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Wood Floor vs Concrete Floors

Date: May 22nd, 2015 CTD Tiles | Tags: timber, concrete, substrate, wood

What preparation is needed for different indoor substrates? 


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Let’s start with...


Concrete floors


Concrete Base:  Newly-laid Concrete – You first of all must allow your floor to dry out for a minimum of 6 weeks prior to fixing. Once this has dried, mechanically clean away any partials and debris from the surface. After this takes place you would then need to prime the surface to stop any absorption of the wet adhesive. Once this has dried you are now ready to tile. 

                                Concrete Base

Tile Backer Boards onto Concrete floors: Same rule applies for drying if your concrete is newly-laid. First you would lay a 3-6mm bed of Flexible adhesive onto the concrete. Before this is set, place the backer boards into position on your floor. (The joints of the boards do need to be taped with the appropriate waterproof tape). Allow the adhesive to dry before you begin to tile your floor. 

                                        Concrete Tile Backer Overlay


Cement | Sand Screed: A screen like this can take a minimum of 3 weeks to completely dry out. Although check with the manufacture as there are some quick drying products on the market.  Rapid setting, flexible adhesives are best to use.

                                     Cement:Sand Screed

Anhydrite Screed: Ensure the surface has been prepared in the accordance with the manufactures instructions first of all. Make sure the surface is free of dust, is hard and the anhydrite is completely dry. Once this is done, prime the surface with an appropriate primer then allow drying before starting to tile. Flexible adhesives and grouts must be used.

                                Anhydrite Screed


Timber/Wooden Floors


Tongue & Groove Floorboards: Firstly check that the boards are free from varnish and that they are dry.  Ensure the boards are screwed to the joists at 300mm centres, when doing this make sure you have no protruding fixings. Once done, prime your surface and carry out your tiling with flexible adhesive.

                                 Tongue Groove Floor Boards

Plywood Overlaid Floorboards: The plywood you use should be WBP (Weather and Boil Proof) or Marine Grade and 15mm minimum thickness. Check with the store or manufacture prior to fitting to confirm this. Once you have your plywood, check your floorboards are dry and securely fixed. Seal your plywood on the reverse and sides, but NOT the side you wish to tile. Lay the ply with staggered joints (brick formation) and leave a 0.5 – 1mm gap. Finally screw the sheets at 300mm centres ensuring a flush finish. Then you ready to tile, remember Flexible adhesive must always be used with wood.

                                        Overlaid Floor Boards

Tile Backer-boards onto Timber: These backer boards must be at least 10mm thick, and your timber floor must be primed. Once done, lay first a 3-6mm bed of Rapid Set Flexible adhesive onto your timber; before this sets screw your boards onto your floor at 300mm centres. Check your boards are firmly in place and tape over your joints with the appropriate joining tape. After this is finished, you're ready to tile.

                                           Tile Backer onto Timber



There are new products available constantly to help shorten your process. If you have any technical queries or worries, please call into our stores or call us and we can get the best advice to suit your needs. Whatever your situation.  

Remember to consult your tiler before carrying out any work.  Also check with each supplier or store, to make sure you're using the correct products for the job if you're a DIYer.

Check out our previous blogs for more inspiration and tips!

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