10:07AM | 09/26/07
Member Since: 09/25/07
1 lifetime posts
Our bedroom floor is poured adobe...on dirt. I am a pretty good tile layer. I am getting weary of the occasional bug or gopher tunneling up through the adobe floor. I have a VERY small budget. Obviously, digging up the adobe and laying concrete before tiling is ideal. But in our EXTREMELY rural area with huge costs for hauling concrete and no heavy labor assistance...I'd like a less expensive solution.

I was thinking of laying Hardibacker over the adobe and then tiling. My husband objects because between the Hardibacker and the tile that would raise the floor level substantially. He wants to take a pick axe to the adobe floor and go down to the dirt and lay Hardibacker over the dirt. I'm thinking that is going to lead to moisture problems, colder temperatures etc. I also don't think Hardibacker is suitable for laying directly on dirt. The house has NO sub-floor. It is passive solar at 7,400 feet in the norther New Mexico mountains. Temperature range form -20 in he winter to 80's in the sumer with average humidity about 15% I'd appreciate any comments or experience you people can share. Thanks in advance.

Lynne Gudes

"Common sense isn't."


11:53AM | 09/26/07
Member Since: 04/25/05
1918 lifetime posts
I don't know how hard adobe is?

Hardibacker is brittle. When it is installed over a hard surface, ie wood, a layer of thinset is put down and then the hardbibacker is screwed or nailed down. The purpose of the layer of thinset is not to "glue" it down, but rather to fill any irregularity between the backer and the sub-floor. Otherwise it break down after a while.

I don't know how well thinset will work between the backer board and the adobe.

And how would you anchor the backerboard. Maybe long, 3 to 4" galvanized spikes driving into the adobe.

If thinset will form a bond to the adobe you might want to think about using Ditra, or similar isolation membrane, instead of a backerboard.

You should also ask this at the John Bridges tile forums.

Instead of a couple of replies you might get dozens or more.


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