Laying a ceramic floor

Hi, I need some advice please. I am replacing the ceramic tile in the front hall way and I am going to extend it through the kitchen. The front hall w ay has tiles. The kitchen has laminate, that I believe was put on top of th e original linoleum floor. The house was custom built in 1973.
The existing hallway tiles appear to be laid directly on the plywood. They lasted for 40 years, just starting to come loose in the last 5 years. I do not know what is under the linoleum, but I am assuming it is the same plyw ood.
The question is, judging from the fact that the original floor tiles were p laces directly on the plywood, can I not do the same with the new tiles and all through the kitchen? And avoid putting down cement board?
Also, it looks like glue rather than cement that was used for the old ceram ic tiles? Would this be the case or is it simply because it is over 40 year s old? If I do reuse the original plywood, does the old surface have to be completely smooth?
Sorry for all the questions....but there seems to be so many considerations to think about.
Thanks! Jan
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On Saturday, September 21, 2013 4:31:29 PM UTC-4, caledongrl wrote:

nt hall way and I am going to extend it through the kitchen. The front hall way has tiles. The kitchen has laminate, that I believe was put on top of the original linoleum floor. The house was custom built in 1973.

y lasted for 40 years, just starting to come loose in the last 5 years. I do not know what is under the linoleum, but I am assuming it is the same pl ywood.

places directly on the plywood, can I not do the same with the new tiles a nd all through the kitchen? And avoid putting down cement board?

I think the current best practice is to put cement board over plywood. More importantly, there isn't just "plywood". It depends on the thickness of the plywood, the joist spacing, how structurally sound the whole system together is. With tile, you can't tolerate very much movement. I would definitely err on the side of making sure it's more than minimum, because of the obvious consequences of getting it wrong.

amic tiles? Would this be the case or is it simply because it is over 40 ye ars old? If I do reuse the original plywood, does the old surface have to be completely smooth?

I've never heard of glue being used with ceramic tile.
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On Sat, 21 Sep 2013 13:31:29 -0700 (PDT), caledongrl

If your old tile didn't crack your new tile probably won't either. The "glue" is called mastic and that is usually what they used over wood. If it is concrete or cement board you would use thinset. You can also use "flex" thinset over either of them. Over an unstable surface you can also see a membrane laid down and the tile put over that. Usually that is when they think the underlying floor might crack. The tile actually floats over the floor. It is expensive stuff.
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Yes, you can put tile directly on the plywood. You would lay them with a mastic made for the purpose; it looks similar to linoleum paste. Regarding the ply surface, "completely smooth" is subjective...it needs to be smooth enough so that the tiles will wind up at the same heights.
The big advantage of cement backer board in my mind is that one can lay tile with thinset. That's an advantage, IMO. If you are worried about increased thickness, backer board comes in 1/4" as well as 1/2". If you decide to use it, be aware that there are special screws made for it; there are a couple of little nibs under the head that cut the countersink for the head as you drive them.
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On Saturday, September 21, 2013 4:31:29 PM UTC-4, caledongrl wrote:

nt hall way and I am going to extend it through the kitchen. The front hall way has tiles. The kitchen has laminate, that I believe was put on top of the original linoleum floor. The house was custom built in 1973.

y lasted for 40 years, just starting to come loose in the last 5 years. I do not know what is under the linoleum, but I am assuming it is the same pl ywood.

places directly on the plywood, can I not do the same with the new tiles a nd all through the kitchen? And avoid putting down cement board?

amic tiles? Would this be the case or is it simply because it is over 40 ye ars old? If I do reuse the original plywood, does the old surface have to be completely smooth?

ns to think about.

Properly done tile will stay down until you tear the house down. You shoul d put down backer board and use thinset. If you're going to do it, do it r ight.
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Jan:
For some reason, this computer won't let me enter a post that's any longer than a few dozen lines, so I may have to submit several posts to answer each of your questoins.
1. It's always a bad idea to install ceramic tile directly over wood of any kind, including plywood. The reason is that wood is a natural material and swells and shrinks with changes in it's moisture content caused by changes in temperature and humidity. Ceramic tile simply doesn't have the elasticity to accomodate such dimensional changes in the wood substrate, and so ceramic tile set directly on wood will often have cracked grout lines and tiles popping loose.
Lemme address some other points in the next post.
--
nestork


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On 9/25/2013 9:01 PM, nestork wrote:

it will last if you use mastic rather than thinset.
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Jan:
If you don't want to use cement board, then use Schluter "Ditra".
Schluter is a company that specializes in accessories for the ceramic tiling industry. One of the products they make, called "Ditra", is an orange plastic mat that effectively replaces cement board, but works in a completely different way.
Ditra is stuck down to plywood, and then the ceramic floor tiles are set directly over the Ditra. The shape of the Ditra matting allows the plywood to move without any stress being put on the ceramic tiling.
'Schluter-DITRA - Schluter-Systems' (http://www.schluter.com/6_1_ditra.aspx )
Note that Ditra works differently than cement board, but the purpose of both is to prevent any tension on the ceramic tiling itself. Cement board is dimensionally stable, and so even if the plywood wants to expand, the result is that the screws holding the cement board down bend a bit, and the holes the screws are in stretch a bit, and together they both allow the wood to move a bit without the cement board expanding or contracting.
With Ditra, the bottom of the Ditra mat stretches and shrinks with the wood, but the top of the Ditra mat doesn't move, thereby preventing any stresses in the ceramic tiling.
So, both prevent stresses from occuring in the ceramic tiling, but they do that in different ways.
In your case, no matter what you do, I would nail down a thin material like 5/16 inch underlayment before you do anything. That way, in future, if you ever want to remove the tiling you install, you're not fighing with getting old thin set off of plywood. You can just take a pry bar and pry up the 5/16 inch underlayment, and any Ditra and tiling on top of that underlayment will come up with it.
I'm concerned that the tiling in your hallway was installed by someone who didn't know any more about it than you do, and that you may now be stuck trying to remove mastic from your plywood.
--
nestork


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Sorry.
On that A. Richard web page, you can find the Lever Bars under "Industrial Hand Tools" in their "Find A Tool" drop down menu. Your local Apiary Supply place will sell both the smaller and larger versions of this bar as well as that third style with the scraping edges both on the front and side of the bar.
--
nestork


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On Saturday, September 21, 2013 1:31:29 PM UTC-7, caledongrl wrote:

nt hall way and I am going to extend it through the kitchen. The front hall way has tiles. The kitchen has laminate, that I believe was put on top of the original linoleum floor. The house was custom built in 1973.

y lasted for 40 years, just starting to come loose in the last 5 years. I do not know what is under the linoleum, but I am assuming it is the same pl ywood.

places directly on the plywood, can I not do the same with the new tiles a nd all through the kitchen? And avoid putting down cement board?

amic tiles? Would this be the case or is it simply because it is over 40 ye ars old? If I do reuse the original plywood, does the old surface have to be completely smooth?

ns to think about.

That glue is probably something called Black Magic. It used to be made of o ld rubber tires. It was great for everything and lasted almost forever. Unf ortunately they no longer make. You can thank your meddling government envi ronmental ninnies for that.
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