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John Dirks Jr

taking up subfloor

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I'll be installing porcelain floor tile in my kitchen. It will be a first for me working with tile like this.

I'll be taking up all the existing flooring all the way down to the joists before laying new subfloor materials. The cabinets are staying so I would like to find the best way to cut along the cabinet edge to pull up the existing layers.

I assume the existing subfloor might go under the cabinets so this would create the need to cut along the edge before tearing up the floor.

Whats the best way with what tool to cut the edge considering the cabinets overhang by 3-4"? How do I get up under there to cut along the base of the cabinet edges?

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You need one of these:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000U8S3QA/?ta ... cn0mjrzk_e

The Fein will feel better in your hand, but Rockwell makes one that is about 1/3 the price. I actually prefer the Rockwell blades.

Just to be clear, you plan to remove the floor covering and subsequent layers of underlayment, not the subfloor, right?

All the way to the joists. I need to get a fresh start in order to have the final at the right height when considering the materials I'll be using with regard to the thickness differences between them and the existing layers.

Right now its as follows. From bottom up, 3/8" plywood, 5/8" particle board, asphalt based 12'' tiles, 1/4" plywood, armstrong sheet flooring.

I plan to tear down to the joists and install 3/4" plywwod topped with 1/4" Wonderboard.

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How're you going to set the durock? I'd take a 1/4" notched trowel and bed the durock in jifset or similar goop.

I agree on the Fein tool. I'd probably gnarl out the bulk with a sawzall, then finish it with the Fein.

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How're you going to set the durock? I'd take a 1/4" notched trowel and bed the durock in jifset or similar goop.

I agree on the Fein tool. I'd probably gnarl out the bulk with a sawzall, then finish it with the Fein.

I plan to follow the instructions in this document.

http://www.pacificislandfloors.com/Prod ... lGuide.pdf

On the other hand, look at the cross section I took from the edge at the back door landing. You see the layers there. If I take off the top layer of 1/4' plywood and strip the asphalt tiles, the remaining would be the 5/8" under layment and the 3/8" subfloor. Provided that surface is level enough, do you think it is good enough to put the tile on, or am I better off stripping to the joists and starting over like I first mentioned?

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How're you going to set the durock? I'd take a 1/4" notched trowel and bed the durock in jifset or similar goop.

I agree on the Fein tool. I'd probably gnarl out the bulk with a sawzall, then finish it with the Fein.

I plan to follow the instructions in this document.

http://www.pacificislandfloors.com/Prod ... lGuide.pdf

On the other hand, look at the cross section I took from the edge at the back door landing. You see the layers there. If I take off the top layer of 1/4' plywood and strip the asphalt tiles, the remaining would be the 5/8" under layment and the 3/8" subfloor. Provided that surface is level enough, do you think it is good enough to put the tile on, or am I better off stripping to the joists and starting over like I first mentioned?

No, absolutely not. The combination of 3/8 ply plus particleboard won't be stiff enough for tile. You'll kick yourself for doing it.

If you really don't want to go down to the joists, go down to the 3/8 ply and apply 5-ply 1/2" plywood over it. Use a notched trowel to apply mastic or thinset between the two. Then apply your backerboard with thinset and proprietary screws (not nails).

Also, I suggest that you remove the toekick board, install your subfloor, underlayment, tile, & grout, then install a new toekick board. This will save you lots of painstaking tile cutting & fitting and leave you with a very clean edge.

I like Hardibacker, Durock, and Wonderboard in that order. They all work fine, but the Hardi stuff is easier to work with.

None of my business, buy why tile? In a kitchen, I much prefer something resilient underfoot.

Jim Katen, Oregon

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Right now its as follows. From bottom up, 3/8" plywood, 5/8" particle board, asphalt based 12'' tiles, 1/4" plywood, armstrong sheet flooring.

Let's say you make perfect cuts to the edge of the existing cabinets, then to the to the joists. Now what?

The center of the floor is on it's own. You just HACKED all of the sub floor that was staggered, for the purpose of keeping a standard toe kick height. Will the tile be grouted or caulked where the cut lines are? Think this through. Where do the joists land? Are you going to have to add nailers for the new sub floor?

