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smiley
03-10-2004, 04:14 PM
hello everyone,
just a quick question:
we built a brand new 2 story addition (connected by a door) to a 45 year old house.

we are ready to tile the upstairs bathroom which has plywood on the floors. the floor joice is 12" apart, so its a pretty sturdy floor.
half of the people say there is no need to put a "backer board"
(i hope that is the right term), "because the floor seems sturdy"
and the other half says YES definitely put the backer board onto the plywood, ESPECIALLY since its a brand new addition, the
floor will shift in the future, and your tiles may crack.

please tell me which way i should go...
i'm thinking to put it down, thinking it won't hurt to have it.
is that the correct thinking or not?!

thank you for any suggestions
becky ann

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Steven Hauser
03-10-2004, 04:43 PM
Hello Becky Ann and welcome.:)

Yes, you need some sort of additional substrate.

Your options are as follows:

1) Cement board as you and some of your consultants suggest.

2) Ditra by Schluter.

If people are already concerned about shifting and movement, I would recommend the Ditra. It acts as a better uncoupling mechanism than the cement board would.

My .02

T_Hulse
03-10-2004, 06:37 PM
Hi Becky Ann,
If that's a single layer plywood floor you're going over, then the seams in the plywood will crack through the tile. Not maybe... for sure. You need a good second layer to insulate the tile from the movement that happens at those plywood joints. Both of those that Stephen mentioned are the products that I most often use.

smiley
03-10-2004, 07:15 PM
hi there,
thank you both for such a quick responce.

ok, so no doubt i will ask for another board on top.

we have lowes, or home depot near by.
do you know if their boards are sufficient, or i should go
to a professional tile place and see if they carry DITRA,
which is what i want to go with.

thank you agian,
becky ann

Scooter
03-10-2004, 08:13 PM
Becky:

Neither Lowes nor Home Despot will carry Ditra, nor anyother Schulter product.

Ditra is very expensive and comes in fairly large rolls, making it impractical for most DIY'ers to install it. A cheaper alternative would be any of the backerboards that will be carried by Lowes and HD. If you want to shop there, I would recommend quarter inch Hardibacker for floors.

Run your structure through our "Deflecto-Meter" and that will tell you if you need more plywood. If not, you can install either Ditra or Hardibacker right to the plywood floor, then tile.

Please do not tile directly over plywood. It will crack and the job will not last at all.

cx
03-10-2004, 08:36 PM
Gotta disagree with my friend Scooter a bit here. Home Depot does carry Ditra and other Schluter products, it's just that many of their associates have no idea they carry it and hafta be 'splained.

For small quantities (or large ones), you can purchase online from our friend David Taylor at http://www.tile-experts.com

But if you don't have a height limitation or other special circumstance, the CBU is less expensive, as Scooter points out. It's more difficult and time consuming to install, but for a DIYer, that's not as much of a consideration.

Do tell us the size and unsupported span of your floor joists, so we can be sure you don't have any other limitations.

Also need to say whether you're planning to use ceramic tile or natural stone tile of some sort.

My opinion; worth price charged.

Davy
03-10-2004, 08:41 PM
I get Ditra at Ceramic Tile International (Interceramic), I buy it by the sq ft from them.

smiley
03-10-2004, 09:21 PM
again, thank you so much for all the great information.

i will be hiring a licensed tile guy. according to him, he said it was up to me, if i wanted to lay backerboard or not. he didn't advise either way, just said it was up to me.

the floor space is about 30 - 35 sq. feet.
and i'm not exactly sure if i'm going to use porcelain, or slate.
but mostly leaning toward the porcelain.
(is there a difference in which material i use?)

there is an 18" linen closet, and a 48" vanity butted up against it. do you professionals usually put a tile baseboard (about 4") directly on the linen closet and vanity? or just leave it untouched, and put a tiled baseboard around the walls only.

he will be coming this friday to "scratch" (unsure what that means). then will come on sat. to waterproof the 2 niches, and window. is there anything else, i should be concerned about?

i will try to take a photo of what he has to work with, and this may help some of you to get an idea more.

thank you again,
becky ann

Scooter
03-10-2004, 09:24 PM
Its just that I've never seen any Schulter product at Home Depot. Maybe you guys have it out East, but we sure don't. DalTile will reluctantly order it for you by the square foot, and will charge you shipping etc. They really want you to buy a full roll and will sometime get very surly with me.

