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 Post subject: Another DIY question
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:56 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:55 pm
Posts: 517
Location: Pittsburgh PA suburbs
I have probably bitten off more than I can chew. My wife and I are in the midst of remodeling our bathrooms and are putting in ceramic tile. Fyi I live in Pittsburgh. It gets hot (90s) in the summer and cold in the winter (0s) so there are extremes. I am currently renovating an 8’x5’ full bathroom with a tub/shower, a two sink vanity and a toilet alcove. The alcove is adjacent to the tub. The rest of the bathroom (60”x59” including the vanity’s footprint) set about 1/4” lower and is particle board. I’m not sure how thick. I’ve ripped up carpeting and linoleum and leveled the subfloor (by adding 1/4” plywood over the particle board) but now I’m stuck and am not sure what the next step is.

I’m going by online how to videos from Lowe’s and Home Depot and there’s more than one method to go by:

1: modified thinset trawled on subfloor then covered with cement backer board that is screwed down every 6”
2: no thinset under backer board at all; just screw it down
3: modified thinset trawled on subfloor then covered with some type of backing paper instead of backer board.

To complicate things I attempted to lay down unmodified thinset under the backer board. The thinset was obviously the wrong stuff and it was not bonding properly so I ended up tearing it all out (and cleaning up the mess) so I’m back to the subfloor phase. I’m also working with a sprained thumb so I find myself taking days off to nurse it. This needs to get done by early December.

What should I do? Just hire somebody? I can still do the plumbing part afterward.

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 Post subject: Re: Another DIY question
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:12 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 1984
Just screw down your cement board to the subflooring. We used 3/4" thick board. Make sure you sink the screws in, then just use your grout to fill over and level the screws. Also use your grout to fill over any joints.

Let dry, and your good to go to tile.


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 Post subject: Re: Another DIY question
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:29 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 1984
There are grout additives that make grout a bit more flexible, just in case your floor vibrates. We used this stuff in the grout when we grouted the tile in the second floor bathroom, and it works. You substitute the water in your grout for this compound. 

If you're interested, here is what we used and where we found it. 

https://www.tileshop.com/products/superior-flexible-grout-admixture-1-gallon-021604


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 Post subject: Re: Another DIY question
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:25 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:55 pm
Posts: 517
Location: Pittsburgh PA suburbs
Thanks, Diane. The base layer of thinset seemed like overkill to me. It also added about 1/8” to the thickness of everything. I could see using it on backing paper but not on 1/4” cement board. It’s not like I’m tiling a shower stall.

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