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Unread 03-18-2021, 02:37 PM   #1
JasonG0705
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Advice on Floor Underlayment for Ceramic Tile

Hello all,

I am in the process of tiling our small half bathroom and I'm looking for some advice on the best underlayment for this project. I've removed the vinyl floor and there is a currently 1/4" sheet of plywood on top of the subfloor. I'm wondering if I should pry up this plywood and replace it with 1/4" backerboard or if I should scrape off the rest of the glue on this plywood and use a 1/8" membrane like Ditra on top of the existing plywood. I've always used backerboard for my tiling projects but wondering if using a membrane would be a better or easier solution. FWIW, the height difference between the two options is negligible and will either be flush with the hardwood floor in the hallway or slightly lower. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Unread 03-18-2021, 04:00 PM   #2
Carbidetooth
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Remove it. It's most likely vinyl underlayment and has no place in a tile assembly. There's likely a million staples in it and you'll get to remove them all. How much fun is that?

After that your call on tile substrate. I like Ditra and Stratamat for their uncoupling properties, but tile backer could also work.

Have you evaluated your joist structure and subfloor to determine suitability for tile?
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Unread 03-18-2021, 04:05 PM   #3
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Welcome, Jason.

Tiling over that plywood would be easier, but not better. Not even good.

That 1/4" plywood used as an underlayment for sheet vinyl flooring is usually of a type referred to as Lauan and is one of the materials specifically mentioned in the ceramic tile industry standards as something you do not want as part of the subfloor package for a ceramic tile installation.

I would recommend you remove it and replace it with the CBU you suggested.

Have you first determined what you have for a joist structure and subfloor to ensure they qualify for a ceramic tile installation at all?

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 03-18-2021, 04:15 PM   #4
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And check this out, I beat CX to the punch. A rarity as I think and type with the incredible speed of a glacier.

I think we've driven the point home sufficiently, eh?
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Unread 03-18-2021, 06:58 PM   #5
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And I didn't even notice that you'd slipped in there when I posted, Peter. You musta been in "Rapid Stealth Mode," eh?

Yes, I believe we've made our point. Let's see how well it's taken.
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