Installing tile over plywood on a bathroom floor is a good concept. At first glance, you may think that this can be a complicated process. You have to go through the same steps as installing tiles on a normal subfloor. You may have doubts about tile floor installation on plywood if you do not know enough information about it.
It is permissible to place tiles on plywood, but installing them directly on plywood is not advisable. The wood shrinks and expands over time. So, it can create cracks in the tile. Therefore, it needs to use a cement backer board on a 3 cm thick plywood where the tiles will be placed.
In this article, I’ll break down all thoughts related to our keyword. So read this top to bottom to know the unknown fact.
8 Steps To Tile Over Plywood On Bathroom Floor: A Quick Guide
To install a tile bathroom floor in plywood, you must follow an effective procedure. The process is presented below in a few steps:
Step 1: Gather Necessary Tools
The first step in the tile installation process is to gather some necessary tools that will help you to complete the whole process. Gather the following tools:
- Cement backer board;
- Plywood sheets;
- Plywood screws;
Step 2: Use A Quality Plywood
You must use quality plywood to create a strong foundation of tile. An exterior grade is the best option.
Floor tiling is undoubtedly quite expensive. So, you don’t want the floor to be destroyed quickly. You also need to be more careful about the bathroom floor installation.
Step 3: Make The Plywood Surface Clean
You must thoroughly clean the plywood surface before installing the cement backer board. First, scrape the plywood surface using a scraper to loosen all the dirt. Then use a broom or vacuum to remove loose dirt.
Do not install cement boards in dirty places. This will allow your tiles to be installed in a somewhat flawless manner. Also, hard dirt forces your floor to become uneven.
Step 4: Install Cement Backer Board
Now it’s time to install cement board on plywood. Spread it evenly over the plywood and hit it gently with a hammer to set it up properly. Now make sure that there is a nail every 15 cm around the perimeter and every 20 cm in the center.
You don’t have to worry that too many nails are being used. These are used to harden the bathroom tile surface. Moreover, they keep the floor for a long time, lasting longer.
Step 5: Determine The Tile Position
When the surface is ready, determine the position of the tiles. The process of installing tiles is almost the same. Place the tiles over the floor to see the perfection. Start laying the tiles from the middle of the floor and move them to the edges.
You can start from one end of the floor if you want. It can be covered with a whole tile at the other end. It is best if you start laying tiles in the middle. It will display tiles without cutting the entire floor.
Step 6: Apply Mortar
Apply mortar to the cement board before final tile installation; this will help the tile stick to the board. Now the question is, how thick should your mortar layer be? The standard is to make the mortar layer 1/3 inch thick. Make sure the same level is maintained everywhere.
It is necessary to make a groove in it while applying mortar. Use a trowel for this. Make a groove with a scoop. Note that the tracks should not be more profound than 1/3 inches.
Step 7: Install The Tiles
Start laying the tiles according to your previous plan. Lay the tiles from the space along the middle of the bathroom floor and press harder after each installation. Pull the tile from the opposite side to stick firmly to both the side and the bottom.
Professionals can appropriately do this process. If you do the tile installation yourself, start at a wall corner. This will make your job easier. You probably need to cut a corner tile to fit it.
Step-8: Apply Grout
Once all the bathroom floor tiles are finished, clean the surface with a sponge. Gently wipe so that even the slightest dirt on the surface is removed because you need to apply the grout to make the joints stronger. After applying grout to the tile’s surface, push them to reach the groove.
Trowel the grouts so that they are complete. Hurry up when applying grout as it starts to dry out after planting. Once proper grout has been used on all tile floors, wipe off excess with a sponge. Now, wait a while for the grout to dry.
3 Mistakes You Should Avoid When Tiling Over Plywood On Bathroom Floors:
Tiling on plywood can cause some errors that can make your floor defective. Knowing what things you shouldn’t do will help you efficiently avoid mistakes.
1. Not Installing Backer Board:
Installing an acrylic cement backer board before tiling on plywood should not be a mistake. Otherwise, the base of your floor will not be substantial. This board reinforces the plywood subfloor and allows it to stand firmly in place. Therefore, a backer board is recommended.
2. Forgetting To Seal The Nails:
Another common mistake many people make when tiling on plywood is not sealing the nails. When the backer board is applied to the plywood, some small extra space is created with it after using the nails. This part is sealed so that no water can enter through it, which is harmful to the plywood.
3. Not Scraping The Plywood:
Many people think that plywood is a perfect material for making subfloors that do not require editing. If the plywood surface is not scraped, it will remain uneven, and the tiling floor will not sag. You can remove all imperfections from the surface of the scraping with sandpaper.
Related Questions About Tiling Over Plywood On A Bathroom Floor:
Can You Lay Tile Over Plywood Directly On A Bathroom Floor?
Plywood should not be used directly on the tile, as this will not strengthen the tile foundation. Use cement board over plywood to get better results. Also, use some nails to stick the cement backer board with it. This will strengthen the position of plywood.
When not attached to the cement backer board, it frequently shrinks and expands, weakening the installed tiles. Therefore, place a cement board on a 3 cm thick plywood.
Is Tile Over Plywood On A Bathroom Floor A Good Option?
Tiling on plywood is a better option. If the foundation of the bathroom tile floor is not solid, it will not last for many years. Installing tiles on the plywood lasts for many years because it carries the weight of all tiles. It also plays an influential role in avoiding damage to the subfloor.
The plywood used in your subfloor must be cemented so that it does not lose its strength quickly. After all, tiling on plywood for the bathroom floor will give you a good experience for many years.
How Do You Prepare Plywood For Tile On Bathroom Floor?
Place the plywood on a flat surface. Next, clean the plywood surface as it may contain lots of dirt which is not beneficial for floor installation. Using a stiff scraper, remove the entire surface with pressure. It will also remove uneven dirt.
Place the cement board on the plywood and nail it. It will remain steadfast in any situation. Preparing the plywood before tiling is an essential step on which the future of your bathroom tile floor depends.
Do You Need To Prime Plywood Before Tiling On A Bathroom Floor?
There is no need to use primer when using a subfloor made of plywood. It is usually the case with other subfloors used. You can do other necessary tasks to make plywood subflooring waterproof without using primer. Scrape the surface with a scraper to make it flat.
The subfloor should not be thinner than 1/4 inch. After placing the cement backer board on it, add mortar and grooves with a trowel. Mortar is usually the primer for this type of subfloor.
What Is The Average Cost To Tile Over Plywood On A Bathroom Floor?
Before tiling plywood on the bathroom floor, you should have a clear idea about its potential cost. This bathroom flooring can cost you $22 to $26 per square foot. You have to spend a little less than that for a general bathroom tile flooring.
As plywood and cement boards are used as the subfloor, the cost will increase comparatively. Some professionals make their cement backer boards. If you have that skill, the cost of making it can be reduced.
Does Tile Over Plywood On The Bathroom Floor Last?
The bathroom tile floor has been built on plywood to run it smoothly for many years. If you do not want to repair or replace your tile flooring year after year, you must decide before installing the tile. Tiles made on plywood last for many years.
Besides, you also have a role to play in the survival of this tile floor. If you make a mistake like tiling directly on plywood, you will probably have a bad experience very soon. You can get good results only by applying the proper method.
It is crucial to create a proper subfloor for bathroom tiling. The option of tiling plywood on the bathroom floor is gaining popularity day by day because it is sturdy and long-lasting compared to other subflooring.
Due to the durability of high humidity, you can do tiling safely on plywood. Moreover, it has waterproof characteristics, so there is no need to use a primer. There is no substitute for a plywood subfloor to get a durable bathroom floor.