Installing ceramic floor in kitchen


Old 05-10-18, 06:45 AM
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Installing ceramic floor in kitchen

Thinking of putting one in our kitchen and bathroom. I'm leery of it though because of its nature to crack if something heavy is dropped on it or if there is any flex in your floor. Its an old home (100 years old) so not sure how much I trust the sturdy-ness of the floor. It doesn't feel like it flexes now. I know that it is recommended to use a cement sub floor. Right now we have a plywood sub floor. If I have to use cement board does that mean I need to take out the plywood one so that I don't raise the floor height so much? Its already an inch higher than the adjacent dining/living room.
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Old 05-10-18, 07:36 AM
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What you do in prep for tile depends on what you have. I'm sure plywood is not the only layer of subflooring. If you dig deeper you'll likely find that the plywood was lain over something else possibly diagonal planks. Then you need to figure out why someone put down the plywood. Was it because of bad spots in the floor or was the old floor soft or sagging between joists. Most of this unfortunately you might not know until you start ripping up the flooring and are committed to the project.

Do you have access to the floor from below like in a crawlspace or basement? If so how large are the joists and how long do they span? How far are the joists spaced apart? What kind of subflooring can you see from below? If you have HVAC registers in the floor you can remove a grate and often see how many layers and what type there are in the floor.
Old 05-10-18, 03:16 PM
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I agree, most like 3/4" diagonal planks as the subfloor. On top of that we need to know how thick the plywood is. Concerns are if the plywood was put down to lay vinyl sheet flooring. If that is the case, then it is only 1/4" thick and needs to be removed and replaced with minimum 1/2" thick ply. Then 1/4" cement board and then your tile.

Joist size and spacing are also important as noted above.

To do a simple test for bounce, take a glass of water and put it on the floor in various areas. Walk around he glass and look for ripples in the water. Ripples mean movement, flex and possible issues if you decide to tile.
Old 05-14-18, 09:53 AM
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Thanks for the info. Upon ripping up what we had there I pleasantly discovered that there is original maple hardwood flooring throughout the kitchen that had been covered up years ago! Looks like its in good shape! With a good floor sander I should be able to get all those marks out (lines were from an old glue down tile floor that looked like it was from the 60's).

This sorta changes the topic a bit. Any opinions on hardwood floors in a kitchen? At first I was against it due to things like spilling water on it all the time and that maybe it was too wet of an area to have hardwood floors but with the right protective finish after the sanding (polyurethane is what I used in the rest of our house) then it should be fairly water resistant?
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