Make Sure Your Substrate is Secure
Underlayment is the layer between a subfloor and your finished floor. Installing a new walking surface may be necessary if your bathroom is old or has suffered water damage over the years. Underlayment provides a suitable installation surface for you to apply the perfect finish to your tile or linoleum floor.
So if you are planning to install new tile flooring in your bath, you will have to prepare the appropriate substrate that can withstand moisture without compromising the quality of your flooring design. Cement backer board is the logical choice.
Tips like, installing a base with the face grain running across support joists will make your flooring project turn out right. Continue reading this tutorial and you will be provided with all the necessary information to install a stable surface to mount your floor coverings with the care of a seasoned professional.
A Durability and Water Resistant Compound
First of all, there are numerous floor substrates to choose from. However, this article will be highlighting an underlayment that is commonly used in the bathroom setting that has the appropriate durability to remain intact after water exposure.
Even if your grooming area has a wooden subfloor this lining will still provide a stable surface for your finished project.
Cement backer-board is the recommended layer of choice that you should use if planning to install ceramic or stone tiles in your bathing space. This protective layer is made of actual cement and has a glass fiber-mesh that coats the back and front of its edges protecting it from disintegration under the elements.
Because of its durable and water-proof nature, this construction material is a suitable floor substrate for use on areas that are prone to water exposure like your bathroom; this means that choosing this underlayment for your shower and floor will ensure that your tiled flooring is securely bonded to the substrate no matter the level of moisture.
Building Materials to Avoid
As a warning, do not install tiles in your bathroom on a plywood underlayment; this floor substrate tends to expand and contract when exposed to moisture and can loosen the grout on tiles attached to its surface. If you want to ensure the longevity of your finished bath floor, we recommend cement backer-board for your base.
Here are the tools and materials that you are going to need for installing a waterproof bathroom subfloor:
• Cement Backer-Board • Polymer Thin Set Mortar
• Notched Trowel • Power Drill with Bits and Corrosion Resistant Screws
• Back Saw • Measuring Tape
• Long Level • Cement Board Seam-Tape
• Hammer/Pry Bar (optional) • Utility Knife
• Concrete Grinder (optional) • Floor Patch and Leveler (optional)
Leveling Your Construction Surface
Before you begin the process of installing new underlayment in your bath, you must first ensure that your bathroom sub-floor is uniform, level and in good condition. To do this, use the long level to get an accurate reading on the level of your construction surface.
If there are any imperfections, use a concrete grinder to smooth elevated concrete areas or use a floor patch and leveler compound on wood or concrete subfloors to achieve uniform leveling.
Removing Base Boards and Moulding
Next, you will have to use your hammer and pry-bar to remove any trimmings or base-boards that might pose as an obstacle for your new construction. If your door-jam is also in the way, simply stack a piece of cement backer-board and a tile that you are planning to use beside the door-jam, measure about 1/16th of an inch above the stack and use the back-saw to cut accordingly.
Likewise, if the door does not have enough space to accommodate your floor substrate, cut the bottom of the door about 1/8th of an inch above the stack.
It is now time to determine the amount of backer-board you will need. Simply use your measuring tape to measure the length and width of your washroom and a subsequent multiplication of the length times the width of the room should give you an idea of the amount of material you will need.
After gathering the necessary amount of lining material, begin applying an even layer of polymer thin set on a small area on the surface of the subfloor using your notch trowel.
It is best to start this procedure at the corner, since it will be much easier when laying down your cement backer-board. If there is any need to cut any of the material you laid down, use the utility knife.
Fastening Down the Subfloor Panels
All you have to do next is begin laying down your cement backer-board and use the drill to securely fasten the panels with the corrosion resistant screws; for a smooth and flawless finish, apply the cement board seam-tape over the joints and use the notch trowel to place a thin layer of the polymer thin set mortar over the tape and that’s the end of the job.
So you have seen the benefits of this support material that can be used to provide a stable platform for your floor coverings. Of course there are more, but whichever one you choose to place in your bath, always remember to select a floor base that is resistant to water damage.
If you follow this guide on preparing your washroom floor you will come to realize that installing new underlayment in your bathroom shifts from a job that once needed a professional, into a simple and manageable job that any do-it-yourself home renovation laymen can tackle.