Can I install floor tiles directly on top of partical board?

Answered by Jeffrey ~ April 20, 2012 ~ Comments

Is it okay to install floor tiles directly on top of a particle board sub-floor? Perhaps there is some tile adhesive that won't damage the wood ? Thanks

Kevin ~ Pittsburgh, PA

Jeffrey Anderson

Hi Kevin. When installing ceramic floor tile, it is very important to follow the manufacturers' recommendations for their warranty to remain in place. Ceramic tile is a beautiful floor material, but it can quickly become troublesome if the installation isn't done properly. Tile companies normally specify the type of sub-floor their products can be installed over and even the maximum spacing for the floor joists that will be supporting your finished floor.

I'm not aware of too many tile manufacturers who advocate that their products be installed over OSB board due to possible moisture issues and also because the material can be a little more susceptible to movement than plywood. They normally recommend that the OSB be replaced with 3/4 inch T&G plywood or a plywood underlayment be installed over the OSB. The recommended underlayment may vary in thickness depending on the floor tile, but 5/8 inch is often used. Depending on your application, cement board as an underlayment may also be an option, but check with your tile manufacturer.

A ceramic tile installation can be hard work and the last thing you want is for the grout joints to start cracking or tiles loosening a few weeks after the project is complete. If there is any question in your mind about your sub-floor or the proper tile adhesive to use, I highly recommend consulting with a Pittsburgh tile or floor contractor before starting the job.

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