Is a cement board necessary as a substrate for floor tiles?

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Old 06-24-14, 04:25 PM
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Is a cement board necessary as a substrate for floor tiles?

Is a cement board necessary as a substrate for floor tiles? I am trying to figure out if I can just adhere tile to a thinner substrate like a 5mm plywood.

Here is the situation:
I have a bathroom which opens into a hallway that is covered with wood flooring. The tile that I want to use for the bathroom is a little bit on the thick. And even if I use 1/4" Hardiebacker cement board for the flooring substrate, the tiles will make the height of the bathroom a little bit taller than the height of the hallway wood floors.
 
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Old 06-24-14, 05:15 PM
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You would probably better off with ditra than thin plywood.
 
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Old 06-25-14, 09:50 AM
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CBU or Ditra but I wouldn't put the tiles on the plywood.

What else makes up the current subfloor?
 
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Old 06-25-14, 02:47 PM
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Tile and wood have two totally separate needs as it pertains to preparation of the subfloor. Having flooring the same height should never be the driving factor in the installation of tile. Stiff sturdy subfloor without any flex of movement is key. The cement board does not add strength to the floor, only a perfect bonding substrate to accept tile.
 
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Old 06-27-14, 08:57 PM
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Hey guys, thanks for the advice, the subfloor is made up of 3/4" plywood that is rotted in some areas due to past water damage. I am fixing the rotted areas so I will have smooth 3/4" plywood for the entire subfloor.

I checked out the Ditra product and considered using it as a substrate on which to adhere the floor tiles, but the Ditra stuff was really expensive. I'm just going to go with 1/4" Hardiebacker cement board. I think I will get close to the height I need with it. I was really looking forward to using the Ditra product, but maybe next time if it comes down in price.
 
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