Tiling on plywood

Can you tile on plywood? Yes, but various considerations need to be made first.

If the floor consists of sheets that do not support each other, it is necessary to ensure that each edge is fully supported underneath. If the tiles are small (no larger than 400mm by 400mm) an improved flexible (S1) tile adhesive is suitable. For larger or heavier tiles, you will require an ultra-flexible (S2) tile adhesive.

Step-by-step guide

  1. Assess and prepare the surface

    Make sure the floor will be capable of supporting the expected load with minimal deflection. It must be stable, well supported, ventilated underneath and level.

    The thickness of the plywood needs to be at least 18mm and of exterior grade. It may be necessary to increase the thickness if heavy loads are anticipated or if the joists are spaced more widely than normal. Replace any defective sheets and fit noggins between the joists beneath any unsupported sheet edges. Prime the back and edges of plywood with weber PR360.

    Screw the sheets to the joists/noggins every 200-300mm, leaving 2mm to allow for expansion. Fill the gaps with weberjoint silicone sealant to prevent them being filled with tile adhesive when fixing the tiles.

  2. Lay tiles with a suitable flexible tile adhesive

    Lay tiles with a 3mm bed of improved flexible tile adhesive (S1) — such as weberset SPF or weberset rapid SPF — and leave joints of at least 3mm wide for grouting and make provisions for movement.

    If you are tiling on a plywood floor with tiles above 400mm by 400mm in size, or heavier tiles made of stone (quartz or terrazzo), you will require an ultra-flexible tile adhesive (S2) such as weberset pro lite – rapid.

  3. Finish with grout and silicone

    Leave tile adhesive to set and fill joints with a flexible floor tile grout such as weberjoint premium tile grout which is available in a range of 18 colours and contains PURE CLEAN anti-stain technology.

    Finish the job by sealing the perimeter movement joints with weberjoint silicone sealant – colour-matched to all 18 colours of our premium grout, and also available as a clear silicone sealant.

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