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Old 07-25-2013, 11:36 AM   #1
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Tiling assistance needed


I am re-tiling most of my main floor (about 500 sq ft). It includes a kitchen, eating area, hallways, side entrance and a powder room. I have reinforced the joists where needed and replaced old 5/8" OSB with 5/8" plywood in the bigger rooms. I want to use the ditra as a tile underlay but need to raise the tile floor to 1" above the subfloor to be level with my hardwood floors that are in the other rooms on this floor. I am installing 3/8"x 12"x24" porcelain tiles. I am planning to add layer of 3/8" plywood on the subfloor. By my calculations 3/8" plywood + 1/8" ditra + 3/8" tile + 1/8" thinset should give me the desired height. My tiling experience is a couple small bathrooms (with a shower) and a couple of back splashes. This job entails 5 interconnected rooms. Any suggestions / advice would be helpful. I plan to start this early next week.

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Old 07-25-2013, 09:27 PM   #2
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Tiling assistance needed


I would use 1/2" tilebacker before I would use 3/8" plywood and 1/8" ditra.

There are lots of ways to cut up a house. For example, I am looking at tiling a 1000 SF house now everywhere except the bedrooms. The kitchen flows into the dining, which flows into the living and the hallway. I have 3 different types of tile to use, and I can do:

Option 1
Kitchen & dining
Living
Hallway

Option 2
Kitchen
Dining, hallway, and end of living where front door comes through
Living

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Old 07-25-2013, 10:02 PM   #3
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Tiling assistance needed


I have to disagree with our friend from Iowa.

Using 1/2" tile backer will do little to beef up that wimpy floor. All you'll get is a tile-friendly surface, but little added structural strength as concrete backers add no strength. A 5/8" subfloor is scary to begin with, you need more ply. Matter of fact, I'd like to see you use 1/2" underlayment grade ply, not just 3/8".

Ditra instead of concrete tile backer is a smart choice for almost any situation.

12x24" tiles; that floor better be flat, and don't offset by 50% as in running bond (brick) pattern. It's recommended you offset by 1/3" due to the likelyhood of warpage of tiles that large.

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Old 07-25-2013, 10:29 PM   #4
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Tiling assistance needed


I agree with Jazzman. I thought you were adding 3/8" to an already acceptable floor. But your floor isn't acceptable without the 3/8", then you have the problem of matching the wood. So it sounds like you are on the right track.
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Old 07-26-2013, 07:01 AM   #5
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Tiling assistance needed


Thanks for the replies Jazzman & Cleveman.

I am new to this and I want to make sure I got things straight. I am a little confused however. I have 1 room that has a span of 12'. I sistered all the joists (2x8) in this room then put a 5/8" plywood (original subfloor was 5/8 OSB). All my other rooms has a span of less than 11' with 2x8 joists with 5/8" OSB. Structurally these should be sound. The kitchen (bigger area) I will replace the 5/8" OSB with plywood (I hate OSB). I would have loved to rip up all of the 5/8'" OSB and replace with 3/4" plywood but that is just not feasible. The 3/8" plywood purpose in my mind is there to put the tile and my hardwood floor on the same plane. I am sure I will need actual tiling help later but for now does my subfloor prep seem to be on the right track?
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Old 07-26-2013, 09:54 AM   #6
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Tiling assistance needed


If your concern is just putting tile on the same plane, or closer to the same plane with a smaller threshold, then consider Ditra XL - that's what it's for.

http://www.schluter.com/6928.aspx

As an added bonus, it actually allows for more movement, and technically is a better choice if your floor is a bit on the more flexy side. I would not like to have to rely on that, and I can't say exactly how much more movement it will allow.

If it were me, I'd much rather have 5/8" OSB covered by 1/2" plywood, than replace the OSB with 5/8" plywood. I like to see 1-1/4" subfloor when I can get it, but 3/4" to 1-1/8" range will often work. Obviously 1-1/8" is very close to 1-1/4".

Also, with 5 interconnected rooms, you should do some research into expansion joints.

Last edited by jeffnc; 07-26-2013 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:59 PM   #7
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Tiling assistance needed


Quote:
Originally Posted by rjf44
Thanks for the replies Jazzman & Cleveman.

I am new to this and I want to make sure I got things straight. I am a little confused however. I have 1 room that has a span of 12'. I sistered all the joists (2x8) in this room then put a 5/8" plywood (original subfloor was 5/8 OSB). All my other rooms has a span of less than 11' with 2x8 joists with 5/8" OSB. Structurally these should be sound. The kitchen (bigger area) I will replace the 5/8" OSB with plywood (I hate OSB). I would have loved to rip up all of the 5/8'" OSB and replace with 3/4" plywood but that is just not feasible. The 3/8" plywood purpose in my mind is there to put the tile and my hardwood floor on the same plane. I am sure I will need actual tiling help later but for now does my subfloor prep seem to be on the right track?
I think you will be just fine with your idea. Put the 3/8" over the 5/8" you can glue it down if you like before attaching with screws. Off set the seams from 1st on OSB to 2nd ply at least 12" and run the second layer the same as 1st which both will be perpendicular to the joists. Your ditra if installed correctly will make up for lack of better word "3/8" size ply" make sure it's a quality grade like a B/c sanded or exposure.

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