I would like to lay pre-sealed Saltillo tiles down in my laundry room.
Floor is concrete and uneven.
Uneven means the slab was poured up to a pre-existing concrete slab which is
a tiny bit lower than the newer slab which was feathered down to the meet
Tiles will cover both slabs.
What are the correct steps to do this project?
Do I first use a floor leveler compound?
What do I use for waterproofing?
Thinset, etc., etc.
Saltillo tiles (unless you get the sissy machine made ones) are
inherently uneven on the backs - all sorts of bumps and dips - so a
smidge of unevenness in the concrete matters not one whit.
Water proofing what? The tiles? You said they were pre-sealed.
Yes, plain old thinset. I use the cheapest I can find, under $5.00 for
a 60# bag at HD. Just use plenty of it, comb out with a 1/2" notch
trowel. Even that may not be enough, the tiles themselves will often
vary 1/4". Main thing is that you want the tile well supported...if you
use too much the worst that will happen is that some will squeeze out
into the grout joints. No big deal, you are going to fill them up
anyway with mortar anyway.
BTW, non-machine made Saltillo varies in length/width as well as
thickness from tile to tile. Moreover, thay aren't square so don't try
to lay them with narrow grout lines.
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Thanks for the reply and info.
Very much appreciated.
Regarding waterproofing, I am under the impression that miosture could come
up thru the concrete slab and cause problems with the thinset and/or tiles.
Nope. Even if you flattened up the floor, the saltillo won't be flat. It
never is (I'm assuming you're buying true saltillo and not the machine made
Are you talking about sealing the Pre-sealed tiles? I invetigated saltillo
for a while and decided against using the presealed stuff. I decided I
wanted to do the sealing myself so I could re-do it easily enough down the
road. With the pre-sealed, there was really no way to know what products
down the road would be compatible or not. As well, I found the unsealed
tiles to have much better color variations etc.... Got the stuff at HD for
like 94 cents a tile. Worked great. Perhaps you are referring to keeping
moisture from entering from the concrete?
How long has your slab cured? Any cracks? If it hasn't been curing for a
few years or there are cracks, I would recommend putting down some
Anti-fracture compound before the thinset. One brand name is Redguard by
Custom Building products. If I were to do my saltillo over, I think I
would just go ahead and put either this stuff or a membrane down....cheap
(well not really) insurance against cracks down the road. As for thinset,
I used a medium priced stuff that had more flex to it, just in case my slab
does decide to crack. You want to use a 1/2"x1/2" trowel to put it down.
Wash the backs of the tiles off with a sponge, back butter them, and put in
place. Typically grout joints are 1/2" to 3/4". Regular grout won't
handle that. I found a product called Pavermix that is meant for just this
joint size and it worked well. The other option is to just mix Portland
cement and sand to create your own grout.
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