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My current kitchen floor has a plywood subfloor with glued on vinyl tiles.

It would be better to have a mortar bed with ceramic tiles, but if I do this, it will add about an inch and a half to the floor height, which will cause the kitchen floor to be higher than the floors of the connecting rooms.

Is there any way around this problem?

  • How old is the house, and how large is the floor in the kitchen? – Jack Feb 17 '18 at 19:36
  • Is there a vent in the floor to lift out to see the layers of the floor? It is better to figure out what you have first and build from there, rather than start from scratch over the existing. – Jack Feb 17 '18 at 19:38
  • Can you substantiate your assertion about a mortar bed? Tile floors in most modern homes are built with an inch and a quarter of wood subfloor, or half inch cement board on top of wood subfloor. With the proper mortar, this is more than adequate and cuts your additional height in half. That can be dealt with using a transition strip. I'd screw down either plywood or cement board over your existing vinyl and call it a day. – isherwood Feb 17 '18 at 23:52
  • The home we have now is a 2007 build and it has a laundry room that had 12X12 glue down vinyl tile with a 1/4" luan underlayment over it for the tile to go to. The rest of the house where ceramic tile is has only 1/4" cement board over the subfloor then the tile. In the laundry room I pulled up the underlayment with the tile, it was pretty easy, drove down the staples, and set the cement board with thinset and roofing nails, screws would have been better, and went with the tile over that. The floor system is 16" centers with 3/4" subfloor, which does make a difference. – Jack Feb 18 '18 at 0:42
  • "mortar bed"? Not sure why that's a good idea. what you need to be concerned about is the deflection rating required by the tile - i believe its L/360 - make sure your sub-floor is designed to that. A mortar bed isn't going to give it to you, but an additional piece of plywood, laminated and fastened per specifications, likely will. I don't believe there is a deflection requirement for vinyl, which would have allowed the contractor to get away with 1 layer of 3/4". So first question... what is the make-up of the entire sub-floor? – Skinner Feb 19 '18 at 13:11

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