Do I need to lay backerboard before I lay tile?

I want to rip up the old linoleum in my bathroom and install some tile. The previous owners laid the current layer of linoleum on top of the original linoleum. From the little bit I've peeled up to look underneath it looks like chip board underneath that. Does that mean I need to lay some kind of backerboard underneath the tile? I also plan on tearing out the curent cabinets and installing new ones. Should I install the tile or the cabinets first?

13 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Ceramic Tile Backerboards

    There are many types of backerboard products suitable for use with ceramic tile. We will focus on two of the more popular products: 1/2" thick, water resistant greenboard sheetrock and cementitious type ceramic tile backerboards (recommended).


    We recommend that 1/4" or 1/2" thick cementitious ceramic tile backerboards be installed as an underlayment over wood subfloors. The exterior grade plywood should be at least 1-1/8" thick (5/8" minimum) in order to provide for a structurally solid, movement free foundation. In addition, the space between the joists should not exceed 16" on center. In any case, the maximum allowable concentrated deflection of your subfloor may not exceed L/360 of the span.

    Install backerboard using a non-modified thinset mortar and 1-1/4" screws or nails.

    The diy network website is a great place to go to find information about any home improvement projects....good luck!

  • 1 decade ago

    You need to install the Cabinets first in most cases unless you want to run tile all the way underneath. Kind of a waist of money if you ask me.. YES you should use a HARDY BOARD or Concrete Board under the tile over the Chip Board. Your Plywood floors shift under weight from time to time and if this happens you will be faced with pop-ed tiles or worse yet completely broken. Use Drywall Screws to fasten it to the floor and fill the cracks and screw holes with ThinSet Mortar and let dry before you start laying tile. If you put the cabinets in before tile it will give you a VERY straight line to work from as a starting point and will easily save you $100.00-$800.00 in tile and materials by not putting tile under the cabinets. Hope It Helps!!!

    Source(s): ME
  • 1 decade ago

    Tile should go down first. However, if you want the tile to lay flush against the cupboards as opposed to being underneath the cupboards, then you should install the cupboards first. Just make sure you seal that edge between the cupboards and the tile. You need to lay backerboard down first because that will keep the floor from "accidentally" suffering water damage, which so often happens in a bathroom.

  • 1 decade ago

    If you plan to "gut" the bathroom then yes rip up the old flooring and put new ply wood down. dont use the good one side ply as the glue you will be using will require something to bite into. but if the plywood you use does have some knot holes then yopu have to use a patch filler before applying the glue. in your case its better to fit the new flooring from wall to wall rather than cutting around the new cabinest. you didnt mention what type of flooring you plan to replace the exsisting flooring with. If you are planning ceramic,porcelin,slate/natural stone then you will not have to se that patch filler. but remember when using any sort of tiles of the above mentioned use a thinset as using any mastic will take a very long time to set. Thinsets will set in 24hrs intile for you to grout the next day. Do keep in mind the temps to lay your tiles down on the back of the boxes of grout.

    Source(s): Flooring Specialist for Home Depot
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  • 1 decade ago

    A chip board product as underlayment for the tile would not work to your best interest. You can probably add the backerboard or a layer of plywood over the chipboard and deal with the added height, or you can peel up the chipboard and install a good layer of plywood and use that as your base.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    YES,by all means lay 3/8 durarock before laying tile. Use PL or Siliflex ,(or anything sticky) to keep the cement board down. Just make sure the adhesive goes on light and SMOOTH to prevent future cracking. Also use water to keep the dust down when removing the existing tile,it probably contains asbestos.U.B.C.#264.

  • 1 decade ago

    You need some sort of subfloor under the tile and make sure it's level and smoothe. Also make sure that wherever the subfloor is seamed that the tile seam isn't in the same spot.

    Put the tile in first and then the cabinets.

  • 1 decade ago

    rip out the old stuff first and then add a sub floor. then go ahead and tile. yes cabinets first makes it easy. you don't need to tile under the cabinets

  • Sally
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    It woud be advisable to install backerboard. It provides a sturdy surface for the tile. If you didn't put backerboard down, as you walked on the tile it would bow with the wooden floor and probably crack. As far as cutting the backerboard, any cutting tool will work. I use a jigsaw fitted with a wood blade.

  • Carp
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    YOu don't need cement backer board unless code requires it. Tile floors were laid for years and years without cement backer board and they are fine. I have new tile in bathrooms without cement backer board and they are fine. The grout does not crack.

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