I think pulling the base cabinets would make way more sense than busting your ass, cutting corners, and re-doing it the right way, later.

Base cabinets take up 21 inches of floor space. Think about it.

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Right now its as follows. From bottom up, 3/8" plywood, 5/8" particle board, asphalt based 12'' tiles, 1/4" plywood, armstrong sheet flooring.

Let's say you make perfect cuts to the edge of the existing cabinets, then to the to the joists. Now what?

The center of the floor is on it's own. You just HACKED all of the sub floor that was staggered, for the purpose of keeping a standard toe kick height. Will the tile be grouted or caulked where the cut lines are? Think this through. Where do the joists land? Are you going to have to add nailers for the new sub floor?

I think pulling the base cabinets would make way more sense than busting your ass, cutting corners, and re-doing it the right way, later.

Base cabinets take up 21 inches of floor space. Think about it.

John, I'm with Gary on this. Tile is very unforgiving of any weakness or deflection. If your social gatherings are anything like the ones we occasionally have, you can end up with a LOT of people in the kitchen. I did put tile in my kitchen during the enlargement and complete remodel, and I'm happy with it, but it's over cement board, over 3/4" ply, over the original one-by diagonal planking. I like solid!

BTW, who starts off with 3/8" ply sub flooring?

Are you having the cabinets refaced? New fonts, counter tops, etc, etc? I'm not being snotty, but your existing cabinets look kinda basic classic. If a new floor is all you are doing, and you want a different look, I think hardwood (solid or engineered) would be a better fit than tile.

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None of my business, buy why tile?

Jim Katen, Oregon

I agree with Jim; why tile?

Everytime something gets dropped in my kitchen, another chip, another chip, another chip.

Installing Pergo would save lots of labor and it's easy on the feet.

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Pergo? PERGO!?!

It's paper. I don't like paper floors.

OK, I'll calm down.......

I don't usually stick my nose anywhere near anyone else's remodeling unless I'm getting paid; it's one of those things......but since there's a couple comments I agree with, I'll join.

I wouldn't do any of this job without removing all the base cabinets and anything else that would interfere with the flooring install. You're going to spend sooo much more time doing it the way you're describing, and you'll end up with some messed up something that will bug you for the rest of your life.

Personally, I like maple flooring, 4 coats of high gloss marine grade poly, Interlux or equal. The high gloss cuts down to a nice semi gloss in a few months.

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Pergo? PERGO!?!

It's paper. I don't like paper floors.

Yup.

Laminate in a bathroom or a kitchen is a big mistake. It does not like water.

Two days after I finished a pretty good size laminate floor in a friend's living room, her dog expressed it's opinion of it, dead center of the room.

Even though it was cleaned up right after it happened, enough piss had made it through to curl it like a wet phone book.

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John, I see lots of houses in which people have tiled or installed wood around bathroom vanities or kitchen cabinets, and it ALWAYS looks buggered up and not exactly finished. This is especially true for tile, so I would absolutely pull the cabinets before rolling up your shirt sleeves and getting down to business.

Also, if you want to replace the cabinets in the future, it'll be a pain in the ass working with the flooring that was installed to the bases of the existing cabinets.

One other thing. Make certain you don't raise the floor to a degree that the dishwasher won't fit beneath the counter. Yes, this is a mistake I've made in the past.

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You can't pull cabinets that are built in place, even modulars might sustain some damage trying to get them out.

But I agree, better to pull them.

Marc

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OK, I'll throw in another opinion, just to give you the well-rounded view.

I agree with Jim, strip down to the original 3/8 plywood, but no need to remove that. It will likely be older, good quality plywood, but too thin for tiles. Glue and screw a layer of 5/8" or better 3/4" plywood to that and you're set for new flooring.

That particle board kick panel can easily be pried off. Then you can run the new floor under and cover the seam with a new kick panel.

