carpet installers are here and ripping up old stuff. flooring is
particle board thick enough to be very rigid
can i put durorock membrane on this for tile?
Particle board in a wet environment like a bathroom is far from
ideal. Rip it out and ask a pro what would be better. Or band-aid it
like you suggested and live with the inevitable do-over.
Given your situation I would simply Durock over plywood on the joists
and not worry about it for years. That and a Schlutter membrane should
be very long lasting for tile work in a bath.
When I worked construction a long, long time ago the old pros called it
"chip board" but it sounded more like "shit board." I know it's used in
bathrooms and other "it's going to get wet sooner or later" places and
*should* present no problems with a waterproof membrane . . . Still, I
would pull it if you are in there anyway. There's nothing cheaper than chip
board because almost everything else is better. (-: I can't count all the
places where I've seen sagged chip board.
On Tue, 29 Mar 2011 01:15:42 -0400, "Robert Green"
Isn't chip board the stuff made with chips, some 4" long, and particle
board the stuff made with particles, pieces no more than 3/8" long.
The latter is used for cheap furniture and comes in 4x8 sheets too,
but chip board is a lot stronger. (but that doesn't mean it is good
for for wet places like bathroom floors.)
but it sounded more like "shit board." I know it's used in
That sounds right, but I'm working off a memory from nineteen seventy
something when it was fairly new and held in great contempt by carpenters
used to working with plywood. Chip/shit board seemed to be their name for
anything that held bits of wood connected by glue. Additionally, these old
gruffsters would NEVER use a four syllable word like "particle board" when
there was a two syllable word like "chip board" available!
On Tue, 29 Mar 2011 12:12:49 -0400, "Robert Green"
I hold it in contempt too. When I was in college they replaced the
radiators in George Williams College, now a dorm for U of C, and htey
forgot to put one radiator back. When they turned the steam back on,
tThe desk and the wardrobe swelled to 3 times and the guy whose room
it was couldn't get them open to get his clothes, etc.
They are equivalent to the meat they sell which they call "chopped,
flaked, and pressed". That is, it's the meat they scrape off the
knife when they are cutting real meat for other people. (and that's
the good part.)
OTOH, it's a shame to waste all that junk if it can be used.
Particle board has its place. It is fine as underlayment in a living
room or bedroom if you aren't putting down a real hardwood floor, and
SWMBO insists on W/W carpet anyway. Dense, very flat, gives floor a
solid feel, and holds up okay if you know it will NEVER get wet. And it
can be an okay middle layer between 2 or 4 plies of real wood, if it is
the high-pressure stuff. (Back in the day, that is what most speaker
boxes- remember walnut floor speakers?- were made of.)
I really hate seeing people using it as a structural member, though-
mainly in crap furniture, kitchen cabinets, or premade faux-woodgrain
shelving boards. Doesn't hold connectors worth a damn- even those barrel
inserts like the kit furniture uses in corners, and can't hold any
weight over even a short unsupported span. I've even seen people use it
for stair treads, which I think should be a code violation.
I learned my lesson about particle board in kitchens and baths about 30
You can rip it out and do it right or learn what I learned the same hard way
The choice is completely yours. :)
Please come visit http://www.househomerepair.com
Not saying particle board is correct solution. But I will say, that for
several decades after mud-bed died out, and before backer board became
common, particle board underlayment sealed with I-don't-remember,
covered with grouted tiles held down by mastic, was quite common. Same
for under kitchen vinyl floors, but the PB wasn't sealed, since it
wasn't considered a 'wet' usage. Even in modern times, I've only seen
backer board in a kitchen if they were planning to put down
heavy-but-porous clay tile.
To be fair, we don't know if he should have learned setting tile isn't
as easy as it looks on TV.
A bathroom floor is not typically a "wet" environment, but it doesn't
matter what wood you put under tile; if it gets wet it's going to
swell and pffft.
But, it won't get wet if the floor is sound and has the structural
rigidity to maintain the excellent seal of a competent tile job...
that you're probably not going to get anyway.
$400/1.33 sq. ft. seems a tad steep for 300-sq. ft. of "light duty"
membrane (you're going to use how much of?), and I'm not crazy about
it being 3' wide, either, when 6' would provide a seamless application
in most residential baths.
But, a membrane isn't a "pan". If water penetrates the tile, it's
most likely to occur at an edge, of the tub, if there is one. If
there's enough water to flood the floor, it's going to run out the
They're doing marvelous things with new materials, but I think that
stuff is a gimmick.
100% of bathroom floor leaks are due to the shower leaking onto the
For my 2c to the original ? I would put 1/2" concrete or fiber backer
on top of your osb subfloor. Use motar and screws every 6 to 8
inches. Lowes has the screws right next to the backer in the tile
department. Do not use the 1/4" backer, use the 1/2". You don't need
"fancy" motar either. The ordinary gray stuff that is under $10 a bag
will do just fine for putting down the backer board. Try to use the
backer board with as few cuts as possible. Do not piece together bits
of backer board to save $10. As you plan the backer board avoid
having the seam between two pieces of backer board coincide with any
seams on the subfloor osb. Also try to not have a tile seam over a
backer board seam. This takes a little extra planning. If you have
left over screws then put them in as well. Stay off it for at least a
day after you put the backer board down. Tile is all about the prep
work. Actually putting the tile it's self down is no big deal. This
has worked well for me many times.
Water will eventually damage any flooring if it has enough time. Osb
will swell. Plywood will swell. Joists will swell. I'm betting your
house is not made of metal. If any of this happens the tile will
crack, come up, and grout break out. Do not caulk around toilets as
this is a common spot to leak and caiulk will simply trap the water
under the toilet where you can't see it. Tubs and shower bases
present a problem. If you don't caulk then spilt water can get under
them. If you do caulk then you are less likely to see a leak that
develops under either of these. It's a no win. Pay attention to your
house. If the bath is on a second floor then be aware of the ceiling
below it. If the bath is on a ground floor then it's not bad idea to
take the occasional look around when some curcumstance causes you to
be in the crawl space.
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