Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile

Welcome to John Bridge / Tile Your World, the friendliest DIY Forum on the Internet


Advertiser Directory
JohnBridge.com Home
Buy John Bridge's Books

Go Back   Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile > Tile & Stone Forums > Tile Forum/Advice Board

Sponsors


Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Unread 05-02-2007, 08:20 PM   #1
booklover
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 4
I want to tile in my mobile home

I've looked through some of the posts here (not all) but haven't seen a question like mine.

I live in a mobile home that was built in 1996. My living room carpet looks as if it was put there in 1956 thanks to our dog and the fact that it is cheap crap. My wife and I would like to pull up the carpeting, put in a laminate floor over most of the floor and create a 4x8 space at the doorway that we would cover with ceramic tile. Of course, as you might expect, the sub-floor is particle board. From all the research I've done, I know particle board is a no-no for tile, but pulling it all up is not an option because I'm not even sure how it is attached to the trailer frame.

What I was wondering about is this--would it work if we put down 1/2 exterior grade plywood and then 1/4 inch Hardiboard and then the tile? If not, is there anything we might do that would give us the opportunity to put down the small amount of tile we would like to have?

Of course, just putting down a new carpet is an option, but I like the look of wood flooring (even if it is laminate) and the ceramic tile would add a touch of class to an otherwise classless room. Please help me!

Thanks
Booklover
booklover is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Unread 05-02-2007, 08:33 PM   #2
Trask
Oregon Tile Man
 
Trask's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Astoria Or.
Posts: 5,869
You gotta give us a better first name..we're friendly 'round here and like to adress our clients properly


I think it can be done..but first you should find out what is underneath the particle board. I suspect it's plywood. I would like to know how the floor joists or steel beams that support the plywood are spaced...don't know if it's feasible to determine this or not.
Likely if you add another layer of plywood( the thickness will depend on what currently exists and the joist spacing) Then backerboard you'll be alright. We can walk you throught the process and proper material selection if your unfamiliar.
__________________
Trask Bergerson
Bergerson Tile and Stone
Astoria, Oregon

http://bergersontile.blogspot.com/
Trask is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-02-2007, 08:34 PM   #3
Tool Guy - Kg
Moderator -- Wisconsin Kitchen & Bath Remodeler
 
Tool Guy - Kg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Oak Creek, WI
Posts: 22,573
Welcome booklover.

It's not just the particle board, but the usually flexible joist structure that prevents tile from being installed in a mobile home. They typically aren't stiff enough to support tile that doesn't tolerate much flexibility. Can you tell us what you have for a joists structure? What is the width, height, and longest unsupported span of the joists? And finally, any idea what species of wood they are?

__________________
Tonto Goldstein... but my friends call me Bubba

Help an awesome summer camp!
Tool Guy - Kg is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-02-2007, 08:37 PM   #4
booklover
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 4
Trask,

Thanks for the reply (and quick too!) I'm not sure how I would even go about finding out what's under the particle board. I've gone to the manufacturer's web site and it isn't much help. I've got to find the papers that came with the trailer when we bought it. I definitely will be grateful for any and all help that can be provided.

Oh, and so I will fit in better, first name is Rob.

Thanks
booklover is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-02-2007, 08:39 PM   #5
Trask
Oregon Tile Man
 
Trask's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Astoria Or.
Posts: 5,869
They'd be steel wouldn't they Bubba? I'm just assuming ....I honestly don't know...I've never been run over by a mobile home so I've never looked I'm a big enough tile geek that it might be something I'd notice while getting run over....."uhhhhggg....@#$%^ overspaned joist Uuuughhh"
__________________
Trask Bergerson
Bergerson Tile and Stone
Astoria, Oregon

http://bergersontile.blogspot.com/
Trask is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-02-2007, 08:43 PM   #6
Trask
Oregon Tile Man
 
Trask's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Astoria Or.
Posts: 5,869
Rob good to have you here,

Do you have a heat vent you can peak into that will alllow you to see a cross-section of the underlayment and subfloor?
__________________
Trask Bergerson
Bergerson Tile and Stone
Astoria, Oregon

http://bergersontile.blogspot.com/
Trask is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-02-2007, 08:51 PM   #7
onereelbigfishy
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: North Eastern Cali
Posts: 187
Unless you can really feel the floor flex when you jump up and down on it I would probably just lay the HB down and tile it. The thickness of 1/4" HD and tile will be about right to transition onto laminant flooring. Since it's your house and its such a small area the hassle and expense of trying to cut out the particle board doesn't seem worth it.

