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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I ripped out the old cabinets and installed 1/2 ply on top of 3/4" ply. Than I'll set the cabinets in place and will tile around them. Question is, do I need to raise the cabinets so the bottom of the cabinet is flush with the top of the tile?

I will be installing tile to the plywood which will be screwed down every six inches.
 

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Not sure about raising the cabinets at all, hopefully someone else will chime in on that. I wouldn't think it would be necessary but i really don't know. What i would suggest however, is use of some type of decoupling material to allow for independent movement of the sub/finished floor. Ditra by schluter would be an example of this...
 

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I ripped out the old cabinets and installed 1/2 ply on top of 3/4" ply. Than I'll set the cabinets in place and will tile around them. Question is, do I need to raise the cabinets so the bottom of the cabinet is flush with the top of the tile?

I will be installing tile to the plywood which will be screwed down every six inches.
Where is this plywood?
You're not tiling on the plywood are you?
I don't really understand what you're doing.
Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I'm tiling to plywood. I talked to many experts and it is perfectly fine. Plywood has to be screwed down every 4-6 inches to existing plywood. Total thicknes should be 1,1/8"-1,1/4". My dad did all hid tile on plywood to only 3/4" ply and the tile has been there for over 20 years without a problem. I think all these companies coming out with special products are here only to cash in more money.
 

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If you are tiling the floor---tile it under the cabinets,too. It's faster,easier(fewer cuts)--neater install.

Tile should never be installed over wood---always Cement board or a membrane.

Wood expands and contracts at a different rater than tile----and bond failure can occur.

What experts gave you that advice?---Just curious.----Mike----
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
It's floor tile. I went to few specialty stores ( privately owned). I was told there is more people with problems that used cement boards like wonder board. All of them said if you screw down the plywood every 4-6 inches there will not be a problem. Also i was told to seal the plywood with varathane to prevent water absorption. I dunno but does not hurt to try and see for myself how it'll hold.

Some people say tile around and some say tile the whole kitchen floor. If tile around the cabinets and tile where the dishwasher goes will the dishwasher fit? Not sure what is the standard hight for the dishwater. I think I might tile around the cabinets... I have 1 week to decide what I'm going to do.
 

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Good morning Philj---Tile under the cabinets---it's faster---puts the appliances at the right height--
avoids messing up the cabinets with thinset and grout---and neater--no bad cuts filled with to much grout.-----I can't see any upside to tiling around cabinets if there is a choice.

I use 1/4 inch wonder board or Durrock set in thinset and nailed with roofing nails.

That's your insurance---it expands and contracts at the same rate as the tile--wood does not and can break the bond.

Read 'Mud what is it?' by Bud Cline--in 'How to' section---Use a powdered thinset (modified) over cement board.--

-If you decide to use the plywood as your base you might(maybe/let's hope) be successful if you use a two part Thinset.

That is a powder and a liquid latex additive. Kerabond and Keralastic by Mepei is an example.

Good luck there----Mike-----
 

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"I was told there is more people with problems that used cement boards like wonder board."
This is truely a statement made by an ignorant person or it relates to people so DIY challanged they should not even own tools. The problem with advice when you're not familiar with the subject is that the incorrect advice given a few times becomes truth.
I tile the whole floor and then put the cabinets and appliances on top of the tile.
It's your house, do what you want.
Ron
 

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I would tile under the cabinets, as it would keep the opening height correct for appliances (34 1/2"). It would make sliding them in and out easier. Having the cabinets on top of the tile puts the seam under the cabinets, instead of between the tile and the toekick. Tiling under the cabinets provides a good floor if the cabinets are ever replaced.

I would use cement board. Cement (thinset) even with a bonding agent doesn't stick to wood/plywood. You can see that in using wood for cement forms.




 

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Tile CAN be installed on plywood.
It's been done for years.
We're doing some tile upgrades as we speak.

I called our tile company that's been in business for 50 years.
The installer addressed the underlayment concern explaining that they go over plywood all the time but go the extra with a certain type of modified latex thinset that guarantees a good bond.

No sealing of the plywood. I think that could create a problem with the thinset adhering to the sealer. Not sure.

