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Following advice on this forum, I've already reinforced my joists to address the span in my kitchen for my upcoming tile job. However, the 3/4" plywood subfloor is uneven in multiple spots (due to the joist not being level during construction) so I know I need to apply SLC.

While at the nearby tile store shopping for tile, it was recommended that I just apply 1/4" of SLC over the entire subfloor. They said that would take care of the multiple low spots and also act as my backer (no need for hardi or ditra). Does that make sense to you guys?

And if I can ask one additional question... they told my wife to stay away from the big box stores or 'floor and decor' for tiles, because those stores usually get the 'rejects' or cheaper made tiles. I wonder if that's to justify the cost of their tiles... porcelain around $5 -$8/sq foot.
 

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Sand down the high spots level low spots. Take a 10' masonry line and determine where you need to level the floor. Subfloor preparation is the most overlooked necessary item many "professionals" overlook and I get to see the result. Do it right, go online at a ceramic tile mfg such as Mohawk and find installation guidelines and follow them.
 

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if you are using hardibacker you level the floor after the backer is installed. if you are using ditra the floor needs to be leveled before the ditra goes down.
we found some really nice 22"x22" porcelain tile at the bargain outlet.
 

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While at the nearby tile store shopping for tile, it was recommended that I just apply 1/4" of SLC over the entire subfloor. They said that would take care of the multiple low spots and also act as my backer (no need for hardi or ditra). Does that make sense to you guys?
Absolutely correct!:)

And if I can ask one additional question... they told my wife to stay away from the big box stores or 'floor and decor' for tiles, because those stores usually get the 'rejects' or cheaper made tiles.
That is basically a crock of crap in an effort to keep you spending your money at their location.

It is true that the big box stores do deal in qualities across the board but most of what they offer is mainstream products.

To begin with...compare the prices of the Self Levelling Compound at the two places and see if the prices are the same. They may not be.:)

I wonder if that's to justify the cost of their tiles... porcelain around $5 -$8/sq foot.
You should be able to find a quality porcelain tile for around four bucks at any tile store and even less at a big box. If you pay eight bucks it is only because you want to.:)
 
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