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Unread 11-13-2020, 10:20 AM   #1
bradm
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Kitchen tile project

Hi Everyone,

I'm in need of a bit of advice, The project is to remodel the kitchen and we have a few questions.

Our lower level of the house is half engineering wood and half hardwood, the contractor that did the work sanded all of it and refinished and that worked for a bit.

Now it's time for an update, the plan is to replace the engineering wood with tile and refinish the existing hardwood.

I ripped up the engineering wood and cleaned up the floor a bit, it looks in good shape with a few spots that I will level using a HF planer I bought for this purpose.

I checked the deflection and I my 23/32 OSB subfloor should support the 12x24 porcelain. I have purchased ditra xl in order to try to make the tile to hardwood transition as seamless as possible.

I pulled up the border pieces of the hardwood since they were damaged and found that the contractor that the did the hardwood probably sanded off 1/16" off the OSB probably in an effort to level the OSB prior to the hardwood installation.

So here comes my dilemma. The original plan was to just replace new border pieces in place and butt up the tile to it. Now I am debating nailing the border in place temporary, prior to tiling so I can have the option of shimming the border to make a smoother transition. Currently if I just lay the ditra and the tile it's flush with the 3/4 hardwood, but this doesnt account for the thinset.

Does this make sense? Am I overthinking this?

Is a electric hand planer the best way to level the osb?

I picked a 15s30 rectified ceramic tile from floor and decor(1.69$/sqft), seems fairly consistent and flat to my untrained eye, when putting 2 pieces back to back. Should I be looking at something more high end to minimize some of my issues?


Great forum, I been lurking around for a while. I have completed two other tile projects which came out decently. Thank you everyone.

--B
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Unread 11-13-2020, 10:26 AM   #2
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Unread 11-13-2020, 11:33 AM   #3
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You’ll have mortar between the OSB and the Ditra, and again between the Ditra and the tile. You might be better off using the non-XL Ditra. You can always use a thicker layer of mortar (still thin, say up to 1/8”) to get the heights even at the surface. Also OSB is not the greatest substrate to thinset to.
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Unread 11-13-2020, 11:41 AM   #4
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Welcome, Brad.

I'm not familiar with the term "engineering wood." Perhaps the same as engineered wood? Was this flooring glued to the subfloor or was it a floating floor?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad
I checked the deflection and I my 23/32 OSB subfloor should support the 12x24 porcelain.
Your subfloor does slightly exceed the minimum requirement for a ceramic tile installation if you have joists on 16" centers and if your subfloor is not excessively damaged.

Did you also evaluate your joist structure to determine if that qualifies for a ceramic tile installation?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad
Does this make sense? Am I overthinking this?
Always makes good sense to me to plan well before executing substantial parts of the project. In this case, leaving the transition until the tile installation is complete is a very good idea. Shimming the transition? Not so much. I'd plan on making new transition pieces that would meet the height of the two floor coverings on each side.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad
Is a electric hand planer the best way to level the osb?
Your tile installation cares not a whit aobut level, but tiles your size care a whole lot about flat. I would be seriously concerned about trying to flatten a single layer OSB subfloor with a plane. Your subfloor, when new, met the requirements for your tile installation. Old, possibly damaged, OSB subflooring is less sufficient already and planing down the thickness in areas would diminish its structural characteristics even further. You wanna be careful with that. The tile industry standard for substrate flatness is no deviation from intended plane of more than 1/8th" in ten feet nor 1/16ths" in two feet. That's a very flat floor and you'll want ever bit of that for your large format tiles.

Not sure just what you mean by "more high end," but with tiles that size you'll want them to be very, very flat. Do the tiles you purchased indicate they meet the standards of ANSI A137.1?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 11-13-2020, 12:08 PM   #5
bradm
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GOZO: I already have the XL so the preference would be to use what I have. I was under the impression you can use modified thinset under the ditra.

CX:
It's engineered wood, it was glued on top of a thin plywood sheet which was stapled to the osb. I pulled all that up and removed all the staples.

The joists are spaced every 16" and the subfloor/joists are in good condition. I used the deflection calculator and it exceeded the L/360 so I was under the impression I was good.

I have had similar thoughts regarding the removing thickness of the osb, There are two high spots where the osb meet one another which is mainly the problem. The joist area is accessible from the basement so I thought about adding extra support using some 2x4s in that area... I know it's a hack but pulling the osb and replacing it seems like a pita at this stage. Any other options?

Noted, I will definitively look into making a transition piece over shimming it.

Let me look into ANSI A137.1 tiles, I looked at the box of the tiles I picked and its not mentioned anywhere so probably not? How common is this standard? What's a reasonable price point for 12x24 A137.1 tile?

Thanks for your comments, I truly appreciate the help.
B
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Unread 11-13-2020, 12:41 PM   #6
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A137.1 is the American National Standard (ANSI) Specifications For Ceramic Tile, Brad. Doesn't mean tiles that meet that standard are better than ones that don't, just means we know just what characteristics to expect from the tile tested to that standard. Tile not thus tested, all we know is that what's in the box is what we bought. "Price point" for either type is determined by the seller.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 11-13-2020, 01:29 PM   #7
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CX: Thanks, I more so meant, let me look around and see how common tiles that adhere to the standard are in my area or in general. The regular box stores dont mention it anywhere, might stop by tileshop.

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Unread 11-13-2020, 02:56 PM   #8
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Lots of ceramic tile sold by Homer, Brad, and much of it is probably quite useful. You just can't tell for sure. Without a standard of some sort, all you can rely upon is the advertising claims of the manufacturer or/and seller.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 11-15-2020, 11:40 AM   #9
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Well I tried, most of the places I called around me had no idea about the standard and the tile I found that followed A137.1 were priced outside of what I wanted to spend (4-8$sqft).

The fallback plan is to just use china tile from F&D, straight pattern and 1/16 grout lines, hopefully this will negate some of the effects of sub par tile.

Still debating the transition, The two options I am considering are, temporarily putting in a hardwood border in place and tiling up to it. I would then have an option of adjusting the taper/height of the transition piece.

Alternatively, I could just see the finished height based on a sample piece and install the border at this height.

Any pros/cons to these?
Why is shimming the transition not advised?
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