Sound insulation for tile floor: Laticrete or NobleSeal SIS? Do I need backerboard


This will be the first time I do tiling myself. The bathroom subfloor is concrete I believe. I am on a condo top floor so will need some sound insulation.

I am leaning toward Laticrete 125, but it looks like it's hard for DIYer. The same thread also leads me to NobleSeal SIS. I haven't compared the cost. My questions are:

1/. Could you share your diy experience with working with any of these 2? Is it hard? Cost-wise? I know laticrete is 5 times more expensive than normal mortar.

2/. Have you tried to remove either of these? Was it easy to remove?

3/. Do I need backerboard for Laticrete? Their video and instruction doesn't mention anything about backerboard, just that it can go on backerboard, but can I use it below backerboard as well (i.e. subfloor - Laticrete - backerboard - laticrete -...

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Since there's no way to install backer board, (securely enough for a ceramic floor installation,) directly over concrete, doing so would be counter productive. If not immediately, I can assure you that, eventually, you will have problems.

Prior to installing ANY type of floor covering over a below grade surface, such as a basement floor, it is imperative that you first test the concrete for HYDROSTATIC PRESSURE. Moisture vapor emissions from a concrete slab can come from a variety of sources and one of them is hydrostatic pressure, which is when there is a column of water higher than the concrete slab.

A simple test (as already noted in an answer by, 'oil field trash,') is to securely tape a piece of plastic, (12" x 12" or larger,) to an area of the floor that appears to be dry. Make certain that the plastic is secured in an air tight manner. Allow it to stand for at least 72 hours. Upon removal, if you notice beads of water have formed, hydrostatic pressure, more than...

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If you want to save on energy costs then the installation of insulation boards with electric underfloor heating systems is highly recommended. In all cases, warmup times are reduced which lead to lower running costs.

Save on Underfloor Heating Energy Costs

The insulation increases the efficiency of the underfloor or undertile heating system used. It will take less electricity to maintain your floor temperature setting. Less energy is also wasted through the concrete or floor void. If you are fitting undertile heating to an un-insulated floor then the use of insulation boards is especially important.

Using insulation boards with an electric underfloor system is not a cheap option. You may need to budget about 50% of the cost of the cable mat heating system. However, with constantly rising fuel bills you will soon start to reap the benefits. If you read the Sunday Telegraph column by Jeff Howell, you will know that installing insulation is extremely beneficial, as long...

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Tile floor advice and installation help at the John Bridge Tile Forums

• Ceramic Tile Floors

- John P. Bridge ( May, 2005 )

“Ceramic tile floors. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Pull up the rug and “put down” tiles. Smear grout in the joints, clean it up and move back in. If you have vinyl on the floor you can go right over it with the new tiles, as vinyl makes a wonderful uncoupling membrane. Tile mastic works better for tile floors than thin set mortar does, especially when using large tiles. If the floor structure seems a little spongy, you can correct it by nailing down cement backer board before installing the tiles themselves.”

You have just been presented with a paragraph-size synopsis of the type of tile misinformation you might receive on the Internet, in tile and flooring outlets, at big box stores and in certain printed publications, not to mention home improvement shows on radio and TV. Yes, there are thousands of “experts” out there poised and...

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So what is this stuff and why do you need it? Backerboard, or cement board, comes in sheets much like drywall and is used in a couple of ways. It is used on flooring installations as a means of creating a stable and easier to work with subfloor. It is also used in shower and tub enclosures (or anywhere with significant wetness issues) as a means of helping to create a moisture barrier. Unlike drywall, which is not water proof, or green board, which is merely water resistant, backerboard is water proof and when used with a proper moisture barrier help to mitigate headaches down the road.

Check out this ARTICLE by Andrew Hunt for more information about backerboard and how it is used.

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A few years back this question was asked on an online forum;

Steam shower - Kerdi vs. NobleSeal

This forum is great. I have been reading it for a while as I am trying to put together a steam room, 36"x72", in my new bathroom. The more I read the more questions I have, but here is what I gathered so far.

For steam room I need vapor proof isolation, the two options I am considering are Kerdi and Nobleseal TS.

