Ceramic Floor

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Old 12-02-08, 03:03 PM
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Ceramic Floor

I have a situation on my hands and I am looking for some advice. My mom has a family friend remodeling her bathroom which is including laying new ceramic tile. I don't know a whole lot but I have helped my dad with various projects in the past and something just doesn't seem right. I don't know the correct terms but there are two layers of plywood on top of the floor joist and this guy is laying the tile directly onto the top layer of plywood. Is this how it is suppose to be done? It seems like there is suppose to be some sort of underlayment. The problem is I was home for the weekend and noticed that 2 or 3 of the tiles were loose, he had installed them but hasn't grouted them yet. I questioned him about it and he said he would fix them and that the grout would hold them in place. To me that doesn't seem right, any thoughts?
 
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Old 12-02-08, 03:28 PM
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Grout is not designed to hold the tiles in place. Thinset or mastic is used as the adhesive. Grout merely fills in the gaps between tiles.

Tile is typically installed over an underlayment called backerboard. It's a cement sheet product that provides a good bonding surface with for the tile. With that said, lots of tile has been put down directly on plywood. Not the preferred method, but it may be OK.

It sounds to me that your contractor either doesn't know what he is doing or maybe he does and is just trying to increase his profit margin. Your options may depend on your contract. If nothing in the contract tells him to use backer board you may be out of luck.
 
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Old 12-02-08, 03:28 PM
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You are right to be concerned. I would ask this guy what standard allows for such an installation. He will probably give you the, "I've been doing this for 20 years," jargon, so don't listen.

The tile should be applied onto a cement backer board, which gets thinsetted and screwed to the plywood, then tile. You could also use a Schluter Ditra type underlayment.

What type of thinset did he use? Please don't say he used anything premixedin a bucket.

Dangit buff, you beat me by 3 seconds.
 
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