What kind of sub floor is best for ceramic tile? Installers know that the final flooring material is only as good as the sub flooring under it. Even the best and most expensive ceramic tile on top will have problems and issues if the sub floor is not properly prepared or is not suitable for it.
The best sub floors or underlayment for ceramic tile are exterior grade plywood, cement-based backer board, a single layer of resilient or vinyl flooring or a concrete slab. Material that is not suitable for a sub floor for ceramic tile includes OSB wood, multi-layer vinyl, drywall, interior-grade plywood and vinyl that is only stapled at the seams.
Deflection is another important part of the flooring. The acceptable standard for floor rigidity is L/360 before the tile underlayment is installed, according to the Tile Council of America’s standards. When the floor is more rigid than L/360, ceramic tile can fail.
With the right sub floor, ceramic tile will deliver may years of beauty and durability to the owners.