I just like the convenience of going to a Home Center or masonry supplier and getting this week's supplies this week rather then special order this stuff. My life is so complicated now.

The talk show hosts have accused me of being a traitor and I am so worried that I will end up in Guantamino, maninly because I can't spell the darn place.

doitright
03-10-2004, 09:34 PM
Hi Becky Ann :)

I'm not familiar with your original thread. Try to keep posting on the same one if possible. When you do, it will come back to the top. Thanks ;)

smiley
03-11-2004, 12:54 AM
again, thank you so much for all the great information.

i will be hiring a licensed tile guy. according to him, he said it was up to me, if i wanted to lay backerboard or not. he didn't advise either way, just said it was up to me.

the floor space is about 30 - 35 sq. feet.
and i'm not exactly sure if i'm going to use porcelain, or slate.
but mostly leaning toward the porcelain.
(is there a difference in which material i use?)

there is an 18" linen closet, and a 48" vanity butted up against it. do you professionals usually put a tile baseboard (about 4") directly on the linen closet and vanity? or just leave it untouched, and put a tiled baseboard around the walls only.

he will be coming this friday to "scratch" (unsure what that means). then will come on sat. to waterproof the 2 niches, and window. is there anything else, i should be concerned about?

i will try to take a photo of what he has to work with, and this may help some of you to get an idea more.

thank you again,
becky ann

Tonkadad
03-11-2004, 01:27 AM
I am not a pro tile layer but based on what some of the pro's have said earlier in this thread regarding " the big no no of laying the tile directly on the plywood" I think I would be looking for a new contractor to do the job.

His response " it was up to me, if i wanted to lay backerboard or not. he didn't advise either way, just said it was up to me." is not what you are paying him for. He should know this stuff inside out.

To me his response is a big RED flag.

Best of luck,

Bruce

smiley
03-11-2004, 04:28 AM
yes, your right tonkadad,
now i am getting a bit worried about my installer

i sorta feel obligated since he is coming on friday, to do
some prep work.

i just don't know what to do.
i don't think its fair to cancel huh, although we did
only schedule the appt. on weds. afternoon.

but, i did verbally commit to him doing the job.

maybe i should ask more "detailed" questions?
i was searching this board, but not too sure what to ask.

are there any MAJOR questions or concerns that i should be
worried about, which he may not comment on from his part?

any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated.

thank you much,
becky ann

Steven Hauser
03-11-2004, 08:03 AM
Hi Becky Ann,

I merged your two threads together. Please ask all the questions you want about your project here.

Your tile guy has only really made one mistake imo, that was saying he will do whatever you want without telling the pros and cons of your decision first.

The best thing to do is take some pichers and let us see what you are doing. We are happy to help.

:)

Tonkadad
03-11-2004, 09:30 AM
If the contractor would be willing to lay the tile directly to the plywood, even if you demanded it, without at least making it extremely clear that the end result will more than likely be cracked tile, I wouldn't deal with him.

It is your money, your house. If you want to give him the benefit of the doubt, I would at a minimum call him up on the phone and explain that you have some grave concerns about his willingness to allow you to decide on how to do the job. The whole idea of hiring a contractor is so the job gets done right.

If you are paying fair market value for the tile job why even consider going with an "expert" that would allow the improper installation of tile on plywood.

