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Unread 09-12-2019, 06:01 PM   #1
joea
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Laundry room floor Tile or . . .?

Been a while since I asked advice here. Great success using the tips provided here on past projects.

So, looking at re-doing the laundry room and need some opinions.

The laundry is on first floor, with basement/cellar under. Joists are 2x10, 16 on center 5/8 or 3/4 plywood sub floor. Currently there is some form of vinyl or other soft tile on there.

Basically the same as other rooms where I have successfully put ceramic in the past. Same house actually.

Anyway, given that there is bound to be vibration, sometimes severe, when washer goes into spin, is ceramic still the choice, or would some form of waterproof or water resistant resilient covering be better? I would strongly consider a small floor drain, for safety sake.

If tile, I was thinking Schluter-Ditra rather than Hardi backer.

Concern, of course, is how the vibration would affect the grout, over time.

Thanks for any suggestions/solutions.
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Unread 09-12-2019, 07:34 PM   #2
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Welcome back, Joe.

First thing I would do is find out for sure if the subfloor is 5/8" or 3/4". While you could install tile over 5/8" ply, that's the bare minimum thickness. I wouldn't install over less than 3/4".

Even if you do have 5/8" ply, you could install a layer of 3/8" or 1/2" ply over it and be okay.

Next thing would be to find the longest unsupported span of the 2x10's. They're probably okay, but it takes only a minute to verify by using the Deflecto, and you won't have to worry about it later.

Assuming the above is good, then you'll want to look into removing the other floor coverings. You don't want any unknown materials in your tile installation. It should be just the tile, mortar, Ditra, mortar, and subfloor layer(s).
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Unread 09-12-2019, 07:34 PM   #3
Tool Guy - Kg
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First thing I’d look at is to make sure the first layer is tongue & groove or otherwise supported by blocking.

Yes, some of these newest generation of washers vibrate pretty good. I’d want a second layer of ply installed, at least 1/2”, then Ditra. At that point, the vibration wouldn’t concern me.

And while you could put a floor drain in, your need to either contain an area and treat it like a shower pan with a slope to the drain. Or treat the whole room like a shower pan with sloped floor to the drain. And while you could run waterproofing a couple inches up the wall, if there was a lot of water spilling on the floor (not likely with a new generation washer), water would make it out the door before the wall waterproofing came into play. Or you could consider installing a wash machine pan...although the pedestals that are commonly used under the washing machines would not slide open due to the pan wall height.

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Unread 09-13-2019, 08:14 AM   #4
joea
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Thanks gents.

The subfloor is adequate as I previously did a kitchen area and connecting passageway on the same level. That had a similar floor covering as the laundry room and it was a bear to remove. Actually, since I never could remove all the adhesive I did not trust only thinset to hold so used Hardiboard for the additional holding power of the screws.

There are also two pre-existing tiled baths on that floor that are fine after decades, even having not been done to high standards. I found that out when I replaced a tub and surround and had to patch in matching "mosaic" tile. Luckily, there were leftovers in the basement/cellar that were sufficient for that job.

For the floor drain, I was thinking more about some burst pipe or washer hose that might not be detected for a while. However, now that I think about it a bit more, I can address that concern by renewing the plumbing, putting in new pipe and a shutoff manifold and using stainless "burst proof" washer hoses. Currently there is also a "laundry tub" sink in there, without any overflow provision that I guess I need to think about.

Adding any additional subfloor thickness for rigidity or slope would raise the floor above the level in the hallway, which would lead to some discontent down the road.

There is plenty of time to decide as this will be a cold weather project.
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Unread 09-13-2019, 08:18 AM   #5
Tool Guy - Kg
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Have all these other floors that have lasted so long been subjected to the machine vibrations of a washing machine?
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Unread 09-13-2019, 08:51 AM   #6
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Yeah, how many washers you got?

It's certainly your floor to do with as you wish, just realize that because tile has lasted in one room, it doesn't mean it will last in another.

And unless you remove the current floor covering and adhesive, you don't want to use Ditra there.
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Unread 09-13-2019, 09:12 AM   #7
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I also wouldn't lay tile on top of 5/8" ply under a washing machine, perhaps not even on 3/4".

For what it's worth, when I tiled my laundry room; 2X10's 16" OC, 10' span.5/8" ply. I first screwed down the original 5/8" ply, then went over it with 3/4" also screwed down. And though not recommended I laid inexpensive tile directly on the ply using Custom's Flexbond thinset mortar, and grouted with one of Custom's cement based grouts.

That was nearly 4 years ago. No cracked grout, no broken tiles. Front load washer that has a mean spin cycle.

I did have the height to work with though. Still, if I hadn't, I'd have been ok with a slightly higher floor with a threshold transition strip since it's just a laundry room.
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