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Unread 05-18-2011, 10:55 AM   #1
zillerr
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Tiling/Underlayment for Laundry Room

Hello All...I am new and hope to learn a lot from the experts!

I am about to begin my tile flooring project. I have purchased 12x12 and 6x6 (1/4") porcelain tiles and I am now trying to sort through the proper underlayment methods/materials. If I leave any details out..please let me know.

Currently I have linoleum over a 1/4" underlayment...stapled to my sub floor (i will of course be removing that!)

My subfloor is 3/4 OSB (picture included) I do not believe it is T&G. It is glued to the manufactured joists which are at 19.2" centers, and a span of 16.5 feet from wall to center I beam. I am looking at using the Ditra or Ditra XL but my concerns are as follows:
1. stacked front load washer/dryer currently flex the floor when spinning.
2. I would ideally like to mate this evenly to a 3/4" walnut hardwood (if able).

Also the Ditra handbook says to use a Latex Portland cement ...what is good quality...as far as I am concerned..I am saving money with DIY...so I can buy the best of the best...if it is available near me (Waukesha, WI)

Thanks in Advance!!!
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Unread 05-18-2011, 01:25 PM   #2
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I'd be surprised that the OSB subfloor was not T&G. If not, it needs a second layer of OSB or plywood, either on top or below. That should help with the between joist flexing. If the I-joists are flexing, you have bigger problems.

I would stop worrying about having this floor come out perfectly even with the hardwood. Concentrate on making this floor solid so the tiles will want to stay. The easiest thing I can think of is to add 3/8" or more plywood over the OSB, then Ditra. For the area under the washer, consider adding solid blocking across between the I-joists and up against the subfloor.
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Unread 05-18-2011, 06:31 PM   #3
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It looks like it is T&G... Even though Schluter says I can get away with it on a 19.2" centers with 3/4 OSB.....I am guessing I should not? I also have manufactured "I" beams...how can effectively brace from underneath?

Any thoughts on type of Latex PC? What are good brands/types for below and above the Ditra?
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Unread 05-18-2011, 07:23 PM   #4
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You have indicated some movement in the subfloor or I-joist system. I suspect the subfloor more than the I-joists.

You can reinforce the webs of the I-joists with more plywood, then add the blocking. Or you can span between the upper and lower flanges with plywood and add blocking. However, since you determined the OSB to be T&G, blocking is not necessary.

Any modified thinset will meet Schluter's requirements for bonding Ditra to OSB.
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Unread 05-18-2011, 08:03 PM   #5
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Would this allow me to forgo the second layer on top? When adding plywood to the webbing(or spaces inbwtween the I beams...would i screw in from underneeth / construction adhesive? both? and then support with blocking?
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Unread 05-19-2011, 04:38 AM   #6
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Yes. The idea is to make mini-joists between the I-joists. The I-joists have all their beef in the top and bottom flanges, but that doesn't give you anything to attach the mini-joists to. Adding a thicker piece of plywood to the I-joist webs takes care of that.

Everything in your subfloor assembly should be glued as well as mechanically fastened.

Once you get the flex out of the subfloor, you can install the Ditra in accordance with Schluter's Ditra Handbook.
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Unread 05-19-2011, 07:20 AM   #7
zillerr
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Thanks for the input! I just figured the numbers as well....if I use regular Ditra I should be able to lay an additional 3/8" plywood over the top of the subfloor and be very close to 3/4" hardwood height with the 1/4" tile (I know thin-set will add a little bit. Alternative would be doing what we talked about to reinforce underneath and using Ditra XL. In your experience do you see one working better over the other? Also, does the plywood or OSB subfloor need to be primed before applying modified thin-set?
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Unread 05-19-2011, 07:31 AM   #8
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I would prefer you add the plywood on top. It is easier for you, and the modified thinset will stick to plywood better than OSB. There is a nice discussion on installing this layer of plywood in the Ditra installation handbook. Follow their guidelines.

As far as prep, you don't need to do anything but vacuum up the usual construction debris, and maybe wipe the plywood with a damp sponge. No priming.
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Unread 05-19-2011, 08:28 PM   #9
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Thank you again!
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Unread 05-19-2011, 09:54 PM   #10
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One more question...Promise. Do you think there would be any concerns with building up the subfloor where i am going to nail down 3/4" hardwood to make it transition easily to the tile? I know this is more of a wood question...rather than tile.
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Unread 05-20-2011, 10:12 AM   #11
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You are wanting to add plywood in the area under the hardwood? HOT Diggity DOG! I don't think that would be an issue at all. If you are willing to do that, consider using 1/2" or 5/8" under the tiled area and whatever it takes under the hardwood to get closer to even. That's going to do more to solve your washing machine problems than anything else you could do.

I don't know if there as many limitations as to the type of plywood you can use under hardwood, but by going thicker throughout the house, you are leaving your options open.
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Unread 05-20-2011, 10:48 AM   #12
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What Bob said plus;

As long as you use the right plywood, installed correctly.
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Unread 05-21-2011, 07:49 AM   #13
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By installed correctly.....we mean glued/screwed or just screwed ....in proper overlapping fashion of course to hit the subfloor seams.
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Unread 05-21-2011, 08:14 AM   #14
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Rick,

The differing layers of plywood are installed differently. Luckily we have some great plywood articles in the library which cover this in great detail.
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Unread 05-31-2011, 08:10 AM   #15
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Thanks again! I ended up laying 3/8" plywood (decided against building up the area where hardwood will be) where the tile was to go ...then reinforced under washer/dryer with 3/4" plywood and 2x4 blocking.

Then used Flexbond over the plywood and laid the Ditra (friday). On Sat I mixed up Mapei KeraBond a 1/2 bag at a time and laid my tile....i have included a pic of the finished tile job (minus grouting). Now for the questions!

1. too late now....but one of the bags of KeraBond had some clumps in it ...the corners of the bag especially (both bags came of the same pallet from a local tile store) i was able to mix it up without much concern...I took most of the clumps out and the rest blended when mixed.....Will this effect the bond strength?

2. I had some left over mixed KeraBond and scooped it out of the bucket and knocked it on some old cardboard. When I was placing it in the garbage today i noticed I was able to break it with my bare hands without extreme force is this normal? Upon close inspection there are tiny air bubbles in the dried KeraBond...is This normal?

3. Given the previous 2 issues are not a problem.....is tomorrow too early to grout given it was completed late sat night?

Thanks again guys!
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