Tile Job Preparations:

Preparing A Wood Sub-Floor
For Ceramic Or Marble Tile

In This Article:

The tongue-and-groove subfloor is screwed to the floor joists, high spots are sanded, and a coat of oil-based primer is applied.

Related Articles:
Skill Level: 2 (Basic) Time Taken: 2 Hours

By , Editor


This sub-floor is 1x4 tongue-and-groove. I located the floor joists and marked their center-lines.

Note that the double lines do not indicate the edges of the floor joists... this room has doubled-up floor joists, which reduce the bounce in the floor. Read about sistering floor joists.


I drove 2" deck screws (drywall screws are too weak) through the sub-floor into the joists. I did not attempt to fasten every board at every joist... that would've taken forever. Driving deck screws into sub-floor.


Where the end of a board lay over a joist, I drove the screw on an angle. For these screws I pre-drilled the holes.


Once all the screws were installed, I used a belt sander to remove any loose paint, and to rough-up the paint that adhered well. Sanding ridges from sub-floor boards.


Then I used a Shop Vac to clean up the debris.


I made sure to get into every gap and crack.


Using a 4" paint brush, I painted the floor with a good oil-based primer.


Of course, when painting a floor, one must plan ahead and not literally "paint yourself into a corner".


The floor after priming.


Next Step: Installing Cement Tile Backer.



Tools Used:

  • Portable Belt Sander
  • Cordless Drill
  • Shop Vac
  • Long Straightedge
  • Stud Finder
  • Painting Tools

Materials Used:

  • Deck Screws, 2½"
  • Oil-Based Primer


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Copyright © 2001, 2005 HammerZone.com

Written February 20, 2001
Revised January 11, 2005