Tile and Floating Floor - Height Difference

wruwtrixApril 28, 2010

I'm renovating my kitchen and I have a question about my flooring installation.

I'd like to do tile in the kitchen entryway. I had planned on installing 1/2" cement board over the subfloor and installing my tile over that. (Additional height above floor approximately 7/8", maybe a little more)

I'd like to do a floating laminate floor in the remainder of the kitchen (which will match the rest of my house). The height of this floor is only 1/2" thick.

What is the best way to bridge or ease the height difference between the two floors? I'd also be doing the same materials in the living room entryway.

Also - does anyone know if it's okay to install the cement board directly over the sheet vinyl that's in my kitchen? Or is there a reason why I'd have to rip it down to the plywood? I had planned on installing the floating floor over the sheet vinyl.

Thanks for your help!


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I think I can give you a few options to solve your problems. First, try a different underlayment. Schluter DITRA (http://www.schluter.com/5372.aspx) could be a solution to part of your issue, although it is more expensive than concrete backer-board, it's also much thinner and easier to install. Next transition down from the height of the ceramic to the height of the laminate with the schluter Reno-U or the Reno V. I recently did a ceramic to laminate transition in a friends house using the Reno-U and it came out great. Finally, as for installing over the sheet vinyl, it's probably ok to do, because you mortar the backer down AND nail or screw it down afterward. Although personally, I'd probably still tear up the vinyl. I hope this helps, let me know if you have any more questions.

Here is a link that might be useful: schluter transitions

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 9:33AM
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No one will recommend you leave the vinyl under your tile installation. Been there, asked that. And regarding the transitions, I just had tile installed in a bathroom where the vinyl and luan was ripped down to the subfloor. Laminate flooring was installed in the hallway. Since my subfloor was in good shape with 16" on center joists, we used 1/4" hardibacker board making the difference between the tile and the laminate very minimal. We also had a woodworker install custom maple transitions cut and shaped to accommodate the transition area and stained to match the laminate. It looks awesome. That transition will get a lot of abuse so I recommend something sturdy and not the transitions that supposedly coordinate with the laminate. The extra work and money was well worth it.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 1:06PM
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Plywood is available down to 1/8 inch thickness.

It may take more than one thickness to even things up.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 9:42PM
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