Multi-Purpose sub floor

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  #1  
Old 08-21-15, 04:43 PM
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Multi-Purpose sub floor

I would like to install a sub-flooring in my kitchen and bathrooms that will work for non glue linoleum temporarily until I can get more funds to do a tile or laminate floating floor. I think tile may not be too much more price-wise but it will take me more time to install and I am running low on that for now. I will have carpet installed and want the thresholds to line up so there won't be too much of a change in height.

I was just going to use 3/8" ply used for linoleum, but think that would be too thin for tile. Would 1/2" cement board be the only multi-purpose option, or is there a cheaper/easier alternative? If I am building up the subfloor 1/2" to 5/8", is it advisable to also install a 3/8" to 1/2" plywood sub-floor layer over my current 3/4" T&G OSB in the rooms that will have carpet just to build the level up?

My other thought is, since I have I Joists 16" O/C and 3/4" OSB, then I shouldn't have too much deflection in general. So perhaps 3/8 would be okay for tile? I just don't want to cheap out and regret it, but also don't want extra work when it won't be necessary.

Thanks for any opinions...
 
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Old 08-22-15, 03:17 AM
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Has the original sub floor been removed or are you installing plywood over it? What size are your floor joists? how far do they span between supports?

The only time I've seen vinyl floors work well directly over the subfloor is in mobile homes BUT they use particle board which is extra flat/smooth, not that I'd recommend using PB! How long do you expect it to take before you are ready for tile?
 
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Old 08-22-15, 05:45 AM
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The tile will dictate the floor height and stiffness needs, not the height of the adjoining rooms or thresholds. Tile needs to be treated differently than any other flooring. As an FYI, cement backer boards offer no structural strength to the floor make up, they only provide an optimal bonding surface for the tile and mortar.

For any vinyl tile, you want a perfectly smooth floor or any imperfections or seams will show through on the top side of the floor. This is accomplished by adding a 1/4" underlayment grade plywood over the prepared subfloor. Not that Luan is not acceptable as a substitute.

If you intend to tile down the road, gather the necessary floor specs - size and spacing of the floor joists, the unsupported span and grade (if available), and how thick your plywood sobfloor and underlayment is. This information is critical to obtain deflection calculations to ensure a long lasting tile installation.
 
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Old 08-23-15, 08:01 AM
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Forgot to check 'notify reply via e-mail' - sorry.

I learned the proper terms later on this week. Anyways, I have 11 7/8" thick I-Joists spaced 16" O.C. - This is a new house build, so I am not sure how well these joists work...but I believe they are much stronger than the standard 2x12 back in the day. My floor feels very solid. My subfloor is 3/4" T&G OSB with the painted edges to help prevent additional moisture intake. However, I haven't had my dang roof installed yet so this subfloor has been rained on a few times. Consequently, there are blisters here and there. Probably okay for rooms with carpet if I use 1/2" padding - but not so for vinyl or a sheet roll product that requires perfect surface.

Browsing the internet gets me all sorts of answers between no underlayment for tile to needing 5/8" Plywood and then 1/4" Cement Backer. To me, that sounds overkill. My theory was I would use cement backer and install sheet vinyl over that for now. Not sure how that would work? I know it's smooth, but the joints would likely need filled. I am also wondering if I used 3/8" ply underlayment, and then just apply tile over that in the future? I do want a durable floor for the kitchen and bathrooms. The concern for thresholds are 1.) they sure are expensive, especially the larger your height change and 2.) I don't like a noticeable height change in floors. I like to have carpet just tucked or wrapped against the tile so there is no threshold piece.

I plan on installing 12" x 12" or the narrow but longer pieces - I believe they are 8" x 16" if I recall. Probably something like porcelain or a similar tile that is not too expensive (probably no marble).
 

Last edited by CTSNicholas; 08-23-15 at 08:43 AM.
  #5  
Old 08-23-15, 12:22 PM
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For now, adding 1/4" underlayment grade ply will suffice with the nail holes and seams skim coated so they don't telegraph through the vinyl to the surface. I would not use cement board under vinyl as you will have adhesion issues with the glues used to hole the vinyl down. Address in the future for tile preparation as the two have different needs and I don't thing you can pre-plan at this time.
 
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