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


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03-16-2004, 01:52 PM
I have been a long time reader and occasional poster. Here is the delema. I have an 85 year old house. I am going to retile the kitchen floor. The floor currently (as best as I can tell) has the following layers from top to bottom.

3/4" Pine floors (8" wide)
2 layers of lino.
3/4" pine (i believe this is serving as subfloor).

It is kind of hard to figure out joist spans because the framing is concentric from a center beam. True 2-3 inch by 8 to 9 inch joists. The floor seems to be stable right now, however, it is already 1.5" higer than the other floors in the house. Shoud I just keep increasing the floor height? Will at some point the weight of all the layers of flooring produce negative results. I am in a possition to be able to remove all the flooring if needed. Any advice would be appreciated. Also, can I tile directly onto a plaster wall for the back splash?


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03-16-2004, 04:55 PM
Hi, Todd

Concentric with a center beam? Post, maybe?

I assume you mean a post in the center, and you have some joists that meet at the post and are at angles to each other. The joists then are connected by smaller (or the same sized) joists so that they form rough circles or squares around the post. On top of that, you have 3/4" planks, 2 layers of lino, and more 3/4" planks. Right so far? I need to know how long the joists are that go from the center post to the outer wall or support. Then I need to know how far the joists that connect these joists are apart. If you could draw me a picher, it'd be a big help! :D

Let's get rid of the top planks and the lino. That will buy us about 1 inch. If we can, lets get rid of the bottom planks, too. If there is no more than 16 inches between any supporting member and the subfloor, then 3/4" plywood will do nicely to replace the lower planks. Some 1/4" backerboard and your tile, and your floor will be about even or slightly lower than the rest of your house.

If you can't remove the lower planks, you will need to add 1/2" plywood, then Ditra or 1/4" CBU. Your floor will be slightly higher than it is now.


03-25-2004, 03:21 PM
as it turns out the floor was 3/4" pine planks, 2 layers linoleum, 1/4" luan, 2 layers of 1' by 1' tiles (like in school), and finally 3/4" hard wood flooring. I have removed all of that and my floor is 3/4" below the rest of the house and still has diagonal 3/4" subfloor. i think i will keep the subfloor add 3/4" plywood, 1/4" cement board and tile. leaving me about 1/2" higher than the rest of the floors. does this seem like a good strategy?

03-25-2004, 04:29 PM
Well, it's good that you removed what you did, Todd, but you ain't gettin' a green tag on the subfloor until you answer Injineer Bob's questions about spans and spacing of the joist system. :)

If the joist system is OK, you could, as Bob suggested, lay half-inch ply over the board floor and save yourself a little height.

03-30-2004, 08:12 AM
actually, joists are true 2x8's 20 inches on center spanning 10 feet. what can i do short of sistering joists or adding joists? will the new 7/8 inch plywood work? can i get away with using 3/4 inch plywood?



John Bridge
03-30-2004, 07:45 PM
Hi Todd,

According to the deflectolator your joist system is adequate for ceramic tiles. The 7/8 plywood would be nice since the joist spacing is over 16 in. o.c. 3/4 in. would be the absolute minimum. :)

03-30-2004, 08:05 PM
What John said. :)

04-09-2004, 12:55 PM
i decided to rip out the diagonal subfloor (a virtually trampoline when walking on it) and replaced it with 3/4 plywood TG playwood. then added 1/2" plywood for good measure. i added some blocking to the 20" on center joists. in the process, i actually found out that the span for the joist was only 8 ft. is there any reason that i couldn't use pocelain tile or even stone on the floor? i pass the deflectometer for both.

any suggestions on porcelain brands that look like slate?

i have never used porcelain vs. ceramic. anything special i should be concerned with?


John Bridge
04-09-2004, 05:10 PM
Go for it, Todd. Membrane or cbu over the plywood. ;)