Old school tile - get all your cabinets and baseboard installed, painted and finished. Tile up to them with a 1/16th -1/8" grout line. Lots more work but you don't get the gap created when you set the base on top of the grout line.

New school - run all your tile and then set your base & cabs on top. There will be a gap at every grout line and any irregularities or unevenness in the tiles will be telegraphed by the straight lines of trim & bases.

Some folks add plywood under the cabs to save on tile.

Your dishwasher should have adjustable feet. Tile the DW floor for water and creating a flush condition to slide the DW in & out.
 

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thanks tcleve, i tiled over plywood for years back in the day with no failures. this was back before concrete board and all of the modified thinsets. we would use plain thinset with acrylic mortar admix. my house has 3/4" plywood with a 1/2"mortar bed (wire lath and admix in the mortar bed and thinset)since 1995 ,no problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I must agree with tcleve about installing tile around cabinets. That way your grout lines run parallel to the toekick board. If you tile first before placing the cabinets your grout lines will not line up properly with the space between the cabinets.
 

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I've done it both ways. I prefer to tile before cabinets. If you preplan your layout properly, grout joints shouldn't be an issue. Much easier and quicker to lay the tile and grout. I have also tiled over plywood on occasion. Before cement board, it was a very common practice. Just tore out a job done on plywood to remodel a bath. I had a hell of a time getting them off. Modified thinset should be used. Checking the substructure to me is more important than the final choice of cement board vs. plywood. If the floor structure is insufficient, everything else is a moot point.
Mike Hawkins:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I found this useful info.

There needs to be two layers of plywood, the top layer being spruce or fir (preferrably fir), exterior grade BCX or better. The layers need to be screwed (spec calls for every 6" along the edges, and 8" in the field-- I go every 6" throughout) BUT NOT GLUED. When laying the second layer of plywood in, make sure the joints of the top layer fall at the 1/4 and 3/4 mark from the layer underneath. You don't want the joints in the two layers to be any closer than necessary. Also, when laying them in, leave about a strong 1/16" between the sheets for expansion, and make sure you're laying it in with the grain going across the joists. Make sure, when screwing down the top layer, that you're going no further than the bottom layer of plywood. DO NOT drive the screws into the joists. This completely negates the effect of double layering the floor by transmitting the movement from the joists right to the top layer of plywood. Once it's all screwed down, take any cheap latex caulk you can find, and caulk the joints between the sheets of plywood. The reason for this is those joints are for expansion, as I said before. Now you're going to go over the plywood with thinset. Sorta kinda defeats the purpose of gapping the plywood if you fill that joint up with thinset. That's ALL the caulking is there for-- to fill the joints with something that will remain pliable and at the same time, keep the thinset out. Last prep spec is that just like with cement board, you need to use a fiberglass mesh tape to bridge those joints . Easiest to use is the self sticking tape, and then just go over it with thinset when you set the tile. Last thing that's different and this is paramount-- the thinset. Just about ANY bag of modified thinset will tell you it can be used to go over plywood. DON'T BELIEVE EM!!!!! The ONLY thinset I'll trust is an UNmodified thinset, mixed with a liquid latex additive, full strength, such as Laticrete's 317 thinset mixed with their 333 additive, or Mapei's Kerabond thinset mixed with their Keralastic additive. The reason for this is it'll give you the highest latex content possible in a thinset, which does a couple of things for you. It's the strongest stuff you can find, and it's also the most pliable, so that it'll take the extra expansion and contraction that plywood goes through, as compared to cement board.
 

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So if you tile then install the cabinets, what do you do when you want to rip out the old tile and replace with new, but are keeping the same cabinets? Do you have to remove the cabinets?
 

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So if you tile then install the cabinets, what do you do when you want to rip out the old tile and replace with new, but are keeping the same cabinets? Do you have to remove the cabinets?
I've never had that request in almost 30 years of remodeling.
Ron
 

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Ditto on what Ron said. Nobody has ever asked me to do that. Usually they replace both or if the tile is in good shape, just the cabinets.
Mike Hawkins:)
 

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I've done it only once----Yep. I pulled the cabinets.

However---Simply removing the toe kicks would have made removing the tile a simple matter.--Mike--
 
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