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Plywood Subfloor 'sandwich' -- is more better?

ajacks's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 3

08-26-08, 12:19 PM   #1  
Plywood Subfloor 'sandwich' -- is more better?

We have(had) a ceramic tile kitchen floor which was installed on 1/4 inch pine subfloor (directly, no additional underlay). The dishwasher leaked, and the flooring warped, tiles started popping off... we now appreciate that subfloor was entirely inadequate :-(

We are in the process of un-installing counters/removing remaining tiles and laying a new subfloor.

Our plan is to lay a 3/4 inch spruce directly on top of the 1/4 pine -- which as mentioned got wet, but has settled down nicely, except for a few squeaks. Then we will lay a sanded 1/4 in pine ply on top as a underlay, and top with adhesive vinyl tiles this time.

SO that will make for a 1 inch subfloor and then a 1/4 underlay and then thin vinyl tiles atop.

Before we tackle this floor for the second time, I would love to make sure that I am not missing anything obvious that we should be doing, and that this 'sandwich' of subflooring is an acceptable approach. Our house is about 100 years old, and we live in an area with huge temp swings (+30 to -30) so expect some shifting.

Trying to be economical, but don't want a repeat of the last tiling fiasco, and if that original 1/4 pine should come off then will do that (just trying to avoid additional work if not needed/not helpful).

Thanks for any advice!

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HotxxxxxxxOKC's Avatar
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08-26-08, 06:07 PM   #2  
Well, if you ever wanted to install any type of ceramic tile or other, that 1/4 floor has got to go.

Ceramic tile requires at least a 5/8" T&G plywood subfloor which must be exterior AC/BC rated. You also do not tile directly onto plywood. You need to install a cement backboard or a membrane first.

chandler's Avatar
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08-27-08, 04:02 AM   #3  
I agree with Mark. The 1/4" luan only gave the tile installer a warm and fuzzy feeling. I would remove it, build up the subflooring to a substantial thickness, install cbu, then cabinet bases. You will now have a good substrate to install your tile without fear of a repeat performance.

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