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replacing ceramic floors

we've got several issues with our ceramic floors in the kithen and adjoining laundry room. Approximately 30% of our 12X12 tiles have cracked. Most of the grout has loosened and in some spaces we can see the thinset as a result of just sweeping the floor. In addition, the floor in the laundry room is not level--it drops 1.5 inches over a 5ft run. We must replace it all. Our concerns: are the floor joyces (2X8 16" OC conforms to local code) strong enough to support the tile or must we strengthen them? If not strong enough, how could we strengthen them--the basement is finished and under the kitchen arethe mechanicals. Would replacing the subfloor with 5/8 inch cement board solve the problem? We want to maintain the level of the ceramic tile with the adjacent finished floors.
appreciate any suggestions.

Re: replacing ceramic floors

I am not a tile expert. It sound like the floor is flexing which can crack the tiles and grout. But what I have found from my own mistakes is that preparation is the most important. Make sure the sub floor is screwed down so it will not deflect. Then I would use the cement board you mentioned for two reasons it stiffens the sub floor so the tile will not crack because of the floor's deflection. It also will allow the thin set to adhere better because of the porous surface. Then put the thin set on the cement board as per the manufactures directions. The butter the back of the ceramic tile before you lay the tile in the thin set. This will fill any voids in the tile surfaces and keep it from moving and keep the grout and tile from cracking....Good luck

Re: replacing ceramic floors

The subfloor is the most important part of this equation.

Look into a crack isolation membrane. That should prevent any cracking in the tile. Good luck!

Re: replacing ceramic floors

I have the same problem with my 13 x 13 ceramic tile. Like the other posters, I suggest you do a good prep first.

My tile was laid over the linoleum, no backer board because I'm on a concret slab. They didn't even take up the base board first.

Re: replacing ceramic floors

It was mentioned that the subfloor should be screwed down so that it doesn't deflect. We nailed it but also put subfloor adhesive down on each (floor) truss before nailing. Will this be as good?

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