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Question:

Do I need plywood and cement board or just cement board?

We're tiling our basement. The floor is plain concrete. Do I need to put a layer of plywood, then a layer of cement board, then the tiles, or do I just need a layer of cement board then the tiles?

Answer:

The dude, I`ve seen many different ways of doing this and the best result is using a orange plastic membrane just for this purpose. It has a diamond shape on one side an smooth on the other side. This membrane is about 1/4 inch thick at the most. This membrane is used by tile contractors on concrete and plywood floors. It`s used just like cement board but comes in a roll. It is installed in the same way as cement board- 'thinset' under it. You should be able to find this membrane at a tile store or even a Lowes or Home Depot. The only time I`ve seen tile just on the concrete floor is when the concrete had NO cracks or cut joints in it. If the floor is cracked any where that is where you will have the new tile joints to start cracking. And no one likes to go back and try to re-grout just to have it keep cracking. Hoped this point you in the right direction. No plywood is needed. May your new tile floor look Great and last forever- 'without' repair...
May 11, 2017
You don't need either if the concrete is smooth & level; just properly troweled cement. If the concrete is not smooth, lay a plywood sub-floor, then cement the tile down. Cement board is used on walls for ceramic tile, when water is present.
May 11, 2017
Glue your cement board down with cement construction adhesive and let cure for 24 hours. You are now ready to start laying tile Hope this helps you and good luck. Richard
May 11, 2017
If the concrete is solid without big voids or decomposing or something like that I would say you can just apply adhesive directly to concrete and start setting your tile. But I'm The Door Guy.....You should probably hear from the tile guy!! Good luck!
May 11, 2017
you should be able to tile right onto your concrete pad. That's how my saltillo tile is placed in my kitchen, be sure to seal the grout as soon as it is fully dry. GOOD LUCK
May 11, 2017

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