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install bathroom tile

Question, I am installing a 12x14 bathroom with tile over a plywood subfloor. Can you recommend using 1/4 or 1/2 backerboard and 12x12 or 16x16 tile for this large area. Also, what about tapless backerboard?

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Posted 2010-11-29T17:19:26+0000  by tewstone tewstone

Hey tewstone!


Welcome to the community!


I'm a Home Depot flooring associate and I'd be more than happy to answer your tile questions. I always recommend using 1/4" backerboard for your floors, and you use the thicker 1/2" for your walls. You'd want to avoid thicker boards for the floor due to them raising your floors to unneeded heights, which means you'd have to adjust mouldings and possibly cut down your door for it to fit!  So 1/4" boards are always the way to go over your subfloor. Also, check for any imperfections in your floor now. If there are any dips, gouges, or holes I always recommend a self-leveling compound either in a bag or smaller gallon/quart tubs to fix any bad areas of the subfloor, if you have them.


For your tile, since you have a large bathroom, you can really go either with 12 x 12 or 16 x 16 tile for the floor, it really boils down to personal preference. But, consider the pros and cons of each size. For example, larger 16 x 16 tiles require less grouting and less cutting when installing them, but can make the room appear expansive. Smaller 12 x 12 tiles require more grouting and more cutting, but say if you have a lighter color tile with dark grout, it gives a little more a focal point to your floor. Again, it all comes down to what you prefer, there's no wrong way with choosing sizes in your situation. Whenever I'm having to decide on tiles, I always take a few home from the place I got them from, put a few dry runs down flat on the floor, and also look at a grout sample chart alongside them in the room. It makes a big difference putting them down that way instead of second guessing yourself after the tiles are down and you're scratching your head muttering, "What if...?"


As for tapeless backerboard, there are a few out there that I've heard are effective but I personally mesh tape the seams and place mortar over them to make sure you have a water-tight seal. Also, put your mortar down AND place rust-resistant backerboard screws down to ensure the boards will not have any failure at all.


Hope this assists you and thank you for your question!


Posted 2010-11-29T19:26:33+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL

The James Hardie Co. recommends using the 1/4" Hardie Board, but neither thickness adds any structural support for the tile. So, if the sub-floor and joists weren't engineered for tile, you may need to add a layer of 3/8" to 1/2" plywood to supplement the existing sub-flooring and provide more support.

Remember, tile & Hardie Board don't provide moisture protection. Hardie Board won't break down in water, like Gypsum board will do, but it won't prevent moisture from a leak or overflow from rotting your joists. When I did my Bonus Room bath, I used Schluter DITRA for water-proofing and to isolate the tile from movement. I added a layer of 3/8" plywood per their specs. If you use DITRA-XL, you can lay it right over 3/4" ply run on joists 24" OC.



James Hardie - Hardie Board Products

Schluter Waterproofing, Uncoupling and Drainage Membranes

Posted 2010-11-30T16:11:21+0000  by js_
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