Replacing Subfloor

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  #1  
Old 08-31-09, 11:07 PM
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Unhappy Replacing Subfloor

So I just bought this house and I love it, but if I ever meet the people who built it... Suffice to say, it won't be pretty.

We had a month to reno/paint the place before moving in, but that's come and gone and now we're living in a disaster zone. The reason: my kitchen floor.

We ripped out all the cabinets and tore up the existing linoleum to reveal 3/8" particle board that had been glued down to the underlying 5/8" plywood subfloor. I tried for several hours to chip away at it, but only managed to remove about 3 feet and thoroughly damaged the subfloor in the process.

We really want to put in tile, but in hind sight if I had just laid some different linoleum and I'd be installing my cabinets by now. Oh well.

Sorry that this is so long winded, let me get down to my questions.

I've already started to rip out the subfloor. I chose the most difficult area first under the cantilevered bay window. The joists run perpendicular to the window and I've managed to cut (using a sawzall) flush to the sill plate. However, where the joists run parallel to the adjacent exterior walls I am concerned about cutting flush to the walls.

If the exterior face of the wall is resting on a joist, but the interior face is not, was the subfloor providing structural support? Do I need to install blocking? The wall is only 4 ft long before turning 90 and continuing through the living room (which won't be touched). The other adjacent wall runs the entire length of the kitchen, is parallel to the joists, and the interior face is maybe 2-3 inches from the nearest joist. This wall will be underneath the cabinets so I could likely cut down the middle of the joist and leave the 2-3 inches of the old subfloor along the edge. But I'd prefer to just remove it all. However, installing blocking or sistering a joist here probably won't happen as I have no room to reach in between joist and the wall.

So that's the first question. The other ones are simpler.

Where I've cut the subfloor out it appears that the acoustic sealant under the vapour barrier is flaking off. I don't want to remove the drywall so I did my best to re-seal it with some more acousti-seal. The vapour barrier in the basement was done poorly as well, can I wait until the subfloor is installed and attach the basement vb to the bottom of it?

And final question, I sure hope you've read this far, and I have been somewhat coherent. I am using 3/4" T&G plywood with 1/4" Easyboard. Will this be enough for the tile? They are 13"x13" ceramic tiles. Has anyone worked with Easyboard before? It sounds like an amazing product, but I'm not sure if it counts toward the recommended 1" thickness for tile? Do I need to install 1/4" ply on top of the subfloor and then install the Easyboard?

Sorry, I am a major novice at this. Please help. I don't want to pay professionals for this, as it seems like a pretty straight forward job. I just need a bit of direction.

Cheers.
 
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  #2  
Old 09-01-09, 05:07 AM
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I am using 3/4" T&G plywood with 1/4" Easyboard. Will this be enough for the tile? They are 13"x13" ceramic tiles.
You'd pretty much be at the bare minimum. It would be better if you add another layer of plywood over the 3/4". It'd have to be a minimum of 3/8", as no 1/4" plywood is acceptable in any tile installation. If you just go with the 3/4" then for sure you'll have to install blocking at all the cut edges to provide proper support between the floor joists. Actually, you should do that anyway.

Has anyone worked with Easyboard before? It sounds like an amazing product, but I'm not sure if it counts toward the recommended 1" thickness for tile? Do I need to install 1/4" ply on top of the subfloor and then install the Easyboard?
I have not worked with easyboard, but I'm sure it'll work. Its apparantly gone through all the required testing, and I've not read or heard anything bad about it. Make sure you use the 1/4" easyboard, as the 1/2" is not rated for floors. I'm not sure where you got the recommended 1" thickness from. Most tile backer board can be installed directly over the plywood subfloor for ceramic tile as long as the subfloor is minimum of 5/8" t&g over 16" oc joists. More plywood is always better, as cement boards, isolation membranes and easyboard are not structural. If you add more plywood, you'll still the need the easyboard or something else. Go to Custom Building Products website for installation instructions for easyboard. Don't skip any steps.

I've answered the tile questions, as thats what I do. There are more qualified people here to answer your other questions. I got some ideas on how I'd approach them, so if no one chimes in on the other stuff I'll be back. Good luck with the project. Oh yeah, one more thing, you'll be much happier with the ceramic tile, than the vinyl, although it sucks that someone glued down the particleboard and made a mess for you.
 
  #3  
Old 09-01-09, 08:14 AM
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Thanks for your reply. I was told by a few different flooring people that 1" was the minimum thickness required for tile. I don't know why I decided to go with the bare minimum. It probably would have been better to put down 5/8" and 3/8" ply instead of 3/4" and 3/8" for transition reasons.

So, the blocking at the edges are to support the edge of the new plywood and provide an area for screwing it down right? For a while I was thinking it was a structural thing.

My fiancee's co-worker's carpenter-friend is coming over tonight to have a look at my progress and give me some pointers. I'll be sure to post an update following that visit.

Beer 4U2
 
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