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Old 10-10-2014, 10:56 AM   #1
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Tile Floor underlayment


Hi guys. I have a question on tile floor underlayment. I am redoing a bathroom and the current floor is just peel-and-stick vinyl tiles. I want to put real tiles down but I see some new types of underlayment out there. My original plan was Hardybacker or something like that but there is a new orange product that I saw. Is that only for wood floors?

One issue I will have is that the floor will wind up a little higher than the other floors in the house because of the backing board, tile, thinset, etc. I'm not too concerned because we will eventually put hardwoods or laminent down in the rest of the house anyway. I'm not supposed to pull up a layer of subfloor and replace it with the backing material, am I?

The floor is currently 2 layers of 1/2 inch plywood. It's in good shape for the most part - a little water damage around the toilet but I plan to sand that out and level it with floor leveler, then put the backer over it. If it's too deep I'll cut it out and replace it with treated wood.

The tub is already out. The wood under there was absolutely flawless, so I left it in place. I did put self-leveler over it to help level it for the tub but that is about it.

Am I missing something here?

Thanks
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Old 10-10-2014, 11:57 AM   #2
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Need to cut out that rotted section not just use filler. The more you remove the better.
Never use pressure treated!
Need subfloor rated A/C plywood.
Kerdi been around a long time, it's nothing new.
No you would not remove what's there now, it goes right over it.
If it was my house I'd go over that old underlayment with still another layer of at least 3/8underlayment plywood.
Sounds like the home was built in the 70's. 1/2 subfloor is all but useless and needs to be strengthened.
Should not be a big concern the floors come out to different heights the needed transition in the middle of the door opening takes care of that.
Transition is installed before tiling and the tile is run away from of it in most cases so you have a full tile there.
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Old 10-10-2014, 01:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Need to cut out that rotted section not just use filler. The more you remove the better.
Never use pressure treated!
Need subfloor rated A/C plywood.
Kerdi been around a long time, it's nothing new.
No you would not remove what's there now, it goes right over it.
If it was my house I'd go over that old underlayment with still another layer of at least 3/8underlayment plywood.
Sounds like the home was built in the 70's. 1/2 subfloor is all but useless and needs to be strengthened.
Should not be a big concern the floors come out to different heights the needed transition in the middle of the door opening takes care of that.
Transition is installed before tiling and the tile is run away from of it in most cases so you have a full tile there.
I plan to cut the section out if it is indeed rotted and is more than just surface damage. It is solid and I'm not 100% sure it isn't just some crap (old wax, etc) that was under the toilet when it was put in (I think the previous owner tried to play amateur plumber and messed it up big time). There was some kind of paper on the bottom of the old toilet so it may just be residue. I've been so focused on the tub that I haven't looked at this part that close.

In other words I need a better look at it.
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Old 10-10-2014, 06:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SC Tiger View Post
Hi guys. I have a question on tile floor underlayment. I am redoing a bathroom and the current floor is just peel-and-stick vinyl tiles. I want to put real tiles down but I see some new types of underlayment out there. My original plan was Hardybacker or something like that but there is a new orange product that I saw. Is that only for wood floors?

One issue I will have is that the floor will wind up a little higher than the other floors in the house because of the backing board, tile, thinset, etc. I'm not too concerned because we will eventually put hardwoods or laminent down in the rest of the house anyway. I'm not supposed to pull up a layer of subfloor and replace it with the backing material, am I?

The floor is currently 2 layers of 1/2 inch plywood. It's in good shape for the most part - a little water damage around the toilet but I plan to sand that out and level it with floor leveler, then put the backer over it. If it's too deep I'll cut it out and replace it with treated wood.

The tub is already out. The wood under there was absolutely flawless, so I left it in place. I did put self-leveler over it to help level it for the tub but that is about it.

Am I missing something here?

Thanks
The "orange" tile underlayment is Schluter DITRA. It comes in both 1/8" and 5/16" thickness. It will be fine installed over your existing two layers of 1/2" plywood. (Schluter KERDI is a waterproofing membrane, it is also orange.)
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Old 10-10-2014, 09:21 PM   #5
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I discovered a new underlay for tile today. I'm putting in new kitchen cabinets and there was no floor under the old ones, only the subfloor, which consists of 2 layers of 3/4" plywood, non t&g.

The original floor covering was vinyl, and tile was installed directly over it. I want to tell you that it is a bear to get that 12x12 ceramic tile up. I think the installer might have used the $30/sack mortar. I am driving a pry bar under the tile and it is coming up in shards.

I've decided I don't want to disturb the 1965 and after vinyl any more than I have to, so I'm just going to remove the top layer of 3/4" ply after I've removed the tile and throw it out. It's not a large kitchen. Then I'll go back with 1/2" instead of 3/4", and some 1/4" tilebacker on top of that and get some good tile in there.

Anway, I haven't had much trouble removing tile in the past, and it often comes up whole. I mean in the whole kitchen, I never got even 1/4 of a 12x12 to come up in one piece.
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Old 10-11-2014, 12:08 AM   #6
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Besides the subfloor, what are your joist sizes, spacing and spans underneath the bathroom.
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