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Re-tiling kitchen

Remodeling the kitchen and demolished all cabinets, installed new outlets, and plumbing lines and room is otherwise completely bare at present.  Pulling up the old ceramic tile revealed 1/2'' HDF under.  The HDF was laid over old vinyl witch itself is over plywood/baseboard/subfloor.  Looks like they used primer or sealer on the HDF before they tiled over it.  I've chiseled away the old mortar which also took off much of the primer/sealer.  Most of the HDF still looks sturdy except for a spot degraded due to moisture leak.  Can I re-tile with porcelain tile over this?  If so do I need to re-prime/re-seal the HDF?

Also, there's a section that was under some of the old cabinets which was never tiled or covered; nothing their but plywood over subfloor as mentioned above.  It's about 1/2'' below the level of the old HDF.  My plan was to use Hardibacker or Wonderboard to fill this space.  Is this advisable?

-Thanks in advance!!    

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Posted 2017-09-27T18:02:24+0000  by Jorge Jorge
By HDF do you mean high density fiberboard?  While technically different than hardboard (sometimes called Masonite) is similar in appearance and properties.  Frankly neither are a good choice for a substrate for tile, especially in a kitchen, given that they don't like exposure to moisture.

I might be inclined to pull the HDF and replace it with a more suitable substrate.
Posted 2017-09-28T16:53:25+0000  by Adam444
Thanks for the input Adam!  It does appear to be high density fiberboard with some kind of sealer applied before mortar and tile.  And, yes it definitely took moisture damage in at least some spots.
Posted 2017-09-28T20:20:38+0000  by Jorge
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