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Flooring and Carpeting/Installation of porcelain tiles in kitchen


We are redoing the flooring in our kitchen which is currently peel and stick vinyl tiles. We like the Porcelain products but cannot get a clear answer on installation. Our house is 45 years old and is built very solid. The joists in the kitchen are 2X12 at 16 centers and there are diagonal braces very 5 feet. The floor material is 3/4" plywood. The existing floor is very flat and I am confident that it is not moving. We only have 1/2" from the top of the fridge to the cupboard so our options for underlay is limited. One installer is adamant that their special mortar/adhesive is adequate (once, of course the peel and stick tiles are removed. What do you think? Do we have any other options for underlay that would be better yet deal with the space issue we have. We really like the porcelain tiles. Thanks for your help.

Sorry I am tardy with my reply Bob...been very busy of late.

Thank you for your question,

    You will only gain on average 1/8" of an inch with the removal of the vinyl squares, couple that with the "possible" 1/2" of existing space you currently have for a total of 5/8" or so, you will be cutting it too close to be confident with your clearance standards. You most likely will also be cutting it close with the dishwasher clearance under the counter top as well in some cases so what I have done in the past is to simply remove the cabinet over the fridge and perform a conventional installation rather than sacrifice proper installation practice with the floor you are about to install which will be far more useful and expensive than an old cabinet. Older cabinets typically have generous styles both at the top and bottom of the box and a skilled carpenter can cut material from either or both ends and then reinstall the box once the floor is completed and the needed clearance is established. I know that there are many new products on the market making terrific claims as to their performance and how great they all are but some are really not all that "tested" over the long term as they are new to the market. You do not want to find yourself at the mercy of either a product that is suspect or an installer for the same reason. If you simply install the floor tile in the tried and true method you will be more confident in the overall performance for the long term...ok? Porcelain tile is the Cadillac of the Industry but along with that performance is a specific and recommended installation method that must be followed in order to gain the benefit of what Porcelain brings to the table. So lets pull the cabinet and install the floor and make the adjustments to the box as needed, or no box at all if necessary. You can always install a simple shelf over the fridge to regain some lost storage if necessary. Ok Bob I hope this helps you with your problem, feel free to return anytime...

Perry V.  

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Perry Vellenga


Ceramic Tile/Marble. I can answer questions about floor preparation, tile selection, layout questions, performance of products, expectations of finish, compatabilities, questions about grout and epoxies, evaluating an installer, asking the right questions to check competence...more? 33 years this August 2012/ many years in commercial application from exterior finishes to Mall store fronts/ interior finishes like floor packages in stores inside Malls examples: The Limited, Lerner/NY, Lane Bryants, Bombay Co., Now involved in Residential new construction covering all types of interior finishes and designs.


I worked in an exclusive field of floorcovering called "Tenant Development" which is by invitational bid only, by way of a National bid list. These are large floor packages usually over 3500 sq. ft. of 18" x 18" Marble and Granite and many other types of Marble and sizes. They are specialty stores where the floor package can cost upwards of $50,000 for one store. I have also done "Structure" stores and J. Riggins stores, Lane Bryant,Express and Body Shop stores where wood flooring is used. Presently work for a National Flooring Company in the Residential new construction arena that covers most interior design elements..Granite Slab tops/wood flooring both job finished and prefinished ect..

My response's are published all across the Internet and picked up by multiple Interior Design sites and Industry related web sites where people have questions...

too many most of which don't count...

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