Ask a tradesperson


How to tile over floorboards


I have a bathroom with floorboards that I would like to tile over. Can floor boards be tiled directly on top of or do you need to some kind of layer? Sorry if I sound dim! What kind of adhesive would you use to tile on top of floorboards?

Some tips on steps to tile over floor boards would be much appreciated.

Additional 1

Thanks for your tips. I've now decided to do a complete refit of the bathroom - install new bath, toilet and sink. Since I'm removing all ceramics, should I lay the plywood first to entire bathroom and then install bath on top, or should I cut out area of bath and fit bath to floor board?

Additional 2

Where can you buy the marine ply or cement backer board from? Been looking at B&Q and Wickes website and can't see any of them selling the stuff?

Also If I decide to lay vinyl floor instead of ceramic tiles on top of floorboards what thickness ply would I require?

6 Answers from MyBuilder Tilers

Best Answer

Hi I agree with The Handyman, do not use 6mm or 9 mm ply this is too thin, although you can use ply at no less than 15mm. It is far better to use 6mm cement backer board glued and screwed but remember to leave a 2mm gap between the boards for expansion, if you do decide on ply only prime with SBR NOT pva, pva is not fit for purpose.
Hi further to your new comment you can install the bath first then board up to it but do not use ply, I recommend cement backer board this is a far better substrate to tile on. A lot of people think that the tile backer board is to pricey so they opt for ply this can work out being more expensive when the tiles start to crack due to movement from the ply and will need replacing,and really the backer board works out roughly 10 to 12 pounds more for around the same as an 8 x4 of ply so for a average bathroom it's worth the extra cost.

Hi, further to your comment you can get the backer board from any builder merchants, also topps tiles, tile giant, or any tile retail outlet. Think Wickes do aqua panel, as for ply for vinyl can not comment as only trade in ceramic.


Answered 25th Nov 2013

Hi I wouldn't recommend that you tile directly over floorboards, I would suggest you put down a cement backer board with cement adhesive to have a stable floor to tile on. For the cost of about £14 for a 1200 x 800 board it's not worth not doing it as it will prevent problems later.

If you are removing all then do the whole floor in cement boards as it will give the whole floor a solid base


Answered 17th Nov 2013

All floorboards are not good enough to lay on. They are invariably uneven and will need a minimum 6mm ply board sheet fitting over. Preferably 9mm. This will then smooth over the floorboards and give you a perfect surface to tile on.
Then use a flexible adhesive to stick the tiles.
Hope this helps and good luck


Answered 15th Oct 2013

Bit of a mixed bag here lol. A.G Fright is exact on everything, especially the pva!!!!!!


Answered 16th Oct 2013

Hi heres some tips on tiling a bathroom floor you can not put tiles straight over floor boards they will come up as soon as you walk on them. need to screw plywood down over the floor boards the thicker the better as this will take the bounce out the floor.

2.when you fit the plywood you need to prime it. then need to buy a flexible floor adhesive to tile over wood I recommend bal flex it is a two part adhesive with a add mix to enhance flexibility but it is expensive. you can buy this and also buy cheaper one part flexible adhesives from your local tile supplier they will advise you on which one you need.

I hope this helps just make sure your plywood is screwed down correctly and there no movement.

Kind regards Stephen.


Answered 22nd Sep 2014

You should put a layer of 12mm wbp (exterior grade ) ply over the floorboards, screwed down well to the joists, make sure you secure any loose floorboards first to stop it squeaking in the future, prime with a latex base primer and use a cement based flexible adhesive and flexible grout.


Answered 15th Oct 2013

Post your job to find high quality tradespeople and get free quotes

Can’t find an answer? Ask a new question

Question Categories