Advice Needed on Victorian Wooden floor and Hardiebacker Boards

Discussion in 'Tilers' Talk' started by verynewtothis, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. verynewtothis

    verynewtothis Member

    Hi All,

    I've decided to tile my bathroom floor, approx 3.6 sq meters. First time doing something tiling wise. I have taken off the previous owners cheap wooden floor vinyl tiles and are now left with the original wooden timber lengths, which are is quite a decent condition. I have been now looking into tiling the floor with porcelain tiles from B&Q - 10mm thick.

    I have now been reading that I need to use hardiebacker boards which are stuck down with adhesive and screwed into the original wooden floor joists. This is where my issues start as I don't know what adhesive to use, flexible or not flexible. How does that exactly work when you have a 3mm gap between each wooden floor panel? I have read ardex is probably the best one to use for this but I am still struggling to work out what is best for what I need. I'm having trouble trying to source ardex as I plan to collect it tomorrow morning. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    After I work this out my tiles will be stuck down to the hardiebacker board with either Ardex x7 or Ardex X7R, which was recommended in one of another threads on this forum. Buy only If I can find a supplier near Worcestershire as I'm finding them hard to get hold of same day! Grout aswell would be Ardex I presume if I can get it tomorrow or tonight.

    Could anyone provide any advice if this is the right way to go?

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    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
  2. Pollowick

    Pollowick Well-Known Member

  3. sospan

    sospan Well-Known Member

    Two things - having MDF under the bath isn't the best as it will absorb any water leaks and then suddenly give way. Talking of leaks, you may want to resolve the bath tap feeds, the elbow, valve and push fit connector are under quite a bit of tension and could be a source of future problems.

    BTW. Hope you managed without your glasses ;)
  4. verynewtothis

    verynewtothis Member

    Thanks for the advice, unfortunately I have checked the suppliers around a 10 mile radius and they don't stock the ardex so I'm a bit stuck for suggestions for adhesives and grout for the job. Sospan, thanks for the reply mate, this was work of the previous owner, a carpenter by trade - however I'm finding more and more bodge jobs that i need to try to sort myself as otherwise when i come to sell the house i will lose out. I can take the mdf out of there no issue, how do you know that the elbow, valve and push fit connectors are under tension? Obviously I'm not a pro so would be good to find out why. Oh and yes, managed ok without the glasses, just put my contacts in! ;)
  5. sospan

    sospan Well-Known Member

    The concern is that the previous bodge job has left the pipes bent at an angle and aren't supported. Normally pipes are pulled over because they are too short somewhere

    Compression joints aren't the best and can dribble especially when there is some movement. The same for the push fit connectors because they are crossing over, there is a chance that the retaining ring can be pushed back and the joint will come lose especially if someone pushes on the stop valve while turning the screw stop. I would try and uncross them and fit some clips.
  6. Joe the Plumber

    Joe the Plumber Active Member

    You've got a lovely wooden floor, in great condition, and you want to tile over it?

    Apart from what you'll do when something goes wrong beneath the floor (and given the plumbing
    you've found so far, that might be quite likely), I have to ask, why?

    Personally, I'd sand it, get some decent varnish and enjoy it as it is.
    WillyEckerslike likes this.
  7. Dam0n

    Dam0n Active Member

    Agree with the above sentiment. So many people would love a wooden floor like you have. People pay thousands for a floor like that. Be a shame to cover it up with anything, nevermind b&q special printed tiles.
    WillyEckerslike likes this.
  8. WillyEckerslike

    WillyEckerslike Well-Known Member

    Sorry but I also agree with the above. That floor looks lovely (from here at least) and just needs protecting from water splash. Put a couple of bathroom rugs down if you're worried about your feet getting cold - tiles will be much colder anyway.

    Good luck with whatever you decide though.
    Dam0n likes this.
  9. DIYDave.

    DIYDave. Well-Known Member

    If you decide to tile, doesn’t have to be Ardex, but yes go for a decent brand, powdered adhesive and powdered grout and yes, flexible for both

    Is the a SF near you, they sell a range of Mapei adhesives and grouts, just check suitable for porcelain tiles and not all are

    Check all boards are well screwed down with no movement. Bounce on the floor, again, any major movement with floor / joists / boards /? . Any split, damaged boards ? If so, replace

    Hopefully not. If yes, further investigate and remedy needed. Need to eliminate pretty much all movement apart from a little natural flex in the timber for a tiled floor to last

    Prime timber with Tile Primer or SBR diluted as per tub (prob 1-4 water)

    Allow to dry, mix up tile adhesive and using a notched trowel,(4/6mm) spread evenly over floor, give cement boards a wipe over as can be dusty and plant onto tile adhesive

    Don’t worry about gaps between boards, adhesive doesn’t need to look pretty, just an even bed. This takes up any unevenness between boards and prevents flex with cement board

    Screw down using recommended screws, length ? As you don’t know exactly where pipe runs are and cables, screw into floorboards and no further. Hardie recommend how many screws per board and pattern, don’t scrimp

    Now ready to tile, 10mm trowel
    Again, wipe over with damp cloth to remove dust, no further primer required, off you go
  10. verynewtothis

    verynewtothis Member

    I just want to bring this back up and show the progress that was made, I decided to go with the great advice here and stick with what was there. Extremely pleased with the result and glad you guys told me it was the better option! It definitely was!

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  11. Dam0n

    Dam0n Active Member

    Excellent work. That floor is beautiful
    verynewtothis likes this.

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