Kitchen floor underlayment for ceramic tile


Old 01-25-03, 12:14 PM
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Kitchen floor underlayment for ceramic tile

I am planning to install ceramic tile on my kitchen floor. The original underlayment floor has been damaged in several spots by moisture and I plan to replace all of it. I have several questions and appreciate any help.

 What is the best grade of plywood to use and can the tile be laid on top of this new underlayment, without the need for a cement backer board? Currently the sub floor and ½” plywood are over 1” thick; I was thinking on using 5/8” thick exterior grade plywood.
 Should ceramic tile be installed over the areas where cabinets will be placed? Seems like a waste except under the sink where a moisture barrier may be useful. I also will install a small 15” cabinet next to a range and may have to secure it to the floor since it will not hit two wall studs.
 Also, does anyone know of an economical ceramic tile floor heating system? I have seen systems by “Warmly Yours” but they seem pricey.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-25-03, 06:26 PM
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Exterior grade (glue) plywood is recommended. I personally wouldn't install tile directly to plywood but there are people that do and tile adhesive products made for the purpose. Your subfloor thickness should be a minimum of 1-1/8" before the tile. I would use cement board (CBU).

Placing tile under cabinet locations is entirely up to you. If you install tile only under a sink unit it will not provide any suitable moisture barrier because gravity will take the water around and below the tile-patch anyway.

I have had great success with FlexTherm, an electric cxable in floor heating system.

If you do a "heat cable" system then your subfloor technique will change drastically. You will need selflevelling compound, lathe, primer and additional stuff like that.
Old 01-26-03, 02:43 PM
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I have just about finished remodeling my entire kitchen, Lots of fun. I would recommend using Studi-floor Plywood. Home improvement centers will usually carry this. With this plywood, expect to get 3/4" Strudi-floor Plywood T/G (toungue & Groove). Then get yourself Dura-Rock or Perma-Base Cement board. Usually the cement board is 1/2". You will also need to get Dura-Rock mortar to apply to your gaps.(just like mudding your drywall). To save money ask the store if they have damaged bags of mortar mix, you'll save a couple of dollars. My kitchen for example is 12' x 12' and I used not even half of a 20 lb. bag.

As for the tile I prefer to place the base cabinets first, then the tile, this way if you have spacers under the cabinets, the ceramic tile will hide the spacers. (no gaps will be seen if the floor is a little uneven.) Toe-kick also will cover blemishes on bottom of cabinets. I myself istalled a spice drawer next to my range with no studs behind. I instead used four, 1'1/2" L-brackets to secure the cabinet to the floor. the counter top if you are using will secure the top.

Floor heating wires that I know of, are sold at Menards, and Home Depot. Menards I believe sells them around $200.00
Old 01-27-03, 03:33 PM
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Durock and PermaBase are available in both 1/4" and 1/2" thicknesses. Any modified thinset will run the seams adequately when used with fiberglas seam tape.

I wouldn't even get involved in damaged goods because you won't know where the stuff has been and in the case of thinset you will want quality goods to protect your investment.

A fifty pound bag will set approxiamately 55 to 75 square feet of 12" X 12" tile depending on the size trowel used. The proper notched trowel is intended to give you a successful and long lasting job, it's not intended to stretch the thinset into the next millennium. You should use 100% coverage thinset-to-tile for your target coverage. Pull up some installed tiles and varify this a few times throughout your job.

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