07:00AM | 06/21/04
Member Since: 02/20/04
52 lifetime posts
I have installed new kitchen cabinets and am going to put down 3/4 inch plywood as the base for the counter top. My quest is whats next.. I have been told to different things (both from different people at the tile supply company) 1. I shiuld install hardi backer, 2 layers of 1/4 inch and then install the tile using thinset. the back splash can be installed directly over the drywall using mastic. 2. I should do the older method of installing wire screen and a mortar base for the tile then use thinset to lay the tiles. As for the back splash I should just use thinset to install them to the wall. I am sure that all or parts of this are probabbly correct but what is preferable. Thanks for your input.


09:09AM | 06/21/04
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
Hi sadickers,

Interesting options. 2 layers of hardibacker, or the mesh backing.

Tile benefits from the best possible "foundation"--and these guys are giving you a couple of very strong options!

I've done quite a bit of tiling (I am NOT a professional)--so I welcome the feedback of others too!

But in my experience, 3/4" plywood, 1/4" hardiebacker (one layer), and strong (class 5) floor tile works quite well. In my most recent project I used thinset to apply the hardibacker to plywood, and screwed the hardibacker down at recommended points.

In the past, I haven't even used thinset to attach hardibacker to plywood and my results were good there as well. But for the cost of some thinset, why not add this extra step?

And yes, I have tiled walls directly to drywall with good success.

As for the wire screen method, for countertops, this sounds like overkill to me. (But I've never tiled this way, personally.) I would wonder if this method might raise the countertop level too high.

I also wonder if making such a strong base is necessary (unless you, perhaps, do quite a bit of heavy pounding for your cooking!) I mean, the tile ITSELF can be broken, if the wrong thing were to fall on it. So isn't there a point of diminishing returns for making the base so strong?

Also, hardibacker's website has some installation recommendations....give it a look...


-k2 in CO

Moderator, Miscellaneous Forum


11:26AM | 06/21/04
Member Since: 02/20/04
52 lifetime posts
Thanks for the response. The screen and mortar method I believe is the "OLD" way of setting tile. I remember remodeling a kitchen built in the early 50s and the tile counter had the screen and mortar under the tile. It did seem like an over kill to me as well as the 2 layers of Hardi backer. After all it's not a dance floor! Just have to worry about mean loaves of French Bread..



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