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Silvan1

05:02PM | 07/24/05
Member Since: 07/23/05
2 lifetime posts
Bvflooring
I am replacing vinyl floor tiles with ceramic tile. I have removed the vinyl tiles. The floor consists of 3/4" plywood topped with luan plywood. The luan has been nailed every 3 to 4 inches. I do not want to tear up the luan and replace it with cement board if I don't have to. A friend of mine, who lays ceramic tile for a living, says that ceramic tile will not stay bonded to luan because it is too smooth. Has anyone had any experience using luan as a base for ceramic tile where the tile has not loosened or broken over a relatively long period of time?

Tileguybob

11:50AM | 07/25/05
Member Since: 07/03/05
283 lifetime posts
Look on any bag of thinset and it will say "not to be used over luan". The luan has oils which inhibit the bond of the thinset. Being a 1/4" wood it offers no structural strength and in fact will compress if anything heavy is rolled over it. That compression will transfer up to the tile and the tile will crack. A 1/4" cement board will not compress and can be used as long as you put thinset under it to fill any airpockets and voids, then use galvanized roofing nails to anchor it.

Silvan1

05:03PM | 07/25/05
Member Since: 07/23/05
2 lifetime posts
Thanks Tileguybob for your response and detailed info. It always helps when the "why" of a answer is provided. Now I can proceed with my project. I'll tear up the luan and replace it with cement board. It's more work, but it makes good sense. Thanks again!

Tileguybob

05:59PM | 07/25/05
Member Since: 07/03/05
283 lifetime posts
Keep a pair of pliers handy. It always seems that the staples holding down the luan tear through it and remain embedded during removal. Another testament to its non durability.

If you have a circular saw set it to a cut depth of about 3/8" so it just makes it all the way through the luan. Make 2' square cuts then lift the squares with a long handled (2 or 3' long) pry bar.
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