No, I would not remove the cabinet carcasses unless I wanted to spend thousands on this project. You can refinish to some extent, but be aware that some of that paint could be lead-based. Look at replacing all the doors and possibly the front trim when the budget allows.

If you see black glue under that old flooring, it may very well be asbestos-containing.

Tiles are OK, but things shatter when you drop them on tiles. Electric in-floor heat is a nice touch, because tiles are also cold.

You can get some great products nowadays that form a resilient membrane under the tiles to reduce the chance of cracks with movement of the subfloor.

Here's another tile tip. Lay out a few tiles with spacers for grout and plan where the cuts will go so there are no unattractive slivers along any of the walls. I've had good luck with the 13" tiles. In my bathroom and my entry way, no narrow tiles were needed. I adjusted the gaps slightly for full size tiles wall to wall. Spacers are two or three pennies or dimes taped together.

I found the tile cutting blade on a Skilsaw works great for corners. Wear goggles, of course. Clamp the tile and hold the saw with two hands. File down the sharp edges.

For my ongoing kitchen fix, we decided to go with engineered Maple to lighten the place up, after a long (about 3 years) debate. Tiles meant transition strips, and my wife didn't care for my past transitions. [:)]

Mousy little 1968 hovel with a great location, semi-waterfront. Here's where we're at now, $6500 for the Corian countertops and new sink, $1500 flooring and about the same for appliances. Oh yeah, the labor. And the plastic tents in the middle of the house. We only lost the use of the kitchen for about 4 days, though. Or was it 8?

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I didn't say I'm finished, did I? No, I'm never completely finished, because that means a new project has to begin. We are still debating the knotty pine ceiling. Still need trim here and there. Cabinets above and beside the fridge, which is now on the left. Gotta love it.

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Kurt;

I installed this in my kids condo-

It's a nice product and looks terrific. Trust me, it ain't like paper.

But that ain't Pergo. Engineered flooring is fine in the right application.

Pergo, specifically, is paper, and there is no right application for paper flooring.

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Thanks for all the advice and suggestions. I have a lot to think about.

If I pull the cabinets it will turn into an entire remodel. Its not what I’m after now. We’ll be painting the cabinets and getting new hardware. If I have to rip it all out years down the road then so be it. Wife wants tile so tile it will be.

I’ll remove the toe kick, that’s a good idea. If I need to add nailers for the new subfloor, I will. The current trim is a baseboard with quarter round. I’ll pull the quarter round but leave the baseboard so at least the baseboard will match as it wraps around the door frame into the dining room. I can put quarter round back down to cover the edges at the walls. I’ll use resilient caulk at the edges, not grout. I’ll pay attention to planning the layout so as to avoid an imbalance in partial cut tiles at the edges.

Why 3/8â€

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The joists are 2x8 at 16 OC with a max span of about 8' since a room was built below in the basement and the wall of that room reduced the max span of the kitchen floor joists. It's 1962 construction so the wood is good stuff. It's that darker colored stuff. What kind would it be? It's better than the junk they sell these days, thats for sure.

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...it will be too high against the hardwood floor of the dining room. ... I need to keep the entire subfloor/underlayment combination at minimal thickness to not have too much height difference between the two rooms.

John,

You may be over-thinking this. I ended up with at least a 3/4" height difference between my old oak floors and the new tile at the two interior doorways into the kitchen. So I made transitions (thresholds?) to match flush with the finished height of the tile, that then taper down with maybe a 3/16" lip over the wood floor. Literally hundreds of different people (block parties, home tour, etc) have been through those doorways and I've never seen anyone catch their toe. You just don't need that perfect a match in height if the joint is at a doorway.

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It was easy for me as I used to be a professional woodworker and still have a very complete shop in my basement. But, if you can't make them yourself, I bet you could easily find someone who could. Just plan ahead for a space between the rock/tile and the hardwood.

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you could also pick up prefinished transitions of different profiles at the big box stores. I agree that you shouldn't fret so much over 1/4" , 5/16" or so.

I definitely wouldn't go down to the joists just for the 1/4" unless "the boss" demanded it. Come to think of it, I'd probably tell her it couldn't be done[:-hspin]

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