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Unread 02-12-2005, 05:19 PM   #1
larleb
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Tiling front Foyer

I have a 6' x 6' front foyer. The beams below are quite sufficient to support tiling: 2 x 10's 16 inches on center and supporting walls approx 8 feet apart.

The previous owners tiled over the hardwood floor in this foyer area. I'm going to tear up the tile and hardwood in this area, and put down new ply.

Questions:
  • I know I have to add some ply back to create a sufficient sub-floor (probably about 5/8" or 3/4" to replace the hardwood I take up. Should I attempt to tile over this ply layer or is this method best left to the pro's or should I add a thinner layer of ply and then 1/4" CBU and tile onto that? The tile shop near me says to tile onto ply. I have some height issues as I cant make the sub-floor too high because the front door has to open over the finished tile.
  • The local tile shop sells mapai thinset which is recommened for install onto ply.
  • I know exterior grade ply is used but specifically what letter combination should I ask for?
  • If I do go with the tile onto ply, how much spacing should I put between sheets. This is only a 6' x 6' area but there will be one seam.
  • What size trowel should I use? 1/4" or 3/8"

I would appreciate any assistance you can give.

Larry
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Unread 02-12-2005, 06:11 PM   #2
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Hi Larry.

Many of the answers to your questions depend....depend upon what kind of tile you intend to use, ceramic or natural stone? And to some extent, size and thickness.

But the 1/8" ply expansion seam remains the same, no matter what the tile is.
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Unread 02-12-2005, 06:16 PM   #3
larleb
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I'll be using a porcelain tile. Not sure of the exact thickness but its not the thick kind. "Regular" thickness compared to some of the heartier ones I've seen.
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Unread 02-12-2005, 07:42 PM   #4
cx
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You're on the right track, Larry. You need some plywood and either a CBU or a membrane such as Ditra.

To determine how much plywood you need to add, we gotta know what's already there.
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Unread 02-12-2005, 07:48 PM   #5
larleb
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Not sure how much ply is there yet. What do I need as a minimum? 3/4"? I dont plan on using Ditra for this small space. Should I tile over the newly added ply or do a ply/CBU combo?
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Unread 02-12-2005, 07:51 PM   #6
Rd Tile
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If you have 3/4" plywood, that would be the minimum with a CBU over it, don't tile directly over one layer of plywood, I wouldn't even tile over 2 layers, unless you know what you are doing.
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Unread 02-12-2005, 08:32 PM   #7
larleb
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One other thing I should have added. I would like to keep the finished product at the same level as the adjoining hardwood floor. Which would mean that the total ply,cbu,thinset and tile would have to be the same thickness as the hardwood I remove. Probably not possible to the exact measurement but what would the recommendations be?
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Unread 02-12-2005, 09:40 PM   #8
Mike2
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If you've got some ply down now, but not quite 3/4" you will be adding 3/8" (minimum) ply + 1/4" CBU + 1/4" tile (guessing) + 1/4" allowance for thinset = 1 1/8".

1 1/8" - 3/4" (adjoining HW floor estimate) = 3/8" beveled wood transition strip between tile and HW flooring.
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Unread 02-13-2005, 01:50 AM   #9
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Larry - Mike2 has you on the right track - I'm adding a couple thoughts of my own. First off, your hardwood floor wasn't "subfloor" in any practical sense - it was finished floor that had more finished floor slapped on top of it. IF what's under that hardwood happens to be 3/4 ply, you don't need to do anything other than add thinset/1/4 cbu/thinset/tile to come very close to flush with your existing hardwood (assuming your tile is 1/4" thick). You can use galvanized roofing nails to nail down your backerboard and tape your joint(s) with fiberglass mesh tape and thinset. If you have less than 3/4" ply, or if the subfloor is something other than plywood, I agree you need to add min 3/8 ply and follow the rest of Mike's advice and will end up with the aforementioned transition. Use BCX as your ply, attach it to the subfloor, NOT the joist. Your trowel notch size, as has been stated, depends on your tile. As with everything, it's all in the details - the more specifics you provide, the more specific advice you will receive. As it stands right now, an exact answer to your questions depends on 1) the type/thickness of your subfloor and 2) the size/type/thickness of your tile. Hope this helps.
_Rob

Last edited by catamount; 02-13-2005 at 02:02 AM.
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Unread 02-13-2005, 06:59 AM   #10
larleb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike2

beveled wood transition strip between tile and HW flooring.
Might be a dumb question but does a beveled wood transition strip sit on top of the tile a bit and then slant down to the hardwood floor next to it or does it butt up against the edge of the tile and then slant down?
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Unread 02-13-2005, 12:07 PM   #11
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Hi Larry,

It can go either way. It depends on what looks the best. If you butt the tile to the wood, use caulking in that joint.
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