Installing a new water heater over a porcelain tile floor

Should I put a piece of plywood (or something with a little "give") under the new heater? My concern is that if I don't install the four 12x12" tiles under the heater so they are all the same height, the weight of the filled 50-gallon heater might crack the highest tile. My thought is to distribute the weight of the heater more evenly.
I'm not sure if a drip pan is a solution.
Thanks for your advice.
Ray
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Dont forget a plastic drain tray with hose leading to a drain, save headaches when it fails, extra wood cant hurt.
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ransley wrote:

I should have mentioned that the tile will be installed over a concrete slab at ground level. So there is no springiness under the tiles. Unfortunately, there also isn't any floor drain, so all a drain tray could do is keep small amounts of water from directly falling on the floor, and with luck I'll notice the water as I pass the heater with every trip to the garage.
The heater will be new, so I don't really expect any problems for at least 10 years. The present Kenmore heater is 20 years old; still no problems, but why take a chance.
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ransley wrote:

Since tank is not moving around, I'd put 3 hockey pucks under each leg.
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wrote:

the job just fine.
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Sorry, that's what I meant.
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On Wed 29 Apr 2009 07:16:56p, Tony Hwang told us...

Speaking from experience, if the tile floor was properly installed over the concrete slab, the additional tiles are not needed. We had an 80 gallon tank sitting in a drain pan directly on the tile floor. No problem.
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Wayne Boatwright
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Ray K wrote:

Good idea. Make it a THICK bit of plywood (so the legs don't punch a hole in the lumber).
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Ray K wrote:

finished space or something? I'd edge a suitably sized opening in the tile with a small curb, and make a catch pan out of it, sealed with epoxy. A small sensor-activated pump like used with dehumidifiers can pump out any water, if there is a nearby drain such as a washing machine drain standpipe.
-- aem sends...
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aemeijers wrote:

The heater is in a finished laundry room (washer, dryer, furnace), so while it's not an area that visitors would see, I still want it to look as good as the ugly furnace and ductwork allow. Your suggestions sound a bit complicated compared to simply putting four tiles under the heater.
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If it were me, I'd just go with a drain pain on top of the tile floor. If I were doing the tile job, I'd make sure you do a very good job making sure to get uniform mud coverage, when setting the tiles. I don't think having them perfectly flat is the issue. It's just making sure they are uniformly cemented in. Also, there are plenty of other point loads on lots of tile floors, eg big refrigerators, freezers, pianos, etc without problems.
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On Tue 28 Apr 2009 05:40:32a, Ray K told us...

Some years ago we had the exact situation as you describe. We had a utility room that had the same porcelain tile running through it that was in our central hall and foyer. We had an 80 gallon gas water heater installed which sat in a metal drain pan directly on the tile. There was never a crack or othe problem. We also did not have a convenient drain for the pan, so connected a pipe from the pan directly out through the side of the house. The end of pipe outside had an easy open check valve to prevent anything from entering from outside.
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We have a similar situation at work. The floor tiles are uneven and when we instaled the heater it would rock on the high tiles. We used a piece of plywood and carved out the back to clear the high tiles.
Jimmie
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Most, if not all water heaters have 3 legs or feet that they stand on. This way no matter what height the tiles are at, it will stand steady as a tripod and evenly distribute the weight to each of the three feet uniformly. No problems with a high tile taking most of the weight.
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