Get references, how many tile jobs has he done, is he really licensed.

regards,

Bruce

kkowal
03-11-2004, 10:32 AM
you are not obligated to continue with this contractor. the red flag is definately up. this contractor is setting himself up for failure and willing to take the risk. is going to be around when the installation fails? take the advice posted here, i would check references. on this forum, "maji mud" created a thread called "jacklegs"- there are pictures of so-called contractors, worth taking a look. it's your home and money....

spanky67
03-11-2004, 02:05 PM
I have some thoughts for you. First I am inclined to agree with tonkadad in saying that it's your money and your house. You sound like a very nice person who doesn't want to hurt this guys feelings. He's also probably a nice person, but if he's not, he's not going to care how nice you were when you want his mistakes fixed.

There is also the possibility that he was trying to make you feel included in the decision making process. I think you need to go back to your standard contractor questions (job specifics, references, experience with your specific installation, etc). I would also ask him if the Ditra install price would be the same as CBU. If it is, then I'm inclined to think you've got an accident waiting to happen. Ditra is definately more per sq ft then CBU, why wouldn't he pass those costs on to you?

Having said that about the Ditra, I can't personally imagine using anything else. Especially in a room with allot of jogs (read cuts). I just got finished tiling my kitchen (w/cabinets in place), and the Ditra was a homerun. Plus, if you've got little kids, they'll love to run around on your new "dayglo" orange floor:D .

Another random thought just jumped into my head. I think you said you talked to this guy on Wednesday and he's ready to do the job on Friday. You're either incredibly lucky or... . I think one of the pros may have a comment on the likelyhood of a good tile guy just hanging around with no other jobs scheduled.

SusieM
03-11-2004, 02:27 PM
Hi Becky!

As a woman, you should know it's NEVER too late to change your mind! :D

We're in the middle of a master bath reno and, like you, weren't real confident in the *first* tilesetters we hired (search on my name and read the fiasco we went thru). We wound up telling the first guys not to come back and hired someone else that's doing it the right way. What I did was print out info from the 'liberry' here and showed it to the first guys and then asked lots of questions, took pictures and posted them here, and got the info we needed to determine the first guys really didn't know how to build the way we wanted.

I wouldn't go so far as to say your guy isn't doing the right thing..maybe you just need to communicate what u expect of him more...show him articles from this forum so he understands clearly..and make him understand you'll hold him to making it right. And also, just cuz he could be called on Wed and be ready to start on Fri, doesn't necessarily mean he's not good either. Depends on his situation. For example, we had our entire downstairs tiled, new bath completely built from studs up and tiled, kitchen counters rebuilt and tiled, etc. by our first wave of tilesetters that were ready to go within a week of calling them. This was because they did it as a side job...worked for some big company days....did our work at nite and on weekends. It worked out well for both of us. We spent the time looking at their work and talking to folks they had worked for prior to hiring them though. We couldn't have been more pleased with their work and get compliments on our tiling every time someone steps foot in the house. I'm just sorry they couldn't finish the upstairs for us but their real jobs got in the way :)

So, I say, do your homework. Get a load of info to hit thetile man with and, if you can't determine if he's right or not, post his replies here so these guys/gals can help you. It's guaranteed they'll give you the right scoop...even if it's not what you want to hear! :rolleyes: :eek: :eek:

smiley
03-11-2004, 07:40 PM
hello everyone,
once agian thank you so much for all the generous input and very valuable information.

i wil attempt to add some photos to see how the bathroom looks.

thank you
becky ann

smiley
03-11-2004, 07:42 PM
i tried to add more photos on one post, but i'm not quite sure how to do that. i want to add a few more photos, please let me know if these photos are too small to see.

thanks agian,
becky ann

smiley
03-11-2004, 07:48 PM
here is a view of the whole tub area

smiley
03-11-2004, 07:54 PM
here is the window, i was concerned about the 2 layers of
"durock" stacked by the window. one of the tile guys said its
probably the carpenter's fault, as he cut the hole wrong?

i did address this to my tiler, and i'm not too sure what he is going to do about this. what are things i should ask about this?
would this mean the tile will be butted right up to the window?
would that look funny?, or should he just try to use 1 layer of the durock? so, the tile won't be so close to the actual window, and it'll look better to show more "window frame".

did that make any sense?!

thank you
becky ann

cx
03-11-2004, 08:03 PM
Talk with whomever installed the CBU, Becky, it may be that there is not enough window frame available to remove a layer of the CBU. It looks to me like you have enough reveal on the window to tile over what's there and still have some reveal.

