am I going to regret my decision? (tile)

tansunnyJanuary 13, 2011

I am having 12x12 porcelain tile installed by my front door. The home is a 1950's ranch and I have wood floors in the living room/dining room/bedrooms. The area by the front entrance previously had slate on about an inch of cement. We took the slate out at the same time as some other remodeling, mostly getting the hardwood refinished.

Anyhow, the tile guy needed to cut out some rotted subfloor first. When he did that, he discovered my subfloor was only 1/2" thick. He is using Durock (cement board) which is screwed into the subfloor all over, especially where the joists are. He is using a thinset on top of that. He has also braced the joists from underneath with cut up 2x6's.

The tile guy has not given any indication that he thinks there will be any issues, and the advice to brace below was given to me by someone who works at a tile wholesaler. However, my Dad, who is a general contractor, seems skeptical this is going to work and thinks with such a large tile there is a high likliehood of cracking. The tile guy saw the tile before he installed it (we did not buy it from him...he said to supply whatever we want him to use) and he didn't say anything. The guy at the tile wholesaler (which is a different company from where I purchsased the tile so they don't really have a vested interest) also told me 12x12 should be fine.

So who is right? My Dad has been doing construction a long time (30 years), but thanks to the internet, we don't always see eye to eye on a lot of issues. Also, although Dad can pretty much do anything, his speciality is cabinets/counters not tile. That said, he hasn't owned his own company this long without experience.

Just curious what your opinion is. At this point, I doubt it matters. The tile went in yesterday and will be grouted tomorrow evening, and sealed Saturday morning. I guess if anything happens, we'll be having it all ripped out and put in Duraceramic instead.

I amm attempting to add a link to my Flickr acct, but not sure if it will work. :) The picture is titled "new front door tile".

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I do not believe there will be any problems at all. The cement board used does not add strength only adhesion performance. Hopefully he laid the cement board into a bed of mortar and hitting the joists with the fasteners is technically incorrect. On a small area, none of it will matter In my opinion. Shoring up the substrate was smart
as it will eliminate deflection which causes grout to crack and deteriorate normally. Again, I reiterate, that cement board should be layed in a bed of mortar. If not a huge mistake, but on a smaller area, you would still have a chance. Sleep well are probably just fine.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2011 at 11:30PM
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Hmm. I am looking at the original quote...

it says:
1) Cut out and replace rotted plywood subfloor 4'x4'=$75
2) Install 1/2" backer board, tile floor, grout, wash, buff and seal. 40.5 sq ft. $455.63

*Quote includes all labor and material except tile.

Of course, the adding extra support from underneath was not orginally agreed upon, so that is going to be extra, I'm not sure how much yet, but it only took him about an 1.5 hours, so hopefully not too bad. I hope that "install 1/2" backer board" includes using mortar underneath. I will ask him tonight.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 8:47AM
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Tile guy came in last night to put grout in and I did ask him about the cement board and he used a thin layer of mortar underneath. He also said the way he layed the tile, he made sure to "stack" them so that they were very stable (I don't know what the means, but that is what he said). With the bracing from underneath and by his confidence in his answer, I don't think there will be any issue. So I guess now if Dad comes over I'll just have to say to him to shut up because its already in!

He's coming over to seal it tomorrow night. I can't wait until this project is over. It all started because I decided to re-refinish the hardwoods. Then we started taking half-walls down, moving electrical, moving cold air returns, replacing closet doors, building new shelves for the insides of closets, picking new paing, rugs & light fixtures, etc. Its been about 3 months and I'll be glad when my house is complete. The tile was about the final step.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 10:11AM
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Great to hear and by the way...the floor is beautiful

    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 4:07PM
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