n00b needs some help/advice [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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05-15-2005, 04:05 PM
First I want to thank John for hosting such a wonderful discussion board filled with an enormous amount of information. Second I need some help and or advice. I have started a tiling job in my smaller bathroom (before moving on to bigger things) and seem to be fighting myself over some questions.

My smaller bathroom had a vinyl floor which I have pulled up and glad that I did. It was glued but it came up really easy. So easy in fact it took about 5 minutes to pull up with nothing left behind other than a slight sticky feeling to the wood floor below. Which leads me to my first question. I have read somewhat that I will want to remove the glue before laying down the tile. Also this wood is like a 1/4" luan of sorts and was wondering should I pull that up also and replace with 1/4" backerboard? The current floor has been nailed down with about 1000 nails and I think it would take a really long time to pull up and remove all the nails.

There is a bit of water damage to this exisiting floor due to lack of caulk around the old 1/4 round near the tub. My instinct says to tear it up and start with new backerboard but since this is my first tile job I thought I would get advice from the pros.

More questions to follow and I get a new digital camera tomorrow so I would love to post some photos as it may help in creating the visual.

Thanks in advance.


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05-15-2005, 04:08 PM
Hi Marco,

Welcome aboard. You'll needto remove the 1/4" luan, it isn't suitable to tile over. It will probably come up easier than you think.

05-15-2005, 04:17 PM
Was afraid but sort of happy you said that! I want to do it right but when i look at that stuff I want to tear up it looks like a long battle!

Thanks for the quick response.

My next question would be in regards to the toilet flange. It is currently bolted through the luan to the subfloor below. Is it safe to cut around the flange when pulling up the luan and cut the backer to go around it? I have tried to remove the flange but it just wont budge? I am pretty sure I will have to use a flange extender to get it back to the right height after the tile is laid or else get into some major pumbing, which I really really do not want to do.


05-15-2005, 04:31 PM
Marco --

As long as the luan under the flange is in good shape, you should be able to leave it. You can cut throught the luan around the flange with a wood chisel or even a utility knife and remove the rest.

Once the finished floor is in, take a measurement of how much the flange is below the tile surface. This will help determine whether you should use a flange exender or just a thicker wax ring.

05-15-2005, 04:38 PM
Thanks Jeff. That luan stuff comes up really easy just like Joe said. I am about to cut around the flange and pull the rest of that crap out (no pun). I think once I get the tile in place the top of the flange will be about 1/4" above the tile. I was under the impression that you want to shoot for the bottom of the flange to be on top of the tile?


This forum is super great. I hope to be able to contribute soon once I get some XP under my belt.

05-15-2005, 04:46 PM
Marco --

Ideally, you want the flange to be sitting on top of the finished tile. But practically, if the top of the flange is level with or above the floor surface, you will be fine, even with a regular wax ring. If you want to be extra sure, use a thicker wax ring with a plastic sleeve on the inside.

05-15-2005, 04:50 PM
Great. Thanks a lot. Well that should put me through tomorrow. Another quick one.

Should I take the time to remove all the "U" shaped nails or just hammer them into the subfloor? I have the backer board to put over the top and didnt want to waste any time if there wasn't a need?

John Bridge
05-15-2005, 05:48 PM
Welcome aboard, Marco, and thanks for the compliment. :) It's give me an opportunity to recognize the people who really keep this place going, the moderators and other regulars who answer the bulk of the questions. I just fill in. ;)

Those are small staples sticking up from your floor. Just bend them down with your hammer. :)

05-15-2005, 07:37 PM
Well there definitely is some good people on the boards. I started to die out with my tiling project because of my uncertainties but after posting and getting answers to my questions I got my inspiration back. Guess I just needed some help confirming what I really wanted to do and thought was best. I am sure I will have more as this project goes on. :)

05-22-2005, 09:28 AM
Okay so I am getting close to laying out my tile and I was wondering how to do a diaganol design. I have read some books and scoured the web and this site. I see reference to John's Book for doing this but couldn't find it in the library (I probably looked right at it and didn't see it).

Anyway all of the places said to find the midpoint and I think I can take it form there but I am having a difficult time figuring out how to find the midpoint with the vanity in the way. I am sure there is an easy way to do this if anyone could get me going I would much appreciate the help.

Below is a picture of how the bathroom looks.

And BTW the room is by no means close to square.



05-22-2005, 09:38 AM
"midpoint" layout never really works in a place like this. I would start my layout with a halk tile ( or larger) along the long wall ( opposite the toilet). Then work your way toward the closet/toliet area.

In the other direction, plan it such that a half tile or larger is at the doorway

You did use thinset under the CBU didn't you?


05-22-2005, 09:45 AM
Yes I did put thinset under the backer board. :) Although it was my first time I am a bit worried I didn't put enough since you ask?

What do you mean by a "halk" tile?

So I should start by laying full tile from the long wall and work my way toward the toiliet adjusting the line so I end up with a full or half tile by the door way. Is that correct?

Sorry if these are silly questions?

Thansk Jason

05-22-2005, 10:16 AM
I'm thinking "halk" is a typo for "half".....half tile (or larger). ;)