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wedge22 08-24-2008 08:25 PM

Tiling Tips
My wife and I are going to attempt tiling our walk in closet as we are going to have a washer/dryer installed and therefore carpet will not work. We have removed the carpet and all the staples that were used to hold the underlay down. The floor is plywood, can we just tile on top of this?

JazMan 08-24-2008 09:11 PM

NO WAY! :no: After re fastening the old subfloor, you'll need to install a tile backer board into fresh thinset mortar, then fasten and tape per directions.


747 08-24-2008 09:20 PM

Thinset over plywood then durock.

Termite 08-24-2008 10:37 PM

To elaborate...

Use a notched trowel to spread modified thinset mortar on the plywood. Lay 1/4" cement backerboard (wonderboard, durock, hardiebacker) into the wet thinset and screw it down to the subfloor plywood with backerboard screws. Let it set for a full day. Tape and mud any seams in the backerboard with backerboard mesh tape and thinset. Let that dry.

Now, you're ready to lay tile.

JazMan 08-24-2008 10:52 PM

There is no reason, (except an important sports event on tv) to wait after setting the backer board.

Day one; Prep. the subfloor. install the backer board OR you could use a membrane such as Ditra. (more later). Tape and install tiles.

Day two; Grout the tiles.

In case you'd like the floor to be waterproof, you can install Ditra instead of the backer. You'll need to cover the seams with Kerdi Band, and also install Kerdi Band at the floor/wall joint. Now everything will be water tight, except the doorway of course.


wedge22 08-24-2008 11:12 PM

Thanks for the tips.

We do want it to be waterproof as we are going to have a washer in there. Will we be able to get Ditra and Kerdi band at home depot? If we are using Ditra then we do not need any backerboard?

Termite 08-24-2008 11:22 PM

I always wait for the backerboard thinset to set up, but I agree that you don't necessarily have to. It should be screwed down anyhow.

Ditra is available at Home Depot (at least here it is). It can go over plywood, and is also set in modified thinset. Good product!

747 08-25-2008 12:06 AM


Originally Posted by wedge22 (Post 151481)
Thanks for the tips.

If we are using Ditra then we do not need any backerboard?


Ditra is great stuff. But to be honest with you its for experienced tile setters. You might get in over your head with the installation of that product. So if your set on using it. Take your time or you could have a mess on your hands. Unlike durock. You cant mess that up.:laughing: See with that its lay a little thin set slap it down screw it down tape and your good to go.:laughing:

Nestor_Kelebay 08-25-2008 01:28 AM


Do you have any squeeks in that floor when you walk over it? If so, you need to screw down the floor to the joists to eliminate any movement before you do anything else.

wedge22 08-25-2008 11:55 AM

The floor is nice and quiet and its a very small area really as its just a walk in closet.

wedge22 08-26-2008 01:18 AM

Well we installed some different stuff tonight not Ditra and not backerboard, its a roll on matting that comes with its own adhesive on the back, looks alot like bitumen. We ran out of time so my wife is going to attempt the tiling tomorrow.

wedge22 08-27-2008 11:19 AM

The tiling is done but the floor was less even than we thought, it looks ok but its definately not perfectly flat :(

ccarlisle 08-27-2008 11:39 AM

It doesn't always have to look flat i.e "level" as long as it's true, then you can have floors that are not perfectly horizontal or walls that are 100% plumb.

Trueness is a bit of trickery for the eyeballs :eek:

wedge22 08-27-2008 12:59 PM

I think that a small section of the floor was slightly higher than the rest which cause us to use a little more thinset in that area to prevent the tiles sticking up and not matching. We are hoping its going to look better after the grouting. We are definately going to buy self leveller if we attempt tiling again as it will be our bathroom next time.
Do we just caulk around the walls after grouting and sealing to make it waterproof?

Bud Cline 08-27-2008 05:26 PM

That area WILL NOT ever be waterproof the way you have done it.:)

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