New guy w/ lots of Questions [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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05-07-2002, 11:22 AM

I am new to your forum, but after spending a few hours reading past posts, I am impressed with the quality of the advise that is given out. Unlike alot of forums, it actually sounds like you guys know what you are talking about.

Here are the details of my project(s) (I hope I am not overstepping my bounds as a new comer, cause I have lots of questions). Kitchen (13x13) and bath (6x10) remodel, both have 2x8 joists 16" on center with 3/4" pine planking over at 45 degree angle to the joists. The kitchen floor has 5/8" underlayment screwed every 6" that I would prefer to leave since it is screwed down. I am thinking of going over this with 1/4" wonderboard. The bath floor is down to the pine planks and the Toilet flange is about 1 7/8" above the top surface of the pine planks. I was thinking of 3/4" plywood over the pine, then 1/2" wonderboard.

Here are my questions, sorry for the long list:

Kitchen (13x13 ceramic tile):
1. Is the sub-floor system that I propose adequate?
2. What should I use to put down the wonderboard? the sticker on the board says to use a latex thinset, so I bought some premixed Latex fortified thinset by Tile Perfect @ Home Depot. It was expensive though, are there cheaper alternatives?
3. The kitchen is empty. Should I tile the whole floor and then put the cabinets down on the tile? or should I install the cabs and then tile around them (I am building the cabs, so heights aren't a problem). If I tile around, should the wonderboard go under the cabs, or would it be damaged under the point loads of the cabs bearing down on it?
4. What thinset and grout do you recommend for setting the tiles?

Bathroom (12x12 Travertine(floor), 4x4 ceramic tile (wall)):
1. Is the bath sub-floor system that I propose adequate?
2. What thinset and grout do you recommend for setting the Travertine?
3. The tub is OK, but the drywall above is gone. I was thinking of 1/2" wonderboard on the walls. What thinset and grout do you recommend for setting the wall tile?
4. What do you do where the wonderboard meets the drywall? on the walls?

I think that is all the Questions I have, although I can't make any gaurantees. Thanks in advance for any advice that you can provide.


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John Bridge
05-07-2002, 03:55 PM
Hi Jeff, Welcome aboard.

First and foremost, get your money back for that so-called thin set. Real thin set cannot be pre-mixed. It's cement and water makes it set up.

If the backer board people call for modified thin set, use Versa Bond from Home Depot. Comes in a fifty pound sack. You add water.

I will bow out now and let people more experienced than I deal with the backer board/floor structure issues.

05-07-2002, 06:30 PM
Hi Jeff,

I'm no expert on the flooring structure but the minimum specs are usually 2x10 joists @ 16" o.c. I'll defer to the others for effects on the plank flooring.

In the meantime, follow John's advice and stick with the Versabond. It's good stuff. As a general rule, I don't use anything pre-mixed ( except beer)

Given the chance, I would lay all of the tile in the kitchen, then install the cabinets. It will make for an easier and cleaner looking job IMHO.

You mentioned travertine for the bath...Are you familiar with the porosity and maintenance req'd for travertine ??. There has been some discussion before on the use of travertine in showers. It's really not the best choice for areas that see water routinely since it will absorb water more readily than a good porcelain tile. Travertine will work but you must keep it sealed. Just my 2 cents.

I'm assuming you currently have no drywall above the tub. I would replaced the "gone" drywall with greenboard ; then add a layer of tar paper ( as a vapor barrier) atop the greenboard. Follow this with the CBU. You could skip the greenboard and just install the tar paper and CBU but you will need to shim the CBU out from the studs so it will clear the flange on the tub. In any case, stick with the versabond or flexbond thinset -----NO MASTIC. Use non-sanded grout if use are going with standard wall tile ( these have the self spacing lugs) and the grout lines are minimal ( 1/16"). For all other tile with larger grout lines, use the sanded grout.

Whew !!! I'm tired..

Good Luck

Rob Z
05-07-2002, 07:19 PM
Hi Jeff

I'll contribute to this thread by encouraging you to take out that flange and set a new one after all the flooring and tile work is done.

I try to never let the flange dictate what is going to happen with the tile installation just because it is set at a certain elevation.

Tell us what kind of flange/DWV plumbing you have, and what access you have, and we can help you remove it and reset it.

05-08-2002, 05:30 AM
The toilet plumbing is all 4" cast iron, I have access pretty much all around since the planking is pretty much rotted out in that area and needs to be replaced anyways. Would this flange be in with lead?



Bud Cline
05-08-2002, 06:25 AM
You can buy flange extensions.

Rob Z
05-08-2002, 01:41 PM

The flange will break off easily with a cold chisel and hammer. Yes, it has been leaded in, and the lead and oakum will break away easily once the flange is broken off.

We can tell you how to lead a new one on once the subfloor and tile are in, or you can use one of those nifty things by Oatey that has a gasket on the portion of the PVC sleeve that slides down into the closet bend. I'll go look for one out in the garage and get a part number for you.

I think this is much easier than leaving it in place and trying to fit plywood and cement board around and existing pipe.