Ceramic Tile Installation Question

Hi,
We are going to install ceramic tile in our kitchen as well as replacing cabinets and sink. We have removed everything down to the plywood subfloor and am in the process of removing all the much-dreaded tar-like black adhesive. Here's a few questions for the expert:
1. Do we use Wonderboard or Hardibacker as underlayment? 2. What is the preferred thickness of the underlayment? 1/2 or 1/4 inch? 3. Which one is easier to install? 4. Do we tile all over the floor and install the base cabinet over ceramic or install the base cabinet first and tile around them?
Thanks in advance. CJ
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We used 3/8" ply glued and stapled to the subfloor

Yes, why waste $$ tiling under cabinets where it will never be seen. If installing a D/W and/or a fridge, DO run the tile in there though for ease of rolling in&out. Watch for D/W height clearance, tile to underside of countertop.
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Wood expands and contracts with conditions. Movement is a big no-no for ceramic tile. Use an underlayment like wonderboard or hardie. First question you should be asking though is can the floor support ceramic tile. You should not install if the deflection is greater than 1/360. Find out the size of the floor joists and the length of unsupported span and we can figure that out. If the floor supports tile, another option for underlayment could be Schlutter ditra mat. It's much easier to install and only raises the floor height 1/8th inch.
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Schlutter mat is so expensive (when you can find it in DIY quanitties), it's often cheaper to buff up the joists under that floor, IMHO. There are other reasons to use it, so check. But it's a VERY expensive way to go.
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question
underlayment
raises
I must be spoiled, I can get it for $1 sf. Backerboard goes for about $.70 plus nails or screws plus all the mess involved with installing it. Time is money in my book, I'll have a Schlutter kitchen installed by the time you get your backerboard off the truck... :-)
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Is it really expensive? How difficult is it for first-time DIYer compared to CBU?

for
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Also, where do you get the price of $1 per sqf?

You
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Here's a link to all the info you would need .http://www.schluter.com/english/products/2002/sectionf/ditra/601-index.html I'm in the indusrty so I get it at a better price. Like I said, I'm spoiled. :-) I've seen it at home depot recently. I believe it was at about $1.40sf there.

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You need a stable flat surface which means something like Wonderboard. I would tile the whole floor and then put the cabinets over it. My reason is if you get any kind of water spill that can leak under the cabinet where will it go if you don't have tile on the floor. As far as cost, might not be that much of a factor and it might even be an easier install as less time might be involved (cutting/fitting etc.) MLD

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Not an expert by any means but have been around the track once or twice.
I doubt you need to remove that tar. Just nail your next layer of plywood and backer board over it.
You need 1 1/8" of sound wood floor under whichever backer board you use. I prefer the 1/4" Hardiebacker as it is lighter to tote, cleaner to cut and the gridlines make it easy to keep the proper alignment for the nail spacing. The clean edges make it easier to keep in alignment when laying. Honestly I think it costs a little more but it is a price I am willing to play. Never lay up tile on a plywood substrate. No one recommends this.
I always tile under the cabinets because the cost is minimal and: There could be spills or leaks that run under them and destroy the subfloor. It reduces the cutting and fitting. It eliminates all height problems and similar considerations. It allows for future cabinet changes or relocations without ripping out the floor.
Colbyt
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