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Unread 11-17-2020, 08:25 PM   #1
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Long wood look tiles, do they crack?

Hi every,

Looking for some advice on wood look tiles.

We are looking at putting in wood look tiles, approx 120 x 20 cm in our kitchen, possibly the rest of the House. However we currently have a wooden floor with a crawl space under the house an I am worried that these tiles might crack since they are so long and not on a cement base.

If we use a plywood / cement sheeting subbase (not sure on the terminology) will that be OK?

I appreciate any help.

Last edited by Dawn99; 11-18-2020 at 02:12 PM.
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Unread 11-17-2020, 08:45 PM   #2
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My answer is based on reading this 120x20 cm, not mm. If mm, you’re talking about a 5”x1” range tile. I’ve not seen that in a wood look.
Use the Deflecto calculator in the blue band at the top of the page. You’ll want a stiff base like a 3/4” or more flooring plywood, but much of the stiffness comes from your joist structure. Start from there and let us help you further once we’ve got an idea of what you’re starting from.
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Unread 11-17-2020, 09:25 PM   #3
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FWIW, the size of the tile has no bearing in whether it will crack or not. A longer tile does mean you will want your floor to be flatter so that you won't be trying to set it over a hump or a dip. The flatter it is, the better. For a tile to survive, first the structure which includes both the subflooring and the joists must be strong enough, then, you must ensure you fully support the tile by embedding it properly in the thinset. If both of those are good, the tile should last without issues.
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Unread 11-18-2020, 02:23 PM   #4
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Thanks guys
My answer is based on reading this 120x20 cm, not mm.
sorry, I did mean cm, have corrected the original post.

I believe the joist are brick and pretty strong. Good to know that with a strong, flat underlay they should last.

With the base is there a difference between plywood vs the cement sheeting? I know plywood can have a bit of warp to it.

Also with grout size how small can you go?

Thanks so much again for all the advice!
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Unread 11-18-2020, 03:07 PM   #5
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Welcome, Dawn.
Originally Posted by Dawn
...the joist are brick and pretty strong...
The joists are not brick.

Joists are the wood pieces, usually nominal 2X sawn dimension lumber or engineered wood pieces spaced somewhere between 16 and 24 inches apart and supported from below at each end. That's the structure you need to evaluate. You can use the Deflectometer in the dark blue bar near the top of the page to get an initial go/no-go reading on that.

The difference between plywood and "cement sheeting," commonly referred to as CBU for Cementitious Backer Units is that the plywood is structural and the CBU is not. The CBU is only for the purpose of creating a friendly interface between the wood and the tile installation. You must also evaluate the wood subflooring you have to determine its suitability.

My opinion; worth price charged.

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Unread 11-19-2020, 06:31 PM   #6
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The smallest grout joint is 1/16th, which I think is 2mm?, but the more you are willing to open up the grout joints the better it will go.

I know the thinking is typically to go as small as possible but it's not easy to get the long plank tiles flat. Going to 1/8th inch (3-4 mm) would help your cause quite a bit.
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