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Old 11-21-2011, 04:22 PM   #1
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Tile over wood/joist to concrete slab transition

Is there an acceptable way to tile a floor that is half plywood over joists and half concrete slab? The top of the plywood is currently flush with the slab.

Method A: Use concrete underlayment across the entire floor, using screw fasteners on the wood joists, and combination of thinset and TapCons on the slab portion.

Method B: Use 1/2" (treated?) plywood across entire floor. (Using screws on joists and TapCons on concrete)

With either method, I do plan to use a DITRA mat.

As an added complication, I had planned to install radiant heat (using the SLC and edge strips method to cover the wiring before putting down the DITRA.)

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!!
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:30 PM   #2
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Method C: Install a membrane over both subfloors with an expansion joint at the junction of concrete and plywood. Ditra would be fine over both floors, provided the plywood subfloor is adequate. You might have to do something special with the heat wire across the expansion joint. Perhaps two zones?
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Old 11-22-2011, 12:47 AM   #3
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Method C, Option 2. Use Nobleseal CIS anti fracture membrane over the break and continue the pattern as indicated in the installation instructions. You will need a few soft joints on either side of the break.

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Old 11-22-2011, 05:44 AM   #4
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Consider this from the CIS data sheet:
"b) While the primary function of the sheet is crack isolation, this does not preclude normal industry practices or requiremetns - including joint placement. Use of this system to bridge cracks or construction joints with tile may not be an absolute solution."

Considering that no matter how you install the tile over the joint between the two subfloor materials, a soft joint or two in the tilework will be required. If the soft joint is directly over the construction joint (making it an expansion joint), you will have fewer issues. The only drawback is the impact this will have on your layout.
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