Thin Set Vs Mesh Porcelain Floor Tile Over Plywood Subfloor And Vinyl Flooring - Tiling, ceramics, marble - Page 2 - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


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Old 02-20-2009, 10:30 PM   #16
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Thin set vs mesh porcelain floor tile over plywood subfloor and vinyl flooring


Before I get completly confused let me ask this....if my plywood subflooring is completely solid, if there are no problems with my joists and support beams, then taking up all the existing flooring, putting down backerboard, thinset and then the tiles would be alright? Jazman brought up one of my concerns about a mesh and mud installation. Since my dining room and kitchen are an open layout a 1 1/2 inch or 2 inch lip where my dining room flooring and kitchen floor meet is a little high. I know a transition molding will be installed between the rooms but I don't want it to be like a step up to the kitchen. My refrigerator probably wouldn't fit in the existing opening and I would have to take the overhead cabinet out or cut it down to size. I thought about removing the carpeting in the dining room (I have 3/4 inch oak hardwood floors underneath) and extending the hardwood into the kitchen but I'm concerned about water and wood so thought that tile would be a better choice. I have another eight companies to call to get estimates. I'm not in any rush and want to make sure that what's done is done correctly because I'm going to be in this house for a long time.

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Old 02-20-2009, 10:48 PM   #17
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Thin set vs mesh porcelain floor tile over plywood subfloor and vinyl flooring


If the subfloor is good no damages you can do whatever you want with it (there's no standard), you have several options ,Mud Ditra Backerboards Hardibacker,etc.Yes it is good,go for it.
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Old 02-21-2009, 10:02 AM   #18
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Thin set vs mesh porcelain floor tile over plywood subfloor and vinyl flooring


OK, you're gettting warmer... But establishing that you have 5/8" plywood as your subfloor is only saying that your house was built 'to miniumum code', as most building codes specify 5/8" plywood as the subfloor. That's reassuring to some extent - but not much.

But then you got the 'ol Jump test' performed for you, whereby a 175lb tile installer jumps up and down on the floor and says "see? it's solid!". You're not looking for breakability, you're looking for resistance to cracking over time.

Amongst the thousands of permutations of materials, methods and substrates out there, there are plenty of wrong choices that can be made. And who pays for that? You do, the homeowner. There's really nothing that protects you and your investment in a tile job. Sure you could sue a guy for doing a lousy job (but try to prove that), and you'll spend much more in court that what you spent on the tile job. So what is there that gives both you and the tile setter some reassurance that what he is doing is correct? Standards.

Now given you have an interior residential, 'dry' application with wood floor joists and 5/8" subfloor, you'll have to next establish whether porcelain tiles can be put onto that floor, or if the floor has to be beefed up, given the size of the room. That means a trip to the basement to look underneath the floor you're tiling...then, calculations. Why? well, a floor that is not suitable for tiling translates into cracks in and around the tiles. One that is suitable means 'no cracks'.

Let's keep going; OK now your tile setter has established by calculation that the joists+subfloor are OK to put tiles upon, what does he do next? Well, again one standard I know (other standards are similar) says there are 4 ways of doing proceeding to put tiles on this:
(a) with thinset, on two layers of 5/8" plywood, or
(b) with thinset, on one layer of 5/8" plywood and 1/2" CBU, or
(c) a 1.5" thick mortar bed+metal lath combination, or
(d) with thinset on one 5/8" layer of plywood plus an uncoupling membrane.

Incidentally, of these four choices, (d) gives you the thinest overall height of about 1.5" and is the quickest, IMO. You'll see a lot of setters using this method as the uncoupling membrane provides some waterproofing and puts a layer of plastic between two dissimilar 'systems': the wooden subfloor 'system' and the cement-like tile 'system'. (These 2 'systems' expand and contract at different rates which also gives you cracks...)

So your guy who said he'd "add another layer of CBU over the first layer" is "making his own way" and may be learning on-the-job - but guess who's going to pay for that in the end? You are.

Not to belabour the point any further, but each of these 4 choices has specific standards for components like type of thinset, for screws, for how far apart, for bond-coating etc, so once you've gotten the choice, then there's still some work to do.

