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How to replace the floor of a small bathroom?

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z_johnq

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The bathroom floor has something looks like cement under the old tile, please see the attached. After removing the tiles, how much do I have to remove the cement, 1" or 2"? Do I have to use cement again or mortar?
Any input is welcome.
Thanks in advance.
 

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Jeff Handy

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Leave the old mortar bed.
That is how tile was laid years ago, on a thick bed of mortar, like a layer of concrete, to prevent cracking.
Just chip off the old thin set adhesive so the mortar bed is flat, no high spots or bumps.
Your new adhesive will fill in any holes or small dips.
If the mortar bed is really torn up, you can apply floor leveler.
Or a layer of thinset, level that, then screw down 1/4 inch cement board.
 

oldognewtrick

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This past February I gutted our hall bath. Removed the tile and mktar bed. It's a messy job. I installed 6x24 tile over cement board. I didn't like the height of the old floor, it's now closer to the hall height. The mortar bed had metal lathe and busting it up turned it to dust. A lot of work but I'm so glad I made the effort to get the floor down to the plywood subfloor.0212201027.jpg0213201350.jpg0304201743.jpg
 

joecaption

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There is no need to remove all of it unless it's failing.
Use thin set to fill in any flaws.
There is no need to use 1/4" tile board!!
 

z_johnq

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Thanks guys for your info.
I'm not planning to make it a big project like what oldognewtrick said and it's too much for me. I'd do what Jeff and Joecaption recommended.
Btw Jeff, what did you mean by "screw down 1/4 inch cement board "? What's the size of the screws?
Joecaption, you did a great job. It looks nice.
A Home Depot guy suggested applying something in the attached before the placement of the tiles. Not sure if it is necessary to use it. Please advise.
My understanding is you guys wanted me to remove the adhesive between the tiles and the cement. But the problems are I don't see anything between them. Does that mean I need to remove a thin layer of cement surface, to be filled with thinset . This way the height of the tiles will stay the same as before. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
Thanks again.
 

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Jeff Handy

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Fiber cement board like Hardie board.

It will raise the finished floor 1/4 inch.

But you will probably be ok with a transition piece at the doorway.

You can find screws made just for this, just Google it.

Don’t confuse it with the similar product used for house siding.

You probably don’t need cement board, if you are able to get the old tiles up without really tearing up the mortar surface.
 

Johnboy555

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I used 1/4" Hardie board to back up the tile in my daughter's kitchen floor. There were vinyl tiles there before. I used my 1/4" air stapler and a sh#tload of staples to fasten it down. That was 20 years ago and have never had a single crack in the tile. Much cheaper and easier than screws. I wasn't sure that they would penetrate but worked like a dream.
 

Jeff Handy

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EDIT I retract my advice about putting hardiebacker over a mortar bed.

I have used it a few times over slightly unstable concrete, with thinset under it, but I think a mortar bed would not take screws very well.

So it seems like you would need floor leveler or a thinset layer to smooth out the mortar, if it ends up too chopped up after tile removal.
 

mabloodhound

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With the current mortar bed, do as Jeff said. Level out any imperfections with the floor leveler and then lay your tile. No cement backer is needed.
 

z_johnq

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Hello guys,
Two questions for you.
1) The bag of Versabond that I have is about 3 years old. It's hard but easy to break to powder with a rubber mallet. Can I still use it or I need to buy a new bag of it;
2) after removing the tiles, please check the pic attached. The cement base is not flat anymore. Do I need to fill out the small hole or pit and then install the tiles?
Thanks in advance.
 

mabloodhound

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If that hole is down to the dirt/sand base, yes you need to refill it. And the ridges from the old thinset need to be scraped down. Small pocket holes can be filled with leveler.
 

z_johnq

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Please check the pic. It looks like it's pretty bad. Do I need to remove everthing above the metal screen?
Thanks.
 

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curtis73

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Hard to tell from the picture. Not seeing a screen, but I assume it's some kind of lath in a cement floor?
 

mabloodhound

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If the mortar base is flaking and chipping, then yes it needs to come out. It may be better to remove the entire mortar base and put down cement board for the new tile. Otherwise, patch the areas where the screen is showing.
 

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