Basic Floor Question and More [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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08-24-2004, 07:52 AM
my bathroom is gutted...and will be tiled...what is the best process to do the flooring...2 piece of 5/8 non treated plywood? do i also add concrete board on top? sorry, im a rookie..tks peter

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08-24-2004, 07:55 AM
my shower stall is gutted and will be tiled. im planning to put up concrete backer board. what is best insulation if any to put behined the wall? and do i need anything other than the backer board to protect against water? tks peter

08-24-2004, 12:39 PM

You would do yourself a lot of good if you got John's new book. I bought it and I can tell you it goes through a lot of the questions you will have if you plan on doing the project yourself. It is definitely a worthwhile investment.

08-24-2004, 12:47 PM
just bot it...but before it arrives, can u answer my question? i get confused on difference between subfloor and plywood...most comments talk neg about trying to get clarification on exact process...not doing the work myself, but gc'ing so trying to get basic info...tks peter

08-24-2004, 01:51 PM
Here's what I did to my gutted 1926 bathroom with a rotten cedar ship lathe floor:

1. Cut the center section of the floor out using a skill saw being careful not to damage the floor joists.

2. Removed the rest using a cut-off wheel, and a set of chisels.

3. Doubled up the floor joists in the basement for added support (7 1/2" x 2" x 12' beams).

4. Used 3/4" tongue-and-groove floor grade plywood cut to shape. Used ring-shank nails and liquid nails along the floor joists to secure it into place.

4. Used Versabond thinset spread with a 1/4" x 1/4" notch trowel, and laid down 1/2" wonderboard secured with Rock-On screws every 6"-8". This makes a minimum 1 1/4" thick floor to act as my tiling surface.

5. Once that had a day to dry I used another mix of versabond to fill the seams, and used fiber mesh tape wherever non-factory or cut edges were, and finished the seams with another layer of mud.

6. Once that had a day to dry I used a straight-edge set I got before I started (6 aluminum straight edges ranging from 6' down to 18" with a 1 1/4" lip on one end to catch mud) and some more versabond to screed the floor flat enough for my tile.

7. I used marble and granite fortified thinset (medium bed) to screed the walls using float sticks on both ends out to plumb (over 1/2" thick). I had to switch thinset because the versabond is only good up to max 1/4". The marble and granite stuff is good up to 3/4".

8. Once that all dried I used an extra wide taping knife to knock off all the rough edges, swept up debris, vaccuumed, and started laying out my tile lines....

08-24-2004, 01:56 PM
thats awesome..tks much

08-24-2004, 02:03 PM
Peter, let's start over. Tell us about the floor joists (size, spacing and unsupported span). What is on top of the joists now (plywood, nothing) and how thick? What kind of floor do you want to install (ceramic tile, natural stone, vinyl)?

From this, we can sort through the options and select the least expensive, but most appropriate materials for your floor.

Brief primer:

Subfloor: the material on top of the joists. May be planks, plywood, or OSB. We need to know which you have and how thick it is.

Underlayment: The stuff on top of the subfloor that you set the tiles on. May be plywood, cement backer board, or a membrane. If you read posts where we don't care for plywood, it is plywood as underlayment. We think plywood is fine for subfloors.

08-24-2004, 02:13 PM
Peter, in our "liberry" there is a good shower construction thread. Read through it (including the links) and get back with us. Also, please pick one of your threads and keep all your project questions there. We like to be able to review what you've been told so we won't confuse you with conflicting information.

08-24-2004, 07:29 PM
What Bob said. Both times. :)

I merged your other thread here, Peter. Just stay with this one until you finish your project.

If you want a different name for your thread, we can do that for you, too.

08-25-2004, 10:20 AM
Yes, maybe I should have given you a disclaimer. Those steps worked out for *me*, but might not be what you need to do. The amount of flex in your floor depends on how far apart the joists are, how tall they are, and what kind of span you have. If the subfloor is not in good shape then you'll have to replace it, but you might not have to! I had to due to long term water damage.

Plywood is perfectly fine for a subfloor as long as you get the right kind. Check out your local home center, or ask your contractor what kind you should use if you have to. Tongue and groove 3/4" plywood rated for floors is pretty good stuff. Expensive, but it sure makes a flat floor.

John Bridge
08-25-2004, 07:05 PM
Welcome aboard, Peter. Thanks for ordering the book. Cliff Claven has it in his pouch and will eventually get it to you. :D