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Old 08-09-2019, 08:34 PM   #1
krkuhns
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In over my head on a 1940 bathroom sub-floor

I went to tear out two layers of tile in a small 5x8 bathroom and thought there was plywood underneath. After getting through the tile and poured mortar base (over chicken wire) and felt paper, I found 1x6 inch boards that were uneven, some broken, some loose, with a few holes. See pictures. My plan was to lay Ditra over plywood and then 12x24 porcelain tiles over that. But I don't think 3/4" plywood will provide the stable, flat surface I need over this, will it? I'm concerned that if I screw 3/4 plywood down that it will dip where the board below it are low (or high).

What do the great experienced people here suggest? I can see why the originals laid felt and wire and poured mortar over this floor back in 1941 (assuming we ripped out the original stuff), but I'm not up for pouring a mortar base. What about removing all of these old boards, glueing and screwing a 2x10 to the side of each floor joist but making them 1/2" higher than the old floor joists and then laying 3/4" plywood on top of the new "sister" floor joists? This was going to be a weekend project but that is shot. Any advice ASAP would be great. Thanks!
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Old 08-09-2019, 09:30 PM   #2
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It's not that bad. Replace the planks that look bad, put plywood over the planks, flatten that with patching compound, lay ditra over that. The pros can give you details, I'm just talking you off the ledge.
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Old 08-09-2019, 09:43 PM   #3
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What Paul said. Or go a bit further, remove all the planks, sister the joists as required to get a flat surface and then install that 3/4 plywood you wanted.

Many of us have had to replace subfloors. Bit daunting at first but really pretty simple. Best thing is those planks will be much easier to remove than a glued and stapled plywood subfloor.
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Old 08-10-2019, 08:28 AM   #4
krkuhns
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Thanks, guys. This is the confirmation and support I was looking for. It turns out there is an inch drop from the outer wall to the inner, so we'll need to remove the planks, sister the joists to create a new level floor and build on that. There are some challenges with that, since the outer wall floor joist is 4 or 5 inches away from the edge of the wall, and the planks go under the wall into the next room. But we'll figure it out. That will be the rest of the day on this project, I'm guessing. Thanks again!
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