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Flooring over ceramic tile

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  • Flooring over ceramic tile

    The builder of our 4-year-old home failed to install the backerboard or ceramic tiles properly under all the tiled floors. Consequently, some of the tiles in our kitchen/breakfast area (about 400 sq ft) are coming loose. I would like to remove the tile floor and replace it with hardwood. Unfortunately, the cabinets cannot be easily removed and I would have to cut the tile/backerboard flush with the cabinets.

    A competent tile setter that has done work for us in the past diagnosed the problem and advised what could be done - BIG & MESSY!

    As an alternative solution, I thought about removing those problematic tiles/backerboards and replacing them correctly. Then, installing a floating "lock & click" engineered floor over it, such as the 3/8" Bruce or Tarkett products from HD or Lowe's.

    My concern is that the grout lines may show through the flooring over time. Any comments, advice, suggestions, or warnings will be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: Flooring over ceramic tile

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    • #3
      Re: Flooring over ceramic tile

      Engineered flooring comes with a pad--either on the flooring or in a separate roll. Between the pad and the thickness of the flooring, I don't think you would ever see a grout joint.

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      • #4
        Re: Flooring over ceramic tile

        I have an almost identical problem with my ceramic kitchen tiles. The subfloor was not properly secured and as a result tiles cracked. Water has reached the plywood subfloor and now more tiles are cracking and the plywood is delaminating. I know it will be a lot of work, but I believe the proper was to proceed is to remove all the tiles. Cut flush along the cabinets, but remove all the tiles. Before I replace with either new tiles or any other floor, I will replace damaged plywood. The floor you suggest (3/8") will raise the floor height too much in my opinion to just leave the existing tile in place. This is not something you want to revisit in the future, it was not done properly once. In talking to professionals I was told the subfloor should have been screwed done (not nailed) every four to six inches to prevent movement. If this was done right the first time my tiles would not be cracking and the subfloor would not be damaged.

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        • #5
          Re: Flooring over ceramic tile

          Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
          I have an almost identical problem with my ceramic kitchen tiles. The subfloor was not properly secured and as a result tiles cracked. Water has reached the plywood subfloor and now more tiles are cracking and the plywood is delaminating. I know it will be a lot of work, but I believe the proper was to proceed is to remove all the tiles. Cut flush along the cabinets, but remove all the tiles. Before I replace with either new tiles or any other floor, I will replace damaged plywood. The floor you suggest (3/8") will raise the floor height too much in my opinion to just leave the existing tile in place. This is not something you want to revisit in the future, it was not done properly once. In talking to professionals I was told the subfloor should have been screwed done (not nailed) every four to six inches to prevent movement. If this was done right the first time my tiles would not be cracking and the subfloor would not be damaged.
          Hey now, I nail my backer down, but I do use galvanized ring-shank roofing nails. But, I don't just nail it down, I also adhere it to the sub floor. If the backer was just nailed down without any adhesive I would go after that tile contractor and the builder...

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          • #6
            Re: Flooring over ceramic tile

            Originally posted by Alphacowboy View Post
            Hey now, I nail my backer down, but I do use galvanized ring-shank roofing nails. But, I don't just nail it down, I also adhere it to the sub floor. If the backer was just nailed down without any adhesive I would go after that tile contractor and the builder...
            The contractor was my wife's uncle, who was well paid. He also used the wrong flashing cement on our skylights and they leaked tar for years! Unfortunately this man who was a good guy passed away several years ago, and with family it's difficult to rock the boat. I agree that he did not perpare the subfloor properly, now to fix the problem is a lot of work and money.

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            • #7
              Re: Flooring over ceramic tile

              One of the vibrating multitools is a great way to cut the tile and backer out flush to the cabinets. Try a diamond edge bit.

              To me the laminate floating floors are a step down from tile. They've gotten better, but to me they don't look like a real wood floor. I put tile in the entire house. With epoxy grout, it's hard to beat for durability

              Backer board should be set in thinset. You can use the cheaper stuff like Customblend under backerboard, but I use Versabond which sticks better to plywood. Then screw or nail on 6" centers before the thinset cures. Most of the backers like Wonderboard or Hardibacker have marks where you should nail or screw.

              If screwing, the screws designed for backer are best, but they're pricey. Galvanized ring shank roofing nails work fine and are much faster.

              The thinset supports the backer, and the screws/nails hold it in place. Both are needed for a topnotch job.

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              • #8
                Re: Flooring over ceramic tile

                Thank all of you for the responses. FYI - Every house in the subdivision that was built by the contractor (and likewise, his flooring installer) has tile coming up. The contractor is no longer in business and the "floor guy" has moved away.

                This is a great web site, simply because of folks like you all who know what you're doing and are willing to share your knowledge and experience.

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