Tiling over hardwood floor

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Old 08-27-18, 02:04 PM
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Tiling over hardwood floor

We have hard wood floors in our living room (I think 5/8" thick) and want to install tiles. Instead of removing them and then installing 5/8 plywood can I just add 1/4 cement board on top of hardwood floor and then tile? There wouldn't be any clearance issues.

It seems its the same thing but all I've been reading is you can't put tiles over hardwood floors (unless they mean directly on top with no cement board).
 
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Old 08-27-18, 02:21 PM
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I'm not an expert no should I give advise on this type of thing. But it seems t me that wood is wood, be it plywood or hardwood. The only thing that should be of concerns is to get rid of any poly or shellac film on the hardwood.
 
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Old 08-27-18, 02:32 PM
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That's what I thought but I'm no expert either. The hardwood floor is probably more solid then some plywood. The 1/4 cement board would be screwed down to it so I can't imagine it causing problems.
 
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Old 08-27-18, 06:38 PM
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What kind of hardwood? What's under the hardwood - subfloor and joist structure?
 
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Old 08-28-18, 03:14 AM
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I wouldn't do it. The reason hardwood floors stop short of wall structure (under your baseboard) is that they expand and contract with changes in temperature and humidity. Tile doesn't like any kind of movement. I would suggest you cut out the hardwood, replace it with plywood of at least 5/8", then 1/4" cement board on a bed of thinset and screwed down. And be sure to leave an expansion joint between the tile and the existing hardwood so the hardwood can move without affecting the tile. You can cover the joint with a piece of trim that's attached on the tile side but NOT the hardwood side.
 
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Old 08-28-18, 04:30 AM
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Lets start from the beginning, what is the thickness of the sub floor as well as the floor joist size and span.

You man not even need to put down additional sub floor and just go with 1/2" CBU.

I would not use 1/4" material, that is for counter tops and applications where you already have a solid floor!
 
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Old 08-28-18, 08:47 AM
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2x6 Joists 16" O.C and a span of 16 feet but there are also 2 cross 4x4 joists/beams ever 5 feet over concrete bases (so the the 16 feet joist rest on the 4x4 beam every 5 feet). On top of that is 1" subfloor. On top of that is some type black underlayment. Then comes the hardwood floor (5/8" thick), I think it might be engineered hardwood, not 100% sure..
 
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Old 08-28-18, 10:21 AM
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So 2x6 floor joists with 5 ft span and 23/32" subfloor. Sounds plenty strong enough to add a 1/4" cement board and tile over top. I would remove the hardwood. Plus the floor would be too thick/high in my opinion if you didn't remove the hardwood.
 
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Old 08-28-18, 11:41 AM
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It sounds like your joist span is more than strong enough. When you say the subfloor is 1", are you referring to individual boards that are a nominal 1" (3/4" actual)? Is the black underlayment that you refer to look like roofing felt? In any case, I stick to my original recommendation of removing the wood floor. 1/4" cement board on a bed of thinset over an adequate substrate is acceptable in at least two TCNA (Tile Council of North America) methods that I recall.
 
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Old 08-28-18, 01:30 PM
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Agree with Bruce on this one. Remove the hardwood as it is subject to seasonal expansion and contraction. Any movement is a disaster when it comes to tile. With a solid substructure and sound subfloor (1" thick is good) then all you need is 1/4" cement backer, set in thinset and screwed according to the pattern suggested by the manufacturer.

Please do not use a premixed thinset. Use a powdered one from a bag that you mix yourself.
 
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Old 08-28-18, 01:31 PM
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Yes they are nominal 1" (3/4") boards and on top of them looks like what is felt paper and then the hardwood floor. Main reason I didn't want to deal with removing a bunch of hardwood boards is they are nailed down with the world longest staple nails, it took me a while just to remove one board.
 
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Old 08-28-18, 02:39 PM
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So your subfloor is plank flooring? If so, then you need to add plywood on top of that to stabilize. Otherwise it is the same as tiling over hardwood. They are both hardwood and both planks.
 
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Old 08-28-18, 03:48 PM
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I went through the TCNA and found that the only method that specifies 1x plank flooring is F142-03. That method says minimum 19/32" thick exterior glue plywood over the plank flooring. FYI, 2003 is an older Handbook, but since I retired, I don't have access to current TCNA Handbooks. I don't imagine that basic requirement has changed much, if at all.
 
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Old 08-29-18, 08:21 AM
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OK thanks everyone. I'll follow your suggestions and remove the hardwood and add plywood then the cement board.
 
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