More bathroom tiling questions...

Ok, so I've got a 5/8" subfloor and I'm going with 1/4" plywood, thinset, 1/4" backerboard, thinset then tiles.
Should I bring the bathtub flush with the backerboard using 1/4" plywood?
Also, what type of screws are used to hold down backerboard? And do I need a hammer drill for the 1/4"?
TIA! Darryl.
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Darryl wrote:

Darryl,
Yes. Flush to the tub. So why not just use 1/2" b.board to make you flush to the tub, or 2 layers of the 1/4" b.baord? I've used screws but I prefer using galvanized roofing nails rather than screws. They don't tend to protrude like screw heads. Screws for b.board are just a hassle and not necessary. Hardibacker Mfg. advises you can use either or. I also like to apply tile mastic to the back of the b.board prior to laying it down.
If you insist on the screws, use a cordless screw driver and the recommended screws for the b.board that are available at the depot or lowes. Trust me, use the galv. roofing nails of the proper length with mastic.
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Hi Darryl:
Why not just use 1/2" backerboard? It would be easier and make for a stiffer floor. You are right to use thinset and screws. You do not need a hammer drill. Just get the "Backer-On" screws at your local home center. They are self-drilling. If you have a cordless drill with an adjustable torque setting, you can use that to control the depth of countersink when you drive the screws. You want to make sure they do not protrude from the backerboard.
Use thinset for floor tiles. Mastic is not strong enough.
Regards, John.
Darryl wrote:

I
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Thanks again for the replies G and John...I don't know if the local Home Depot carries Hardibacker but I'll check. Believe it or not, the "tiling isle" only stocks 1/4" backerboard...I found 1/2" in the lumber isle.
Would running 1/2" backerboard under the tub lead to a sturdier tub as well? Or just go with the 1/2" plywood. Whatever the case, it looks like thinset over the subfloor, backerboard, thinset and tiles... :-).
I dug up the following on fasteners: Minimum 1-1/4" long corrosion-resistant roofing nails (OR) minimum 1-1/4" No. 8 by 0.323" head diameter ribbed counter sinking head, corrosion-resistant screws. I like the idea of nails for obvious reasons.
The installation link on the Hardibacker website isn't loading for some reason: http://www.jameshardieeu.com/spec.html
Can you tell it's my first time tiling a floor?
Thanks again, Darryl.
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Hi Darryl:
Assuming your tub is a fiberglass unit, the Hardibacker under the tub would be fine, but not necessary. However, you should put something under the tub when you install it to stiffen up its floor. I've seen plaster or drywall compound used, but these tend to shrink. They make a special mortar product just for this purpose that sets fast and doesn't shrink. I forget what it's called (underlayment cement?), but you just mix a 25lb bag of the powder with water and trowel out a good sized blob under the center of the tub unit. When you set the tub onto the mortar, it conforms to the bottom of the tub and really stiffens it up once it sets.
Given a choice, I use screws over nails every time. They tend to hold better, are easier for me to set to the correct depth, and are more easily removed if necessary (though I realize this may not be a consideration in your situation).
Don't worry about this being your first tile floor. It's not that hard to do. Just take your time laying them out and cutting. As long as you have a sturdy subfloor and underlayment, it should last a long time.
Regards, John.
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I did my first tile floor in my bathroom about a year ago, it turned out great. I found wood flooring under a layer of carpet and linoleum. Instead of pulling this flooring I simply screwed it down to the subfloor well and put concrete board over that, saved me some work.
I used the concrete screws found near the concrete board at your local builders supply. They worked great for me and I didnt have any problems with protruding heads even though they are a little pricey. I didnt even consider nails, the floor was a little bit and need to be tighted up with screws to silence it. A screw will set nicely into the concrete board, then just fill it with thinset. I used a 14.4v cordless drill and had no problems.
On Sun, 27 Mar 2005 23:00:26 -0500, Darryl

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the_tool_man wrote:

Hi John,
Actually the 1/4" Hardibacker tile backer product is superior to the 1/2" cement backerboard (and others) regarding not just strength and density but in other important areas as well. At least that is what the James Hardie Co. contends after testing, and after using a lot of both over the years I concur. http://www.jameshardie.com/backerboard/homeowner/prodComp.php
As for the fasteners, 1-1/4" roofing nails are quicker, cheaper, and more trouble free than screws, regarding getting them flush. I've used both quite few times and gave up on the screws a while back. Mastic applied to the back during installation of the backer is quick and provides a great bond when installing it over plywood.
However, we do agree on using thinset for floor tile setting. Mastic is not recommended for floor and some other tile applications.
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Hi G Henslee:
I concurr with your assessment of the James Hardie product. I was actually referring to 1/2" Hardibacker in my previous post. I, too have used other products, like Durock, and found them more fragile and more difficult to work with, though only marginally so.
When I recently rebuilt my tile shower because of a faulty shower pan, I found sheets of 1/2" Durock behind the wall tile (thank goodness it wasn't greenboard!). It had been nailed to the studs with roofing nails, but many of them were loose, allowing the tile backer and tiles to pull away from the wall a bit. This caused no cosmetic issues, but still convinced me that roofing nails are inferior to screws when fastening something that should last for decades. Of course, if you're bonding the backer to the subfloor, it probably doesn't really matter as the thinset or mastic will do most of the work.
Regards, John.
Regards, John.
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the_tool_man wrote:

Hi John,
Good point about loose nails. I also recommend screws for application of backerboard or cement board for walls and counters, allthough mortar is superior imho. I use the nails for floors only.
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You can go longer if you know where the studs are, and drive into them. Or if you can go the original floor.
Rent a powered nail gun? Puts in 16 penny ring shanks like they were nothing.
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