What belongs under tile?


Under the disgusting carpet in my living room, I've got hardwood floors. Since part of the room serves as the "lose the shoes" zone, I'm tired of trying to keep the carpet clean. So, I'm thinking of installing some sort of tile or slate in that area - something easy to just mop clean. That "zone" will meet new carpet at some point. Two questions:
1) Whatever backing belongs under tile, does it have to be so thick that the area will be slightly higher than the adjacent carpet? I'm wondering if that'll cause height difference problems where the two materials meet, and people will trip.
2) How do I detect a lame installer for the tile? In other words, if an installer says "You can use {fill in name of wrong material} under tile", which answer should make me say "no thanks"?
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you can see this http://wwwjx.cctve.cn / JoeSpareBedroom 写道:

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It's actually a good candidate for diy. A good substrate for ceramic tile would be 3/4 plywood and 1/4" cement backer board correctly installed. Were you planning to remove the hardwood? JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

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Based on what two other rooms look like, the hardwood's in nice shape, at least structurally. I'd rather leave it in place because if I sell the house, it's a big selling point for some people.
Either way, you're talking about an inch of extra height, PLUS the thickness of the tile. How do I avoid a ridge where the carpet meets? Put the backing of the same thickness under the new carpet? 1/4 inch luan under 3/4 plywood or some such thing?
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Common route is to cut out a 'pocket' in the hardwood near the front door, if there isn't already one down there hidden under the carpet. From late fifties to early 70s, even cookie-cutter houses had a 3x3 square of slate by the front door, so they could say 'slate entryway.' Harwood floor by weather doors, at least ones used in winter (ie, not the deck sliders), is a BAD idea. Fancy houses, they notched the joists for the foyer, and put them on 12" centers to make up for the smaller size, to make a well big enough for a proper mudbed slate job. Cheaper houses used double subfloor and mastic. With w/w hardwood being standard issue back then, and slate being thin, the heights came out close enough for avoiding a trip hazard.
aem sends...
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That all sounds logical. Unfortunately, the original owner modified the layout of this house. The area in question used to be a small dining area, not an entryway. What used to be the entryway / breezeway is now the kitchen dining area. Hmm.
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

You will want at least a 1/4" backer board attached to the hardwood with latex fortified thinset (thereby ruining the hardwood anyway) and deck screws that reach into the joists. Don't try to mount the tiles directly to wood. Even a minute amount of movement can throw off the mortar.
Your 1/4" tile on top of that will create a total rise of 1/2" which can be a toe catcher. I don't really know what the final difference in rise would be between the carpet and tile, however, since the carpet and padding also have some thickness. If it were a 1/4" difference total, a nice maple wood transition could graduate the rise by splitting the difference on each side.
If you only use 1/4", I wouldn't try to use something fragile like marble or slate. I'd stick with 12" ceramic floor tiles and mount them with latex fortified thinset and grout.
Can you get to the joists / sub flooring from underneath in the basement? If so, you could make the floor a lot more rigid with the proper use of plywood, bracing, and liquid nails.
When talking to contractors, find out *exactly* what they're planning on doing for prep work. It should be obvious by their answers who's willing to do a job that will last. Expect to pay extra for that level of workmanship, though.
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Why not just carpet (or not) the entire room, and put some sort of removable mat in the doorway area? Then you can take the mat out to the porch area to clean it.
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I've already done that. Not practical for a number of reasons.
1) I've got a pine tree whose needles blow wherever people need to walk. They cling to shoes, and weave themselves into foot mats & carpet, and cannot be vacuumed out. They need to be removed by hand. A smooth surface is the best place for them to land.
2) In the winter, there's no such thing as cleaning anything outside, if the item to be cleaned requires water to do the job.
3) Due to the number (and size) of shoes, the current foot mat needs to cover half of this entry area. It's an annoyance and it breaks up the lines of the room.
I want a hard surface that can be swept and mopped.
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Don't they make vinyl mats big enough? Hmm.. maybe not.
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Even if they did, they'd take away from the clean lines of the room. And, I always need to make a big production out of what could otherwise be easy projects. It's a disease.
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