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Old 06-28-2007, 10:32 AM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Roseburg,OR
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Ceramic Tile, Kitchen, & Particle Board

I am in the process of preparing the floor in my kitchen for ceramic tile. The floor is supported by 2 x 8 joists with 16" O.C. spacing. The subfloor is 2 x 6 T&G covered by 1/2" particle board. The Deflecto indicates that this support is more than adequate for cermamic tile.

I have an issue with the overall height of the floor. I can not add 1/4" underlayment over the particle board because of this. I barely have enough height available for the 1/4" backer, thinset and tile. Basically there would be no way to get the dishwasher in/out.

The particle board underlayment is in very good condition, and has been covered by linoleum and carpet. I have removed the carpet and left the linoleum for the most part. So there is a small portion that has particle board exposed.

Is there anything I can do to the particle board that will allow me to put thinset on it underneath the backer board. I have read in many places that you should not put thinset directly on particle board. Is this because the particle board will absorb the moisture from the thinset? The particle board has not degraded or swelled in the 30 years it has been in place and I don't see it doing so in the future. (asside from a flood) It seems to me that the cement board has just as much a chance to swell as the particle board.

I would appreciate any suggestions as has to proceed.
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Old 06-28-2007, 10:41 AM   #2
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Location: SE Tennessee
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Hey Dave,

I'm not a floor expert, but I'm pretty sure that your particle board and your linoleum have to go. Particle board does swell when it gets wet. Cement board does not.

Since you are concerned about height, you should consider Ditra instead of cement board. It adds less height, is easier to install, and might even protect your tiles better than cement board.

Finally, there are some ADA approved dishwashers that tend to fit where normal ones do not.
Dan - a DIYer in SE Tennessee
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Old 06-28-2007, 04:03 PM   #3
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Location: Riverton, Utah, Salt Lake City
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I am not one of the resident engineers but the particle board is a very big NO NO. You need to remove the particle board and it needs to be replaced with at least a 3/8's ply/osb. Then you could put the Ditra over that.


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