'Oriented Strand Board' for Tile Underlay

uberfusionDecember 14, 2006

Does anybody know the performance of OSB (1/2") sheeting for underlay on which I'll be installing ceramic tiles in a bathroom?

Normally I'd use fir ply but I have a couple of (4x8x 1/2") sheets of OSB that I'd like to use up.

There is lots of support under the sheeting so I'm not worried about any flexing but more about the effects of water...

Inevitably (especially in a bathroom) some water/humidity will work it's way under the tiles so I don't want the sheeting to start 'swelling', separating etc and causing the tiles to loosen.

Do you think I'll be safe to use the OSB or will I regret it...?

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Ceramic tile needs backerboard for a substrate---that is the cement composite stuff. The application of thinset on plywood/OSB causes swelling due to the moisture and can cause loose bonding.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 2:37PM
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Thanks for the good input handymac. I agree with your recommendation.

To be more specific the 'plywood' is actually for under the whirlpool tub (ie. the box that the tub sits in which will be finished with ceramic tile).

There will be an opening on the top of framed-in 'box' which the tub will be sit in - so I want to put tile on this top surface. I could cover the top (maybe even over the plywood - how would I join the cement board to the plywoood? screw it?) with cement composite board but can I just (thin set) adher the tiles to the plywood?

- or will this be a problem?

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 2:59PM
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I install backerboard on a bed of thinset and use screws to secure. Then another layer of thinset for the tiles.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 8:03AM
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