Why is there "paper" under 12" tile squares.

Yesterday, we pulled the 12" square tile squares off a bathroom floor. We have owned the place for almost 20 year but we don't know how much longer than that the tile was in place.
Anyway, it seems that these is "paper" between the tiles and the sub-floor.
Was this common practice in the past? I will say that the "paper" made it easy to pick up the old tiles. The paper is stuck to the subfloor here and there but most of it scrapes up. The paper didn't seem to absorb moisture unlike the masonite underlayment that the kitchen the same house used.
If I knew what the stuff was, I would be tempted to put down "paper" again.
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My 1980 vintage kitchen countertop had the Craft wax paper. Base cabinet, particle board, wax paper, bed of mortar with chicken wire and than the tile on top of it all. Lasted for years.
Don't know about floors. My floor tiles were bounded directly to the concrete slab. Had to take a jack hammer to it as the rotary hammer wasn't strong enough. Would have been lot easier to remove if paper were used on top of the concrete.
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wrote:

So the only thing holding everything in place was the grout and gravity?

Just a guess, maybe there was paper between the tiles in the box they came in, and the installer put them down a s a unit.
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No. The tiles seems to be of the "self-stick" variety or have some very thin adhesive. These are just your run of the mill "plastic" tiles. Except for where the bridged over the joint between two pieces of the sub-floor, there was no tile failure and no lifting. The tiles butted against each other so there was no grout.
The "paper" seems to be held down by some still put down with a notched trowel. Just your regular "mastic."

The paper isn't is 12x12 sections. It seems to cover the floor. I havn't found joints but I haven't looked hard.

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Maybe they were peel and stick tiles.
nancy
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wrote

Oh, I'm sure they are. But the paper is still between the tiles and the subfloor.

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Nancy Young wrote:

No-peel and stick?
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That's what I was thinking, I guess some kind of glue would stick to that paper backing and hold the squares down. Interesting.
I lined my kitchen cabinets with those and I didn't peel the backing off because I didn't want them sticking, but I'm not walking around in my cabinets. I had to cut around the edges because the paper extends past the tile, so if that's what someone did in the OP's place, it wasn't by accident.
At any rate, I think I misunderstood the original question.
nancy
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Is this ceramic floor tile ? If so, the membrane is called 'slip sheet'.. Google
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They are plastic tiles. But tell me more about "slip sheet."

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wrote:

I'm not positive, but I think he phrased it the way he did so you would look. I tried 'slip sheet' tile , and seemed to do pretty well. Saying 'ceramic tile' cuts the number of hits in half.

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Hi:
My answers to some of the questions raised didn't get posted for some reason.
To answer the questions: the "tiles" were some kind of plastic. They seem to be the "stick on" type where you peel off a backing sheeting before applying.
The "paper" I found was one (or, maybe two) large sheets.
To the person who mentioned "slip sheets" I would like to have more of a memory dump from you.
I hope this post "makes it."
Thanks for your thoughts so far.
JLG

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