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Advice on flooring material - particleboard vs fibre cement

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  1. #1
    Apprentice (new member)
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Advice on flooring material - particleboard vs fibre cement

    First, I am new to these forums, so I apologise if this is not in the right area.

    We are about to start renovating our kitchen/dining room. At the moment there are tiles over floorboards. The flooring is on piers with 450mm centres for the joists.

    The problem is that the tiles are cracked (plus they only placed them up to the cabinets, not under them and we are replacing the cabinets).

    We have had the piers levelled, including the installation of some additional piers to help keep the floor stable.

    My question is what should I put down to replace the original floorboards? From what I can see the original boards are warped in places (because the previous owners didn't keep the floor level). So, I want to rip up the tiles and floorboards and replace the lot. I want to tile the kitchen/dining room.

    From what I can see there are three options:
    1) Hardward - not really pratical/useful since they are going to be covered and I won't get the full effect, except that they might be more stable.
    2) Particleboard - yellow or red tongue. The 450mm joists means that I can use yellow tongue, but if red tongue would be better I am happy to pay extra.
    3) Compressed fibre cement - either 15mm or 18mm. The problem is the weight and installation/cutting issues.

    So, I was hoping that either tilers or someone that has done this could reply. I have spoken to a couple of tilers and some handymen, and got mixed results. I have been told about using tile underlay on top of yellow tongue, but one tiler hadn't heard of it and the other said that he used it but it allows too much movement in his tiles and the grout needs to be regularly replaced.

    Has someone out there gone some advice to provide?
    a) Yellow/red tongue with tile underlay
    b) fibre cement 15 or 18mm

    Thanks for the advice,

  2. #2
    Rigid Member UteMad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007


    Mate for your bathrooms it definately compressed fibro cause its a wet area....
    For a living room most people use yellow tongue
    If you are carpeting part and tiling part then you will need to raise the tile section up 15 - 20mm to the top of tile(not the sheets etither tile bed or fibro tile underlay)so it will marry in with the carpet

    If you want to try a new product that is the same as compressed only tonnes lighter and has a tongue and groove down one side have a look at "aqua check" this still needs a diamond grinder or wet saw to cut but you can fix it down with a gas gun ....

    You'll findd cost wise that the yellow tongue at around 45 bucks a sheet is way cheaper when you compare the size it covers 3600 x 900....

    We were supposed to be fittting aqua check tomorrow but the sheets come in 1800 x 900 so it wouldn't work for the job so its back to full weight 15mm compressed ....Bumma

    If you want to tile over strip flooring you have to use fibbro underlay and a flexable adhesive and flexable grout (good stuff not cheap)

    cheers ute mad

  3. #3
    2K Club Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006


    Hi There

    The thick fibro is great stuff if you need it ... but in a lounge / kitchen it's probably overkill compared to yellow tongue.

    The norm would be cs over teh yellow tongue.

    The other option is that you can get tile adesive made to stick to yellow tongue but I have only done that to one small room and it has only been a year so I couldn't tell you about the longevity of that product.

  4. #4
    A Member of the Holy Trinity echnidna's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003


    Tiles should not have been fitted directly over floor boards, there should have been an underlay.

    So if there wasn't an underlay originally and the boards aren't rotten all you need to do is sand the floors level and fit a tile underlay over the top of the floorboards before retiling or installing vinyl or carpet.

    It really doesn't sound like you need to replace the floorboards.

    Underlay should be installed with special underlay nails or it may create problems, incorrect nailing probably caused the problems your tiler mentioned

    There are 2 types of underlay - cement sheet & tempered masonite.
    I have used both types successfully but I personally prefer the masonite as it will do for vinyl or tile floors. It would be far superior under carpet
    Bob Thomas

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  5. #5
    Building Designer ausdesign's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Strzelecki Ranges Victoria


    Yellow tongue & cement sheet tile underlay would be the most economical & provide as good a base as anything else & don't use the tiler who hasn't heard of it.

    Utemad I like the compressed sheet but if you have to put in a membrane anyway what's the saving? On a balcony or such yes - but in a 'wet area' ?
    Peter Clarkson


    This information is intended to provide general information only.
    It does not purport to be a comprehensive advice.

  6. #6
    Rigid Member UteMad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007


    Utemad I like the compressed sheet but if you have to put in a membrane anyway what's the saving? On a balcony or such yes - but in a 'wet area' ?[/quote]

    I see your point but in sydney nearly everyone uses compressed for bathrooms even the shotty project guys as far as i have seen.. keeps the inspectors happy....we have even been made in the past to block the door way and fill the whole bathroom with 100mm of water and leave it for 48 hrs so the architect could check for any leaks before tiling
    Its if the membrane fails that you have extra to deal with if you use yellow tongue....
    We had the same argument with csr rep over the new aqua check light weight compressed which is suited to internal wet areas but not external balconies even if under a membrane.....Go figure why???

    cheers Ute Mad

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