I'm planning to tile a kitchen/dining room area. When I removed the
existing vinyl, it didn't come up clean. There is a layer of paper that
is firmly attached to the .25" plywood with gummy adhesive.
Any idea's on how to get the surface clean? Do I need to get down to
the plywood, or can I tile right over the remainder of this paper
backing? I have a few places where I'll be leveling the floor, but for
the most part, it's level and solid. Thanks, LLS
I'd take up the 1/4" plywood and lay down backer board before tiling.
The kitchen is usually the highest traffic area in the house and any
weakness in the installation will lead to broken tile and PIA repairs.
The long answer is that plywood is an acceptable substrate for tile.
But deflection, that is, "the give" in the floor is a real concern.
That is what will cause grout and even tiles to crack or lift.
You can google it if you want an even longer answer.
Here, the rule of thumb is that the substrate must be at least one and
one quarter inches thick -- generally half inch plywood underlayment
over three quarter inch sub floor.
One thing you might want to be sure of is the join between the tile
floor and the flooring in the rest of the house. The tile will be a
quarter inch higher than the vinyl was ... and you'll be adding
another quarter of an inch in height if you follow Rico's suggestion
of replacing the quarter inch plywood with backer board ... as I would
you to do.
HTH a bit.
"The long answer is that plywood is an acceptable substrate for
Only exterior grade, or CDX plywood is acceptable for
Since the poster is removing vinyl from 1/4" plywood, it's
probably smooth, thin plywood that is traditionally used
under vinyl, and is the wrong type to receive tile.
Other backerboards would be a better choice in a kitchen
As has been said, you need 1 1/4" of solidly glued
and screwed subfloor if you want a long lasting job.
I've seen many DIY'ers tile over that thin smooth plywood
and it doesn't last. Generally too it's not bonded very
well over the subfloor, as it doesn't need to be for vinyl.
also have ready: what type of construction, and where are your moisture
see manufacturers website regarding installation:
general info 52 pages of general info at:
You don't say what kind of tile you are putting back down. Most people
here think ceramic when you say just tile.
If its vinyl then the floor has to be absolutely smooth. You may be able to
put ceramic down, but we would need more info.
In the original post, I had said that the floor is solid. The joists
are 16" OC, and there is 1" plywood, and .25" plywood. I have no
moisture concerns; there is a full basement under the house. The tile
is actually porcelain. Maybe I'll replace the .25" of plywood, just
to be safe, that will give me a clean surface - That's my greatest
concern at this point. Thanks for the responses! LLS
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