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Avoid Plywood for Tile Subfloors

Goodbye Tile Cracks, Hello Cement Board
Get a Free Quote: (401) 214-0285

Ken's Quick Answer:

Plywood’s got moves—this expansion and contraction puts your tile installation at risk. Instead, choose a stable cement board for your subfloor.

Ken's In-Depth Answer:

When it comes to installing tile, what is the best underlayment? In the old days, they just went over plywood. But there's a reason not to do that: Your tile is more prone to cracking.

Remember, plywood is still wood. Wood expands and contracts. That movement breaks the bond between the tile and the subfloor and cracks the mortar.

Cement board is both firm and dimensionally stable. You're not going to get that movement. It's better and safer for your tile.

So remember, the best subfloor choice for ceramic and porcelain tile is not plywood. It's cement board. It's Durock, it's HardieBacker—any product like that is a rigid cement board made for tile installation.

If you have any questions about tile flooring installation, give us a call at 401-214-0285 or visit our showroom. We serve customers throughout Rhode Island and southeastern New England, including Newport, Middletown, Jamestown, Portsmouth, Bristol and more.

Ken Fain smiling and wearing a green and yellow collared shirt

About Ken: Ken Fain is the co-owner of Island Carpet in Middletown, RI and a floorcovering veteran of more than 40 years. His popular 'Ask Ken' video series answers common flooring questions on a variety of topics. It has reached thousands of viewers on both YouTube and Facebook.

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(401) 214-0285
695 West Main Road Middletown
Mon-Fri: 10am-6pm, Sat: 10am-3pm


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