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Sub Floor prep for tile in bathroom

I am remodeling an old bathroom. As can be seen in the attached picture, I have completely stripped the room. The sub-flooring is made of wood planks. This bathroom is attached to a bedroom that has 3/4 inch hardwood for its flooring. What is the best way to prep the subfloor for tile?

a. 1/4 inch exterior plywood over wood planks, 1/4 inch cement board and then Tile?

b. 1/2 inch cement board directly on the wood planks and 1/4 inch tile?

c. other?

Please advise.


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Posted 2017-01-04T02:41:29+0000  by Hank11 Hank11

Hello Hank11 and welcome to the Community.


Your first step is to determine the condition of your wood subfloor.  Is there any flex?  If so add extra screws to fasten it down tight to the floor joist. Any flexing will telegraph through and create cracks in the tile.

Then I would install a 7/32 plywood underlayment.   Click here to access link.  This will give you a solid surface to add thinset and your ¼” cement board.

Here is a link to some of the chooses you have for Surface preparation for tiling.

I would like to direct you to a step by step GUIDE to (How to Prepare Your Subfloor for Ceramic or Porcelain Tile Installation).  This guides provides videos, product options and tips for a successful project.

While doing a proper tile installation, you may end up with a slight difference in the floor levels from the bathroom to the bedroom.  This can be adjusted by using a reducer transition.

If you have need further assistance or would like to share before and after photo, please do.



Posted 2017-01-05T16:11:13+0000  by Char_HD_CHI
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