Replacing 1950's Bathroom Floor Tile


  #1  
Old 01-14-05, 01:53 PM
Balt
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Replacing 1950's Bathroom Floor Tile

I would like to replace the original floor tile in my 1950's bathroom (I plan to keep the wall tiles). Aside from being ugly, there is a monster crack from one side to the other. These tiles were set in a full mortar bed (probably about 2" thick). I imagine I will have to remove all tile and mortar and start over.

Does anyone know what I should expect underneath the mortar layer? I'm guessing plywood. If so, can I just build up the level of the floor by screwing down layers of cement backerboard to the plywood? Also, should I be concerned with asbestos? The original tiles are small (approx. 1"x1").

I'd love to hear from someone who has done this.
Thanks.
 
  #2  
Old 01-14-05, 04:09 PM
D
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There will be no asbestos in a mortar bed ceramic tile installation, no matter how old. If you need to remove all of the deck mud, you could replace the mud bed with a new mud bed, or use plywood to build it up and ceramic directly over the plywood. There will be enough plywood there to accept a ceramic installation. A new mud bed would be easier in the long run.
 
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Old 01-15-05, 06:07 AM
T
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You can probably expect plank flooring. For height reasons, it may even be installed in cleats set along the sided of the joists. If this is the case, remove the mud base and install a layer of 5/8 bc or better ply fastened to the joists with screws and construction adhesive. IF the planking is over the joists, screw only to the plank subfloor, every 6-8" over the face of the board without any construction adhesive. You will get a better bonding surface using cement board than plywood, so use the remaining depth to fill as your guide for the thickness of the second layer of ply. For example, 1/2" ply and 1/4" cement board with tile will be at about 2" total when added to the first layer of ply. when you consider the two layers of thinset, one under the backer and one under the tile. If you decide to do a direct to plywood installation, be sure to use fir plywood as your top layer and for your mortar, use a combination of unmodified thinset and the manufacturer's acrylic addidtive. It will give you a better bond than any of the premium modified thinsets. Don't use regular pine plywood for your top layer, the oils can be problematic. All plywood layers should be bc or better grade exterior, whether you are doing cement board or direct to ply and should be gapped 1/4" around the perimeter and 1/8" between sheets. For your plywood build up, no sigle layer should be less than 3/8" plywood, 1/4" plys are too unstable under ceramic.
 
  #4  
Old 01-15-05, 09:55 AM
asterix2112
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Did just that

Hey, I did exactly that. It's not too tough with a small sledgehammer to break it up and then a good crowbar to pop it out. You do not need to sledge it all, with a good crowbar you can hammer it under and take out big chunks. Still it's VERY dusty, very find dust, wear a good dustmask and goggles. Keep in mind that the metal mesh is underneath the mortar. I had 1/2" plywood underneath. I can not imagine trying to save it, 2 4x8 pieces of new subfloor will run less then $40 and should cover a '50's size bathroom. Gives you nice new level surface to start with. Use 3/4" subfloor, better, and then 1/2" durarock wonderboard stuff and then height may not be a problem.

- John
 
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Old 01-15-05, 10:11 AM
T
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Backer boards do not offer structural strenth to the floor. Using less plywood and a thicker backer will not give you a stronger floor. Sure, 3/4 ply could be used and then topped with backer, but there will still be about an inch to continue to build up the floor. I don't know what area of the country you are in, but you cannot even get 2 sheets of CDX for under $40, and Cdx should never be under a tile floor. More plywood = stronger floor. For your floor, 5/8 + 3/8 + 1/4" backer would have been significantly stronger and offered movemtn suppression in the layers. A 1950's bathrrom will have t-g planking for sure. If it's in good shape, there will be no reason to remove.
 
 

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