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Tiling bathroom floor

I'm planning on tiling our bathroom floor this summer. Floor is on 2nd floor, wood and linoleum. Do I need to put down anything before I tile and what do I do around toilet?

18 comments
  • KMS Woodworks
    KMS Woodworks Nederland, CO
    on Jul 14, 2012

    lino comes up to expose wood sub floor...then a backer board is installed with mastic / thinset / screws / nails. Tile is then set on that. I life to use full thickness 1/2 hardibacker for most as it provides plenty of stiffness. Where the tile is going for a flat "trim-less" install next to std 3/4" hardwood I will use 1/4" backer...most tile at 3/8" thick can then me floated the exact flooring height. for resetting the toilet I will use a reinforced wax ring with an additional plain wax ring set on top.

  • Woodbridge Environmental Tiptophouse.com
    Woodbridge Environmental Tiptophouse.com Colonia, NJ
    on Jul 14, 2012

    KMS pretty much nailed it. Just remember to remove the toilet and not tile up to it. And when applying the cement board on the floor that you use thin set cement with a 1/4 inch trowel. Be sure to make the mix a bit sloppy so it will allow the board applied on top to adhere properly and use screws every six inches. Be sure to use screws that will not rust. They make special rust proof deck screws just for this type of floor. If you use anything else the cement board will loosen up over time and cause all sorts of issues with the new tile on top. The thin set application will assure that the floor bonds tightly to the older floor. Also do not apply more thin set then is needed to do one board at a time. And be sure to use new product if the old begins to dry out. Do not mix more water start fresh with more product.

  • Hamtil Construction LLC
    Hamtil Construction LLC Saint Louis, MO
    on Jul 14, 2012

    You might also try to find a backer board called DensShield made by Georgia-Pacific. It's a little easier to work with than cement board, as it cuts like drywall. Comes in 1/4" and 1/2". You would install it in the same manner as concrete board, but we usually use roofing nails to nail it down. The rule we like to use is to try and achieve 1 1/4" total thickness of subfloor and underlayment. This will provide the best stability. Less can be ok if needed to make the tile match the flooring in the next room, but make sure there is no flex in the floor.

  • KMS Woodworks
    KMS Woodworks Nederland, CO
    on Jul 15, 2012

    The denshied stuff is still a gypsum based product...The core is still vulnerable to moisture damage. I have been using Hardibacker as my preferred backer for 12 years of so. I remember seeing a sample of hardibacker was sealed up in a plastic jar with water...for a comparison a sample of gypsum board was also sealed up inside a separate container, the hardi was new looking while the gypsum based was a milky pool....the sealing date was some 5 years in the past.

  • Woodbridge Environmental Tiptophouse.com
    Woodbridge Environmental Tiptophouse.com Colonia, NJ
    on Jul 15, 2012

    While DensShield backer board is a great product, one must understand it does little to increase the structural resistance to floor movement. Your current sub floor must be tight and resist any movement. Also I would steer clear of using roofing nails to hold it down. The nail heads tend to pop off and although they are galvanized can still rust if moisture reaches them causing them to fail. Screws are the preferred method of attachment of any sub floor to prevent future movement or loosening of the layers attached to it.

  • Hamtil Construction LLC
    Hamtil Construction LLC Saint Louis, MO
    on Jul 15, 2012

    I love the jar test! If you have a tile floor submerged in water for 5 years though, you have bigger problems. Thanks for your thoughts guys. To each his own... for us, it's always been a fantastic product which we have had no issues with!

  • Mark Potter
    Mark Potter Pleasant Valley, NY
    on Jul 15, 2012

    Take the linoleum up. Need 1" of ply for tile whats the subfloor structure looking like. You can use ditra mat if you can't afford the hight of the 1/4" cbu.

