Overview: How to Prepare your Subfloor for Tile

More steps in our guide: https://thd.co/2hQqi6F
In this video, learn how to prepare a wood or concrete subfloor for tile, including such steps as checking for dips, installing backerboard, applying primer and thinset, pouring liquid underlayment and when to use OSB or exterior-grade plywood. Looking for mortar and cement mix to help you complete this project? Check out our concrete mix currently available online: https://thd.co/2xRAYgx


Claude Albertario says:

Why are the cabinets in place with the backerboard being placed up to the cabinets? This would put a dishwasher BELOW the tile effectively locking the dishwasher into place. All kitchen redos I have seen say to remove base cabinets and place flooring UNDER cabinets.

DukeLaCrosse20 says:

I think Wonderboard is supposed to be put down with the strip of plastic (labelling) to the down side.

Shawn Bodily says:

I’m mildly confused. The self leveling underlayment shown in the video, when I found it in the store and online it says for concrete floors. All other directions say be sure to use one for wood floors. So is it ok to use this one on wood subfloors?

Brian Bullard says:

Do this if you own the home. If you’re selling the place, stick to that wood floor with premix mastic like everyone else does. I screwed tempered hardboard, rough site up, to my kitchen floor and stuck to that, was still tight 10 years later in the midwest, where temp fluctuates a lot.


While technically correct this procedure is time and material consuming it is not gospel and some steps can be eliminated, use your own judgement and research more this procedure. Plywood is acceptable if laid proper any slight dips can be corrected with tile cement .

Mark B says:

Should note that you should also wear a mask when pouring the mortar into the bucket… that dust is toxic!

T Rex says:

My sub floor is old so has 1 by 10 pine running diagonally over the joists. The 1 by 10 pine sub floor has gaps between 0 and .25 inches. Do I still need to add plywood on top of the sub-floor and then add the backer board or should I replace the sub-floor material with t-n-g 3/4 plywood followed by the backer board or can I simply add the backer board directly to the 1 by 10 pine boards. Thanks for the advice!

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