hearing cracking/crumbling under Hardibacker after install

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Old 01-14-08, 08:55 AM
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Question hearing cracking/crumbling under Hardibacker after install

Just installed Hardibacker this week to prep floor for tile. Now I am hearing cracking and crumbling noise when I walk on the Hardibacker, assuming from the mortar. Not on all boards but a few(tested them out), so is this normal? Or do I need to take them up and start over? I think even with laying the tile I would still be able to hear this.

Used correct mortar recommended from Hardibacker and correct trowel and made sure floor was level before install.

Please help. Thanks
 
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Old 01-14-08, 10:19 AM
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the noise after,,,

screwing down the hb ? ? ?,,, never ran into this but we used drywall screws 6" o/c, too.
 
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Old 01-14-08, 10:19 AM
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Ok for starters, you don't say if you nailed or screwed the hardibacker to the subfloor. So did you? Explain better what you did.

Whats under the hardi and thinset. Give details as to the layers of subfloor and underlayment etc from the floor joists up.

Did you review hardi's installation instructions and follow them?
 
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Old 01-14-08, 10:39 AM
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yep followed Hardibacker website...used their brand of screws to apply in the grids on backer, no 4corners match, made sure seams of backer didnt match up with sufloor seams, etc.
btw.. Subfloor, is 5/8 plywood. Even screwed down subfloors in places where loose before we started to make sure they were tight.
I did read somewhere else that is maybe mortar getting into seams of subfloor and rubbing together, which I would think it would do that in all seams. I dont know.....
 
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Old 01-14-08, 10:42 AM
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oh yeah and thinset is Laticrete MegaBond from Lowes.
 
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Old 01-14-08, 10:46 AM
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What kinda thinset did you use? Was it thinset from a bucket (premixed stuff) or was it thinset that came in a bag that you mixed with water?

5/8" plywood is the minimum subfloor and thats only if the plywood is tongue and groove. If its square edge plywood then you need to add more plywood or support the plywood seams with blocking from underneath.
 
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Old 01-14-08, 11:02 AM
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Question

thinset was mixed with water to PB consistency with a electric mortar paddle.

so what your saying is I would need to build up the subfloor even after putting all the backer down? dont have access to crawl underneath for that other option.
 
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Old 01-14-08, 11:35 AM
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Can you tell if the areas you hear crackling are at the plywood edges where two sheets meet?

If you have 5/8" square edge plywood then yes you should have used additional plywood staggering the seems. 3/8" would have been the minimum.

5/8" tongue and groove is the absolute minimum subfloor. Most, including me, will tell you that more plywood is always recommended.

If you have crackling, then you have movement. If you have movement you cant install tile over what you have and expect that it will last. Sorry for the bad news.

Maybe Jazman or somebody else here has some other ideas as well.

What kinda plywood is the subfloor. If its sheathing rated ply it contains voids between the plys and this could be contributing to the crackling as well. More likely to be the unsupported plywood seams though.
 
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Old 01-14-08, 01:59 PM
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Question

good info....thanks
whats amazing though is none of the tile guys (quite a few) who came in to give us bids ever said anything about the subfloor min. and I already had the tile up and everything exposed. A couple of them just said they might have to replace a couple of boards due to them being a little warped, but most said no they are fine they will be covered with Hardibacker. We did replace a couple boards ourselves but didnt add to, darn it.

would I be ok installing a laminate floating floor for less weight? Or vinyl? never had laminate or hardwood. I imagine I should bring up the backer for this or can I leave it down? Would I still hear the cracking? Any suggestions there?

I have never had to deal with this we lived in the southwest in slab houses, where you just prep your concrete and slap on the tile. We always did it ourselves and had no problems.
 
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Old 01-14-08, 02:09 PM
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oh btw..the subfloor is not tongue and groove and I'm really not sure what type of wood, sorry. I will ask my hubby when he gets home. He wont be happy since we spent all weekend laying this #@*! backerboard for this tile we bought (18x18 porc). lol
oh the joys of homeownership!
 
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Old 01-14-08, 02:31 PM
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Some tile contractors do not care what the subfloor is. They just care about you paying them, and soon as the job is done, they are gone.

Get references!
 
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Old 01-14-08, 04:20 PM
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What condition was the plywood subfloor in? Was it at all spongy possibly from past water damage? Is the floor bouncy or does it appear to be solid? Did you check your floor joist system to make sure that it is strong enough to support a tile installation? Can you provide details on the size of the joists, their on center spacing and the unsupported length of the joists from below?
 
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Old 01-14-08, 05:32 PM
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A few things don't make sense to me here. Especially since we still don't know how the subfloor system is built.

You told us the subfloor is 5/8" plywood, but later you said "We did replace a couple boards ourselves" That doesn't jive. Normally plywood is not referred to as boards. So, is it plywood sheets or is it boards?

Jaz
 
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Old 01-14-08, 06:18 PM
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thanks for putting me in line with the terminology....I guess I'm not allowed to make a mistake in this forum.
 
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Old 01-15-08, 04:17 AM
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Missouri, don't take it personally as an attack when asked for clarification. No one can give you the correct advice without seeing it themselves or getting the exact information from the poster, which in the latter case, can take several tries. Can you take pictures of the underside of the floor from a basement or crawl space and post them here?

In any case, if you truly have a plank subfloor, you will need to take up the cement board and start over with 1/2" plywood then cement board or membrane. If you have square edged plywood, you will need to at the very least, install solid blocking between the joists to support those panel edges where they cross the joist bays. Crumbling sound = instability = tile floor death. You're at the point where redoing is most frustrating than costly.

Johnny, Megabond is Laticrete's unmodified at Lowes. Same thing as laticrete's 317. They also brand the 333 additive as megabond additive.

Edit: Upon looking at laticrete's site, the test data listed for magabond is not as specific as that for 317. I think I'll shoot an email to them today before I use another bag of megabond on Ditra. I will say, though, it felt like 317 when I used it. I'll post their response. If I don't like their response, I'll switch to Tec's Full set in the future.
 
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Old 01-15-08, 06:11 AM
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Brian thanks for the info on laticrete. I dont get to lowes so not real familiar with laticrete products. I have and do use tec full set with ditra all the time - good stuff.
 
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Old 01-15-08, 06:14 AM
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Missouri

I think you maybe took Jaz comments out of context. I was good that he chimed in cause I thought you had plywood. No problem making a mistake here, happens to the best of us.
 
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Old 01-15-08, 03:10 PM
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Seeing you posted this on another Forum as well, you can go back there to read my response and for the rest of ya, the span is questionable as well here, not to mention the bare minimum subfloor that needs more plywood.
 
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Old 01-16-08, 07:28 AM
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Yea, I saw this posted at the other place after it was posted here. Good to get several opinions. I didn't get a chance yet to see the span situation as I was working the primary election yesterday here. Remember that the deflecto tool is very conservative...which is goo! You're gonna get mostly great advice there too...lots of it.

Jaz
 
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