Can I keep wall tile and install floor tile?

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Old 12-11-08, 01:57 PM
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Can I keep wall tile and install floor tile?

Hello--

I am buying an old house and will need to repair a bathroom floor that is rotted around the toilet. The room has tile wainscoting all the way around about 4 feet high that I would like to keep, and vinyl sheet flooring. I want to replace the vinyl with porcelain hex, penny or 1-in square mosaic. My problem is that the existing wall tile has the cove base that curves onto the floor. Do you think it would look bad if I put down cement board and then tiled the floor right up to the walls, which would basically cover up the curve at the bottom of the existing base molding? Another option would be to use the square mosaic with a matching 1-inch bullnose on the wall, sort of like using shoe mold on top of wood trim. What do you guys think?
 
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Old 12-11-08, 02:07 PM
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You can do either of those. Keep in mind though that you need to remove the vinyl and any 1/4" underlayment under the vinyl. You cannot install cement board directly over vinyl. You should have as a minimum, 5/8" plywood t&g plywood as a subfloor. over that you can install cement board. If you can afford the height, a second layer of plywood is desireable (but may not be necessary).

Make sure that you leave space around the perimeter of the room for movement of the cement board and tile. Use a color matched caulk (matched to the grout) around the perimeter where the floor tile meets the wall tile.
 
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Old 12-11-08, 02:27 PM
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Thanks--I'm not sure what kind of subfloor is under there. (It will be my husbands job to fix the floor.) It probably has plywood under the vinyl (since it's very smooth), and slanted boards under that--if so, does that pose some special problems for tiling? The house was built c. 1920.

Julie
 
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Old 12-11-08, 02:48 PM
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Typical older home construction from the sounds of it.

Once your husband and yourself get the vinyl up, we can proceed from there.

You have planked flooring, which is very common of the time period. Plywood gets screwed to that, then your cement board/ditra then tile.
 
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Old 12-11-08, 02:50 PM
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If the plywood you refer to is a 1/4" underlayment for the vinyl, it has to go along with the vinyl. Removing the vinyl and plywood at the same time will make the job much easier.

The slanted boards that you refer to are not by themselves sufficient for ceramic tile. The individual boards move too much with moisture conditions. You can easily solve this issue by installing a layer of 1/2" exterior glue plywood over the slanted boards. No big deal.
 
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Old 12-12-08, 01:51 PM
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Interesting situation. Let's see! What if the new floor was to be built up (raised) in a manner that would allow the new tile to go directly to the old wall tile but above the old toe thingy as you suggest? This way no bullnose would be needed for goodness sakes. The question in my mind is: Would this additional raising of the floor cause a problem at the doorway?
 
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