kitchen redo / removing tile

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by gresan1, Feb 21, 2009.

  1. gresan1

    gresan1 New Member

    Nov 8, 2008
    Hi all,
    I am the guy that reads everyone's posts but never replies or starts one. Always low key. Well I make exception today :)
    I recently got into tiling and I have done a major mistake in the kitchen. (infact the day i layed the tile, someone here had posted the same question i had and after i read some of the responses i just shook my head in shame because i knew that i messed up......big time)
    well i layed my kitchen tiles with little thinset and a couple cracked months later. knowing my mistakes now and trying to redo the whole kitchen with new tiles, should I take out the substrate that i originally layed on the subfloor or should i just remove the tiles and try to make it as smooth and straight as possible?

    (i feel weird about all this considering back home i have relatives who did this for a living but im trying to save face, i did such a horrible job, lol, total failure, and i want to save myself because i keep getting grilled from family and friends about it)
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    The best place to get tiling help is at

    For tile to survive, you'll need to know the strength of the joists first. Then, you need sufficient subfloor strength because the floor can flex between the joists as well. Then, while it is possible to tile directly on two layers of properly installed plywood, it is almost impossible to get the right conditions unless you are dealing with new materials, so you need a properly installed decoupling layer - this could be cbu or something like Ditra from

    How much you need to remove would depend on exactly what's there now, and its condition.
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  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    UNless you can get all the thinset off of it, and make it "level and straight", not "just as level and straight as possible" the new floor will not look any better than the old one, and probably worse.
  5. gresan1

    gresan1 New Member

    Nov 8, 2008
    well, it took me three days but i got rid of the tiles, after grinding the heck out of the thinset, it took me the whole day tuesday (taking many breaks of course) to level the whole kitchen. hoping to restart the tiling again soon but this time i'll do it properly.
    if there's anything ive learned is to never rush any remodeling work or id have to revisit it sooner or later.
    thanks for your replies
  6. statjunk

    statjunk DIY Senior Member

    Jun 28, 2007
    Make sure you cover all the bases I'd hate to see you at this again. Make sure you check the span of the joists. For cracked tiles and the such that is the most likely culprit.

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