The Kerdi installation seems straightforward (on paper): use concrete backer board, "wallpaper" the inside of the shower, using unmodified thinset and use "Kerdi" drain. The tile goes on the Kerdi liner using unmodified thinset again.

Nobleseal TS is a bit more confusing. First, the floor is made using Chloraloy, overlapping but separate from the TS sheet on the walls. Second The Nobleseal TS can be installed on top or behind the CBU. (Use latex modified thinset, common drain with NobleFlex.)

I kind of lean towards the Nobleseal...

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Loud noise is always a problem that can be heard through floors of flats and houses and is always more of a nuisance when there is no background noise to help mask it within your own home. This is particularly evident at night when you may be in your bedroom and can clearly hear noise from above or below. The noises may not be loud and you may not notice them during the day but they can be annoying at night and can keep you awake. However, everyday noise such as normal speech and television/radio volumes should not be heard during the daytime and the current Part E Regulations for noise control through separating floors in newly created flats and houses have been introduced to address this.

For noise problems through any wall, we can offer a range of sound proofing products that can provide simple solutions without the need to lift floor boards, or a more professional solution that will entail installing sound insulation beneath the floor boards. Before any sound insulation...

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Tips for Tiling Bathroom Floors

Tile can be tricky to install for even seasoned DIYers as the process requires a special saw for cutting pieces to fit around cabinets or corners. Tiling bathroom floors can also be difficult; it can be hard to give grout a consistent and professional look. Mosaic bathroom floor and wall tiles can be purchased mounted on mesh to make spacing easier for self-installing tile. Different types of tile have different installation requirements so, if you plan to install your floor yourself, it's important to talk to your dealer and educate yourself on the material you've chosen.

More recently, snap-together tiles have hit the market. These interlocking pieces are designed to help handy homeowners create a professional-looking floor. Not all materials are available in this construction, but there are options that consist of real bathroom ceramic tile bonded to the interlocking base. Although some cutting is still required around...

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Arch - You cant use backerboard over a concrete slab. Backerboard needs to be fastened with mechanical fasteners (screws/nails) to hold it down to the floor. The thinset under the backerboard only serves to fill voids between the backerboard and subfloor.

I saw this recommended here the other day by Tileman but have not yet used this myself. Its Noble SIS Sound Isolation Membrane.

The product data sheet says it also provides crack isolation and waterproofing. This may work for you. Bathroom floors generally dont need waterproofing so its optional and really your choice. You may have a reason for wanting to do so. Waterproofing a bathroom floor is not code in my neck of the...

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Hi there,

I really need some advice on selecting the right underlayment: we are installing slates in our entry, but we are required to use sound deadner underlayments. Can we install slates on cork? or any other deadner. We are targeting IIC of 55 or FIIC of 50.

Someone at Home Depot (I know, I should not ask these guys), told us to install 1/4" cork and then concrete and then the slates... what do you think?


Hi Tolah, welcome! I don't have a clue. I'll ping some one for ya.

Hi Tolah

I'll send an email to E3 (Eric) of Noble Company. I'll let him explain their SIS membrane to you.

I wouldn't use the cork. Dave Gobis instructed us at a recent school that I attended that installations over cork require the use of epoxy grout, and I wouldn't feel comfortable using a product that needs a certain type of grout to push it over to the "usable" rating.

Also,i know most condos requre a certain type of...

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Okay, sounds like Noble membrane is the way to go. I just went to their website and found the CIS. Will show to DH tonight and see what he thinks, as well as all your great advice.

Not sure what you mean by backerboard (sorry, still learning). But if you mean an additional layer of plywood or perhaps CBU or something (see? learning the lingo) then I think the issue for DH is the ultimate height of the finished floor. He's trying to make it flush with the floors adjacent, avoiding a threshold. I remember DH saying that with Ditra's additional 1/8" he would JUST about make it. I just read in a previous thread that Noble's installed add is only 1/16th of an inch, so this may actually work out better!

DH is always telling me that everything always works out for the best. You'd think I'd have learned that by now.

Waterproofing isn't so much an issue in the powder room (High heels DEFINITELY are however, so NO Ditra). But in son's bathroom floor, while I don't...

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