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Old 10-29-2014, 10:46 PM
 
239 posts, read 291,558 times
Reputation: 145

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Hi everyone, in PA we had tile floors down and my contractor put a backer board down on the floor before putting the tile. We came to Arizona, have a leak going on in the bathroom and my handyman wants to lay tile only on plywood. Home Depot told us we need the backer board for future leaks, he says he has been doing this 30 years and he would never raise a floor 1/4 inch higher with a board like that. I have moisture on the plywood around flange which is bent a little, he bent it back down but it still has a gap on the side. He said he won't do the floor now if I want the concrete backer. I am a mess from this house needing work done and the rooms being ripped apart since we moved in a few days ago, The previous owner had leaking going on and didn't disclose it. I am now trying to get this fixed correctly.
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Old 10-30-2014, 01:15 AM
 
12,554 posts, read 7,616,200 times
Reputation: 6865
It sounds like your handyman is stuck in his ways and refuses to accept that the way he's always done it my not be correct. Having dealt with a few handymen and contractors, it's very common for them to get offended when you challenge their ways...........ESPECIALLY if it involves doing extra work (to get it done correctly) on a job they've already quoted a price for.
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Old 10-30-2014, 06:53 AM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
13,393 posts, read 51,357,936 times
Reputation: 15780
I can assure you the need for backerboard is there-
But what you were told at HD is a crock of S#!T. Backerboard has nothing to do with leaks. Backerboard is nothing more than a structural element that reinforces the floor area so tiles don't pop, crack, or otherwise disintegrate.

If you can't convince your tile guy that he's cutting corners with today's standard of tile installation, it's time to find another tile guy.
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Old 10-30-2014, 08:00 AM
 
Location: Morrisville, NC
8,138 posts, read 11,440,891 times
Reputation: 7474
Quote:
Originally Posted by K'ledgeBldr View Post
I can assure you the need for backerboard is there-
But what you were told at HD is a crock of S#!T. Backerboard has nothing to do with leaks. Backerboard is nothing more than a structural element that reinforces the floor area so tiles don't pop, crack, or otherwise disintegrate.

If you can't convince your tile guy that he's cutting corners with today's standard of tile installation, it's time to find another tile guy.

Backerboard also lets tile adhere much better than to plywood.

I would absolutely get another tile guy.
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Old 10-30-2014, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
13,393 posts, read 51,357,936 times
Reputation: 15780
I'll try to make this a short story-
Neighbor across the street had his "handyman" do a tile entry for his foyer. He knows I'm in the business, but asked no questions.
The day he started I happened to be home, took dog for a walk, and observed "Mr. Handyman" installing Hardi- backerboard with roofing nails. Skip forward one month later...

See neighbor, and he asks me- "Is there an easy way to reset tiles that have popped loose?" So I give him the short and narrow. I didn't say anything about the job, but he did say he was rather disappointed with the results.
Gee, I wonder why?

I don't even like "backerboard"! I much prefer Durock, if you're going that route. But the best tile base is a mortar bed with expanded metal over a #15 felt covered subfloor that is screwed to the joists.
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Old 10-30-2014, 05:54 PM
 
Location: Meggett, SC
10,774 posts, read 9,391,648 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K'ledgeBldr View Post
I'll try to make this a short story-
Neighbor across the street had his "handyman" do a tile entry for his foyer. He knows I'm in the business, but asked no questions.
The day he started I happened to be home, took dog for a walk, and observed "Mr. Handyman" installing Hardi- backerboard with roofing nails. Skip forward one month later...

See neighbor, and he asks me- "Is there an easy way to reset tiles that have popped loose?" So I give him the short and narrow. I didn't say anything about the job, but he did say he was rather disappointed with the results.
Gee, I wonder why?

I don't even like "backerboard"! I much prefer Durock, if you're going that route. But the best tile base is a mortar bed with expanded metal over a #15 felt covered subfloor that is screwed to the joists.
I'm a Durock fan too. We always put it down with the exception of tiling on a slab. I can't imagine even considering tiling straight over plywood. I thought this was fairly common knowledge.
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Old 10-31-2014, 02:44 PM
 
12,554 posts, read 7,616,200 times
Reputation: 6865
I will say that the bathroom in my 60s built home had the floor tiles put over 2 layers of 3/4" plywood when it was built and 50 years later it was a heck of a job taking them out. I guess it can work sometimes, but even if the risk of failure is only 15%, why take the chance when cement board is only $11 per sheet.
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Old 11-03-2014, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Morrisville, NC
8,138 posts, read 11,440,891 times
Reputation: 7474
Two layers of 3/4 provides plenty of support, so, you would be OK putting tile on that (though a 1/4" piece of backer would help adhesion.

Most houses now have only one layer of 3/4 (actually I think it is 23/32 IIRC) which with the right joist spacing, is OK for carpet, but not for tile.
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Old 11-03-2014, 07:43 PM
 
11,547 posts, read 5,302,323 times
Reputation: 6311
Quote:
Originally Posted by K'ledgeBldr View Post
I'll try to make this a short story-
Neighbor across the street had his "handyman" do a tile entry for his foyer. He knows I'm in the business, but asked no questions.
The day he started I happened to be home, took dog for a walk, and observed "Mr. Handyman" installing Hardi- backerboard with roofing nails. Skip forward one month later...

See neighbor, and he asks me- "Is there an easy way to reset tiles that have popped loose?" So I give him the short and narrow. I didn't say anything about the job, but he did say he was rather disappointed with the results.
Gee, I wonder why?

I don't even like "backerboard"! I much prefer Durock, if you're going that route. But the best tile base is a mortar bed with expanded metal over a #15 felt covered subfloor that is screwed to the joists.
Durock is a backerboard. The purpose for backerboard with thinset under it and on top of it, over plywood, is to make sure there are no gaps so the tile cannot flex and break. Backer must be screwed down and not with drywall screws. The joints must be taped. Backer offers no structural support.
Most new houses will have the right structural integrity for tile, many old houses won't. You can check the John Bridge forum for a chart to see if your floor meets flex standards for ceramic tile,.

The mortar bed with metal is called a "Jersey mud job" and is not accepted by any professional tile association.
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Old 11-03-2014, 09:49 PM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
13,393 posts, read 51,357,936 times
Reputation: 15780
Quote:
Originally Posted by Floorist View Post
Durock is a backerboard. The purpose for backerboard with thinset under it and on top of it, over plywood, is to make sure there are no gaps so the tile cannot flex and break. Backer must be screwed down and not with drywall screws. The joints must be taped. Backer offers no structural support.
Most new houses will have the right structural integrity for tile, many old houses won't. You can check the John Bridge forum for a chart to see if your floor meets flex standards for ceramic tile,.

The mortar bed with metal is called a "Jersey mud job" and is not accepted by any professional tile association.
When I think Durock, I think CBU- installed as you described.
When I think "backerboard", I think "fiberboard". As in Hardi backerboard.

When I think "mortar bed", I'm thinking MORTAR BED! 3/4-1-1/4" thick! Not that flimsy-ass BS S#!T you call a "jersey mud bed". Which is nothing more than a scratch coat for stucco!

However, this subject matter had nothing to do with all of this- apparently some dumbass seems to think that backerboard will prevent leaks from destroying subflooring- which it won't!
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