22 Mar 2012
Tiles are clean, hygienic and water-resistant and look beautiful in a bathroom, however, not all floor bases are suitable for tiles. For example, laying tiles on wooden floors can often be problematic – here are a few things to look out for if you would like to tile your wooden bathroom floors:
Check for movement
Check your floors and if they have movement of any sort, you need to reinforce them or choose another form of more suitable floor covering.
Carpet and vinyl flooring can be successfully laid over these kinds of floors. Ceramic tiles will suffer drastically if the floors are bouncy. They should therefore be laid on a rigid base to prevent any cracking.
If you are going to tile over a floor that does not feel very rigid, it is important to reinforce the floor from underneath. If you cannot get under your floor, forget about tiling it, because no matter what you do to the surface of the wooden floor, it will still move.
If you have space under your floor then you can get a carpenter in to reinforce the floor with more support beams installed closer together. One can also use steel I-beams to reinforce the floor - this will immediately stiffen the floor, and allow for the use of ceramic tiles.
Once the floor has been reinforced, remove all the old tiles and tile glue from the floor boards.
Check around the bath and basin for any water damage to the wood. If all is fine, check for any loose planks and screw them down. Ensure the screws are recessed well below the surface of the wooden floorboards so they cannot cause the tiles to crack.
Once all the boards are screwed down, use a lightweight, gypsum levelling compound to fill and level voids or low spots. This is time consuming, but will ensure that your tiles don’t crack over time.
Now you need to lay the cement backerboard over the wooden floor. This is relatively inexpensive and can be bought at most hardware shops.
Measure your area and get the board cut to size at the shop you buy it from. The boards need to be screwed down with corrosion-resistant screws, and all the joints must be glued and covered with tape.
Your floor should now be a level, smooth and solid surface that is perfect for laying tiles.
Fix the doors
Before the tiles are laid the bathroom door needs to be removed and a section needs to be cut off the bottom, as your floor will now be considerably higher than before.
If you have any vanity or built-in cupboards in the bathroom, these doors will also need to be cut.
The tiler can now lay the tiles as he normally would.
Speak to your supplier and find out the correct adhesive and grout that you will need for laying the tiles on the wooden floor.
Do not walk on the tiled floor until all the grout has dried, to prevent the floor from cracking.
Because the wooden floor will expand and contract, all the areas around the bath, basins and along the walls, need to have silicone strips inserted in between the last row of tiles and the edge to keep it flexible and prevent cracking.
A good tip to remember, is if you are still unsure whether the floor is stable enough, choose a smaller tile as this will not crack as easily if there is any movement in the floor.
Your tiles should now last as long as if they were laid on concrete. Stability is the key, so ensure that the floor is rigid and you will have no problem with your tiles laid on the wooden floor. - Antonella Desi
About the Author
House for sale in Plattekloof R 4 228 000
House for sale in Giyani R 450 000
House for sale in Heldervue R 4 500 000
House for sale in Fourways R 3 300 000
Townhouse for sale in Hospitaalpark R 849 000
House for sale in Elandia R 1 275 000
Townhouse for sale in Doornpoort R 895 000
House for sale in Chantelle R 970 000
Townhouse for sale in Welgevonden Estate R 1 650 000
Apartment / Flat for sale in Green Point R 5 695 000
If you are using Internet Explorer 8 or higher, please verify that your Internet Explorer compatibility view settings are not enabled.
For the best browsing experience, update to the latest Version of Internet Explorer or try out Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
Please contact our Property24 Support Team for further assistance. Tel. +27 (0)861 111 724