i'm getting ready to install ceramic tile in my basement and just finished
the chapter in my home depot book about what's involved with this. it said i
should be using backer board to keep the tiles from flexing. as i say, this
is going in my basement, which has a concrete foundation. aside from making
sure the floor is totally level, do i really need to use backer board?
Probably not. I did my whole den with 12X12 ceramic tiles on concrete
slab and it came out great. Any minor imperfections are usually taken
care of by the thinset. As long as the floor is level you'll be OK.
I also did 12x12 ceramic tile in my kitchen and bathroom on a concrete
slab 7 years ago. There has been no problem with it at all. My only
suggestion is don't use white grout. It's very hard to keep clean even
No matter what happens, someone will find a way to take it too
No backer board and floor doesn't need to be level. It just needs to be
Now, if you have a painted concrete floor you will need to get off the
paint. The most recent TOH magazene suggested backer board over a painted
concrete floor. Personally I would prefer to sandblast or strip off paint
than install backer.
So no, do not need backer.
How did the article suggest the backerboard be attached to the slab?
There's no reason in the world to add backerboard over a concrete slab.
Anti-fracture membrane of sorts? Yes. But not backerboard. Did that
Bob Villa asswipe suggest that?
Painted slab should be etched with muriatic and a modified thinset used
for setting the tile.
i was talking to somebody at Rona over the weekend and she suggested that i
could put a coat of regular latex primer down on top of the painted slab and
this would be sufficient for priming the foundation for a layer of self
leveling concrete. does this sound right?
the leveler i bought was EZ Flow. each bag is $30.00 CDN which is going to
get really expensive as i've got a lot of area to cover (about 350 sq ft.).
i asked why it was so expensive and she said it's because it's self
leveling, as though there were some high technology to this. i'm trying to
keep the costs down on this project so wanted to get some feedback from the
group on alternative and cheaper ways to do this before dumping more money
on the EZ Flow primer.
the floor itself has some pretty nasty high spots on it where it looks like
the foundation buckled in on itself, so i've got to bring the level of the
entire room up to match this. i'm considering just using regular concrete
and trowling as best i can to get a level floor, but suspect i'll still have
some high/low spots. after getting the floor as level as i can, i'll add
another layer with the self leveling stuff to get what i miss.
i don't mind the extra work it takes to get the floor level by using non
self leveling stuff, but i'm not sure i've got the skill level to trowel the
room level. a straight edge is only going to measure about 1 metre across
at a time, but what if the room is 6 metres across? how do i level the room
without a 6 foot meter or does it not matter?
Allthouhg I've never used that one IIRC, anyway the EZ part of using
floor levelers isn't always 'easy'. Damn near perfect consistency is
necesssary for it to flow yet not too wet as to weaken it. Yep, not
cheap either. I use them seldom and often times use a traditional mortar
Regular concrete? Nope. Needs aggregate (rock) to be concrete. And
mortar (sand/cement) doesn't hold well when feathered thin as you would
need to do at the high spots. Perhaps you could look into pre-floating
a 1"+ mortar bed throughout, or having one done for you.
Straight piece of wood? Remember 'level' is good but not always
possible so 'even and flat' are the important issues. You may want to
just grind down the high spots.
Thinking about it, you could lay down something to maintain a constant
height in areas that are already level. I'm thinking of something like
aluminum "L"s laid so that the "V" is up. You could then use the top of
the "V" as a base for the screed. Doing that in sections that are
already good then using those sections as the height for the bumpy
sections should get you a pretty good floor even if you used your one
meter straight edge as the screed..
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Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
We used that all the time. It's call "Level Cure" here. The thing to
use when trying to keep a low elevation. Make sure you purchase the
primer (bonding agent) when pouring directly over concrete.
Also make sure you chalk the boards to the floor that will divide the
rooms. The stuff is like water when it hits the floor. Use a roll of
paper towels for any leaks to plug. ;o)
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