preparing to install flooring tile in the bathroom; need to remove old
tile. never done it before so i'm new at the game
folks who know better tell me that once old tile is gone i'll need
backerboard for floor before tile
when i was lowe's today, i saw a new product called 'durorock floor
membrane'. talking with the flooring guy at lowes (yes, i KNOW that's
always a mistake), he said this is designed to replace backerboard
it's a thin epoxy that's placed on the floor. a membrane is then
embedded in the epoxy and this is left to cure. when done, it protects
against cracks caused by up to 1/8" movement in subfloor. it's stiff
and is also waterproof, so good for bathrooms. membrane can be cut
with a razor instead of a sawblade like that needed for backerboard
anyone have experience with this? any recommendations yea or nay?
He is WRONG, start fresh for the best job, if cold floors are a issue
they have a electric grid that goes on between the concrete board and
the membrame is good and will minize cracks but first start over.
you wouldnt want to build a new home on the cracked broken footer from
the previous home in that location?
you haven't defined what is under the the existing tile. what you need to do
to prep the floor is different and dependant upon your situation.
for example, if you have a slab floor and it's been there for years, and
there are no existing cracks, then you don't need either a membrane or
backerboard. if it's a new slab, i'd use the membrane. you don't need
backerboard on any slab.
There are two primary means of tile failure besides impact - flexing
and tensile force. Crack isolation membranes can handle tensile
force (like when bridging a crack in a concrete floor), but will not
necessarily be able to handle flexing, like when a subfloor is not
stiff enough and it deflects between floor joists.
Ask this question over at the John Bridge tile forums. They're
primarily tile pros and have more tile experience than the rank and
file in a home repair forum. I have not used the Durock membrane, but
I imagine that it is their answer to Schlutter's stuff. Schlutter
basically being the gold standard.
First, strip the old flooring, backerboard, etc. down to the subfloor.
Next, determine if your floor structure is stiff enough to support tile. If
I think there is a calculator over at the John Bridge tiling web site that
you can enter your joist size, spans, etc. and it tells you if the
structure is adequate for tile. If the floor flexes too much, you will end
up with cracks in the grout lines, and potentially cracked tiles.
Assuming the floor structure can support tile, I used 1/4" hardibacker
board. You basically embed it in thinset mortar as you do tile, then screw
it to the subfloor every 6" or so. Then embed mesh tape on the seams before
starting to lay your tile. Be sure to stagger your backer board so you
don't end up with the corners of four sheets meeting in the same place.
In my case, the 1/4" backerboard, 1/4" thick tile, and thinset layers added
up to just about 3/4" total thickness. This matched up perfectly with our
3/4" hardwood flooring for a perfect transition.
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