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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've started a remodel of a 1/2 bath.
When I removed the sink/cabinet, I find that the floor under the cabinet is not at (or near) the same level as the rest of the floor.

The rest of the floor is somewhere 1 to 1.25 inches higher, made of what looks like concrete, and that surface was tiled. (The tile and mortar/thinset will be removed.)

The floor under the cabinet looks to be original - not sure if it is the layer attached to the joists, or the layer on top of that (sorry - not sure of the terminology). I will guess that what I see is the 2nd layer.

Looking for advice on how to make the entire floor the same level. I intend to retile the entire floor.

What I have considered so far...
1- 'frame-in' the lower area and use some self leveling compound to bring all the floor level. I'm worried SLC that thick would not cure or would not be the 'best' option.
2- do the same but use some other formula like a concrete (without rock) - maybe it would be more stable - be able to cure?
3- fill the area in with concrete board and then SLC? so the SLC isn't so deep?

What do you think is the best way to handle this?

By the way - the tile around the base of the wall was put on top of wire lathe. The mortar used looks just like concrete. It was built in the early 70's. Impossible to remove. Surprises on top of surprises!

Thanks,

Rich
 

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What you are describing sounds like a 'mud set'--odd,that bomb proof style of installation went out of favor in the 1950s---

Post some pictures,if you can---I suggest 'deck mud' to fill in the low area---

If demolishing the old tile turns out to be impossible without wrecking the mud bed--consider tiling over the old tile----

We need pictures-----or lots more descriptive words---Mike----
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Looking up 'mud set' via google - yup that looks like what I've got.

I don't want to tile over the old tile, as the level of the floor would then be higher than the hallway.

Any suggestions in relation to removing the tile 'carefully' - so as to do minimum damage to the mud set?

I can then fill in the lower section of the floor with a new 'mud deck', and layer-over any damage to the existing mud set to get an even presentation.

I worry about getting a flat surface over both the new mud deck and old set. Could I get close with a new mud deck - let it cure overnight or several days... then use a thin layer (1/8") of SLC to get that overall 'even-ness'? I'd probably thin the SLC a bit, not much; in order to let it flow better over everything.

Your Thoughts?

Here are pictures of the area as it is now:
First:
Overall from up high:

Second:
This shows the edge of the 'mud set':
And in both you can see the damage done to the wall when removing the tile there.

Rich
 

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Get your self a cold chisel or masons chisel and see if they pop off without tearing up the old mud bed--I think you can get those off--

it's a small area,so hand tools will be fine---there are power chipping hamers available--but the old fashioned way looks like the best way.
 

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Tileguy
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Hi Rich & Mike,

That's a regular good ole fashioned mud job there. You can tear it up and start over, or fill and tile over the new surface and the old tiles, (if the old tiles are well bonded).

The best and cheapest way is to fill with the same method. It's not that hard and we can give you the details on what to use.

Going over the old will raise the floor the thickness of the new tiles plus about 1/16 - 3/32".

I do not recommend trying to just remove the tiles and keeping the old mud. You're liable to damage the mud, the mud will be too rough to tile over and you still have to fill where the vanity used to be.

Jaz
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you 'Oh Mike' and JazzMan.

JazzMan -

Yes, I worry about getting a flat surface over both the new mud deck and old set... or even with a new mud deck for the entire space, after taking out the old one.

After removing the old tile as cleanly as I can...
Could I put in a new mud deck on the remaining area, not worrying about getting the height just right... let it cure overnight or several days... then use a thin layer (1/8") of SLC to get that overall 'even-ness' over the entire floor? I'd probably want to thin the SLC a bit, not much; in order to let it flow better over everything.

Do you think putting SLC over 'mud' that I'd have any issue with bonding between the two substrates ('mud' and SLC)?

Thanks,

Rich
 

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Tileguy
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Rich,

You're trying hard to make this harder than it needs to be.

If you remove everything, (I wouldn't) you'll likely to have trouble doing a mud job right. In that scenario, it's best to install more 3/4" ply and then concrete backer or Ditra instead.

Filling the un tiled area and then using SLC over the entire area, makes no sense to me. Way more work and costs, plus who says that floor is level? If not level the SLC will be thicker in some areas causing the whole floor to be higher than expected. You may also have a bonding problem with SLC to tile.

The best way is as I explained in my first post. I presume the old floor is flat. You fill with deck mud, screed with straight edge board and a wooden float to the level of the old floor. And you're set.

Jaz
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well...

I used my trusty chisel and hammer and took out the existing tile. About half of it came free whole - popped right off... material that might be useful down the road.

Now on top of the mud set you can see the paper backing that held the tiles in large squares, and the thinset under that. I don't think I can lay tile on top of that. No way will I be able to get that off the mud set easily/cleanly and leave a relatively good surface.

As well, - the wire lathe looked to be in good shape in some areas, and rusted out weak in others. Sounds like water got to the lathe in enough quantity or often enough that it rusted. The plywood looks discolored as well.

I decided to dig down in one area and sure enough the plywood there was no longer solid.

SO... out comes the Chisel and Sledge - and there goes the Mudset. The crete came out in big chunks, and the lathe just pulled apart, as it was really rusted from the middle of the room to the toilet.

How: I hammered one chisel under the crete, then another a foot or less away - raising the crete a bit in between... Then using the sledge, hit it right between the chisels. This created cracks, which I widened by hammering a screw driver in and levering out the pieces.

The floor joists run 16" on center, lengthwise right down the middle of the room. The room is 3'x7'.

Now - where do I go from here? Keep in mind that the end game is to retile the floor.

It looks like I should remove all the plywood subfloor. I almost fell through the floor in one area. Then add 2x4 bracing around the edges of the room to be used to secure new plywood around the edge... replace with 2 sheets (2 layers) of 5/8" exterior plywood. Is that going to be stiff enough? I would use Ditra on top of the plywood.

Does that sound like the way to go?
Any additional suggestions?

Thanks,
Rich
 
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