What Substrate Is Best For Split Face Tiles?

split face tiles

Question: What substrate is best for split face tiles?

Quick answer

If you’re applying split face tiles to a non-brick wall, we recommend strengthening the wall by fixing 12mm Hardie Backer Boards in place. Use a slow setting adhesive such as Standard Flex Tile Adhesive, and apply it directly to the back of the tile to ensure all the crevices are covered.

Long answer for ‘What substrate is best for split face tiles?’

Split face tiles are a very stylish choice, and they’re perfect for injecting that popular characterful textured look into your home. However, they’re quite heavy, so if you’re tiling onto a non brick wall, it’s best to fix substrate boards in place prior to tiling. Cement board (such as 12mm Hardie Backer) is by far the most suitable surface to tile to in terms of adhesive bond strength and the weight it can sustain. There are various different type of wooden sheets available, but these can be very temperamental under tiling conditions so we wouldn’t recommend them.

Adhesive wise, any cement based flexible adhesive would be suitable. You could use a slow setting adhesive such as Standflex as it has an extended working time, giving you plenty of time for adjustment if required. An 8mm trowel should be fine for spreading the adhesive on the wall. It is also a requirement that each tile is back skimmed with adhesive and the flat edge of the trowel, to ensure you have a solid bed of adhesive and all voids in the tile are filled.

We hope this information helps, but if you have any further questions, send them over to our Tile Guru at technicalhelp@wallsandfloors.co.uk. For more questions and answers about tiling projects, visit our Help Centre – it’s being called the ‘Wikipedia of tile queries’.

To explore the Split Face trend a little further, here’s a helpful guide: IN THE SPOTLIGHT – SPLIT FACE TILES.