Putting down tile in Hallway, Kitchen, and Dining room

Old 11-01-09, 10:15 AM
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Question Putting down tile in Hallway, Kitchen, and Dining room

Hi All. This is my 1st time on this site. I would appreciate any info anyone can give me. My Wife is pregnant with twins and I have this project plus alot more to accomplish and I have to move fast. Any input would be appreciated. I will be up front that I will be detailed on this as I want to make sure I give anyone enough info to give good advice. I was forced into having to do this on quick notice, and need to rush so we can get back into our house.

Please dont let all the detail scare you away from reading this and replying. I really can use any advice anyone can give me. With my situation, I need to move fast to get back into my house. Please help. Thanks in advance :-)


I have a dining room, and hallway that were carpet, and kitchen that was lenolium. Events have caused me to have to remove the carpet and pad, and the lenolium.

Hallway - Roughly 4 foot 1 inch wide by 17 foot long with a 2X3 nook and a closet. I removed the carpet, pad, and 1/4 inch underlayment. As to match height with the Kitchen floor (connected, see below) I put down 5/8 CD plywood (made sure C side was smooth when purchased, and filled 2 small imperfections on CD plywood once screwed down. I should mention that below the 5/8 plywood is roofing underlayment for a moisture barrier. I screwed the 5/8 plywood down with 1 1/2 inch screws. Any squeaks after install, I used 3" screws and made sure to hit the joist so "I think" the hallway floor is solid. Feels solid anyway.)

Kitchen - Cabinets are staying in place as is. If I remove the cabinets from the total square footage, I am left with having to cover a 7 foot X 10 foot area. This connects to the hallway via a 28 inch door and to the dinning room(see below). It had lenolium and 1/4 inch plywood that was ripped up, pulled out 2" staples that was hoding the plywood, and scraped up 1960s lenolium. I an down to a green thin felt like material that I cant get up. This green material is on 5/8 thick plywood of some sort (not sure if tonge and groove, but seems solid)

Dining room - Connected to the kitchen by a 5 foot opening between island and wall. Dining room area is 9 foot X 10 Foot Had carpet and padding that was removed, also removed the same 1960s lenolium from here as was in the kitchen and am down to the same green felt like material on 5/8 plywood.

Makeup of the house - The hallway, kitchen, and dinning room are over a crawl space. The crawl space does get damp and can get water in it (am working on fixing drainage to hopefully stop the water, water is 1/2 inch deep at most). I have dehumdifiers in the crawl space and fans. Crawl space currently does not ventilate to the outside. I have a block wall foundation, crawl space height is 3 to 4 1/2 to bottom of joist depending on where you stand. Joists run total is across 30 feet, the joists sit on a center support of double wide 2 X 9 beams. The support beams sit on the a center pillar of blocks (same as wall). 4 blocks to a layer in a square shape for this center pillar. Joists are 2 X 9 wood (not sure what kind of wood) which are 16" on center. Every about 8 feet is a row of short wood pieces in a X shape to keep the joists aligned. On top of the joists are 6" wide 3/4 inch thick pieces of wood which run at a 45% angle (diagonal). The wood floor are not tight, there is between 1/8 to 1/4 inch gap between them. On top of that is the old 5/8 plywood and green 1/16 thick material as described in the kitchen and dining room, and the roofing underlayment and 5/8 CD plywood in the hallway (see above).

I am stuck here. I am wanting to move forward with putting down an underlayment and Tile, but am not sure where to go from here. Here are the facts.

I have resorted to having to cut off the bottom of a hallway closet door, basement door, and 2 pocket doors to be able to put the tile in. A front entry door into the hallway has 2" clearance, A back entry door into the Dining room has only 1" clearance. That back door is my major sticking point to doing the tile (among other decisions). Here are my questions.

1. What should I use for underlayment. I purchased 1/2 durock, but because of the back door, feel I will be to close to scraping to use that. I also have 1/4 denshield. I have heard mixed reviews on denshield and feel I may need to get another product. What shoud I use for underlayment?

2. How do I install the underlayment that you will suggest. Do I need a thinset for what you suggest, will the thinset stick to the green material that was under the 1960s lenolium. Can your suggestion just be screwed? I have 1 1/2 inch hardi backer screws will that be enough for your subfloor suggestion?

3. Do I have enough support to put tile flooring down? Remember I only have 1 inch left before I am at the bottom of my back door so I dont have any more room to build up other than the underlayment material.

4. Am I safe to put tile down in the 1st place? Would swelling of wood to split my grout joints be an issue? I have read somewhere that I should put vaper barrier around the joists (up the joist, across the floor underside, down the joist, and so on through all joists); then put insulaton in the joists, then house wrap across the joists. Does this make sense to do if swelling is an issue?

5. Temprature of the crawl space (I have read) is 50 to 60 degrees year round. Dont really know for sure true temprature. Is this right? Do I have a temprature issue with installing tile and the tile being to cold. The laminate flooring that was in the kitchen was not that cold in the winter, but will Tile be worse for coldness than laminate flooring?

6. I purchases porcalin tile with a PEI rating of 5. The tile is a Glazed tile. I have heard this is the best PEI rating I can get to resist chipping to expose the porcelin. However I tested the tile by putting the tile on top of the 5/8 plywood, and droping a metal tape measure onto a tile. The tile shattered into 3 pieces. Crude test, but was trying to simulate dropping a pot or pan, or maybe a heavier childs toy. Is this a valid test, or not because I did not have the tile mortared down yet?

If you read to this point, thanks for reading. Do you have any input on the above? My family "to be" thanks you for your time.


Old 11-01-09, 12:03 PM
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Dan, welcome to the forums! You will get many responses and many variations, so take the best and run with it. There are many pros on the forum that deal with tile only, ventilation only, and so forth. I am a nail driver. So here goes.
1) 1/4" hardie backer
2) thinset, backer and 1 1/2" backer screws
3) 16" oc 2x10s with your subflooring combination should be adequate. Go ahead and rent a jamb saw and cut all your jambs so they will accommodate the height of the thinset, cbu, thinset, and tile.
4) Not sure where the advice on wrapping the joists comes in, but you do have insulation with the vapor barrier to the living side installed, now, right? If not that's your next project.
5) Crawl spaces will remain cooler, generally, than the rest of the house, but you will have the heat on in the house, taking care of the living side where you will be installing the tile. Yes, tile will be colder to the foot touch, but that is why they make throw rugs.
6) Unfair test. You didn't have it embedded in thinset and the shockwaves didn't return so it shattered. ANY tile will do that, so quit wasting tile. You won't be dropping hammers or tape measurers in real life, hopefully. If you do, you can replace the tile.
Like I said, wait for others to wake up or get home from church so they can give better advice.


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