It's not at all unusual to have to fur out the framing to correct the reveal on the windows in new construction, and there is nothing really wrong with doing it whether you're wrapping the window openings with sheetrock or trimming with wood jambs - or tile, of course.

They should square up all those edges when they tape and float the areas with thinset, and I think I'd want them to waterproof around that window opening although there are pros here who will tell you it's not necessary for a high window like that.

And make sure the bottom sill slopes down a little to the inside.

Is that a wood-framed window?

My opinion; worth price charged.

smiley
03-11-2004, 08:10 PM
last one!
this is the 2 niches that i have.
my carpenter didn't "screw" the back panel of the niche, i think because right behind that is the T1 - 11. So, my tiler said its ok, he will just put thin set (i think, if i remember correctly), and it should stay in place.

is this correct, or how should he hold that back panel in?

also, he will come and "water proof" the niches and window area.
not too sure what he will be using, but whatever he bought, cost $103, and i'm assuming he will use all of it for these areas?
his labor charge is $50 for the waterproofing part.

FEES:
the floor is about 30 sq. ft - his labor only - $180
(for putting the tile at a diagonal, it would have been cheaper
if i didn't do a diagonal)

the tub surround is about 70 sq. ft - his labor only - $450

base board - $70
* if i wanted to do the baseboard, do you normally put a tile baseboard directly onto the linen closet & vanity? or just leave it as is. also, do you usually put a "metal, or aluminum" piece on top of the tile, so instead of seeing grout, you see this nice aluminum piece. (is it called a schluter?)

anyway, i believe thats it.... whew!
i really do appreciate everyone taking the time out to help me :)

thank you so much,
becky ann

John Bridge
03-11-2004, 09:31 PM
Hi Becky Ann,

Sounds like the fellow knows what he's doing. Waterproofers are not cheap. :)

I think he knows his stuff.

smiley
03-11-2004, 10:13 PM
hi cx,
yes, that is a wood framed window.
out of curiosity, what else material do they use to frame windows?

thank you john, i do want to believe i've made a good choice, and i do have faith in him :)

i am getting very educated from these boards, i thank you.

if anyone has anything else to add, please do, its a great learning experience for me.

thank you all again,
becky ann

cx
03-11-2004, 11:15 PM
The other customary choices are aluminum and vinyl, Becky Ann. I generally try to get folks to install vinyl windows in showers if possible. They're the most maintanence-free of all the choices. Sometimes you just hafta match the rest of the house on the outside, though. Other downside is the limited color choices, but looks like you wouldn't have had a problem, white being a standard color. :)

Be sure you pewt a really good quality exterior paint on that wood frame and keep it as dry as possible.

My opinion; worth price charged.

SusieM
03-12-2004, 12:13 AM
"if i wanted to do the baseboard, do you normally put a tile baseboard directly onto the linen closet & vanity? or just leave it as is. also, do you usually put a "metal, or aluminum" piece on top of the tile, so instead of seeing grout, you see this nice aluminum piece. "

Becky: We had tile baseboards put in when our floors were tiled. Tile went everywhere there was a wooden baseboard before, on every wall. None went on the vanity as it was all wood and had it's own matching wood 'kick' piece along the bottom, same as the linen closet. Neither did we put any metal pieces on top of the tile; just the tile set with thinset to the walls.

smiley
03-12-2004, 03:30 AM
cx - sorry, yes the windows are vinyl. they are milgaurd windows. i thought there was a wood framing around the windows, but i guess i was wrong.

