Kitchen Floor- The First Step [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile

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setrudeau
10-05-2006, 01:52 PM
The house we are in is 56 yrs old and my guess is there are several layers of floors under the pretty lineolum we have at the moment. I started to remove the lineolum tiles and they seem to leave a very sticky residue on top of the plywood underneath. My question is do I have to try and remove the glue before putting down wonderboard and can i use 1/4" wonderboard? I can't put another layer of plywood over the plywood b/c it will make the floor that is already too high even higher. My plummer suggested taking a circular saw to try and remove other layers of the floors and get to the subfloor, but I don't really want to do that b/c it will be impossible underneath the cabinets and I'm afraid I may cut electrical wires and what ever else is running underneath the floor in the basement.
Thanks,
Susan

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ss3964spd
10-05-2006, 03:11 PM
Susan,

Really hard to say what to do without knowing exactly what's under the existing layer of lineolum. Given the age of the house it's a pretty safe bet that there are multiple layers as you suspect.

Problem is that tile needs a very stiff foor. If you have multiple layers there may be enough flex in the structure, from all those layers, that the new tiles will be compromised. You just won't know unless you find out how much of what is there.

No worries though regarding wiring-n-such. What was proposed to you is to set the saw blade depth just low enough to slice through the layers without going too deep. The depth may be 1/4 of an inch, 3/8", 1/2" - all dependent on how many layers there are. There won't be any wiring imbedded in the floor - all that is well below in the floor joists.

There are saws that can be used to slice around the base of the cabinets. They are a little tricky to use - best to have someone do that for you if you don't have any experience with it.

If the floor is already too high, and since you do not know how many layers are present, my suggestion would be to tear it out. I know - easy for me to say. ;)

Dan

John Bridge
10-05-2006, 04:45 PM
Welcome aboard, Susan. :)

I agree with Dan. You'll need to get the various layers off the subfloor and take it from there. There is no way to "fix" a tile floor that starts causing problems down the road. It's our job to make sure those problems never occur. ;)

setrudeau
10-06-2006, 09:26 AM
Thanks for the advice. I just called my plummer/tile man and he said he would want $800 to remove the floor- that is just to remove the floor about 130 sq ft. That seems a bit much and I don't have $800. I pulled the threshold off and it seems as though the lineolum is over 1/4" plywood that is over plywood. Can't see any deeper than that. I really don't want to remove this floor. How hard is it cut around the cabinets?
Susan

ss3964spd
10-06-2006, 09:43 AM
It is difficult to cut the floor around the cabinets Susan, due to the toe kick (the recessed space at the base of the cabinets). The toe kick makes it very difficult to get any kind of tool - except the previously mentioned saw, in there to cut the floor.

Do you have a dishwasher (aside from your significant other)? A range? Both those sit on the existing floor and if you add over 1/4" backer board and thinset, then add over 1/4" of tile and thinset your new floor will be higher by at least 9/16" and might likely make it durn near impossible to remove those appliances in the future for repair or replacement.

I'm afraid there isn't an easy way around this.

Dan

setrudeau
10-06-2006, 09:53 AM
Never even thought about the appliances...that is why you guys are great! The dishwasher would be the only problem. The stove is sitting on top of the top piece of plywood and I'm not sure exactly at what layer the diswasher is. We are going to remove all the appliance and get new ones. Hope the dishwasher will fit in place!
So is $800 an acceptable rate to remove my problem. Who else would do such work?
Susan

ss3964spd
10-06-2006, 10:02 AM
Susan,

If you are already planning to remove the appliances as part of this job, might you consider also removing the counter tops and cabinets and then just re-install them once the floor is finished?

Doing so would allow complete access to the floor, and will ensure everything is at the same height.

To answer your question; I think 800 to remove 140 SF of existing floor is a little steep, but keep in mind that removing the existing floor will also entail removing any baseboard trim that may be in the way. Your contractor also doesn't know what difficulties he might run into during the process. One tends to find all sorts of interesting things when working on an older home.

Dan

setrudeau
10-06-2006, 10:12 AM
Removing the cabinets is not an options b/c we just had new granite put on top of them. I have a carpenter who said he could do the job and he wants to use a Reciprocating saw to cut around the cabinets- does that sound like it would do the job?
Oh do I know that joys of owning an old home. Every time my husband and I start a job it takes 10x longer to complete it than expected. Wait till I tell him about this new development.
Susan

ss3964spd
10-06-2006, 10:20 AM
I can't see how he's gonna get a recip saw within the confines of the toe kick to make a close, clean cut. It's possible, I suppose, but I know I don't have the skills to do it cleanly. Renting a toe kick saw is an option?

