I am fitting a new kitchen floor. The house is 1935 cottage style with a relatively low ceiling. The floor is uneven, part chipboard and part original floorboards with an AGA in one corner. I have spoken to a tiler who has recommended putting a leveling compound on the floor and then covering that with hardboard before laying the tiles. This would raise the floor and make my ceilings appear even lower. Would I be better to take up the chipboard and floorboards and relay a new surface on the existing joists. Is there a product on the market which is very thin and strong which would allow me to maximise the space I have available?
If your tiler is recommending hardboard for ceramic then you had better get yourself a new tiler. If its vinyl tiles it should be 6 mm ply, if its vinyl sheet then hardboard will be OK.
You need a very stable base for ceramic tiles. I would not tile directly over chipboard in any event and irrespective of whether you lose 0.5 inch or not you should overboard with minimum 12mm ply if the existing floor is to remain. Sounds to me like your optimum solution is to rip out the chipboard and the old floorboards and replace with 18 or 25mm ply.