Kitchen Floor Tile Questions

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Old 05-08-10, 03:16 PM
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Kitchen Floor Tile Questions

Here are my questions concerning kitchen floor tiling. I hope you can help me:

1. Is there any best tile for a kitchen in terms of ease of maintenance and reduced wear and tear?

2. My kitchen floor squeaks when I walk over it. Does it need to be modified/repaired before tile is laid?

3. Does grout have to be sealed to prevent it from getting dirty?

4. The hallway to the kitchen is a hardwood floor and there is a tapering down wood piece that transitions from the wood floor to the current kitchen vinyl. Would this have to be replaced?

5. Do appliances (stove, refrigerator) have to be moved prior to the installation of the tile?

Thanks for your help.
E STEve K
 
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Old 05-08-10, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by estevek View Post
Here are my questions concerning kitchen floor tiling. I hope you can help me:

1. Is there any best tile for a kitchen in terms of ease of maintenance and reduced wear and tear?

2. My kitchen floor squeaks when I walk over it. Does it need to be modified/repaired before tile is laid?

3. Does grout have to be sealed to prevent it from getting dirty?

4. The hallway to the kitchen is a hardwood floor and there is a tapering down wood piece that transitions from the wood floor to the current kitchen vinyl. Would this have to be replaced?

5. Do appliances (stove, refrigerator) have to be moved prior to the installation of the tile?

Thanks for your help.
E STEve K
1) im not really sure about different tiles for different applications. I would go with a marble or travertine for the floor. As far as durability goes, there pretty strong.

2) I would definatly put screws through the subfloor wherever there are squeaks. Also putting down a new layer of 1/2" exterior grade plywood and 1/2" cement board would be ideal. If you cant swing the extra ply, then definatly put 1/2" cement board down.

3) my practice is to seal grout and tiles every six months. It reduces dirt, stains and mildew.

4)Im not sure what the transistion piece looks like that you currently have, but i would guess that it would need to be replaced becuase your new floor will be higher than the hallway. you might get lucky and just be able to reverse the piece to work the other way.

5) Yes everything needs to be removed from the kitchen prior to flooring. It is ideal for the tile to go under the cabinets as well. But if your not replacing cabinets then i guess you could tile up to them. I always recommend tiling from wall to wall.
 
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Old 05-08-10, 09:22 PM
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Porcelain would be a good choice for flooring tile. Look for one that is glazed on the surface, it will not need to be sealed ever. Comes in every size and shape from 1" square up to 24".

Any floor squeak is a sign of movement , either the subfloor is rubbing against the joist under a point load or individual planks are moving and rubbing against each other. If you have planking, it needs to be covered with a minimum of 1/2" exterior glue grade plywood rated for underlayment. Cement board alone offers no structural strength or ability to isolate plank movement from transmitting up to the tile. Cement boards do offer superior bonding ability for thinset in place of going directly over plywood.

Sealing will slow down absorption of moisture particles but it will not stop dirt from laying on top of the grout and getting ground into the surface. Dont think of it as polyurethane like you apply to wood.
 
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Old 05-09-10, 01:37 AM
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If you choose a porcelain tile, and are messy cooks, don't buy a tile with indentation or rough texture. I found out that flour and other things can difficult to remove. If you want almost maintenance free, use the epoxy grout. It is a pain to use, but it doesn't need to be sealed.

The squeak could also be in between the floor joints. We found this a common occurrence with our clients. Most of the time, we put a board in that area. Be cautious when installing a another underlayment. All this will add to the height, ie, fridge, stove, dishwasher.
 
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Old 05-22-10, 08:06 PM
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Thanks for all of the responses so far.

Here are some follow up questions:

1. I went to a tile store that also does installation. I asked them what they do about squeaking floors. The manager showed me this plastic orange waffle stuff they put down. From reading another post on this site, I think this stuff is called DITRA. What do you think of it? Is it expensive? It looks like it adds a lot of thickness. (maybe too much)

2. I'm going to be getting a new fridge with through the door ice. This will require plumbing to go from the sink area (I guess), behind the stove which will be re-tiled to the fridge. Should this be done before, or after installing new tile, or does it not matter?

