How to Tile over Chipboard

Lead Image
  • 5-20 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 1,000-5,000
What You'll Need
Wet saw
Concrete board
Tile spacers
Tape measure
Chalk line

Installing tile over chipboard is a do-it-yourself project that comes up frequently. Chipboard is commonly used as a sub floor and installing tile over the top is something that can be done with a little work. Tile can provide you with a very durable floor that looks great. However, if it is not installed properly, it can present you with some real problems. Here are the basics of how to install tile over chipboard.

Step 1 - Measure the Area

You need to measure the area before you can do anything. Break everything up into rectangles and get the length and the width of the space. Multiply the dimensions together and that will give you the square footage. Order about 10% more than the square footage of the space.

Step 2 - Install the Concrete Board

chipboard flooring

When installing over chipboard, you need to install concrete board over the top of it before tile can be installed. If you install tile directly onto the chipboard, it will eventually crack and break. Mix up some thinset and apply it to the bottom of the concrete board. This will help adhere it to the chipboard and keep it from moving. Then use the drill and screws to screw the concrete board to the chipboard. Concrete board comes with holes already in it for screws. Fill each hole with a screw.

Step 3 - Find the Center

When laying tile, you want to find the center of the room and work out towards the walls. This gives the tile a centered look when you come in the room. Use your tape measure to find the center point of each dimension. Then snap two chalk lines so that you will know exactly where to start laying the tile.

Step 4 - Lay the Tile

terra cotta colored tile flooring

Use your trowel to apply some thinset to the top of the concrete board. Make sure the thinset is even and then lay a tile square using the chalk lines that you drew as a guide. Use a tile spacer to place on one corner of the tile and place another tile right next to it. Make sure that the tile spacers stay in place on each corner of the tiles and this will help you keep everything straight. Keep laying tile in this manner until you get to a wall or cabinet. Use the wet saw to cut the tile to the appropriate size to fit in the gap between the tile and the wall.

Once the tile is down, you need to let it dry for 24 hours without walking on it.

Step 5 - Grout

The next day, you can apply the grout to the joints between the tiles. Use a trowel to spread the grout between the tiles. Once it is in the joints, wash it with a sponge. This will help remove excess grout and give the grout a smooth, finished look. Let the grout dry overnight and it should be good to walk on the next day.