I may have repeated the excellent advice given by colleagues angus and Jazman - but I hope this helps too!
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Old 02-21-2009, 07:31 PM   #19
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Thin set vs mesh porcelain floor tile over plywood subfloor and vinyl flooring


Having said all that above, I will say that I am familiar with a method of tiling over existing vinyl that one manufacturer is promoting. Certain conditions have to be met however (for example the vinyl can't be 'cushioned') and is used where the risk of ripping up asbestos tiles is a problem...

You might just qualify for that type of install but only the really well trained installers know about this method, the limitations and the products needed to do it right. If your tiling candidate says he knows a way, ask him for details - then tell me.

It's in my course notes from last year...and I just found them.
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Old 02-23-2009, 07:32 PM   #20
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NEXT!!!!! Received two more quotes, one for mesh and mud and another for greenboard and thinset...GET THIS---the mesh and mud job is $2200 and the greenboard and thinset job is $4900...same square footage...I purchase the tiles and grout for both. The company that gave me the price for mesh and mud has been in business for over 30 years...my previous landlord, who's Italian, and had his own construction company, recommended him to me. Over the weekend I went to see six jobs that he did within the past two years and I have to say the work was beautiful, five residental jobs and one restaurant, the people were nice enough to let me into their homes. I have more calls to make and more people to come in to give me estimates so we shall see.
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:11 PM   #21
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Jersygirl If you go with the mesh and mud, Which is the only tile job I sell. as you pointed out earlier about your refrigerator cabinet, what about a Dishwasher? this type of install will require you to remove all base cabinets and cut down the full back splash if you have one, or you will have to break up the floor to change the dishwasher. Something to think about. BOB
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:32 PM   #22
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?

"...and another for greenboard and thinset..."

I can be thick sometimes, but I still have to ask what the heck are you all talking about? Greenboard? or is he talking "GreenE-Board" the one made with recycled wood chips?

In my immediate circle, 'greenboard' is gypsum panels covered with a wax-like substance to retard moisture penetration. It's been years since I've had anything to do with greenboard since that technology is passé now and not even supported in the tiling code books.

And, are you comparing apples to apples? do these prices involve tear-out or covering of the tile? But at least now you have a price for option (c) in my post above. Good!
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:09 PM   #23
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Jerseygirl,

Don't you bother to talk to these people at all before they come to your house? A few questions over the phone and most of these guys would have eliminated themselves. Big waste of energy for both of you.

Just to be clear on tile terminology, let's recap. Thin set over lath is a "Jersey-Mud-Job" and is bad. In this case the word "mud" is miss characterized since it is NOT mud at all but thin set mortar. Mud over lath is good if the mud is sand/cement placed at about 1"-1 1/2" thickness. Some tile hacks will refer to thin set as "mud" to lead you to believe you are getting a real mud job when you are not. Don't even bother to waste your time with these guys.

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Old 02-23-2009, 11:15 PM   #24
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JazMan----the companies I've called all have said that they have to come and look at the job first. I would like nothing more then to conduct this business over the phone but when I ask questions they hem and haw and say that they really can't tell me anything until they see the floor, then they'll be able to tell me what materials they're going to use and how they're going to do the job.

This is not a "jersey mud job" we're talking about...we're talking about a vapor barrier installed over a plywood floor, then mesh and thin set over the mesh and the tiles installed over that, both laminate and vinyl flooring removed. I said mud because that's the terminology I grew up with....lath, chicken wire and mud...I repaired a bathroom stall shower that way a number of years ago.

Carlisle---I'm only writing what I'm told by the companies that are giving me estimates. One guy said he would put down greenboard...is his terminology correct...is he talking about the same product your talking about, I don't know. So far the estimates I've gotten have left me more confused then before because each company tells me that they install tiles just one way. I'm trying to compare apples to apples but it's not easy when you get double talked and told that this is the new way and someone else tells you that this is the best way, and someone else tells you that this is the good enough way. All the prices I've received are for removing the laminate flooring but only two companies included removing the vinyl flooring (which might cost more if it glued down).

buletbog---I can't move the base cabinets because I have granite backsplashes and counter tops so the tile will have to butt up against the base cabinets....and yes you're right about the dishwasher. The only thing I can think of is to buy extra tiles and when the dishwasher has to be moved, take out the front two or four tiles and replace them. I've already talked to my local lumber yard and they'll cut my refrigerator cabinet down to size for me if needed, I don't want to take a chance on cutting it myself and ruining it.
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Old 02-23-2009, 11:29 PM   #25
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You say "this is not a Jersey-mud job", then described a Jersey mud job with the exception of the vapor barrier. You need to ask specific questions so you'll know what each plans to do.

