Tiling upstairs bathrooms, but floors Creak BAD, no go? HELP!!!

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Old 03-09-06, 10:08 PM
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Tiling upstairs bathrooms, but floors Creak BAD, no go? HELP!!!

Hello all. I've paid a company to recarpet my entire house, and tile the upstairs two bathrooms. Upon entry today to install the tile, he noticed our upstairs bathroom has LOUD creaky floorboards. (house built in 88). He tried screwing in a bunch of screws to tighten it up, but no luck. He said to get a contractor in to look at it and fix it before they can tile. I put in a billion more screws, but it had no effect.

Both my brother in law and mothers contractor say just glue down the Hardibacker on top of the floor. I may creak still, but it'll be ok.

I need opinions. What is the chance of grout popping up or tiles cracking in my situation. WIll Hardibacker be substantial enough to keep the tile ok?? thanks all!
 
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Old 03-10-06, 11:34 AM
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jt,

You have no idea how lucky you are right about now. It seems the guy that won't do the tile is well versed in tile and you are lucky to have such a guy, they are few and far between these days.

I know you have asked for opinions but in this case I won't offer my opinion. Instead I will give you facts, this is what's happening and this is the way it is, no opinion here.

You don't say what the current floor is made of and it would be nice to have that information, but in it's absence I will tell you this.

Anytime (EVERYTIME) you have a squeek or a creak, you have movement. Movement will destroy a tile floor quicker than enything else. Tile floors are rigid creatures and require a substantial substrate. Tile floors are not for every scenario or application.

Your brother-in-law and your mother's contractor are just simply wrong and don't have the experience to be making such calls. Period.

Also, if and when the time comes, you CANNOT simply glue down Hardibacker. All cementboard tile backers MUST be set into a fresh bed of thinset. This is not to glue them down but instead this is to fill any existing voids and any voids that will be created when the Hardi fasteners are applied.

What is the chance of grout popping up or tiles cracking in my situation.
The chances are excellant and gauranteed.

WIll Hardibacker be substantial enough to keep the tile ok??
NO, absolutely not. Not only that, the minimum floor thickness required for ceramic tile is 1-1/4" BEFORE TILE. And, none of the cement board tilebackers offer any structural value what-so-ever. They are simply a compatible product that offers an excellent 'tooth' for the tile to be attached to.
 
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Old 03-10-06, 05:48 PM
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Bud, I sincerly appreciate your input.

I have decided to go ahead with the install of the tile. the job is small, not costing me much ($400ish) I'm not in the position, or desire to tear up a floor at this moment in time. (my first house was a COMPLETE fixer, and we just sold that a year ago).

This is in a VERY low traffic area, in the corner of the master bedroom. Based on a lot of people I've talked to, I'm fairly convinced that the hardibacker board will hold. WHile it creaks and groans a ton, I don't see any physical movement, so I'm "hoping" that we'll be ok.

This tile is holding up my entire house from being carpeted, which in return is holding up a few other projects (I'm sort of redoing a lot of stuff, and trying to have it done in time for my wifes sisters wedding shower at our place).

Since this is in a very low traffic place, I'm willing to take the chance here.

I will most definetly post back my results. If it turns to be a complete nightmare, I'll redo that entire area in the future, perhaps next tax return.

Thanks a million again for your input, at least I've been well educated before making my decision, (even if it's not the right decision, I have to stick with it)
Jeremy
 
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Old 03-11-06, 10:11 AM
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jt

When you say floorboards are you talking about 1" by or 2" planking or do you have a plywood subfloor. If its planking, you can't put Hardi over it. You have to add a layer of exterior plywood over it before you put down the Hardi.

In either case since you are not doing what Bud told you to do, you should at least add another layer of plywood. It may not help but it definitly won't hurt.
 
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Old 03-11-06, 12:39 PM
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it's plywood, not planking.

FYI, I sent the guy home today. I just couldn't go through with it. This contractor also told me I shouldn't do the install. My brother in law is coming over on monday, and he agrees now that it should be fixed. He's coming over monday to rip up the floor and fix it.

I sincerly appreciate the input here, it really made a difference...Jeremy
 
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Old 03-11-06, 01:35 PM
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ALRIGHT, Now we're getting somewhere.

Now let me suggest something.

There are many products on the market that are intended to help to insure a lasting tile installation. In your case you should know about a product from Schluter Systems called DITRA.

DITRA is a state-of-the-art tile underlayment. It is an isolation membrane of sorts. DITRA is made of plastic and contains hidden channels that never get filled with solid mortar. These channels provide an opportunity for movement in the substrate that can't be transmitted to the tile installation too easily. The isolation feature of this product is intended primarily for checking lateral movement but by its design alone may also serve to absorb a little vertical movement. It may be just enough to provide you with a lasting tile installation and for no more that it costs it would be worth investment.

You can see DITRA at Schluter's website, click on products in the top banner and go to DITRA and see what you think. This doesn't mean that your existing structure won't still need some additional attention but DITRA can do things that no other product can.

Please check it out.
 
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