Best subfloor for porcelain floor tiles

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Old 04-19-10, 08:07 AM
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Best subfloor for porcelain floor tiles

I am doing my laundry room floor in porcelain tile. The present floor is regular 3/4" plywood right now over 2" x 12" studs. Typical new construction. What is the best subfloor for 13" x 13" porcelain floor tile? I have had 3 contractors and each wants to use something different. One wants to uses cement board...another some sort of manufactured layered plywood.....another just wants to add another layer of 3/4 plywood over the floor for underlayment. What is the best way to go here??
This tile is going to have to match with 3/4" oak flooring at the doorway and using 1/2" DuraRoc there will be a slight height difference between the wood and the porcelain. Any suggestions to solve this issue?
 
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Old 04-19-10, 02:20 PM
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You didn't say what the spacing of the joists (not studs) is. Tell the two contractors that want to leave wood as a substrate for your tile to hit the road. You must have a backer board for a good install. That is not to say just adding backer is enough (by the first one). Here, again, we would need to know the joist spacing. Your slight plane difference can be handled with transition strips or a good tile guy can use bull nose tile or his skills to create less of a change. Of course you didn't say which was higher, wood or tile.
 
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Old 04-22-10, 01:32 PM
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Studs are on 16" centers. The contractors want to use a wood product called "Multiply" for a backer. I went to their website they claim to be 3X more firm than cement board. So maybe this is ok then. tile is higher by the way.
 

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Old 04-22-10, 03:40 PM
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Cement board is not there for strength, so the contractors do not know what they are talking about.

It is not advisable to tile onto any wood product because wood expands and contracts which can cause cracked tiles and grout. That's where a cement board or other tile membrane comes in.
 
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Old 04-22-10, 07:19 PM
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Your framing should be fine for ceramic tiles. 3/4" plywood subfloor is more than adequate too. It's always a good thing if you can add more plywood, but not to tile directly over.

If you want the tile to be flush with the hardwood, Use Ditra XL. It's made for just that purpose. Many other benefits too.

Jaz
 
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Old 04-24-10, 02:36 PM
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I just today ripped up a bathroom tile job that was done on plywood five years ago by the contractor (new build). Like all the bathrooms done the same, there was cracking in the tiles and the adhesion was so poor that the mortar (or whatever the hell the guy used, probably wet flour, actually) has scraped off with a knife. In some cases the tiles have come up literally with a butter knife and a fairly gentle pull for an entire 12X12" tile.

Everything I've read says to use cement board or ditra (other products exist like it, though). I decided today to retile my bathroom with Ditra membrane, mainly because I think it should prevent cracking a little more effectively than cement backer (which I understand is primarily for water resistance and give a better adhering surface--same as ditra, except the ditra should allow for more flexing of the subfloor before cracking occurs).
 
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Old 05-13-10, 08:10 PM
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Sub-floor questions for bathroom tile, help me too!

I want to put a floor of small mosaic style porcelain tiles in a rehab bathroom. The subfloor is a blend of 3/4 inch plywood and the original 3/4 inch heartwood pine flooring. That is it. No plywood under that. Both are very solid, except for a few spots in the original boards which I could fill with leveling patch.

I presumed that I could put 1/4 inch hardi-backer cement board over this, installed with thinset, but now I want to know if that is ok. I don't really want to raise the height of the floor much more than than the backer plus the tiles... Do I have to put another layer of plywood and THEN the cement board? And then the tiles?

Help.

respond here ore email me at [email protected]
 
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