A real mud job is; cleavage membrane, (usually tarpaper), lath stapled down well, then an inch or so of a dry mixture of sand and cement mixed at about a 1:5 ratio. Tile are set onto this mortar bed the next day or longer using thinset mortar. This is hard physically and takes plenty of skill to get it right.

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Old 02-24-2009, 05:29 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JazMan View Post
You say "this is not a Jersey-mud job", then described a Jersey mud job with the exception of the vapor barrier. You need to ask specific questions so you'll know what each plans to do.

A real mud job is; cleavage membrane, (usually tarpaper), lath stapled down well, then an inch or so of a dry mixture of sand and cement mixed at about a 1:5 ratio. Tile are set onto this mortar bed the next day or longer using thinset mortar. This is hard physically and takes plenty of skill to get it right.

Jaz
Correct: your definition of a true mud job is what I have always referred to as just a mud job. Back in the day with clay back tiles we use to soak them in water then once the floor was floated we sprinkled dry Portland over the base then squeezed a water soaked sponage over the area and tapped the tile into the mud with a mallet and a piece of 1x4. then you were able to finish a floor in one day. Thoses were the days!. BOB
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Old 02-24-2009, 07:56 AM   #27
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Jerseygirl, how big of a job do you have over there,I'll take Jazman with me and we'll do it for you,case closed.Jazman we'll split half/half
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Old 02-24-2009, 09:28 AM   #28
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IMO, a professional tiling company ought to know more than just one way of setting tile because not only does each method have it's advantages and drawbacks but the ultmate choice of which method you go with will depend on other factors, one of which BuletBob pointed out: the height of existing cabinets and dishwashers.

I mentioned earlier 4 different methods of tiling over the wooden joists and 5/8" plywood subfloor that you already have...a proper "mud job" was method (c). To me, a 'mud job' is a true artform, unfortunately performed by fewer and fewer practioners these days. It has to be done right and only experience teaches you how to do it that way. Great in a shower, but the one thing that may exclude a 'mud job' in an existing kitchen is the fact that it is so thick, about 2.5" from the joists to the top of the tile. In comparison, method (d) is about 1.5" high. To some that's a big difference...

I have only heard of a 'sort-of' mud job that resembled what others call a "Jersey Mud Job" - and it involves a product called "Mapelath" - a lath product used only in conjuction with a proprietary setting 'system' sold by Mapei. We have the Laval Mapei manufacturing plant a few miles away from here so we see lots of people selling Mapei products, including HD. Which brings me to another point about your tiling suitors...

Sometimes and only sometimes - we charge a consultation fee, to get us into our van, to travel to some work place, give our advice on something and then return home without an order or a firm comittment to go further. I establish whether or not to charge on the phone beforehand. This is different from going to see a job in order to give a quote which we do most often. But either way it is part of the presentation we make in order to get the business - just as our uniform and the cleanliness of our trucks are. To me it's the only way to work. I just cannot give a quote blindly because there are just too many variables I can't see through the wires. Now I hope that once there, I can see all the factors that combine to make my quote - and I'll add that sometimes there are more than one options in doing the job.

So I trust you will be "interviewing" - in person- your eventual tiling guy before you hand over your cash. I'm not knocking you about the 'GreenE-Board' - but I do have issues with someone who tells you that and doesn't explain fully what he means. Good for you for writing it down and then telling the forum here because now we can give you more of the good advice others have already given you. It's a long process sometimes but the time spent on this is IMO the most valuable
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Old 02-24-2009, 02:51 PM   #29
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Bob, where on the Island are you?, or did I ask and forget some time ago.

Jersey mud job, scratch coat whatever, like the others, there's only one real mud job.

If over a wood subfloor, two layers of wood, top being 1/2" or better ply, then Ditra, done.

If the floor isn't flat, there a few ways to deal with it.
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Old 02-24-2009, 07:20 PM   #30
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I know not all the tile guys in NJ do not only do scratch-coat jobs, plenty that do good work that lasts. Hope you are able find someone even I could trust. We know of several good tile setters in NJ, but don't know whereabouts you are.


Jerseygirl, how big of a job do you have over there,I'll take Jazman with me and we'll do it for you,case closed.Jazman we'll split half/half

OK, I'll pick you up on the way to NJ. I haven't been there since June '07.

Jaz

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