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How do I tile to particleboard?

The manufacturers of particleboard flooring do not recommend tiling directly onto their products.

These flooring products are coated with a protective coating to prevent moisture ingress. These coatings can interfere with bonding to the substrate. They can also contain waxes, which can also interfere with adhesion. To achieve the best adhesion possible the boards should be sanded to remove this coating. However, this will leave the substrate more susceptible to damage caused by moisture.

As particleboard flooring is usually on bearers and joists, there can be considerable movement or flex in the substrate. To deal with this a more flexible adhesive would be required. Bostik’s best options would be Bostik Asaflex or Bostik Evoflex.

Priming of the sanded surface with Bostik PrimeGrip non-porous prior to tiling would also be advantageous.

Tiling over a substrate not intended to take such a finish is not a system that Bostik will warrant. Any success of such an installation will depend greatly on the amount of movement present in the floor and the appropriate use of expansion and movement joints. The risk of adhesion failure, and cracking tiles, will also increase as the tile size increases.

The best method to employ is to install a fibre cement sheet tile underlay over the particleboard prior to tiling.