Tiling over plywood

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Old 12-08-14, 11:32 PM
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Tiling over plywood

I have 2 adjoining areas-dining room with sub-floor and kitchen that consists of sub-floor with 3/4 in plywood and sheet vinyl on top. I really want to tile both rooms without transition but if I put backer board on the kitchen floor it will raise it another 1/2 in plus the tile height. Can I put 3/4 plywood on the dining room floor so it will be level with the kitchen floor and tile over that? I'm afraid to rip up the plywood in the kitchen because I'm not sure how sound the subfloor under is. Any suggestions would be most helpful
Thanks!
Tera
 
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Old 12-09-14, 03:20 AM
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Welcome to the forums, Tera. I would pull the vinyl back a little around a cabinet kick plate and see if the 3/4" is an add on, or indigenous to the initial install. You will need to determine the total thickness of your subflooring including the 3/4", the joist size below it, their spacing, and the total unsupported run of the joists in the area.

Directly addressing your question, no you can't tile directly on wood subflooring. You would need an uncoupling membrane, such as concrete backer underlayment or Ditra. If you add the 3/4" to the dining room, you will eventually have a transition. Can you live with that one? Placing the 3/4" in the dining room, then the membrane over it and the kitchen would be the easiest solution. You only use 1/4" backer board on floors, incidentally, not 1/2".
 
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Old 12-09-14, 06:22 AM
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If your not sure how sound the subfloor is then you should not be considering tile.
Tile is a one shot deal, what's below it is going to determine if it cracks or the grout fails.
All the factors Chandler mentioned are very important to know before doing anything.
What makes you think there may be issues with it?
 
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Old 12-09-14, 09:27 AM
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Thanks for your reply!
I'm not sure why they put 3/4 plywood over subfloor just to lay vinyl. I guess I thought maybe something was being covered up. One reason is because when I took up the carpet in the dining room I found a layer of what looks like "Fix All" or something similar on top of the subfloor. I'm just not sure why all these layers were put down and what purpose they serve.
 
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Old 12-09-14, 09:38 AM
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Thank you!
So basically I would have a little over 1 1/4 inches total height after the backer, Ditra, and tile are laid is that correct? I really like the idea of tile and I finished our bathroom which came out great but this is whole different ballgame. The rest of the house has wood flooring which also ends where the dining room is and I just want something a little uniform since these rooms are visible and connected. I hope I'm making sense here and all input has been very helpful.
 
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Old 12-09-14, 04:02 PM
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You don't use cement backer if you are using Ditra.
 
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Old 12-09-14, 06:52 PM
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I'm not saying it is correct but tile is often laid directly onto plywood. My back bathroom was like that and I suspect my front bathroom, my laundry room and the tile inset in my front entry all are laid in thinset directly on plywood. I have no problems at the entry but I do have a couple of cracked tile in the bathroom as well as a loose tile in the laundry room. I WILL use 1/4 inch Hardibacker when I get around to tiling the back bathroom.
 
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