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Unread 08-15-2008, 10:37 AM   #1
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Keeping the floor low

I am a DIY'er and slowly remodeling my guest bathroom. The room is gutted and I am starting fresh. Its a very small bathroom.

The original subfloor is 3/4" to 1" tongue and groove shiplap. I removed the 5/8" plywood that was over it because the previous owner tiled directly onto it, plus I hated the tile.

So, my question is the hallway finished floor outside the bathroom is about 3/4" higher than the original t&g subfloor, and if I put down 5/8" plywood then thinset the Durock or Fiberboard over that, then tile (I'll be using 1x1 marble tiles in 12x12 sheets) the finish floor will be, heck, I dunno up to my ankles.

How do I keep the floor low? Can I use 3/8" plywood instead of 5/8"? Are there any membrane products (Durock Membrane?) that you recommend that will help keep teh finished floor height low so that I do not have a big step up into the bathroom?

Thanks for your help...

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Unread 08-15-2008, 10:48 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, Scott.

If you were setting ceramic tile, I'd say go with 1/2" plywood and use Ditra.

But you are using a natural stone mosaic. The size rules out the Ditra (1"X1"). Natural stone usually requires a much stiffer floor than ceramic, but since the individual tiles are so small, I don't know.

Other than welcoming you, I haven't helped you much. Stay tuned for the pros.
Dan - a DIYer in SE Tennessee
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Unread 08-15-2008, 10:52 AM   #3
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My first thought was Ditra too. But i read the fine print and it is not recommended for tilese smaller than 2x2.

I think I will have to go with 3/8" ply put down across the joists, then 1/4" cement board. The finished floor may be at most 3/8" to 1/2" above the hallway floor, which isn't too bad, and I'll just have to live with it.

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Unread 08-15-2008, 11:37 AM   #4
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You could cut out the plank subfloor, then replace with plywood and CBU.

I think I'd rather live with a 1/2" step up...
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Unread 08-15-2008, 11:52 AM   #5
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A step up isn't so bad, but removing the original floor then sister in support joists on the edges so I have something to nail the new subfloor down to sounds like too much hassle.

I have seen products like NobleSeal (a membrane) which provides water resistance and crack isolation and its only a few mils thick. I could then use 5/8" plywood then the membrane, forgoing the cement board all together.
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Unread 08-15-2008, 05:35 PM   #6
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I think you want at least 1/2" ply. EasyMat should also work, which comes in various thicknesses.
Jim DeBruycker
Not a pro, multiple Schluter Workshops (Schluterville and 2013 and 2014 at Schluter Headquarters), Mapei Training 2014, Laticrete Workshop 2014, Custom Building Products Workshop 2015, and Longtime Forum Participant.
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Unread 11-03-2008, 10:10 AM   #7
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Types of thinset to use...

So, everything has been going great on my bathroom project remodel, though tiring, and motivation is lacking. Thanks to this forum I have learned alot and followed all the advice that has been given by the pros here. 40 mil PVC liner is in over the pre-slope. The 1/2" Durock is up over my framing (clear plastic vapor barrier underneath), and the 1/4" Durock is on the floors. Need to get the mud shower base in next, then mortar my curb. I am tiling with marble basket weave on the floors, a quartz on the floor, and marble subways on the shower walls. BTW, this is a guest bathroom off the kitchen and downstairs bedrooms so the toilet will get plenty of use, but the shower will get little.

I know I need to lay the durock on the floors with a bed of thinset to fill voids. I got a bag from Lowes, Laticrete, forgot what kind, its modified though. I will use this and also to tape the seams of all the Durock on the floors and walls. But I saw at Home Cheapo that there was a thinset specifically made for natural stone. Do you guys recommend this or can you recommend a thinset mortar for marble and quartz?



P.S. 1/2" Durock is HEAVY! Next time I am coughing up the extra $ for a Schluter Kerdi system!!!
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Unread 11-03-2008, 10:26 AM   #8
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welcome, Scott.

I've combined you with your initial thread on this bath project, Scott. Please bookmark this one and use it for all your project questions so we'll have a history of what you're working on and what's been previously axed and answered, eh?

If your floor is reasonably flat, you can use VersaBond from Homer's for all your setting needs in that room.

You shouldn't need that "special" thinset, which I believe is a medium-bed mortar made to go on in thicker layers than regular thinset mortar.

My opinion; worth price charged.

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