  • Woodbridge Environmental Tiptophouse.com
    Woodbridge Environmental Tiptophouse.com Colonia, NJ
    on Jul 16, 2012

    Ditra is a great product, but its not structural. It is only for bond breaking so the floor below can expand and contract without disturbing the tile floor that is set on it. The thickness which I assume you already know if your using Schluter-Ditra systems, is dependent upon the space between the floor joists and the load imposed upon them.

  • Mark Potter
    Mark Potter Pleasant Valley, NY
    on Jul 16, 2012

    Yes indeed Woodbridge, ditra, and or cbu I like to call fillers are for that purpose both placed in thinset bed. Although I have tiled on plywood alone with no issues I wouldn't recomend it as a DIY project it gets really complex.

  • Home Repair Tutor
    Home Repair Tutor Pittsburgh, PA
    on Jul 18, 2012

    Great discussion, I use 1/4" Hardiebacker over linoleum as long as the new install isn't going to be higher than the existing flooring in the next room. I scuff up the linoleum first before using thinset, then Hardiebacker. My preference on screws is to use the ones specifically made for the Hardiebacker.

  • Woodbridge Environmental Tiptophouse.com
    Woodbridge Environmental Tiptophouse.com Colonia, NJ
    on Jul 18, 2012

    If I was to approach this issue, I would if the linoleum height was low enough and the floor strong enough, I would simply treat the linoleum as a vapor barrier, nail down wire mesh and put a thin mud floor down then tile. But realistically I would fear the underlying floor would not be strong enough so I normally tear everything out and rebuild. There are many methods that will work and last, but each is dependent upon the conditions we find ourselves in when doing the job.

  • Home Repair Tutor
    Home Repair Tutor Pittsburgh, PA
    on Jul 18, 2012

    One question for everyone, what is your method for tearing out a floor like this? For example, do you simply just cut small squares with a circular saw and pry them out or is there an easier way?

  • KMS Woodworks
    KMS Woodworks Nederland, CO
    on Jul 18, 2012

    If the subfloor needs to come out I rip "bays" out between the joists with a circular saw...then come back and pry up the strips of floor set on the joist tops...these smaller strips often come out as splinters...this is a more controlled demo over trying to get larger chunks out...its also easier on the back by not having to lift or pry large pieces.

  • Mark Potter
    Mark Potter Pleasant Valley, NY
    on Jul 18, 2012

    I never would recomend anything relaying to tile on linoleum scuffed or not, unless you use a fortified thinset but that's still risky. your better off taking it up then using a belt sander. unless the subfloor is plank flooring or is old and  Past it's age you can usually go over it if it's ply or osb but with only more wood if it's a single layer then its most likely 3/4". If there is ever a hight issue for me anyway I usually use ditra or A/C ply. But your tile is only as good as the structure you put it on. It gets complex with staggering and grain deflection.

  • KMS Woodworks
    KMS Woodworks Nederland, CO
    on Jul 19, 2012

    I just pulled some lino up the other day in a Kitchen tiling project...the sheet product was set on older 12 square. The sheet material separated leaving the cardboard like middle exposed...I thought I was going to have a bugger of a time getting that up...but lucky for me ( and the client) this was set over old VCT which was set with the old black tar type adhesive...this was dry and failed....a 4" drywall tapping knife lifted the old VCT's with the 1/2 layer of the sheet product on top...I had the whole kitchen stripping in about 20 minutes....This remodel is in a 3 rd floor condo that has a concrete slab...the tile I set is now looking sweet and bomb proof.

  • Home Repair Tutor
    Home Repair Tutor Pittsburgh, PA
    on Jul 20, 2012

    KMS, Post your pics of the new tiling project, I like bomb proof for rentals. LOL

  • KMS Woodworks
    KMS Woodworks Nederland, CO
    on Jul 20, 2012

    Still have a bit to go...I'll post when we get more finshed...the befores and after will knock your socks off....the owner keeps saying..." I should have raised the rent"

  • Home Repair Tutor
    Home Repair Tutor Pittsburgh, PA
    on Jul 22, 2012

    They should raise the rent, there is no better way to get value than to redo a bathroom or kitchen.

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