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Unread 07-26-2021, 11:47 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 7
Front hall tiles over plywood, too much movement

Hi all. I'm trying to determine if I can redo my front hall tiles myself. Twice in the past, shortly after we moved in, the adhesive failed, leading to loose tiles. We gave up and have put up with poor tiles for decades. I'd like to tackle the project now.

My first question is whether or not newer, more flexible adhesives and grouts will be enough to solve the problem without major work on the subfloor plywood (which seems to have a noticeable wave to it throughout my hall and kitchen at least - I'm thinking the builders didn't fasten it properly). I'd like to not have to pull it up and redo it entirely, if possible. At the very least though, I'm willing to install many additional screws in the hope that it significantly reduces movement.

My Second question is whether I have to remove all of the old adhesive from the floor and the back side of the tiles, or if I can simply use a particular adhesive, like an epoxy or other non-cement type, to reglue each tile back into the exact spot where it was. The old adhesive is pretty difficult to remove from the floor, and appears to be impossible to remove from underneath each tile. My concern is that if left in place, the old thinset will simply find a different point of failure, but it would save a huge amount of labor and cost if this proposal were possible.

I have a lot going on with this floor, so I've saved some questions for later, but if there's a way to get away with simpler solutions, I had to ask about those first. I'd appreciate any guidance someone can offer.

Thanks a lot
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