Q: I’m remodeling a bathroom that will need a thick mud floor for a flat, level tile base. It’s in an old house and I reinforced the sagging floor with sistered joists and solid bridging. But I’m worried about adding the weight of a traditional mud floor. Could I just lighten the mud mixture with vermiculite and sand?

A: Michael Byrne, a veteran tile installer and the moderator of JLC’s Ceramic Tile online forum, responds: Because your floor construction is not standard, you need to measure both concentrated and uniform deflection before attempting a tile installation. The measurement for concentrated deflection is taken from the subflooring mid-way between...

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