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Old 12-02-2016, 08:40 AM   #1
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basement flooring, im lost

Hi, new to this site. And i work with more computer side, but have done plumbing, electrical, framing, flooring, drywall etc..
But I seem to have screwed my self perhaps.

We bought a house 4yrs ago and at that time i put in barricade subfloor 2x2 panels. Its like dricore but with the ridged foam on the bottom. I read at the time its good for all types of flooring. well apparently not tile. not really.
I only found this out a few days ago after I bought $2500 worth of tile. Which I really want to put down. I have read so many things im lost now..
I want to put the tile down but want it to last, not replace in a few years cause its all cracked up.

I tested it last night. its about 99%level. IE. the bubble is 99% in the lines all the time. Over about 800sq ft I thought this was pretty good.

I have read and been told a few things. (tile is porcelain, not sure if that matters)

1.bolt the panels to the basement concrete and put ditra on top and then tile.$1800

2.bolt the panels then screw plywood to those, then tile on top. $1600

3.all 3. bolt panels. then plywood, then ditra. $3400 (eeeekkk)

4. rip it all up sell what I can slavage then go right on the concrete.

5. same as 4 but use ditra on the concrete.

6. return the tile and get carpet or laminate, but i dont really want either. laminate i find is never flat and those tongue and groove crack and its then in even.

pls. im looking for my best options. I know when they made the house we have tile in our kitchen and it was osb 4x8 sheets on the floor joists, then a sheet of plywood, then tile right on top. no ditra or anything. So far nothing wrong other then i should have sealed the grout. (dirty)
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Old 12-02-2016, 09:28 AM   #2
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Re: basement flooring, im lost

Not familiar with the particular product you mention, but do you really bolt it to the floor? Important considerations for tile is the stiffness of the floor, you can calculate it using the John Bridge deflection calculator if the floor is supported on joists

If you are putting down the equivalent of plywood over 2x2 strips, which is perhaps what you are thinking about, computing the stiffness is much more difficult, and perhaps one of the tile experts on this forum can comment. In any case, the required stiffness varies with the size of the tile, the larger the tile the stiffer the floor needs to be to prevent cracking of the tile and grout.

Another consideration is the moisture content of the concrete. The use of 2x2 strips helps to reduce floor damage due to high moisture content of the concrete. You can measure the moisture content of your concrete, which will vary seasonally, using a meter. Perhaps one of the tile experts can comment on what is an acceptable moisture range, and how to handle out of spec conditions. I have seen an entire tile floor installed directly over concrete buckle due to excess moisture conditions, so it is definitely something to consider.

When we did our tile floor in the kitchen, we used natural stone over plywood over diagonal pine boards. We used Ditra as a debonding membrane. The install was successful, at least there have been no issues in ten years. I suggest you visit the Schluter website (they make Ditra) to see their recommended install procedure for tile over various substrates.

As to getting differing advice, not much to say there, you ask ten people, you will get 11 opinions, maybe they are all wrong. This is a DIY website, people on here tend to be opinionated, some are very knowledgeable, some not so much, but you leave your post up long enough, you will here lots of different options, you can add them to your list. For my money, I think Schluter is a good product, and their website has useful information, certainly not unbiased, but seemingly well researched. Their install procedure worked for me.
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:16 AM   #3
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Re: basement flooring, im lost

Jaz is a tile pro. He should be along shortly. Normally, you just put the tile directly on the concrete unless it is cracked and then you use a membrane. I am not a fan of the plywood over concrete. Almost all of those fail in a few years.
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Old 12-02-2016, 01:31 PM   #4
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Re: basement flooring, im lost

Hi Everyone,

We are talking about a basement here and so nothing in the Deflecto tool will help. Building a wood subfloor over concrete is a sure way to waste your money and efforts, even if going with carpet or laminates. Many bad things can happen.

Too bad you didn't realize your 'barricade' system can not be used when installing tile. Those systems are ok for carpet and laminates (under the right conditions of course), but never for a tile job.

Of the choices you listed above, there's really few choices. I say you should do #4 or #5.

There's a lot more to it than just that, but that's the direction I suggest.

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Last edited by JazMan; 12-02-2016 at 01:35 PM.
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Old 12-03-2016, 10:12 PM   #5
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Thanks guys. It seems like I am going to return the tile and go for some soft of torleys or armstrong cl click flooring

Thanks again for your input.
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