Hollow sounds from tile with no backer-board on composite board


Hollow Tiles over Composite Board - Am having problems with an installer. Have porcelain tile in bathroom with no backer-board and on composite board. Other rooms have "hollow" sounds coming from the tile as if there is no adhesive underneath. NEED HELP and ADVICE!!


ANSWER - Tile should never be installed over a composite board because they are water sensitive and relatively unstable. There are some applications where you can install over exterior grade plywood for interior applications, but not in a bathroom that is considered a wet area.

If some of the tiles sound hollow, but others sound solid then it is likely that the tile was not bonded adequately to the substrate and it has come loose to some degree.

To qualify the condition of your floor would require performing a forensic investigation to determine the cause of the problems, to determine if the installations meet industry standards and the standard-of-care for professional installers, and to determine how best to remediate the problems.

CTaSC does provide those investigation services throughout the country, but for a small bathroom it wouldn’t be financially practical because as consultants and investigators we charge for our time including travel time, inspection time, and time to research and write the report. This service normally cost between $2,000 to $4,000 depending on the amount of time involved including the distance from our closest inspector. I think we do have an inspector within a couple of hours of your location.

If you only have a small area then I think your best bet would be to try and find an installer who is knowledgeable and qualified to repair or replace the floor. If you want to pursue restitution from the original installer then you should consider going through the better business bureau or small claims court systems. Good Luck!

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