Installing Cement Board For Tile Installation

Tile installation can dramatically increase the value and appeal of your kitchen. Doing the job yourself will also save you a lot of money and can be achieved with the use of the right tools.

A necessary part of this job is making sure that your subfloor is adequately prepared to lay down the tile. One common way of prepping the subfloor is to install cement board to make the floor durable and prevent any cracking to your tiles in the future. Cement board is a thin board, similar to drywall, that you can adhere to your subfloor using mortar. 

Apply the mortar

To begin with the installation of the cement board, you'll need to first mix your mortar using the instructions printed by the manufacturer on the package. Mix your mortar in a large bucket, making sure that it has a paste-like consistency. You don't want it to be too runny or it wont set. You don't want it to be too thick or it will be hard to spread.

Use a trowel to spread enough mortar on your subfloor to set one piece of cement board. Use the straight side of the trowel to apply the mortar and the cerated side to comb the mortar. 

Install the cement board

Lay down your piece of cement board and firmly push it down into the mortar. You can kneel down on the cement board for this process as you want it to be firmly set. Use screws and a drill to connect the board to the subfloor. Insert your screws in roughly six-inch intervals along the edges and in the middle on the board. When your first piece is installed, continue along with the others. 

Cut the cement board

At some point it may be necessary to cut your board to a specific size in order to fit your space. You can do this using a circular saw if you have one handy. If not, a simple scoring knife will do the job just fine. 

Measure the area you need to cut and with the assistance of a straight edge, score the board as many times as you need to before it breaks free. You may need to put some strength into this process as the cement board is fairly durable.

Enforce the joints

When all the pieces are down and secured to your subfloor, you'll need to enforce the joints. Use mortar to spread a thin layer on the top side of the joints to make your subfloor strong and allow it to set overnight before continuing on with the tile installation. 

For more information on tile installation, consider contacting a professional like those at Art Tile Co. Inc.