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Old 10-03-2016, 10:47 AM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Kitchen project: subfloor for tile

Okay let me start by describing my house and the project:
My house is a 24x24 balloon framed 2 story house with basement built in 1928. 2x8 floor joists on 16 inch spacing. Currently Hardwood flooring throughout. The house has a small 8x8 addition on the back.

Current first floor layout is a living room in front with stairway, the back is half kitchen and half dining room. The problem is that except for the exterior wall, no wall is uninterrupted in the kitchen so I only have 7 lineal feet of wall cabinet, 3 lineal feet of base cabinet and 4 lineal feet of counter.

An additional problem is I have 3 kids, 1 upstairs bathroom with 3 bedrooms. I do not have the ability to expand the house's footprint because it is built too close to the property line, and the consensus among builder's I've spoken to is that an application for a variance would be denied. Basically I need to work with the footprint I have.

The intent is to move the kitchen to the dining room, then put in a bathroom at the kitchen location. Along the way I'll be updating all electrical, insulating, and the kitchen and bathroom will have tile flooring. (Appliances also move closer to the point the gas utility enters the house)

Subfloor under tile in the kitchen:

Here's where I need to decide on a strategy. Where the kitchen tile floor transitions to the existing hardwood floor in the living room, the wife wants to stick with the existing hardwood floor in the living room. This presents a little bit of a challenge to achieve flushness.

We've picked tiles that are 5/16" thick porcelain that will be 12x12 squares in a pattern with 6x6 tiles to make it a little more interesting.

Existing subfloor is diagonal 1/6 planks with the 1/4" gap.

Options I'm comparing are:

1) 3/8" plywood over existing 1x6 subfloor, then 1/4" hardiebacker
2) 3/8" plywood over existing 1x6 subfloor then Provflex (like Ditra, it's what Menards carry's)
3) remove 1x6, 3/4" OSB, 1/2" hardiebacker
4) remove 1x6, 1/2" plywood, 7/16 OSB, 1/4" hardibacker

Option 1 puts the tile at about 1/4" above flush, it's about the worst for flushness but the lowest cost.
Option 2 is the most costly and puts the tile 1/8" above flush.
Option 3 is the second lowest cost but more work and gives the same height as option 2.
Option 4 is right in the middle of the range for cost, but gets the floor theoretically dead on for flushness

I'm leaning towards option 4, but option 1 is my second choice... Isn't it better to have continuous subfloor connecting to where it goes under the bottom plates of the walls?
I'm just a lay person doing DIY as a loner. Eliminating K&T, L&P and sagging structure one room at a time.
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