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Question DetailsAsked on 9/25/2011

We had our kitchen in remodeled in a 100 year old house. 18" tile floor laid on cupped floor now breaking up. What must be done to lay new

The floor needs to be replaced as 2 of the tiles are now broken and the grout is coming out of most of the floor. The contractor did a VERY poor job of this. Can we replace this with hardwood floors now and will the old floors need to be raised before putting in hardwood?

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2 Answers


Sounds like you have a bigger problem than just failed flooring. Your "floor" consists of 1) Structure (joists and beams). 2) Sheathing/Sub-floor. 3) Flooring (tile, hardwood, pergo, etc.). Tile is the most sensitve flooring material. If either the structure or sub-floor are bad, the tile will be bad. You do not describe how "cupped" the floor was/is. If the floor dips between the floor joists, you probablly have bad sub-flooring (I doubt this in a 100 year old house). If the whole floor dips you probablly have bad structure (joists, beams, bearing point, etc.) This is my best guess-especially in a 100 year old house. You will need to hire a professional to determine what has caused the settlement. Old houses settle, and are not always level. If you don't have an on-going issue (such as rot) you can stabalize and live with the condition. If, as I suspect, you have an on-going issue you will need to have this fixed before you invest in another flooring system. A design professional can help you with all of this.

Answered 9 years ago by Belles Architecture


Tiling requires a fairly rigid subfloor. Often, this is obtained through the use of cementitious sheets like hardi-backer. Other times, the floor system itself need re-enforcement via an additional beam or more frequent joists. A wetbed installation can also add rigidity. Professionally installed floor leveling compounds like gypcrete also address this problem of lack of rigidity. These requirements are specified by tile associations and industry standards. Once this is addressed, a quality tile installation will last.

If you choose to remove the tile and install hardwood, you might not need to re-inforce the floor, but if it were my home, I would be inclined to do so anyway if there is reasonable access from below- in a basement for instance.

I'm sorry you are experiencing this. A qualified flooring professional will be able to guide you to final solution. Best of luck!


Answered 9 years ago by Robert Post

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