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Old 02-27-2011, 07:06 AM   #1
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Waterbed weight load on ceramic tile


Advised by experienced tile installer to not use thinset mortar under the cement board due to the weight of the waterbed that will be placed in this room. All other sources I have checked with state that thinset must be used. Whose right? Cement board going over a plywood subfloor.

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Old 02-27-2011, 07:20 AM   #2
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Waterbed weight load on ceramic tile


The weight going on a floor has no bearing on how a tile backer is installed. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines. Your "experienced" tile installer doesn't understand the purpose of thinset under a backer, or is assuming that not using it will allow the floor to deflect without cracking beneath the water bed. That's definitely not the case.

Since you're using a tile backer, I'm going to assume you have a wood floor structure. I would have significant concern about the deflection of the floor. You could end up with broken tile and cracked grout joints almost immediately if it isn't stiff enough.


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Old 02-27-2011, 07:41 AM   #3
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Waterbed weight load on ceramic tile


Thanks for the input. Experienced installer said the weight of the waterbed will break down the thinset and cause the same problem of cracked tiles and grout lines.
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Old 02-27-2011, 07:44 AM   #4
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Waterbed weight load on ceramic tile


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Originally Posted by Dsl View Post
Thanks for the input. Experienced installer said the weight of the waterbed will break down the thinset and cause the same problem of cracked tiles and grout lines.
No offense, but I'd be very careful taking advice from that individual. That assumption is just pure D wrong.
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Old 02-27-2011, 07:53 AM   #5
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Waterbed weight load on ceramic tile


No offense taken. We did put down one Wonderboard with just the screws as a test. We didn't like that the board still crackles when walked on. Can be easily unscrewed but can the board be reused with thinset?
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Old 02-27-2011, 08:09 AM   #6
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Waterbed weight load on ceramic tile


Very likely, if you use different holes for the screws.

In regard to cracks in the tile, you should really check the size and span of your floor joists to ensure it will support your tile.

The deflection rating of a wood floor needs to be minimum L/360 for ceramic tile, and L/720 for stone.

"L" is the length of joist span in inches. Dimensional and engineered floor joists have deflection ratings based on their size and the span. Here's a very handy tool that can tell you what the rating is for your floor:

http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/deflecto.pl

If it were my floor, and I were planning a water bed, I'd probably want the floor a lot stiffer than L/360--even for ceramic tile--and I'd want it almost bullet proof if the tile was to be stone.

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