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Unread 08-28-2012, 12:13 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2012
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Sub Floor Thickness

Hi All,

I have been reading some thread's on this great forum and would appreciate some advice.

I am tiling a kitchen (8x10) and after reading "the internet...." I am unsure how much plywood to add to ensure proper thickness of sub floor. The existing 5/8" is in good shape and my plan was to add 1/2" and then the tile directly onto that. Is my plan sound?

Thanks for the help.

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Unread 08-28-2012, 12:58 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Nashua, NH
Posts: 14,503
Assuming your joists are strong enough for the tile in question, there is an approved method of installing tile directly on two layers of plywood, but most people much prefer using a different method!

Technically, if the 5/8" ply is T&G, it meets the minimum industry spec for tile with a decoupling layer as it stands, but that means it is new, and in perfect shape which rarely happens so more ply is better.

The minimum additional ply you'd want to add would be 3/8", C-faces or better, exposure 1 or exterior rated glue, properly oriented and anchored. More is fine.

To tile directly on ply requires a quite expensive, highly modified thinset. Most people use cbu and then install the tile to it. An alternative, should you wish to keep the height down, is a membrane. One I've used and like is Ditra from www.schluter.com. Technically, that could be installed directly over the ply you have now - if it is in perfect shape.
Jim DeBruycker
Not a pro, multiple Schluter Workshops (Schluterville and 2013 and 2014 at Schluter Headquarters), Mapei Training 2014, Laticrete Workshop 2014, Custom Building Products Workshop 2015, and Longtime Forum Participant.
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