered by calls to Mapei and JohnHardi. Mapei said I should apply thinset but said I should call JohnHardi. I called there and they advised to definitely use a thin layer of thinset to put down the hardibacker - and OK to apply that directly on the linoleum.

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Old 03-24-2010, 10:02 PM   #3
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subfloor conflicting advice?

I have done what you are planning. I would thinset the hardibacker down like they recommended. That sounds like you have a real solid floor there to start with. With 6 x 6's going in, you should be fine. In your case the hardibacker is really just giving you a nice clean surface to adhere you tile to.
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Old 03-25-2010, 01:04 AM   #4
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subfloor conflicting advice?

firehawk, thanks.
Still have a minor concern - maybe - I went back to ask for thinset to put under the hardibacker and was told it was the same Mapei product I purchased to apply for the tile. . . so I guess I already had thinset though the other salesman said to use it instead of thinset - so a bit confusing.

Today - though, I had the guy check with supervisor at store and they said the motar I purchased (Mapei ultraflex tile motar with polymer) is the thinset I need. . so tomorrow I will go ahead and put the thinset down.

I may rough up the linoleum a bit first. .

The johnhardi tech guy said the thinset beneath the hardibacker assures that the hardibacker goes down on a level surface and smooths out any imperfections, dips etc. That way there is no "give" to the hardibacker which could cause tile to crack.
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Old 03-26-2010, 09:14 PM   #5
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subfloor conflicting advice?

It's not clear who told you not to spread thin set under the Hardie and just fasten it. Who ever it was they should not be giving advice. (Don't forget the mesh tape.) If it was the guy with 20 years exp., he should be made aware that it's never too late to start doing it right.

The thin set under ALL CBU's is an essential step. If it's someone at the big box, well, you went there and wrong info is very common at those places.

Chances are there is a 1/4" ply under your vinyl, if so that should be removed for best results. It's usually luaun which hates moisture and adds almost no strength.

You can use Ultraflex 1 for both steps. It's an "entry level" modified thin set, but should be good enough for a small residential floor.

BTW, it's James Hardie, good luck.

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Old 03-28-2010, 10:13 AM   #6
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subfloor conflicting advice?

Jazman, thanks for the info. What is interesting is that at bigbox I specifically askes 2x if I should put anything under the hardibacker and answer was no - not needed. Fortunately, I called Mapei number and also called JohnHardie and learned otherwise. There is 3/4 plywood under the linoleum, and 2x6s t and groove under that. I used Mapei ultrflex #1 under the hardibacker and screwed it down as well with correct 1 1/4 screws. I returned the other bags of Mapei #1 and bought #2 after checking on Internet for specs of each.

I have layed out tile - dry fitting - and drawn lines on my hardibacker and learn that I am off square about 1/8 inch or so to square everything up but I figured out a way to keep the square and leave the unsquare part where less seen. Found a good site re laying the tile out and applying is squares. ..

Still nervous about getting the tiles (6x6) level with each other tile but will take my time. . . have a level and rubber mallet.

Thanks again.

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