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Question: Ceramic Tile over basement Concrete floor with radiant heat system under tile – need for backer board ?

Question by Kris: Ceramic Tile over basement Concrete floor with radiant heat system under tile – need for backer board ?
We want to tile our concrete floor in the basement and use the radiant heat grids to heat the rooms. We have heard that we need to use a backer board to keep the concrete from cracking from the heat of the heat system. do we need to use backer board?

Best answer:

Answer by josephrob2003
the backer board is more to hold in the heat, or you would lose it to the concrete, its well worth doing it, just think of the money you would save, and it would be far more efficient, and quicker in warming up.

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3 Responses to Question: Ceramic Tile over basement Concrete floor with radiant heat system under tile – need for backer board ?

  1. No name available

    No, what you need is an isolation membrane like Ditra. That is just one brand name, there are others. The radiant heat will spread in all directions as that is the nature of it. The floor will act as a heat sink, and remember, heat rises. The membrane will keep small cracks in the concrete from showing up in the tile. Here’s a video to show how and what it does.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6FyWs2WZ1k

  2. Landon

    yes i would use a cement board underneath them. it will hold the heat and help keep the tiles from cracking because of any unevenness on the concrete floor. if you are using the mat style of electric in floor heat it is less important because they are designed to keep heat away from the cold concrete.

  3. MNPyro

    Not only will the backer board keep the heat from getting lost in the concrete, but it will also make sure you are applying the tiles to a solid flat surface. This will also assure you that you won’t have tiles cracking/breaking due to an uneven surface. The other option would be to get self leveling mortar/concrete and spread it on the floor to make sure it is all as level as possible. But you still have the issue with lost heat in the concrete.

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