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Unread 10-29-2004, 02:06 PM   #1
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install ceramic directly over hardwood?

I know you'll probably need more information...but, here goes anyway. I am replacing the ceramic tile in my front entry. The existing tile was installed over 1/8" pressboard which was nailed to the hardwood flooring.
We bought 1/4" hardibacker and tiles only to discover, if installed, we would not have clearance for the front door to open. Even with a 1/8" underlayment, the door will not be able to open.
Can I install directly over the hardwood? We are looking to cover a space roughly 4.5' x 6'.
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Unread 10-29-2004, 02:39 PM   #2
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The solid wood moves too much with the seasonal changes - your tile would not survive going directly to it. You would need a decoupling layer, typically cement backer unit (?) or usually called cbu hereabouts. solid wood is not a great thing to even put cbu over. You might want to tear it out too, which would give you more depth to work with. Then you could put plywood and cbu down. The cbu is supposed to be put down with thinset under it and screwed or nailed to the subflooring. It would be a pain getting screws or nails into the hardwood unless you had a nailer.

If your stucture is strong enough, and you don't have enough height to put down both plywood and cbu, you can save most of the height by using Ditra from www.schluter.com and not using the cbu.

You need to determine if your floor is really strong enough to successfully have a tile floor.

If you decide on using stone tile, then it must be stronger than for ceramic. The natural imperfections in stone must be supported better to prevent them from cracking than a homogenous clay/ceramic tile.

Maybe one of the pros that linger will have some other thoughts...
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Last edited by jadnashua; 10-29-2004 at 02:45 PM.
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Unread 10-29-2004, 02:57 PM   #3
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You definitely want to tear out the hardwood and put in some cbu or ditra depending on what's under the wood, you might need to add some 1/2" ply. If so I'd use the ditra.
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Unread 10-29-2004, 06:23 PM   #4
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I agree, get the hardwood out of there.

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Unread 11-03-2004, 11:32 AM   #5
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Thanks! Although I was hoping you'd say I could go over the hardwood. In hindsight, maybe I should have left the tiles that were there. (ha!)

What's the best way to cut out the hardwood? Not knowing the jargon...the floor has two layers (cross directional) - do I cut out both layers? Or measure the depth of the top layer and only remove it?

Thanks again!
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Unread 11-03-2004, 12:17 PM   #6
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Measure the thickness of the hardwood, then set your saw to just barely cut thru. It wouldn't hurt to leave a whisker of the hardwood, it'll snap off wasily enough. Leave the subfloor, install your 1/2" plywood and CBU (backerboard) or ditra.

You're sure about the joists being OK for tile, right?
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