All, My wife and I just got the keys to our first house two days ago (WOOHOO!), and along with that came a long list of improvements we want to make. The house was built in 1965 and until recently was inhabited by an older lady, so the interior's a little dated but overall it's in great shape. We can tackle most things rather easily (we hope), but I could use some advice on how best to proceed with tiling the kitchen floor. Here's the details of the existing floor: 2x10 joists, 16" on center. (The actual dims of the joists were 1.5"x9", those are '2x10', right?) 1 1/8" plywood subfloor 2 layers of existing vinyl (?) flooring Here's where the questions come in. We want to lay 12"x12" ceramic tile, but I'm questioning whether we want to use cement backerboard of some sort. I've bought a couple of books from Home Depot (the big orange Home Improvement 1-2-3 one, and also Tiling 1-2-3) and they say that tile can be laid directly onto a plywood subfloor provided it's at least 1 1/8" thick, which mine is (just barely). I don't want to have a floor that cracks, so I'm a little worried about doing it this way. Enter the cement backerboards.... Home Depot carries two types of cement board, Hardibacker and Wonderboard. The Wonderboard stuff seems to be the older style, with a fiberglass mesh embedded on both sides. The Hardibacker more closely resembles drywall, and supposedly can be cut with a utility knife. I've heard differing opinions on which to use. The Hardibacker website recommends a minimum 5/8" subfloor, so I'm well over that. Are these types of boards overkill if I already have a sound 1 1/8" plywood subfloor? Another concern would be the transitions to other rooms. The kitchen/hallway/breakfast area to be tiled will be bordered on two sides by hardwood floors and on another by carpet. The existing floor (two layers of vinyl) is level with the adjoining rooms. I'm thinking that if I strip these two layers off and lay down 1/4" Hardibacker that I'd be back to level with the other rooms, then adding the mortar and tile onto that will put me about 1/4" over. This should be easily hidden by a small wooden transition piece, right? Is there a better way to go about this? If I skip the cement board, I'd end up being more even with the adjoining rooms, but I don't want to sacrifice longevity for appearance of the transitions. I've also read that certain flooring made before 1985 could contain asbestos and might be harmful to remove. Should I be concerned about this if all I'm going to be doing is scraping it up? Speaking of scraping, that's possibly my biggest concern, or at least what appears to be the biggest pain of the whole project. How do I remove the old flooring?? Tools, techniques, any advice would be appreciated. OK, so I'm getting long-winded at this point. Hopefully there's some pros or good DIYers on this forum that can lend a newbie a hand! (Pointers to other good forums would also be appreciated) Thanks, -Brett.