Tiling a suspended floor

The TradesPro way when tiling a suspended bathroom floor

There are several considerations before tiling a UK bathroom floor, and the first is in the UK. Unless you live in a bungalow or a modern apartment, the chances are your bathroom is upstairs and therefore has a suspended floor with timber joists. The problem here is you get a lot of movement. The technical term is inflexion. It is described as a bounce in the floor, and although you can’t completely stop this movement, several things can be done to minimise it and mitigate it from causing problems.

You should always strip the floor of all substrates and revile the joists. Believe me, many filters don’t do this, and there is a practice of cutting sections out, patching up and then going over that with a tile backer board. When we say the TradesPro way is to install our substrates, we mean it. A patched-up floor will never be as good as a newly screwed down structural ply floor.

Another good reason for removing the old floor is to inspect the pipework, and we suggest wherever it’s economically affordable to replace plastic waste pipe as this becomes brittle and full of residue.

When dealing with copper pipe, always clean off the green oxidisation with wire wool as this is corrosive and caused by previous plumbers not cleaning the flux off properly.

striped out bathroom
aquapanel cement board

You can connect on to coper with most modern push-fit systems TradesPro prefers is JB Speedfit.

With all the first fix plumbing done, you are ready to fix down an 18mm or 22mm softwood structural ply. Don’t use hardwood ply. This is screwed down to the joists avoiding services every 25mm.

Once this is done, you have a choice of three Tile backer boards that can be used.