How-To Videos

Tiling Over Concrete and Wood Floors

By: Danny Lipford
Man in blue shirt laying tile on cement backer board on a plywood subfloor.

Laying tile on cement backer board over a plywood subfloor.

Ceramic tile can be laid directly over a concrete slab using thin-set adhesive. The only prep work needed is to remove any old adhesive or paint and clean the concrete first.

Before laying tile over a plywood subfloor, cement backer board needs to be nailed or screwed to the floor. Next, apply fiberglass tape embedded in thin-set adhesive over the seams in the backerboard.

After the seams have dried, apply thin-set with a notched trowel to secure the tile. Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Print   Video Transcript

Danny Lipford: When people remodel bathrooms, they often ask if they have to prepare the floor at all before laying ceramic tile. The answer depends on what is beneath the finished flooring or the subfloor.

If the subfloor is a concrete slab, there’s very little preparation necessary. You simply scrape off any old adhesive or paint residue, and clean the surface before applying the thin-set adhesive that will secure the new ceramic tiles.

If the subfloor is wood, it will need to be covered with cement backerboard first. Wood and masonry materials expand and contract at different rates, so the backerboard creates a continuous surface that will move with the tile.

After it is nailed or screwed to the subfloor, the seams are covered with fiberglass tape. Then those seams are covered with thin-set adhesive.

Once all of this is dry, you’re ready to apply more thin-set for laying the tiles, just as you would have on a concrete slab.



Comments

Please Leave a Comment

One Comment on “Tiling Over Concrete and Wood Floors”

You can follow comments to this article by subscribing to the RSS news feed with your favorite feed reader.


  • Igenia Seay Says:
    April 3rd, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    Hello Danny, I just started watching your TV show last week.

    I have a question: Should I have my concrete patio floor and driveway floor sealed?

    I just bought a house that has been sitting on the lot for three months and was used as a demonstrator and the patio concrete floor has three cracks (cracks runs north and south and then east and west) and the double driveway has one (it runs north and south). The cracks are just a little bit wider than a hair line crack.
    The house inspector and the sales person said it was natural for the cement to sometimes crack. My house is a manufacturing resident.
    I became an owner of the house in February and rent the Lot. I live in Florida. Should I be concern?


We want to hear from you! In addition to posting comments on articles and videos, you can also send your comments and questions to us on our contact page or at (800) 946-4420. While we can't answer them all, we may use your question on our Today's Homeowner radio or TV show, or online at todayshomeowner.com.