Saltillos over subfloor and slab in same room [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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rnks house
08-31-2009, 02:54 PM
What an amazing resource this forum is! I hope you can help my husband and me with our project. 13 years ago we tiled most of our downstairs in rustic saltillos. We love the floor and now want to extend it into the last room. Most of the room is on slab with an 8'x13' addition on wood subfloor. The deflecto rating is 420. Is this a reasonable # for saltillo and what sort of membrane should we use if it is feasible to lay saltillos? If it matters, we live in north San Diego county about 6 miles from the coast.
Thanks mucho

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09-01-2009, 04:24 AM
Kay, Saltillo is a very soft and relatively weak clay tile. I would treat it like stone with respect to floor framing and subfloor thickness. L/720 for the joists, and 2 layers of plywood, totalling 1-1/8" or better. Antifracture membranes are not necessary, but some sort of underlayment is. You can use backerboard or any of the underlayment membranes you want. The joint between the slab and the wood framing must be treated as an expansion joint. Do not bridge it with tile and do not grout the joint above it, just use a urethane caulk.

rnks house
09-01-2009, 11:43 AM
Thanks Bob for your reply. I just gave my husband the bad news. It would not be possible to modify the joists so adding additional plywood would change the floor level at that end of the room. Looks like we have to either re-carpet or investigate engineered wood or laminate. So now we have to remove the saltillos from an 8'x3' hallway that goes directly to that room - any hints on that? We used hammer and chisel to get a couple off when we moved a door opening. It was slow going but do-able.
Thanks again...

09-01-2009, 01:37 PM
An electric demo hammer will make short work of the Saltillo you have now. You can rent these at Home Depot or at a tool rental shop.

rnks house
09-01-2009, 07:50 PM
Hi Bob -
Great idea - they know us by name at HD! Still don't know what floor covering we will use. We looked at some bamboo that was 5/8" that would transition nicely with the saltillos. I need to research the durability etc. It sure was easier in the old days before there was so much info out there!

09-02-2009, 05:47 AM
You can use a porcelain tile that looks like Satillo, if that's the look you like. You can scuff sand the painted plywood and install a membrane (Ditra or Noble TS). You will still need to provide an expansion joint where concrete meets the plywood subfloor.