Thanks much
 
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Old 05-22-10, 09:41 PM
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estevek, I've seen the name "DITRA" mentioned somewhere before, yet an unfamiliar to this product. It sounds like it acts as a noise barrier. I know one of the guys will be able to tell you. As far as any other work, I would get everything that you need done, completed before you tile. It's better in the long run. No chance of dropping stuff, etc. Good Luck
 
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Old 05-23-10, 08:59 AM
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Squeaking means there is floor movement. You need to address that problem before you install tile.
 
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Old 05-23-10, 02:27 PM
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If you have a squeaky floor, you have wood rubbing on wood because its not properly secured. What kind of subfloor do you have, planks, osb, plywood? How thick is the subfloor material? Is it t&g or square edge? What kind of tile are you using.

Ditra won't fix a squeaky floor. Ditra is an isolation membrane. Its primary purpose is to isolate movement of the joists and subfloor from the tile. Fix your squeaky floor first. Ditra is 1/8" thick, and a hair more than that when installed. If it was thicker than that you were probably shown ditra XL. Before you install either ditra or cement board, you should answer my questions above.
 
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Old 06-18-10, 09:10 PM
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I had a chance to go down into the basement and take a look at what the floors above are made of. I can't see directly under the kitchen, but I can see under the adjacent family room. I found ink prints. They were really hard to read, but I'm pretty sure they said the following:

---APA---
Rated STURD-I-FLOOR
24 oc 23/32 inch
T&G Net Width 47 1/2
Exposure 1
----230----
PSI-83 Underlayment
NER-QA397 PRP-108

I guess this means it's 23/32 inch plywood that's tongue and groove. Also, I measured the edge-to-edge separation between the joists. It is 20 inches. Should this kind of flooring squeak? Will it affect the tile.

I guess I've determined to use porcelain tile.
 

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Old 06-18-10, 09:59 PM
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How about we start at the beginning? We know the subfloor is 3/4" exp. 1, which is fine. I'm not so sure what the joists' spacing is. We measure from center to center and refer to it as on-center, (oc). So the oc should be 16", 19.2 or 24". Twenty doesn't compute. Also need to know the type and size of the joists. Would be nice to also know the species and grade of the joists.

If all else meets standards, Ditra is a great way to go instead of installing a cement backer board, and it's only 1/8" installed including the thin set.

What have you done so far? Did you remove the old flooring and any 1/4" plywood yet?

Jaz
 
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Old 06-19-10, 10:02 AM
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Measuring from center to center (which makes sense), the joists are 24 inches apart.

Most joists that I can see are not solid. Instead, they're made of upper and lower 2x4s with metal trusses separating them and holding them together on the sides. The few solid joists that are visible are made of 2 2x12s side-by-side.

So far, I haven't done anything yet. I want to know all that I need to know before making a move.

Thanks
 
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Old 06-24-10, 05:57 PM
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Any thoughts on the previous post? Thanks in advance.
 
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Old 06-25-10, 06:00 AM
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I couldn't even begin to calculate the deflection on those engineered joists. Is there a manufacturer name stamped on the side or any other information?

Could you take a picture? You may have to upload any pictures to a photo sharing site then post the IMG url back here.
 
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Old 06-25-10, 09:06 AM
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I can't really tell where you are in this project. Have you taken everything down to the 3/4" plywood subfloor?

You need to find out the manufacturer of the trusses and call them or check out their website. They have detailed span tables on their websites.

24" oc spacing is likely to be a bigger concern than the trusses. You'll need to install another layer of plywood to make the area between the joists stiffer. I'd recommend at a minimum another layer of 1/2" (thicker would be better) exterior glue bc or better. Then go with ditra.

Schluter claims that you can install ditra xl over a single layer of 3/4" plywood on 24" centers, but I'm not comfortable with that. I have heard that there have been some recent failures with this method, possibly due to thinset thickness exceding manufacturer recommendations.
 
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Old 06-28-10, 05:27 PM
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http://photos2.walmart.com/walmart/s...otsi=SPIClink/
Above is a link to a picture of the joists turned sideways. The actual picture would not insert for me.

I haven't done anything on the project, and I might not do this project myself. It's probably way too much for me.

Over the weekend, I had a sales rep from a local tile shop stop by. I told him all of the details and he felt confident that the ceramic tile (Lea Ceramica) could be installed over 1 layer of DITRA XL with a 5 year warranty. Early estimates from the manager of the shop were in the range of $8000. I'm not sure a 5 year warranty is good enough for that amount of money. Any thoughts?

Much thanks for all your input.
 

Last edited by estevek; 06-28-10 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 06-28-10, 06:36 PM
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I would get multiple detailed quotes. If these contractors are not doing a deflection calc, then I would ask them how they determined your current floor is adequate.

As for warranty, most reputable tiling contractors will warranty all their work if everything is installed per standards.

Like anything related to contractors, get their references, insurance, etc.

$8k is a lot of money, but I do not know how big this area is, special layouts, etc.
 
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Old 06-28-10, 08:48 PM
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Steve,

Those are trusses for sure. Their deflection rating should be at or above L360, which is the maximum deflection allowed per building code for living areas. Bedroom areas have a lower standard. Lower number means more bounce. You need L360 or higher for your porcelain tiles, natural stone requires L720 min.

You never mentioned what the span is. We can assume they'll meet L360 if the architect and building inspectors did their jobs right. Calling the manufacturer would be smart though.

That should take care of the deflection of the trusses. Now for the major cause of failures.......the space between the joists/trusses.

Johnny mentioned he'd heard of some problems with Ditra XL over single 3/4" @ 24". I don't doubt there may have been some problems, but I doubt it had anything to do with the Ditra. If Schluter says it'll work....it'll work. You just have to do everything right, which is always the case. I'd like to hear more about that.

So, You have to be the judge whether your subfloor is installed correctly and is still in good shape. If you have any doubts, add more plywood underlayment.

It's hard to tell you how fair that quote you got is. We have no idea what it includes among several other things like the qualifications of the tile setter. I do know that your area's labor costs is one of the highest in the nation although it is cheaper than it otherwise might have been if not for the slowdown. But as I hinted, there isn't much of a slow down there.

Not many retailers give a 5 year warranty, of course we don't know what it covers and how good it is. Would you be happier if they gave you a 10 year warranty and charged 9 k instead? I usually guarantee most of my work for 10 years, but 1 year is normal and even then it of course would not cover everything that might go wrong.

Jaz
 
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Old 06-29-10, 05:46 AM
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Johnny mentioned he'd heard of some problems with Ditra XL over single 3/4" @ 24". I don't doubt there may have been some problems, but I doubt it had anything to do with the Ditra. If Schluter says it'll work....it'll work. You just have to do everything right, which is always the case. I'd like to hear more about that.
Hi Jaz

While I have used plenty of ditra over the years, I have no personal experience with ditra xl. I do have a friend in the trades who did have an xl issue. Not sure about all the details, but in the end, he says it was determined to be thinset shrinkage due to excess thickness. No first hand knowledge from my own experiences.

Sometimes new products seem to good to be true to me. My style has always been to let everybody else beat up a new product. When its been beaten up enough, I give it a try.

but I doubt it had anything to do with the Ditra.
I'm sure you're right about that, but it may be choice of setting materials, some working better with xl than others. I dunno.

Have you worked with ditra xl and 24" oc joists? Curious, and interested in your feedback as well.
 
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Old 06-30-10, 09:34 PM
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Johnny,

I've not had the opportunity to use Ditra XL and may not even if the right job comes along. Although I trust Schluter, I am a scardi-cat when it comes to 24" o.c. I usually run the other way if the customer doesn't want to pop for an additional layer of ply. I'm convinced the customer that wants things done the cheapest way, would be on the tele fast if something went wrong.

In 23 + years I've only had to replace 2 floors for a total of less than 200 ft. One was my associate's fault when he didn't notice a 3/4" dip in the subfloor after ripping out slate in mud over a DIY addition built with 2x6". The other was the customer's fault for not removing the wax from their 50 year old porcelain mosaics they insisted on doing themselves to save a few bucks.

I know well your feelings about new products. I first heard of and studied the video on Ditra and some other products in the late '80's or early 90's, but it took me another 10-12 years before I dared walk into a customer's house carrying a roll of the orange stuff.

I had wandered if they would laugh or lock the door if I mentioned Ditra instead of mud or a CBU. I laughed the entire day when I finally installed my first Ditra. I wasn't even tired that day.

Jaz
 
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