Tile Do-over Have a few questions

rudysmallfrySeptember 18, 2012

So about three years ago, I tiled my bathroom. Shortly thereafter, the tiles started shifting when I stepped on them in a few spots. It quickly became clear I made some errors. I thought the shifting was due to the fact that I did not mortar under the backerboard.

Today I finally got around to pulling it all up. I'm now back to square one. Nice flat wood subfloor. When I pulled the tile up today, it was obvious with the way the tiles popped up that the mortar under the tiles was likely the problem. The backerboard seemed to be down nice and tight.

So that all being said, before I get over ambitious to finish the job and screw it up again, should I put mortar under the backerboard or not?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes...you can not tell if it is tight. The tiniest of vibration under that board can give you grief. You may be fine, but there is no way of knowing for sure. Good Luck.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 11:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Now that you've got a clean slate, instead of redoing with backerboard, try Ditra instead. It costs more, but it's way easier to work with, isn't dusty/messy to cut, and provides a better isolation of movement in the subfloor.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 6:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If the manufacturer of the underlayment says to put down thinset, I'm not sure why you would not want follow their recommendation. There is also a screw pattern that needs to be followed as well.

Although I'd be more inclined to think that the tiles popping was more a function of not having enough thinset under the tiles. After you lay a tile pull it up and ensure you 85+% coverage. If you don't have enough coverage you have the wrong trowel or are using it incorrectly. Again, carefully read the instructions on the bag and follow them.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 12:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The thinset under backerboard is NOT to stick it down - that is what the screws are for. The thinset is there to fill all of the void space so there is no flex when you step on it. Failure to place the backerboard with thinset under it was just begging for failure - exactly what you saw.

Additionally, your floor needs to be stiff enough for tile. What is under your backerboard? Hint - plywood, plywood, plywood. You want 1 1/4" substrate under tile. Then you need an isolation layer to prevent cracks, tiles popping - this will be either backerboard or an isolation membrane, such as Ditra (much thinner than backerboard). Then tile. Do it correctly and you'll have a solid floor that lasts pretty much forever.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 10:18AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Experiences with vinyl flooring
Hello, I was wondering individuals experiences with...
What clear finish to put on hardwood flooring?
I recently bought a home with the entry way being hardwood...
LVP plank and tile flooring pulling apart at seams.
We installed a LVP this spring into our new addition....
peg and groove hardwood floors
I have a 1931 home with a hardwood floor in the main...
concret floors
can you put linoleum on bare concret floors
Sponsored Products
Area Rug: Mosaic Tile Blue 9' x 13'
Home Depot
Chrome Traditional Concealed Sequential Thermostatic Shower Faucet
Hudson Reed
Kichler Bling 38" High Rectangular Wall Mirror
Lamps Plus
Glass Tile: Splashback Tile Building Materials Contempo Turquoise Polished 3
$15.50 | Home Depot
Fabbian | Tile D95 E01 Ceiling Light
$650.70 | YLighting
Atlantis Tubs 4272VAR Vogue 42 x 72 x 23 - Inch Rectangular Air Jetted Bathtub w
Beyond Stores
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™