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Advantech over tile

Slivy | Posted in General Questions on

So quarantine has convinced my brother that he needs a private office from which to work while home with his kids.  Limited space has made him carve out a 9ftx10ft corner of the family living room.  Currently, the floor is covered in ceramic tile.  He wants to put down a wooden floor in this new space (real wood–he’s milled it up).
My question is this:  Do you see any problems in placing a subfloor such as advantech directly over the existing tile?  Maybe just some tar paper or plastic beneath?
We’re in zone 3A (Georgia).
Thanks in advance!!!

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  1. Expert Member
    Michael Maines | | #1

    Slivy, there are a lot of caveats to answering this type of questions. The short version is that it would be safer to remove the tile, so you can correct any issues and ensure that the structure is sound. But if the tiles are well-adhered and you use construction adhesive to minimize squeaks, it is probably ok to put Advantech over the tile, screwed through the tile with masonry screws.

  2. Slivy | | #2

    Thank you!
    do you see any issues with him forgoing the masonry screws and just letting weight/friction hold? he's looking at this as a temporary (read: for the next 4 years--until they can move) fix that he knows may need dismantling once they get house back on market.

    1. Expert Member
      MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #3


      There are products made specifically for this which avoid all the complications of subfloors and attachment. Floating floors, and engineered hardwood both come with cushioned backing and can be laid without damaging the tile underneath. You can find a pretty good selection at any Big Box store.

      1. Slivy | | #4

        Much appreciated. Thanks guys.

  3. Expert Member
    NICK KEENAN | | #5

    What you've described is basically how a floating floor works. No issues per se, just a few things to think about. The floating floor has to hold together, so you want a double layer subfloor. This could even be 1/4" luaun over the Advantech, attached with 3/4" screws.

    Usually when you nail down a hardwood floor the nails go through the subfloor. That's not going to work with tile below. So you're going to have to use short nails, maybe 1-1/4". The boards lifting shouldn't be an issue on a small floor like that but you might have trouble finding the right ones.

    Laying, sanding and finishing a wood floor is a lot of work. I wouldn't expect to be able to reuse it. You may find when all is said and done a click-together laminate floor makes more sense.

  4. Robert Opaluch | | #6

    Your brother milled his own wood for flooring, so he may not want to purchase floating hardwood flooring. Otherwise, I'd agree with Malcolm that pre-finished floating hardwood flooring seems like a great option for this temp floor over tile. Floating hardwood flooring "click locks" together and can be taken apart later when you move, then reused. No nailing or gluing required. No sanding or finishing, since its prefinished. The flooring is assembled over thin underlayment (the brand's proprietary plastic/foam or cork). You don't even need to use the advantec underneath. The only problem I see is that floating floors need 1/4" or 3/8" space around the outer edges of the completed floor, so it can expand/contract with humidity. Typically one uses baseboard or shoe moulding to cover the small required space along walls. Your brother could skip this trim and leave the open space; or install, then remove some temporary shoe moulding later. When the floating floor meets the step down to tile, you may want trim to cover the ugly transition (small step down to the tile from the layers of floating wood flooring about 1/2", then thin underlayment, and skip the advantec). If your brother mills his own wood, he'd probably want to create his own trim, similar to a door threshold that laps (1/2" or more) over the floating floor and underlayment and the required spacing, to transition down to the tile. The trim could be tacked down to the edge of the flooring, to be floating as well.

    You could make this a cheap solution by getting click-lock laminate flooring, quite cheap but tends to make clicking sounds when you walk on it, and doesn't look as nice.

    I'd recommend Kahrs or other Scandinavian brands, which are more healthy, attractive and are reasonably priced, at least on the East coast.

  5. Expert Member
    Michael Maines | | #7

    SS, if your brother wants to install real wood flooring and not a floating floor, I would not try to "float" a single layer of Advantech over the tile. You could float a double layer, though, as described in this article: Then he could install real flooring over that. You can get short nails or staples that won't penetrate 3/4" subflooring but they won't hold as well as ones that go through the subfloor. There would be a higher risk of squeaks with this system than with conventional construction.

    1. Expert Member
      MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #8

      Two layers of subfloor and the finished hardwood will leave you with something like a 2" threshold. That's awkward - almost a step - and will necessitate cutting a pretty big chunk off the bottom of the office door.

  6. Slivy | | #9

    Y’all are awesome. Thanks so much

  7. jimbox | | #10

    Hi Slivy,

    I was wondering if you could provide an update on this--I'm in a similar dilemma although my tile is uneven (satillo). What did your brother end up doing, and how did it work out?

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