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Cement board over linoleum?

My home project: to tile a master bathroom.


I was going to put down 1/4" hardiebacker board first. This is a 17 year old home. In very good condition.There is one small squeek in the floor, between the shower and the toilet that I want to eliminate with the extra cement board.


First, I was told to remove the existing linoleum. Then put down mortar with a 1/4" tool onto the ply floor boards. Drop the Hardiebacker in place. Then put 30 screws in it.


My question: Why do I need to remove the linoleum? If I'm going to put 30 srews into each 3' x 5' booard, is it really going to make any difference?


Please advise.


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Posted 2012-04-15T20:35:44+0000  by TheMrRight TheMrRight

Good morning TheMrRight,


Thanks for your question and welcome to the community!


I'm glad your doing your homework first before starting your tile project, lets talk about the right steps to get the job done right.


There are several reasons why it's a good idea to remove the linoleum before putting down your tile backerboard first.


  • the linoleum makes the mortar harder to adhere properly if it was left in place (most tile manufacturers recommend you to use backerboard screws and mortar to ensure it is properly installed)


  • taking the linoleum out gives any moisture a better 'escape route' since vinyl is essentially blocking the subfloor


  • If the linoleum is in bad shape, then it needs to be removed. Even if its just 'uglied' out and not worn needs to be removed


That's not to say that you can leave the existing linoleum as is. But in my humble opinion, since you are already committed to making sure you want the best tile install, it would be better to remove what you have down now.


I know it seems like an extra step, but making sure to take it off with a good floor scraper and taking any remaining adhesive on the floor will make your new tiles have a great foundation.

floor scraper


After this is done, you are now ready to put down thin-set mortar as a base for your backerboards. Set and install them correctly, and you should have a water-proof and durable foundation for any tiles you wish to place on top.


I hope this information has helped you out, and please let us know if you have any further questions.



Posted 2012-04-16T13:23:02+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL
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