susie - hello! thanks for your advice... the reason i was asking about the baseboards, we had our downstairs bathroom done, and the grey grout against light blue walls was pretty "yuck", it looks pretty terrible. thats why someone else suggested one of those aluminum strips for the top. so, your saying to have thinset to stick it to the wall, and how about for the top of the tile? do you put grout there, or caulking, or something else?
my walls upstairs are white, and i will probably go with some sort of "whiteish" grout, so it may not be so noticeable.
do you think i should "paint" on top the grey grout in the downstairs bathroom, so it won't stand out so much?
i've also heard of "lightening" the grey grout, i guess its sorta like your "staining". tedius, but its such a small space anyway.

susie, here's the photo of the grey grout against the light blue walls.

thanks again everyone,
becky ann

goneriding
03-12-2004, 10:52 AM
You could finish off the top of the baseboard with a thin strip of wood, painted to either match or compliment, that way you wouldn't see the grout against the wall.

Re. your baseboards in your new bathroom, you could also install wood to match the rest of the house.

smiley
03-12-2004, 02:14 PM
hi carla,
that is a very good idea, i never thought of that.
i will definitely look into that.

have a nice day :)
thanks again,
becky ann

SusieM
03-12-2004, 03:18 PM
becky: we liked the tile baseboards so much in our baths, we had the entire downstairs wood baseboards replaced with tile when they tiled the floor in our kitchen, family room, dining, and living area. after thinsetting the tile baseboards to the walls, yes, they grouted the grout lines. they didn't need to grout the top as they used white thinset when they set the tiles and the tiles are smooshed tight against the wall. that's probably where your tileguy goofed up...instead of using white thinset, he used gray.

I, myself, wouldn't care for a wood strip across the tiled baseboards, would seem to appear patched up or something. the tile is very thin against the wall, which would mean that wood strip you'd use would have to terribly thin as well..doesn't seem as if it would work very well to me :crap:

i'm not sure what you could do about that gray colored grout showing from baseboard to wall. i doubt it could be stained light enough from that dark gray to look any better than it does now...but the resident chemist, timguru, would know that i'd think ;) maybe he'll chime in here on this one.

If I could find the darned thingie where I include a pic I'd show the baseboard on the wall that faces the entryway....where'd it go?!! :bang:

SusieM
03-12-2004, 03:32 PM
Oh. I guess when editing a post, you can't attach a file. So here goes...

SusieM
03-12-2004, 03:43 PM
here's another..

stevo
03-12-2004, 05:34 PM
About using backerboard, on jobs that I have been on they never use backeboard, they always use wire lath, is it better or worse?


Also about the tilebaseboard, we usually use a plastic moulding, comes in a lot of different colors. Funny story though, this weekend we were working on a job, on a Sunday, and forgot to pick up the plastic moulding. We had moulding around from other jobs, but not the same color. We opted, since it was on our own house, to use a different color and then paint it the same color as the wall. It actually came out pretty nice....

John Bridge
03-12-2004, 09:17 PM
Looks nice, Sussie. :)

Can the gray be painted same as the wall?

smiley
03-12-2004, 09:18 PM
hi susie,
wow! that looks great!
yes, i do agree with you about "trying" to patch it up with wood.
i do like the tile base look too. i think we will try to paint it the same color as the wall, and see how that works, and if it gets any worser, we will probably just redo the base with this new tile guy.
thanks so much for your input.

hi stevo
thanks for the info. i will trust my tile man, and see what he wants to do, i am not familiar with the wire lath, but i will mention it to him, and see which he would recommend.

thank you agian,
becky ann

T_Hulse
03-12-2004, 09:56 PM
Hi Stevo.
When you use the wire lathe, do you cover it with a thick layer of drypack mud, then thinset the tile down next day? That's a great old fashioned mud floor, a proven winner but it adds a little too much height for some people if they haven't planned ahead.
Or, do you thinset the tile right over the wire lathe? If that's the case, then use our search feature at the top of the page & type jersey mud. It doesn't have a great long term record. Join us over in the pro hangout if you'd like to discuss the details. :)