Yet ANOTHER saltillo tile rookie on board [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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John Tease
01-06-2003, 04:26 PM
Hello all,

GOSH I'm glad I found this site. I've been looking for info and answers to my questions before I took the plunge. I have a few questions I'd like to have answered...but first, the backstory..:eek:

I own an old 1920's catalog style bunglow that is on cedar post foundation, and has only a pine tongue and groove subfloor that doubles as the main floor (I think most houses were built this way back then). I'm planning on tiling the kitchen, bath and hallway, and maybe the front bedroom. There are currently 2 layes of linoleum on the kitchen floor, and one on the bathroom floor. There is a little bit of house settling that I'm going to have levelled eventually. So with that, here are my questions:

1. Should I wait to have the house levelled to start the tiling project? :dunce:

2. Can the tile be set over the linoleum floor? Or do I need to take up the old flooring first...

3. For the rest of the house with just the pine, do i need lay backerboard or plywood before laying the tile? Or will the current floor be enough.

4. What's the best method for cutting the tiles for, say, doorjambs or corners? (I'm REALLY a rookie when it comes to tile, but I swing a MEAN hammer...LOL)

This should be enough to get me started. I've read stuff other places and am really nervous about taking on this project. So any info that you find helpful and will keep me from being really frustrated would be greatly appreciated. :bang:


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01-06-2003, 04:32 PM
Level the House before you do any tilework. Then ,let us know what you have for floor joists,spans etc. We will be better able to guide you about subfloor requirements with this information.
Welcome to the forum John :)

John Tease
01-06-2003, 05:27 PM
Hey Todd,

Thanks for the quick reply...the floor joists are 8"x 2", and are 24" o.c. Let me know if there's any other pertinent info you may need. Thanks again!


01-06-2003, 06:18 PM
I don't think 2x8 joists @ 24" OC is sufficient for tile. Maybe BBCamp will drop in and confirm.

Definitely level the house first.

Since you have wood flooring, the linoleum can stay and you will put your backerboard atop the linoleum.

In most cases, I undercut the doorjambs and run the tile underneath it. Be cautious if you have heavy doors, the undercutting may weaken the jambs to the point that the doors sag.

Of of this is contingent upon the floor support being adequate


01-06-2003, 07:10 PM

looks like you have some flooring issues to work out first, but i just wanted to comment on the "nervousness" of doing the actual install..

Once you're gotten the OK from the pro's on this board, it is doable...I'm a complete novice and a fix-it idiot. I got a carpenter friend of mine to help me with the layout and he showed me how to cut the difficult tiles (used a wet saw). Once that was done (and the other issues resolved which were described in the other rookie saltillo post), it's been smooth sailin'. I'm installing over concrete, though...

I've found that figuring out the layout was the most challenging things for me - I just don't have the gift of "seeing it". If i didn't have access to that friend of mine, i may have actually paid a tile guy a couple hours work to grid the thing for me.....

I'm grouting now and it's starting to shape up...although it's been quite frustrating at times, I'm still glad i chose to take it on...

good luck!


John Bridge
01-06-2003, 08:59 PM
Hi John, Welcome.

The floor is going to be an issue. You will have to do some beefing. I'll call in the engineering outfit for you. ;)

01-07-2003, 03:31 PM
Hi, John.

I bet your floor has lots of piers under it. If it doesn't, and you really want Satillo, it will! Satillo is a very soft tile that should be treated like natural stone, as far as the supporting structure goes. There isn't much detail here, so I'll give you the minimum requirements, and you can check them out for yourself.

First off, the joist span can not be longer than 6 feet, or the deflection will exceed L/720. You need to check this out, and if you do have beams supporting the joists every 6 feet or less, let me know what size they are and how they are supported, I'll check them out later. If not, I'll size new ones for you and tell you how to install them.

Second, the tongue and groove planks have to be at least 1-1/2" thick and about 5-1/2" wide. And they MUST be tongue and groove! Regular planks act independently and flex easily compared to T&G. T&G planks are locked together as a unit.

Finally, because your joists are 24" O.C., you can not use cement backer board (CBU). No CBU manufacturer approves this. Instead, you will have to install 3/8" or 1/2" exterior grade plywood and a product called Ditra. The 1-1/2" subfloor and plywood more than meets the "double-wood" requirements for stone.

OK, get your flashlight and measuring tape and check things out. Report back here when you're done! :D

John Tease
01-08-2003, 03:09 AM
I could have sworn I had replied to you bbcamp, but it started out something like....thanks for your technical input, it really helped a lot! :bow:

The info I do have to give you thats definite: the beams are 4x6 treated pine and the T&G IS T&G, but its 1x4 old yellow pine that's beadboard on one side. I'm pretty sure that the beam span is 6', and when I had the estimate done for the levelling (am I even spelling that right? LOL), I think the guy told me "blah, blah, blah....cedar posts every 6'. Also, I think the joists are closer than 24" o.c. - I replaced a couple in the living room that had termite damage and I just don't remember now for sure. I'll be down there this weekend and let you know for sure the widths and spans for everything. Guess I'll be calling the Armstrong guy and pricing linoleum for the time being anyway since I can't lay any tile until the house is levelled....:bang:

While I'm thinking about it, I want to put tile up behind the stove in the kitchen as well; nothing special, just some glazed ceramic for color and easy cleaning. Do I need to put up backerboard? Or is it ok to apply directly to the sheetrock since its not wet there.

Can anyone answer any hardwood floor questions on this board? Cant hurt to ask...:D

Thanks TONS!


01-08-2003, 06:39 AM
John, There are a few hardwood folks around here, maybe one will pop in.

You can tile on the sheetrock behind your stove, because it is a dry area.

We need to be sure about your floor construction, so when you've had a chance to check it out, you know what info we need. I'll tell you right now, the termite damage and the thin planks will mean some extra work prepping your floor for tile. I don't know what your budjet is, but you may want to consult a structural engineer who can access your home personally and help you make financially sound decisions on any reconstruction you have to do. And as always, I'll be here to help, too.

01-08-2003, 07:28 AM
John, I've installed about 2000 sf of 3/4"hardwood strip flooring so I've gotten my feet wet with the process. It's a lot of fun.:p

01-08-2003, 10:11 AM

I used the following website extensively while planning the best hardwood flooring situation for my living room:

Jeff Hosking comes recommended from This Old House, and they were always helpful with my questions on their discussion boards.
They also sell wood flooring, so of course, take the info for what its worth and do some other research as well.

In the end, we floated a Manninton engineered wood floor. Finished in one weekend and after putting down the baseboards (also used the oak baseboard over my beautiful new saltillo tile kitchen), the floor looks awesome! Now, we'll just have to see how well it holds up to two big dogs and boot heels!

Have fun!

John Tease
01-08-2003, 02:06 PM
Thanks for the input everyone, and I'll definitely check out the website you suggested Abby. I've already purchased about ~400 sf of vintage red and white oak that was taken out of an old 40's apt. building before it was it from an architetural salvage shop (Jason, you probably know the place out on 290 W I'm talking about) and it's in excellent shape. Will use it in the living and dining rooms....but one thing at a time!

Thanks again, and I'll get back by the weekend with the other info you requested BB. :shades: