Subbing In: Part 2


That’s what Jess and I were thinking this morning.  See, neither of us had tiled before.  In preparation, we studied, watched videos, bought all our supplies in advance, prepared everything, and only then got to work.

Little did we know how much work is actually involved in this process.  You remember this post from last week? You thought we were done with the subfloor. Surprise! We weren’t.

The patch

The bigger patch

Repaired Subfloor

That was only step 1 of the subfloor.  The next step was putting down wood so we had something to adhere the Ditra to (more about that in the next post).  We went with 1/4 in plywood for this step because we already had a sturdy floor with tile on it.  We didn’t want to pull up the tile, nor did we want to make a big step for ourselves to go from our hardwood to our tile.  Commence the nailing of the subfloor.  Make sure you nail in a grid pattern.

Qtr Inch Ply

By the way, it’s important to note here to use nails that don’t go into the  floor joist.  This way, your top layer of wood has slightly more flexibility in the summer and winter when your house expands and contracts…meaning less chance of cracking your tile.  We went with 1″ Galvanized nails to go through the 1/4″ Plywood we put down and the 3/4″ board that was existing.

Oh, if your mom, sister, sister’s mother-in-law, and niece drive 16 hours to surprise you and help, remember to say “Thank you!”  Also, it’s never too early to start teaching your niece how to DIY!

Emma Hammer

About 2 hours in, we had finished nailing the subfloor down with 3 lbs of nails.  We had blisters.  Actually, our blisters had blisters.  LESSON #1: WEAR GLOVES.

At this same time, our knees we aching.  LESSON #2: WEAR KNEE PADS

After you nail down your subfloor, grab a level and make sure it’s almost perfectly level. If it isn’t level, you risk cracked tiles later.  At this point, you’re ready to lay your underlayment!

Good Luck!


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