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Old 06-25-2012, 11:20 AM   #1
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How to put down bathroom tile correctly


I am an amateur, all I have on the upstairs bathroom floor right now is 1/2" particle board. I want to lay down 1" thick 12"x12" tericotta tiles on the floor. Can I just lay the tile on the floor with the "Mortar with Polymer" or do I need to put down either the green backer board or the cement board first like I did the walls? Help, this is my first bathroom and maybe my last. Thanks for all the inputs I can get.....Pam


Last edited by pamusher; 06-25-2012 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:26 AM   #2
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How to put down bathroom tile correctly


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I am an amateur, all I have on the upstairs bathroom floor right now is 1/2" particle board. I want to lay down 1" thick 12"x12" tericotta tiles on the floor. Can I just lay the on the floor with the Mortor with Polymer or do I need to put down either the green backer board or the cement board like I did the walls? Help, this is my first bathroom and maybe my last. Thanks for all the inputs I can get.....Pam


Tile can not be laid over partical board, it's all got to come out.
You also going to have to figure out what's below the subflooring to see if it will even work with tile.
You need to know the width of the floor joist, the spans, what's below the partical board.
No form of sheetrock is ever used as an underlaymant on a floor, walls only.
Thin set is what's used under the tile board and the tiles, not some form of glue.

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Old 06-25-2012, 11:39 AM   #3
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How to put down bathroom tile correctly


You need 1/2" or 3/4" bc exposure one (exterior grade) plywood on top of the particle board

Then a 1/4" layer of Wonder board or Durrock set into a bed of fresh thinset---nailed or screwed--

If you can get us the joist size --spacing--and unsupported length--on of us can run the span chart for you and let you know if the floor deflection is okay for tile--
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Old 06-25-2012, 02:58 PM   #4
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How to put down bathroom tile correctly


Can I remove the particle board and put plywood on plywood then use thin set to lay the tile?
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:27 PM   #5
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How to put down bathroom tile correctly


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Can I remove the particle board and put plywood on plywood then use thin set to lay the tile?
You can but no one here will advise you to do so at all so take the particle board up and put 3/4" ply then cbu board.
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:16 PM   #6
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How to put down bathroom tile correctly


Wood moves a lot and tile doesn't--so having a concrete backer board offers the safest material to bond the tile to.

If you are concerned about the height of the floor--there is a surface membrane called Ditra that only add 1/8"

Tile can be set directly to plywood--but a failure can easily occur if the floor ever gets soaked by a forgoten shower curtain or an overflowing toilet--
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:20 PM   #7
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How to put down bathroom tile correctly


Hold your horses by golly!

Let's back up a bit.

If this floor is like the one in my home, the particle board is over 5/8" sheathing. So she won't need 3/4 plywood over the 5/8", rather 1/2" would do it, then the tilebacker.

But the question which needs to be answered first is the one which was initially presented: What size, span, and spacing are the floor joists? No sense in talking about the subfloor if the joists will never allow tile to be laid.
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:48 PM   #8
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How to put down bathroom tile correctly


it's a bathroom so most likely it's 16 oc the question is can you put full ply sheets down if not you will have to stagger them correctly on the joists.
No less the 3/4" ply wood and I'd remove the particle board if it was me its senseless to have that in any bathroom.
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Old 06-26-2012, 06:27 AM   #9
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Wood moves a lot and tile doesn't--so having a concrete backer board offers the safest material to bond the tile to.

If you are concerned about the height of the floor--there is a surface membrane called Ditra that only add 1/8"

Tile can be set directly to plywood--but a failure can easily occur if the floor ever gets soaked by a forgoten shower curtain or an overflowing toilet--
I will definitely either put down the concrete backer board, but I will look into the Ditra first....I am so thankful to all of you for helping me...I would have been a mess if it wasn't for you guys on this site.
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Old 06-26-2012, 06:40 AM   #10
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I will look up what that means..i.e. size, span and spacing of the joists and what joists are on the internet today and then bring it back to this site....boy I took on a biggie...I thought it would be easy since it was only and 8x8 foot floor and I had 12x12 tiles.....WRONG....put I will learn with all your help, and the next one I will have all your notes tagged in a spread sheet for further projects so I will know how to do it. Thanks again guys.
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:44 AM   #11
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What was the flooring previously?

We had tile up in our full bath but it was those small square ones. We popped those up and laid 12x12 tiles...been like that for 6 years and still going strong.

We plan to do the same with the other bath in a few weeks.

If tile was already in your bath I wouldn't worry much about span..joists, etc.

But if you didn't have tile there already then listen to the other posts.
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Old 06-26-2012, 01:38 PM   #12
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If tile was already in your bath I wouldn't worry much about span..joists, etc.

But if you didn't have tile there already then listen to the other posts.
Not necessarily.. if I've learned anything about construction, it's that there's doing it vs. doing it right. Alot of people just do things willy nilly, whether it's correct or not is a whole different question. If you had tile previously, this most certainly doesn't guarantee that the subfloor stiffness is sufficient, in fact in many cases it probably isn't (the builder probably said the same thing.. "oh it'll last at least X years"). If you can check/verify the subfloor thickness and joist spans w/o too much effort, it's a lot easier to strengthen the joists/floor before laying tile and have the installation last a very long time than years down the road.
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Old 06-26-2012, 02:38 PM   #13
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Not necessarily.. if I've learned anything about construction, it's that there's doing it vs. doing it right. Alot of people just do things willy nilly, whether it's correct or not is a whole different question. If you had tile previously, this most certainly doesn't guarantee that the subfloor stiffness is sufficient, in fact in many cases it probably isn't (the builder probably said the same thing.. "oh it'll last at least X years"). If you can check/verify the subfloor thickness and joist spans w/o too much effort, it's a lot easier to strengthen the joists/floor before laying tile and have the installation last a very long time than years down the road.
Well them in my case 47 years later the tile is still strong! I am not too worried about getting it up and putting down new. I'd like to think when houses were built back then they put in quality workmanship.
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Old 06-26-2012, 02:46 PM   #14
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Well them in my case 47 years later the tile is still strong! I am not too worried about getting it up and putting down new. I'd like to think when houses were built back then they put in quality workmanship.
My point was simply that just because there is/was tile their previously doesn't mean the floor is stiff enough for tile (as a generalization for anyone/everyone). Checking and verifying the stiffness of the floor (if tile was there or not) is a good idea regardless.
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Old 06-26-2012, 03:10 PM   #15
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My point was simply that just because there is/was tile their previously doesn't mean the floor is stiff enough for tile (as a generalization for anyone/everyone). Checking and verifying the stiffness of the floor (if tile was there or not) is a good idea regardless.
I hear what you are saying....we just tiled the kitchen after removing layers to subfloor. We had to reinforce the subfloor to make sure it was sound.

But I know what is in my bathrooms so we should be good.

Sorry to hijack OP!

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