7 Best Bathroom Tile Underlayment Options: Design Inspiration

Pros and cons of tiles in Sydney - 7 Best Bathroom Tile Underlayment Options: Design Inspiration

When it comes to tiling your bathroom, out of sight is certainly not out of mind.

The underlayment is a crucial component that ensures the durability and longevity of your tiles. 

In short, a good underlayment provides a solid and stable surface for your tiles, preventing cracks, water damage, and other issues. But your choice of bathroom tile underlayment is a much more in-depth topic.

If you’re looking for the best bathroom tiling underlayment options, we’re on top of it (or, more accurately, underneath). 

Read on for the seven most popular options that are well-suited for Sydney’s unique climate and construction requirements. By choosing the right underlayment, you can ensure that your bathroom tiles not only look stunning but also withstand the test of time.

If you want to learn more about bathroom tiling, check out our other resources:

7 top bathroom tile underlayment options

#1 – Cement Board

Cement board is a reliable choice for bathrooms due to its high moisture resistance and stability. 

This tile underlayment is an excellent option for areas with high humidity or frequent exposure to water, such as shower walls and bathroom floors. A cement board is relatively easy to install, but it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper sealing and joint treatment.

 Additionally, ensure that the subfloor is structurally sound and level before installing the cement board.

Quick Guide: How to Tile a Bathroom Floor

#2 – Plywood

Plywood is a cost-effective and readily available underlayment material. It’s often used in bathroom renovations where the existing subfloor is plywood or wood-based. 

However, it’s crucial to select exterior-grade plywood specifically designed for wet areas. Additionally, the plywood should be adequately sealed with a waterproofing membrane or primer to prevent moisture infiltration. Keep in mind that plywood may not be the best choice for areas prone to excessive moisture, such as floor tiling in showers and bathrooms.

#3 – Fibre Cement Underlayment

Fiber cement underlayment offers the benefits of both cement and fibreglass. It provides excellent moisture resistance, stability, and protection against mould and mildew. Fibre cement is highly durable and can withstand heavy loads, making it suitable for bathroom floors. This type of underlayment also offers some thermal insulation properties. 

However, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper installation and sealing to ensure optimal performance.

#4 – Uncoupling Membrane

An uncoupling membrane is a fantastic option for bathrooms with concrete subfloors or areas prone to movement. It helps absorb stress and movement, preventing cracks in the tile installation. 

Uncoupling membranes provide excellent waterproofing and can be used on both floors and walls. However, the installation process requires careful attention to detail, including properly embedding the membrane in thinset mortar and ensuring proper seam overlaps.

#5 – Rubber Underlayment

Rubber underlayment is known for its soundproofing properties, making it ideal for multi-story buildings or areas where noise reduction is a priority. It also provides moisture protection and added cushioning underfoot. 

Rubber underlayment is available in various thicknesses, allowing you to choose the appropriate level of comfort and sound absorption for your bathroom. Ensure that the rubber underlayment you select is specifically designed for wet areas and meets the necessary building code requirements.

#6 – Schluter DITRA

Schluter DITRA is a widely recognised and trusted underlayment system. It offers uncoupling and waterproofing benefits, protecting your tile installation from cracks and water damage. DITRA consists of a polyethylene membrane with square-shaped cavities that allow for proper tile bonding while reducing stress. 

This underlayment is compatible with a variety of subfloors and is relatively easy to install. However, it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use the recommended installation materials for optimal performance.

#7 – Waterproof Membrane

For maximum waterproofing in your bathroom, consider using a liquid or sheet waterproofing membrane. These membranes create a robust barrier against moisture, preventing water from seeping into the substrate. 

Liquid membranes are typically applied with a brush or roller, providing a seamless and flexible waterproofing layer. Sheet membranes, on the other hand, are adhered to the surface using adhesive and offer excellent protection against leaks. Both options are highly effective but may require professional installation for proper application.

When choosing a bathroom tile underlayment, remember to consider factors such as:

  • Budget
  • Subfloor conditio
  • Mnoisture exposure
  • Compatibility with your chosen tile installation method

It’s always recommended to consult with a professional tile installer or supplier who can provide expert advice tailored to your specific project requirements.

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Which Tile Bathroom Underlayment Will You Choose?

Choosing the right bathroom tile underlayment is essential for a successful and long-lasting tile installation. 

Whether you opt for cement board, plywood, fibre cement, uncoupling membranes, rubber underlayment, Schluter DITRA, or a waterproof membrane, each option has its advantages. 

Consider your budget, the condition of your subfloor, and the level of moisture protection required to make an informed decision. With the right underlayment, you can ensure a beautiful and functional bathroom for years to come.

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Give Your Home a Makeover With the Team at NHK Tiling

At NHK Tiling, we have over 24 years of experience working with clients on tiling jobs of all shapes and sizes. 

We don’t just provide tile; we provide an experience. We work with our customers to help them design the spaces they dream of and offer suggestions and solutions that can help achieve these goals.

All of our work is backed by a 100% quality guarantee. We use only the best high-quality products for the best bathroom tiling and make the focus of every job your satisfaction. Plus, all of our employees are licensed and insured to handle any tiling project that comes our way. All you have to do is ask.

To get started with a free quote and consultation, call us on 0402 462 570 today!

Request a free quote on 0402 462 570, or simply enquire online.