tiling side of bath

26 Jan 2006
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United Kingdom
ok ive got a sheet of mdf which i am going to cut to size and then screw in place and then tile

first question - can i just use normal tile adhesive straight onto the mdf?

second question - what are the best ways to fix it on (i will be grouting it to bath and ceramic tiled floor) in order to make removal as easy as possible with only having to re grout the edges?
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MDF is pretty much the worst thing you could have bought for the bath panel. It doesn't take much water to make it swell. Then your tiles will fall off.
You need to seal it with an oil based primer, then you should be ok to use the regular adhesive.
I'd seriously advise you to change the MDF for exterior ply though.
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Exterior Ply would mean exterior plywood.

Plywood is wood panels made of layers of wood glued together so that the wood grain alternates in every ply to make the panel strong in both directions. Exterior plywood is made using a waterproof glue.

I would recommend that you use a true tile backer like cement board to set your tiles on. The advantage of cement board is that it is dimensionally stable so that any water leakage through a grout line will not cause the tile backer to want to bend as one side of it swells.

Cement based tile backers aren't as rigid as plywood, but they are as rigid as they need to be to prevent any cracking of the grout joints in normal service. However, they offer the advantage that any water leakage into the wall does not affect them so as to cause the grout lines to crack and more water to penetrate into the wall.

You can also get a truly excellent gypsum based tile backer panel called "Dens-Shield", but I'm not sure if the Georgia Pacific Company markets it in the UK. Get Google to find the Georgia Pacific Company, and then take a look at their Dens-Shield board. Phone around to the local Plasterboard wholesalers in your area to see if they market anything similar.
I think the prices would be pretty similar.

Pop down to any place that retails wall tiles, and ask what they keep in stock. I expect you could buy cement board cheaper from B&Q tho.
You've probably already considered this, but the previous owner of my house did exactly that. I need to replace the tap's washers (and eventually the taps) but cannot do so without removing the tiling from the side of the bath. I don't have replacement tiles, so the whole look of the bathroom will be spoilt if any break when I remove them... Tiling the side of your bath turns easy jobs in the future into nightmares...
It depends how you do it. If you screw the panel to the frame then tile over it then yes it's impossible to get behind it without wrecking it. You could make it so that it's a push fit though. That way you'll be able to pull it back out and all you'll need to do it re-grout at the edges when you put it back.

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