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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    8

    Default Tile on wood subfloor

    I've got a Garage apartment that I'm going to start fixing up. The first thing to do is rip out all the 1970'sish lino flooring and update with some nice tile.

    The floor does have a couple of soft spots and I have discovered one rotted place in the bathroom.

    Once the current flooring is removed I will replace the affected areas and get a good strong base for my tile (18x18).

    Having never laid tile on a wood subfloor I'm wondering if there are any special needs such as sealing the wood?

    If so are there products specific to this to let the tile breath through or is it go down and get some Thompsons and follow the directions?

    Tips, Tricks and Suggestions?

    All responses appreciated.

    Maverick

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Hudson Valley New York
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Tile on wood subfloor

    You do not need to seal the plywood but one layer of plywood is not enough. You will need to install one additional layer of 3/4" plywood or one layer of 1/2" hardi backer board.
    If use an additional layer of plywood, it should be screwed every 5 to 6" on center. If you use the hardi backer board, it should be set in Thin Set with either 1/16" or 1/8" notched trowel. The hardi backer board should be screwed every 8 to 10" on center.

    __________________
    Cyril Prendergast
    Kitchen, Bath & Home Contractor
    Serving Westchester County, New York

    www.yourconstructiongroup.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Tile on wood subfloor

    Thanks for the reply.

    Just so I understand, is the second layer for the added weight of the tile or for some other reason. Not sure I can raise the height of the floor by 1/2 inch without ripping everything out first but will look.

    I haven't pulled the old lino up yet so not sure what else I will discover.

    From what I can tell, the joists are on 16in centers if that makes a difference.

    Thanks,

    Maverick
    Maverick
    Child Liaison
    BACA Brazos Valley

    "The definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over expecting different results" ~ Albert Einstein

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Hudson Valley New York
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Tile on wood subfloor

    Hello Maverick,

    The extra layer of plywood or hardi backer board is necessary to stop the floor from flexing when a person walks on the floor.

    Cyril Prendergast
    Kitchen, Bath & Home Contractor
    Serving Westchester County, New York

    www.yourconstructiongroup.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,558

    Default Re: Tile on wood subfloor

    Floor preparation is going to depend on what type of tile you are using, ceramic or self adhesive vinyl tile for instance.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    975

    Default Re: Tile on wood subfloor

    Hi,
    To successfully set large-format tiles on a wooden structure, the modulus of elasticity (resistance to deflection) has to be above the factor of 720. Regular building codes enforce a M/E of 320. IOW, if it is typical wood framing, it needs to be doubled in strength, or the large-format tiles will crack.

    This is a floor joist issue, not exactly a subfloor issue, though you will need at least 1 1/4" of plywood under that tile given 16" centers for the joists.
    Just a heads-up.
    S_M
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Hudson Valley New York
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Tile on wood subfloor

    Jack has a good point. I assumed, based on your question and the size of your tile, that you intended to use ceramic tile.

    __________________
    Cyril Prendergast
    Kitchen, Bath & Home Remodeler
    Serving Westchester County, New York
    www.yourconstructiongroup.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Tile on wood subfloor

    excellent info and exactly what I was after. Would like more explanation of the "modulus of elasticity" but can only assume that if the floor underneath the tile flexes with weight, then the tile will not have the tensile strength to support and will therefore crack.

    Makes sense.

    Next question in line would be that if I weren't able to raise the floor level (doors, cabinets, etc) what would be an alternative other than putting lino back down?

    And as guessed, yes, it is ceramic tile (1/4in 18x18 square from HD) and have picked out matching paint in a 2 tone fashion with a chair rail in a 3rd color. (ok, that was the GF speaking).

    The tile would be laid in a 1/2 offset side to side in a room that is 9x32 if that makes sense.

    I say this as I'm not sure how weight distribution would factor in.

    All in all, if I need to double the subfloor, then I need to. I don't want to be popping up and replacing tile or having to repair subfloor/joist issues down the road.

    I appreciate all the input, please keep it coming.

    Maverick
    Maverick
    Child Liaison
    BACA Brazos Valley

    "The definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over expecting different results" ~ Albert Einstein

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