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06-30-2011, 11:37 AM
I am about to start a construction of the new house and have a couple of 'tiling' questions:

Cellar Questions:

My Slab on the foundation will be 4 inches. I am going to be installing a radiant heat under the ceramic tiles. Cellar area is about 800 sft. My cellar height is only about 7 feet (due to underground water level), so I am trying to 'conserve' height as much as possible.

1. What are the best materials / methods that you can recomend so that the floor is raised as little as possible?

2. Can I reduce my slab to be lets say 3 inches instead of 4?

3. How much higher would my floor be raised (with addition of radiant heat, thinset, and ceramic tile)?

1st Floor Question:

The 1st Floor is 800sft, and my architect included 2 layers of 3/4 plywood to be installed to the the Joists.

1. Any ideas why 2 layers of 3/4 plywood?
2. I want to install Granite or Marble Tiles (24 * 24) with Radiant heat. How much higher would my floor be raised?

(I attached 2 files that shows a similar type of floor that I want to accomplish)

I wanted to get you Professional Opinion(s) before talking to the Architect and Builder :)

Thank you so much,


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06-30-2011, 02:43 PM
No less than 4" concrete.
Depending on the radiant heat manuf, and underlayment,could be as little as 3/4".
Stone installs require 2 layers of plywood, but they could be combined down to 1".
A stone install with heat and membrane not including plywood,depending on thickness of stone could be as little as 11/4".

06-30-2011, 02:56 PM
Thanks Davestone,

What is the typical thickness of:

1. Ceramic Tile
2. Marble
3. Granite

If you were going to do this 'right', what is the total height that you would estimate for the full install (from the BEAM on 1st floor and from the SLAB in the cellar)?

P.S. The 4 inches in your previous post referred to the HEIGHT of the slab in the cellar? - so I can't really reduce that - correct?

06-30-2011, 03:32 PM
Welcome, Mike. :)My cellar height is only about 7 feet (due to underground water level), so I am trying to 'conserve' height as much as possible.
Water table might keep a fella from going down farther, but shouldn't have anything at all to do with going up another foot, eh? :scratch:

1. Whatever floor heating system and tiles you like, plus a good crack isolation or uncoupling membrane over it all.

2. Sure, but I think it would be a really, really bad idea. Not to mention extremely dirty and expensive.

3. Whatever the materials in #1 measure.

1. Because the MIA requires two layers of plywood under natural stone installations. Your joist spacing may have influenced the thickness chosen by your architect.

2. See #3 above.

1. Whatever it measures. Three-eighths of an inch is not unusual, but I wouldn't necessarily call it typical. Buy your tile and measure it if it's really critical that you know.

2, 3. See #1.

If I were looking to do polished stone like I see in your photos, and if I wanted to do it "right," I'd allow two inches of height above the slab and above the subfloor for a reinforced mud bed and tile. Might end up using a quarter-inch less.

My opinion; worth price charged.

Houston Remodeler
06-30-2011, 05:00 PM
oh and make sure your architect specifies the plywood be installed as per Frank's mighty fine article ( on nailin' down plywood.