As far as I know the main reason not to lay tile on top of particle board is that if it ever gets wet it will swell and pop your tile all to heck. But if your living room does get that much water in it you will have bigger things to worry about than if the tile on your entry way gets ruined.

Just my $0.02. :-)

-Marlin
onereelbigfishy is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-02-2007, 09:15 PM   #8
Dave Hessel
Oregon Tile Man
 
Dave Hessel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Astoria,Oregon
Posts: 351
I know Trask and I were kind of hard on that messy, ultra modified 1-flex, but this might be just the place for it. I would guess there'd be plenty of movement, regardless of joist structure, just bouncing down the road.
Dave Hessel is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-02-2007, 10:12 PM   #9
Trask
Oregon Tile Man
 
Trask's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Astoria Or.
Posts: 5,869
Marlin you mean swell when it gets exposed to water..like when you thinset the Hardi-backer to the particle board and it swells from the water it absorbs from the thinset? ..Sorry I couldn't resist.

You really don't want particle board anywhere near tile..Unless you like expensive hard to fix messes. If you don't wanna pull the particle board I'd just not use tile. You wanna do it correctly though if your gonna do tile. Not cause I have any dog in the fight other than I wanna see you have a decent job you can be proud of and that will last.
__________________
Trask Bergerson
Bergerson Tile and Stone
Astoria, Oregon

http://bergersontile.blogspot.com/
Trask is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-02-2007, 10:27 PM   #10
onereelbigfishy
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: North Eastern Cali
Posts: 187
This might seem wierd.. And I'm just a youngin so havn't been there done that for years.. But I've actually never seen anyone thinset HB to the subfloor before. Which is why I've never done it myself either. Although after reading this forum I might have to start. Don't want to be doing something the wrong way. But I've never had any issues with my tile installations either so.....

-M
onereelbigfishy is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-02-2007, 10:33 PM   #11
Rhode Island Flooring
Bill
 
Rhode Island Flooring's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 336
Send a message via AIM to Rhode Island Flooring Send a message via MSN to Rhode Island Flooring
I have done this before and it stands up well,

If you remove the particle board there are studs under that , the particle board is glued to the studs so you will need a belt sander If the studs are wider than the area to be tiled after removing the particle board you will have to add cross braces with metal joist hangers to stabilize the overlapping edges. Its not as bad as you think just a pain in the keister. After doing the prep work normally I put in 7/8 " AC plywood to bring it up level with the old particle board then add 1/2 durock properly to add the correct thickness of subfloor , then tile that area . Use a high strength mortar with a latex additive because normally mobilehome studs are only 2 X 6's . good luck
Rhode Island Flooring is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-03-2007, 01:53 PM   #12
booklover
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 4
Hey guys.

I've looked in the vents and the metal completely covers the sub-flooring and the joists. I can tell from the living room vent that it is 3/4 inch particle board, but I can't see below that. In the kitchen vent, I measured from the bottom of the vent to the finished sheet vinyl floor and it is 11 inches deep, but whether it is sitting between the floor studs I don't know.

I forgot to mention in the original post that a couple of years ago I pulled up the carpeting in the master bath (why they put carpet in bathrooms is beyond me!) and put down 1/4 inch plywood underlayment and laid down peel and stick vinyl tiles. At the time, I don't remember seeing any nails or screws in the particle board which, if right, says to me it was glued down. When I tried to nail down the underlayment sometimes (but not every time) the nails bent but when I put in deck screws, either I completely missed the steel beams or it had wood beams and it went in those. We had a leaky shower problem behind the wall which is why we had to get rid of the carpeting. To this day the flooring is fine and isn't spongy and that bathroom gets used every day.

I went to the area at the front door where the tile would be and jumped up and down several times. I weigh almost 300 pounds and I didn't feel much flex in the floor at all. In fact it felt rather solid and I had tennis shoes on. The only problem I could really see would be if we ever moved the trailer because the tile might crack then. As we have no plans to move in the near future (next 3 or 4 years anyway) that wouldn't be an issue, at least not now.