Dan

setrudeau
10-06-2006, 10:38 AM
Sorry for my ignorance, but what is a toe kick?
Susan

bbcamp
10-06-2006, 10:49 AM
A toe kick is the area at the base of the cabinets where you toes go so you can stand really, really close to the countertop. The front of the cabinet over hangs the toe kick, so a regular saw won't fit.

ss3964spd
10-06-2006, 10:50 AM
LOL....

Ok, while your HUSBAND (ok - well, anyone) is standing at the sink (or any cabinet for that matter, doing the dishes there is a recessed space at the base of the cabinets - perhaps 4 inches tall and 3 or 4 inches deep (can't remember the standard) where one's toes go. Without the toe kick recess you'd forever be kicking the base of the cabinets with your toes/shoes.

Wouldn't want him messin up them purdy toes nails, now wuddya?

Dan

setrudeau
10-06-2006, 11:06 AM
Learn something new every day. Will take all this info and try and figure out the right thing to do...my kitchen tiling project may be on hold until the floor is sorted out.
Thanks for the help!
Susan

setrudeau
10-19-2006, 06:45 PM
I'm back...after a lot of hard work, I have found my subfloor!! I had to remove three layers of lineolum and two layers of plywood- all done with a hammer and chisel, but I saved $800!!
I think the subfloor is 1/2" thick and the cabinets are 1" above the subfloor. In order to make it level I need to add 1" to the subfloor. I have my carpenter coming tomorrow and wanted to know what thickness of plywood should I have him put down? If I'm planning on putting 1/4" wonderboard down should I have him put another layer of 3/4" plywood or should I plan on 1/2" wonderboard and 1/2" plywood or does it matter??
Once the floor is level with the cabinets will I have a problem getting the dishwasher in place? The tile I'm going to be putting down is thick- I think about 1/2" thick.
One more questions- there are a few areas in the kitchen where I was not able to remove the plywood flush with the cabinets- if it sticks out about 1/4" will I have a problem with the tile cracking? I'm thinking that not much weight will be put in those areas since it is under the cabinets- will I be sorry or should I see if the carpenter can get it closer to the cabinets?
Thanks,
Susan

bbcamp
10-20-2006, 06:02 AM
Susan, You can reduce your dishwasher problems by building up your floor so that the tile is even with the bottom of the cabinet bases. You don't have to tile the dishwasher area, use a sheet of vinyl or something. I think you'd be OK to add 5/8" plywood (giving you a total of 1-1/8" or more), then 1/4" backerboard, then your tile (which I'm assuming to be 3/8" thick). The floor will be about 1/4 to 3/16" higher than the base of the cabinets. You should ba able to work your dishwasher in and out by adjusting the leveling feet.

You could further reduce the height by using Ditra or another membrane instead of the backerboard. This will save at least 1/8". If you find out you have thicker subfloor than 1/2", you can reduce the thickness of the new plywood. However, don't go below 3/8" thick.

d~b
10-20-2006, 08:06 AM
Plus if you are putting down the hardi board yourself remember that in order to get to the screws under the over hang of the base cabinet you are going to need a long screw bit or an angle screw driver. I learned the hard way on this one...

Good luck

setrudeau
10-21-2006, 01:56 PM
What is wrong with exterior CD plywood? Keep reading to use CB or AB...

bbcamp
10-22-2006, 08:50 AM
The "D" means that the knotholes are not plugged. This occurs on all plies but the "C" side. The unplugged knotholes make for weak spots in the plywood. CDX is not recommended for flooring applications because of this.

setrudeau
10-31-2006, 09:55 AM
Slowly, but surely I'm moving along- The subfloor is FINALLY down. When the carpenter was installing the floor he noticed that there were places that were not level in the floor. Not sure if there was anything he could have done about it, but now I'm stuck with what I have. I'm about to install the wonderboard (1/4") and wanted to know what I could do to make the floor a bit more level. How level does the floor need to be? When I put the tiles down on the floor should they sit perfectly flat or is it Ok to have a little wobble? Won't the thin set make them flat? Any advice would help!
Susan