Unbreakable tile? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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05-12-2008, 12:33 PM
I purchased a rental property and I am contemplating tiling the kitchen floor. My realtor warned me agaisnt tile because if a renter drops a can of corn on the floor, the tiles will crack and I will be endlessly replacing broken tiles. I live in Colorado and I will be tiling on a wooden subfloor.
Can you please give me any advice about what type of tile is the hardiest and what type of subfloor build-up I should use to discourage breakage. Or is breakage inevitable and should I just listen to my realtor and go with the ugly linoleum?

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05-12-2008, 12:59 PM
when you drop a can you have a chace of damaging any floor. depends on how the can hits.

with a sheet vinyl you get a big gouge....the whole floor will have to be replaced.
with a wood floor a plank gets dented........whole floor has to be taken out until you get to that board since the planks are locked in each other.
while if a tile does get a chip, you can replace just that 1 tile.

most likely the tile won't chip, ceramic glazed has a chance a porcelain tile has the least.

your best bet is a good porcelain witha strong subfloor.

05-12-2008, 03:25 PM
Doing rental properties makes up the majority of my work lately. Most people are doing the entire house with 18" tile because they're tired of the carpet always being destroyed while their tile after up to 10 years is still in perfect shape.

05-12-2008, 03:37 PM
I hate to do it Brian, but I have to correct a couple of things.

Nearly all vinyl floors can be patched and I doubt you'd be able to tell where it was unless I showed you. Same goes for hardwood, laminate, and vinyl plank floors. You can replace one plank without disassembling the floor as well.

That being said, I agree that a porcelain tile would be the best choice outside of bare concrete or terrazzo.

05-12-2008, 03:47 PM
I didn't know that Paul, guess you can see I don't like wood or vinyl.....lol

so plank flooring or pergo isn't interlocked ?
how can you remove one and lock it back in correctly?

as far as vinyl I can see doing a small patch, but ick...its vinyl! lol:)

05-12-2008, 04:06 PM
Yeah its interlocked, but there are tricks to a plank replacement :shades:

Basically you end up cutting the bottom edge of the grooves off on three sides and glue the joints together with wood glue. Also not all vinyl is ick. There are some resilients out there that would probably blow your mind as far as there texture and patterns go. Problem is you will pay more per sf than you would for some stone :wtf:

Just like with tile, proper installation is the key to a long lasting, great performing floor.....no matter what surface.

05-12-2008, 05:14 PM
You need to run your existing floor structure's joists through the 'Deflecto' in the blue bar above. You need to know the size, species, length, and spacing of the joists to determine if the floor can support tile. A solid, through-body porcelain (one that has no glaze and is the same color all the way through) is likely your best bet, and if it does get chipped, at least it won't be a glaring defect as it would be if you chipped off the glaze and showed the body color. Something with a high PEI would be less likely to scratch as quickly, but any tile can start to look nasty if there is a lot of sand.

05-12-2008, 05:25 PM
go with the tile and make sure you have a couple extra boxes for any repair that might be needed. if it is a good solid install tile can be pretty strong i was removing some old tile the other day that took 5 direct hits with a hammer before it even chipped. man that stuff was on there good also it cured for about 30 years. anyway a broken tile is much cheaper than a whole room of carpet. if renters want rugs they can put there own in also avoid light colored grout they always stain those up good :bow: <--or you'll be this guy with a scrubber between renters good luck :yipee:

05-12-2008, 05:32 PM
The house was built in 1964. The flooring joists are 16" apart and 1x6's run on a diagonal. I was told that this was a sturdy floor, however, the are some parts that are sagging.
Any suggestions on how I should beef up the subfloor?

05-12-2008, 05:39 PM
Welcome. What size are the floor joists...2x4, 2X6, 2X8? What's the longest unsupported span of the joists? Have you a basement or crawlspace that would allow access underneath the floor?


05-12-2008, 06:08 PM
I believe the joists are 2x6. They are 16" apart. I don't know what the longest unsupported span is. There is ample room in the basement (unfinished) to access the floors above.

Would another layer of plywood and underlayment be enough? Or will I have to also rebuild the support system?

05-12-2008, 06:49 PM
You need at least 1/2" ply on top of dimmensional plank floors, then a decoupling layer of cbu or a membrane.

The subfloor is important, but the joists need to prevent it from deflecting along the joists (the subfloor prevents deflection between the joists).