Often asked: What Do You Put Under Ceramic Tile?

Often asked: What Do You Put Under Ceramic Tile?

What is the best underlayment for ceramic tile?

A concrete slab makes a good underlayment for floor ceramic tiles, since it’s similar to the solid mortar bases that used to be the standard for ceramic tile installation. However, the slab must be flat, perfectly level, and not at risk of settling or heaving.

What kind of subfloor is needed for ceramic tile?

Exterior plywood is an acceptable underlayment for tile and is preferred to interior-grade plywoods because the bonding adhesives used are waterproof. If water seeps through the tile installation to the underlayment, it will not cause the wood to swell, as happens with interior-grade plywood.

Do you need underlayment for tile?

A tile floor consists of three individual layers: the subfloor, the underlayment, and the surface tile you walk on. (Without one, even slight movement of a subfloor can cause grout lines to crumble and tiles to crack.) Good underlayment also provides a waterproof barrier between the tile and the subfloor.

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Do you have to put cement board under tile?

In short, tile and grout are not inherently waterproof. Cement backer board is often used as a tile base on plywood or OSB subfloor. Cement backer board on concrete as a subfloor or underlayment is usually not recommended or needed. In most cases, you can apply tile directly to the concrete.

Do you need a moisture barrier under ceramic tile?

Ceramic Tile and Water But if moisture seeps through the grout in the joints between tiles, it can degrade the thin-set adhesive used to secure the tile and cause the floor to fail. The grout used to fill the joints between tiles is not naturally waterproof, so it needs to be sealed to prevent moisture infiltration.

Can you put tile directly on subfloor?

While tile can be laid on plywood, do not install tile directly onto the plywood subfloor itself. Use intervening layers of two sheets of plywood.

How thick should the subfloor be for ceramic tile?

The subfloor under the tile should be at least 1 1/8″ thick, with a minimum of 5/8″ thick exterior grade plywood topped by 1/2″ cement backer board.

What do you use for subfloor under tile?

Oriented strand board (OSB) and exterior-grade plywood will work if first covered with a latex-modified mortar and a tiling backer board. Install a cement-based backer board following the manufacturer’s instructions. This provides a solid surface under the tile that prevents flexing that could lead to cracking.

What is the best backer board for floor tile?

Cement board is a good, reliable backer board that works well on both floors and walls. Keep in mind that most tile setters err on the side of caution and brush a waterproofing membrane on top of cement board when it is in wet areas like showers or tub surrounds.

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What to put under tiles?

Underlayment is something you put on top of your substrate to prepare it for tiling. The substrate (or subfloor) is the ground, whether it’s made of plywood or cement. Cement board or backer board are the most standard underlayments.

Can tile be laid directly on concrete?

A: It’s perfectly acceptable to put tile directly on concrete — with a couple of caveats. Those products should help prevent any cracks in the slab from damaging the newly installed tile.

How thick should backer board be for tile floor?

Floors: A 1/4-inch minimum thickness is needed, but thicker panels are also fine. Walls: Use 1/2-inch or 5/8-inch- thick cement board, not 1/4-inch. The extra thickness is needed to span the studs and provide a solid base for the tile.

Can you just screw down cement board?

Screw and Joints Do not use drywall screws as they are not recommended to be used to hold the backer board in place. All of your backer board pieces should be cut before they are placed on​ the floor. Along the perimeter, screws should be installed at least ½ inch from the edge, but no more than 2 1/4 inches.

What is the thinnest backer board for tile?

A vertical backerboard over which you plan to tile should be at least 1/2 inch thick.

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