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Old 09-29-2015, 04:24 PM   #1
NewbieTileGuy
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Girlfriend changed mind and wants tile, will my subfloor work?

Hi all, new here and my first post.

Ive been reading as much as i can so hopefully this will be short and to the point. Girlfriend would now like to put tile in small bathroom (5x5 floor space, excluding bathtub. A different flooring was initially planned before I put the new plywood down.

Original subfloor was 1/2" with a layer of 3/8 particle board on top. I removed the particle board, patched the are around the toilet by cutting out the rotten wood, (12x12 square), patched from ths bottom with a piece of 1/2" overlapped by about 4", then filled the hole left with a piece of 1/2, all screwed and glued. I then screwed the original 1/2" sheets down tight to the joists, then screwed and glued a new sheet of 3/8 plywood over top of the 1/2" to brig it back to the same level.

I have checked the deflection calculation and im good for even natural stone. There are 2x8 joists 16" o.c. With a basement wall running below the middle of the bathroom so the longest unsupported span is 8 feet. Floor feels solid as a rock, zero squeeks anywhere.

Will this work with a layer of ditra or should i rip it out and install a single sheet of 1" and use ditra as I was going to before.

Thanks guys!
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Old 09-29-2015, 04:31 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, Jason.

Unfortunately, your subfloor is a bit lean for natural stone. You do need two layers of plywood, but typically the bottom layer of plywood would be 5/8", topped with a layer of 1/2" plywood. This reduces the deflection between the joists. You total 7/8" plywood really isn't enough.
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Old 09-29-2015, 04:38 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I guess I was referring to the deflection along the lengths of the joists. I was thinking for ceramic tile, if the 7/8 total isnt enough, I would rather cut it all out and start right if we do install tile. How would i go about supporting the edges of the plywood not resting on a joist, right where the original floor and walls meet?
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Old 09-29-2015, 05:35 PM   #4
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Ok, if you're installing ceramic tile, then 5/8" nominal is the minimum, although we usually recommend 3/4" since 5/8" is a bit thin. You wouldn't need the extra layer on top, although you could if you wanted to, just to strengthen the floor.

Supporting the edges would require some blocking running perpendicular to the joists on two ends, and on the other ends you'd have to add a joist.
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Old 09-29-2015, 05:42 PM   #5
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Like Kevin said .. it could always be better ; ) but put some ditra down and you'll be fine with what you've done for installing tile.
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Old 09-29-2015, 05:49 PM   #6
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Cool thanks for the advice. I'll have to mull this over and see what the plan is going to be. If we decide to continue with tile there is a dining room /kitchen down he hall that will need some beefing up too, more so than the bathroom so might be best to have all the subfloor match for even heights between rooms.

Thanks for the input!
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Old 09-29-2015, 05:49 PM   #7
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I wouldn't install over what is there now, since the subfloor panel is 1/2". And if you've glued the 3/8" plywood to it by squirting lines of adhesive from a tube, you may have created more problems by creating voids between the lines of glue.
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Old 09-29-2015, 05:51 PM   #8
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Didn't catch that, Kevin's right ..
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Old 09-29-2015, 05:54 PM   #9
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Ya so many little things to get right, definitely used glue. Ok so for sure rip it up if we do tile, done deal.
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