I guess one reason I want to put the tile in here is for the possibility of re-sale. Even though we won't be able to get that much out of the trailer, I estimate the cost in materials (laminate and tile together) would be around $1,200, which I think I could get out of it if we ever decide to sell. Plus, and this is really the main reason for all this, it would enhance our own quality of life.

Our only other options are new carpeting, which would then have to go into the hallway off the living room and in the two bedrooms off the hallways in order to keep it looking the same, which I estimate would cost between $2,000 to $2,500, and since we still have our dog, who is housebroken but has all the inherent problems of an indoor pet, I don't know how long the carpeting would stay nice. We could also put laminate flooring over the entire living room, which would allow us to keep the remainder of the carpeting in place and would cost about $900 or so.

I guess the bottom line here is that we don't absolutely need the tile, but we both love the look of it. Plus, I think the area, which we could even reduce to a 4 by 6 rectangle, would never get enough water to affect the particle board (it hasn't in the 11 years we've owned the trailer with the cheap carpeting and pad). Plus, if I put down the 1/2 plywood and then the Hardiboard, it would protect the particle board even more. Another consideration for the tile underlayment is that the space between the bottom of the front door and the floor where the tile would sit is 1 3/4 inches.

So if I decide to go forward, knowing that even tearing up a 4 by 6 area of particle board isn't going to happen, would I be OK to just put down the 1/2 exterior grade plywood and the 1/4 inch Hardiboard and then the tile? I also thought that if I put down the 1/2 plywood, I would put it down all over the floor so the height difference between the laminate and the tile wouldn't be that great, or I could even put in 3/4 inch plywood where the laminate would be.

As I am willing to assume whatever risks there may be in putting the tile down, would doing so be the act of a hard-headed foolish person, or is there a better than even chance (or even a 50-50 chance) that nothing bad would happen to it?

Thanks
Rob
booklover is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-03-2007, 05:49 PM   #13
Tool Guy - Kg
Moderator -- Wisconsin Kitchen & Bath Remodeler
 
Tool Guy - Kg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Oak Creek, WI
Posts: 22,573
Hi Rob,

This forum was built upon the principle of: Helping DIY'ers successfully build long-lasting tile installations. This forum is of world-class because the knowledge transfer is accurate, given freely, easily, and with a smile.

Your thread on the Tile Forum/Advice Board, along with countless others is read by dozens, sometimes hundreds of lurkers who are gaining knowledge. And with most of them being DIY'ers that might not know what the industry standard is, we stick to dispensing rock-solid advice that is "by the book". That means it's gotta be a method or material that's recognized by the industry or a particular proprietary manufacturer. Installing stiff, brittle tile over flexible wood structures "by the book" virtually guarantees success. Not following it doesn't guarantee failure, but we aren't going to take that chance with your project. We care far too much to go down that road.

The particle board discussion comes up regularly and seems to go round and round with the same sort of logic. You can use the search feature to read for hours if you choose.

The pros here want to keep you out of trouble because we've seen firsthand the failures over particleboard. That being said, we aren't the tile police. Just a bunch of caring people that prefer to see you succeed with your project. The fact of the matter is tile guys get the heebie jeebies when particle board is involved.

This is your risk to take. Do as you like.
__________________
Tonto Goldstein... but my friends call me Bubba

Help an awesome summer camp!
Tool Guy - Kg is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-03-2007, 08:02 PM   #14
booklover
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 4
Bubba (if I may call you that)

I do appreciate the advice and completely understand where you're coming from. That's why I posted here. I guess what I'm wanting is not possible--a 100 percent guarantee that I'm not going to do all this work for nothing. If we choose this path, I will have to be willing to accept that it may be all for nothing. Fortunately, it's not a decision I have to make immediately.

Thanks
Rob
booklover is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-04-2007, 05:37 AM   #15
John Bridge
Mudmeister
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Rosanky, Texas
Posts: 68,256
Send a message via AIM to John Bridge
Marlin,

Using thin set under backer board is specified by every maker of backer board I know.
John Bridge is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Stonetooling.com   Tile-Assn.com   National Gypsum Permabase


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:02 PM.


Sponsors

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2018 John Bridge & Associates, LLC