Bathroom tiling advice

Discussion in 'Tilers' Talk' started by Aphid2, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. Aphid2

    Aphid2 New Member

    I want to tile the floor of my en-suite bathroom...and other bathrooms within the house in due course. All bathrooms were carpeted when new in 2004, a Bovis home. After removing a side panel from my shower the flooring looks to be chipboard with a green papery covering. Once I remove the carpet, can I just tile over the bare flooring or will I need to waterproof the surface in some way first?
  2. gas monkey

    gas monkey Well-Known Member

    give it a coat of sealent
  3. candoabitofmoststuff

    candoabitofmoststuff Screwfix Select

    Assuming this is upstairs, on a wooden floor, (i.e. joists, not concrete block and beam), make sure you use a suitable, (i.e. flexible), adhesive and grout. You can get grout additives to keep the flexibilty.
    If you don't do this you will get cracking when the wooden floor moves!

  4. DIYDave.

    DIYDave. Screwfix Select

    At an absolute bare minimum, as above (although brief :)) seal the chipboard with a diluted coat of SBR - dilution rates on the bottle

    Don’t even consider PVA ..... just don’t !

    SBR is an acrylic primer, several tile brands (Ardex, Mapei, etc) will sell tile primer but it’s the same I guess as SBR

    Others will say you can’t tile onto chipboard ...... I’ve done two bathrooms in my own house and after 10&8 years, still no issues

    Use quality bagged (powdered) flexible tile adhesive and grout, not a all in one bucket of gloop

    Main thing is check there’s no flex in floor, jump and bounce on floor, any flex will destroy the tiles and/or grout eventually (even with flexible materials)

    Best method really is to overboard chip floor with cement backer board - read up on it, loads of brands, Hardie Board for one

    Still SBR chipboard then thin scread of tile adhesive over floor then bed cement boards into adhesive then loads of screws as well

    This method is more effort and ££ but is the proper way really to go

    Others will have their way and read up as well, then make your choice :)
  5. Aphid2

    Aphid2 New Member

    Thanks for your reply. I was reading about floor coverings, such as Schluter DITRA Mat, and was beginning to think this was an additional stage to include. If a flexible adhesive and grout will be sufficient, that’s better news. Are you able to recommend any products, please, or are there lots?

    Assuming the green floor covering goes all over the flooring surface (hidden under carpet at the moment) I assume I should remove that first?
  6. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    Waterproofings pointless, the tiles are your waterproofer. Prime and Ditra Matting, then flexible fast set bagged adhesive, then flexible grout. Best way would be to cover the chipboard with tile backer board or ply if skint, then Ditra mat and the rest.
  7. CGN

    CGN Screwfix Select

    Make sure there is little to no deviation in the floor.

    Fit 6mm hardie backer or similar following manufacturer instructions, then tile away.
  8. Aphid2

    Aphid2 New Member

    Thanks for all the prompt, helpful replies that appeared as I compiled my first response.

    Clearly a variety of suggestions but with important things in common - sealing the chipboard surface and using a quality flexible adhesive and grout. Fitting a backing surface is a clear recommendation, too, but at least I now have a clearer idea if what to do and something concrete to research. More involved than I thought, to be sure! ;)
  9. longboat

    longboat Screwfix Select

    Most bathroom floors are quite small, it's unusual to find anything over 5sq meters at a push.
    The only benefit 6mill hardibacker board has over 6mill ply is that it won't (or shouldn't) turn to mush if exposed to moisture for an extended period of time, we're talking leaks here not because it's in a bathroom the tiles will prevent any atmospheric humidity reaching the substrate.
    So, ply good, cement board slightly better.
    It's all a matter of how much you're willing to spend.
  10. Aphid2

    Aphid2 New Member

    Understood. Thanks. Certainly the en-suites are typically minimal in size. As for cost, I have no sense of that as yet.

    Hardie backer board versus Ditra matting? No idea how cost compares but is one better than the other? Is it important to tape over the seams?
  11. longboat

    longboat Screwfix Select

    Forget about ditra matting. You don't need it.
  12. Aphid2

    Aphid2 New Member

    Just occurred to me. Won’t adding a 6mm layer of Hardie backer board or plywood, plus the tiles and adhesives, raise the floor level above that of the carpeted floor in the bedroom? If so, how can I avoid a ‘step’ at the doorway?
  13. DIYDave.

    DIYDave. Screwfix Select

    Well yeah a little bit but, does depend on the quality of underlay and carpet that’s laid now - ie, how thick are these items

    But sometimes, when tiling one floor only, a difference in finished heights can’t be avoided

    A carpet to tile joining strip will take care of several mm difference, underneath has like a Z profile (metal type) then probably you won’t notice difference if slight
  14. Aphid2

    Aphid2 New Member

    OK, thanks. I have been reading about vinyl floor tiles, which seem easier to fit. Would they be a sensible alternative for a bathroom chipboard floor, avoiding the need for an extra layer of backer board?
  15. Joe the Plumber

    Joe the Plumber Screwfix Select

    We've used B&Q's carpet tiles in our en-suite .They've lasted well for 17 years so far, and if anything 'happens' to them (near the loo...) you pick them up, take them outside, blast them with a hose, dry them and put them back. If you lay them properly (make thin cardboard templates to use with your Stanley knife when you have to cut them round things), they look just like carpet.

    They're warm, waterproof, easy to lay, relatively cheap, don't break things that are dropped on them, non-slip and make it dead easy to get under the floor if anything there ever leaks.

    Ours are laid straight onto the floorboards (proper floorboards...) with no adhesive needed.
    WillyEckerslike and Jord86 like this.
  16. Aphid2

    Aphid2 New Member

    Thanks for your comments. I already have fitted carpet in my en-suite (as well as two other en-suites and the main bathroom) so I am keen to move away from a carpeted surface. At the moment I like the sound of LVT (luxury vinyl tiles) as a warmer alternative to a ceramic tile. I know there are pros and cons of both. What I am hoping is that LVTs are more straightforward to fit and will negate the need for an additional backer board flooring layer having to be laid over the standard chipboard flooring. The research is ongoing but feedback from those ‘in the know’ is especially important and comments posted so far have been invaluable in helping my understanding.
  17. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

  18. longboat

    longboat Screwfix Select

    I always advise my customers to go for click vinyl in any room, but especially so in bathrooms. It's waterproof, hard wearing, easy to fit and can also be taken up without any damage if the need arises.
    Some insist on tiles, which isn't a problem what so ever.
    Per sq meter vinyl is quite expensive but the ease of fitting keeps the total cost about equal.
  19. Aphid2

    Aphid2 New Member

    OK. Thanks. That’s good to know. So vinyl tiles are an approved simpler and sensible choice for a bathroom.
    What is “click vinyl”?
    I assume the cleaned chipboard surface is primed before laying the tiles? One video I watched showed laying vinyl tiles with spacers to create a gap filled with flexible grout, to create the impression of a ceramic tile. The effect looked quite nice. Have you tried that?
    Are their recommend makes of vinyl tiles to go for, and makes to avoid?
  20. DIY0001

    DIY0001 Active Member

    Put Easyshim under the carpet and then a standard threshold transition strip on top, in a style and colour to match the main bedroom door.

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