Tile existing concrete stoop

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Old 07-11-14, 02:50 PM
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Tile existing concrete stoop

My front door opens onto a flagstone patio. There is a concrete stoop in front of the door (about 40" x 42" and 6" high). I'd like to cover the stoop w/tile. I've done interior tile before and remember that it was important to use backer board so the tile had a level surface and wouldn't crack. My stoop is in good shape but still - it isn't backer board.
Do I need backer board? If so how do I attach it to the concrete?
Thanks,
June
 
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  #2  
Old 07-12-14, 08:37 PM
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I have limited tile installation experience, but I'll tell you what I think. Backer board is usually needed for interior applications to form a rigid and durable bonding surface for the thin set. I've never heard of it being necessary when tile are laid directly on sound concrete, as the concrete is already rigid and durable. If your stoop has any sealers or surface treatments on it, it should be pressure-washed to improve the thin set's bonding ability.

A relative of mine recently bought a house that had tile on the front stoop, and most of it was debonding from the concrete underneath. Several tiles were actually missing. A closer look revealed the concrete surface was chalky, pulpy and not very sound, meaning the tile's thin set couldn't grab onto anything permanent. I suggested he replace the stoop before trying to install tile on it.
 
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Old 07-13-14, 04:54 AM
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we'd use a a grinder w/dia blade to be certain there's nothing on the conc,,, after that, its thin-set & tile,,, as bdge says, ' sound conc ' is the keyword,,, you'll probably decrease the size of the step's vertical rise so be aware of that - your tile's probably going to add height,,, where bdge has limited exp, i have none however we do have a good tilesetter who does all our installs
 
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Old 07-13-14, 09:29 AM
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Thanks guys. The concrete is in good shape - no cracks or chips. I'm gonna start shopping for tile.
 
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Old 07-13-14, 11:57 AM
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Taking all the advice given so far is spot on. The main thing you must do is make sure the concrete is free of any greasy substances, or salt used for ice melting. Grinding the surface will help insure it is ready for your thinset. I would use a good brand of thinset, 1/4" x 1/4" trowel. Now, do you plan on tiling the sides? If so, plan on doing that first, then doing the top layer. Having bull nose tiles to match and run along the vertical tiles will be a plus. The corner bullnose tile will need to be cut at a 45 degree angle to make the return to the front, but we can get into that as you move along. Just buy enough bullnose, plus one to do the outer run. Then buy enough for the field.
 
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Old 07-13-14, 12:39 PM
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more toys

The best thing about projects is I get an excuse to buy new toys. I don't have an angle grinder (is that what you'd use?) but it looks like they're not expensive. You don't think just using the Etch & Clean stuff would be enough?

Stadry says to use a diamond wheel. The grinders come w/a "metal" wheel. Will I have to buy a diamond one? If so, I notice there's several types: segmented, turbo, double row, etc. Which one should I get?

How much am I grinding off - just enough so it's not slick looking?

The concrete has some small dips & bumps that I can feel when I run my hand over it. Should I use a concrete leveler before the thinset? Or maybe the grinding will take care of that.

I am doing the sides and the field (is that the concrete part that extends out from the stoop?). Wasn't planning to do the bullnose pieces. I saw a pic where someone had rounded the tiles at the edges and it looked good. But the bullnose would probably look better. I'm rural (90 miles to the nearest Home Depot) so am looking at tile online. I don't see many bullnose pieces. Is it typical that you can get them when you buy tile?

THANKS!
June
 
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Old 07-13-14, 01:12 PM
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Most tile is not the same color all the way through. The top layer can be beige and the main part of the tile under can be a reddish brown. I would advise against rounding over the edges as I don't think the look would be great up close. From a distance, anything looks good. I would also advise against trying to float a rounded edge of grout as that will crack out with limited use. Therefore, I vote for bullnose tile around the lip and down the corner. It will look like it was always supposed to be there like that.
 
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Old 07-13-14, 01:17 PM
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Grinding the concrete will insure the gloss is off and any offending particulates are removed. It is possible a wire brush may accomplish the same thing, but not as aggressively as a wheel. The little dips can be overcome with the use of the thinset mortar you use, so don't sweat that. Do you have a tile saw? Just thinking you may want to purchase a small inexpensive one to cut the tiles to precision. They can be scored and broken, but cutting may give better results.

Grinding the edges of the tiles can be done, but it won't look like a fired bullnose, but if you are happy with that, then rock and roll.

I would do the vertical surfaces first, stopping just a little below the horizontal plane. Once those tiles are set, start at the outside corner working to the house in both directions with your first tiles. This will give you a good straight line across your verticals with a little drip edge. Then fill in the field cutting against the house as necessary.
 
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Old 07-13-14, 01:37 PM
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I'll do the grinding then. It'll be worth it to know the tile won't come up. I don't have a saw but will either buy or rent one. And it sounds like I should go w/the bullnose. Hopefully they'll have some to match whatever tile I get. I go to Reno next weekend and will buy what I need then. Do I need a diamond grinder wheel or will the metal one last for my little job?

As always, sure glad I came here first before I got started.
Thanks, June
 
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Old 07-13-14, 01:46 PM
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I would give the concrete a light acid washing with muratic acid diluted down. For porches I like 6X6 quarry tile and you can get surface pieces. For added insurance I like a thin set addative that helps with bonding. You have more than enough room to run the tile diagonal which can be done with a hand cutter. I also like 1/4 grout joints with natural grout and a sealer on the grout when finished
 
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Old 07-27-14, 08:31 PM
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Cool Ready to tile

I got my tile: 16" slate. Just didn't like any of the more finished-looking stuff. I also got a grinder and have done the stoop. And a tile saw. I've played w/the saw some, making various cuts - it's easy to use. It does the regular rip and diagonals plus 22.5 and 45 degree miter cuts. There weren't any bullnose for the slate tiles but they are easy to cut and shape. If I miter cut the edge at 45 degrees I can hand sand it to round the edges and smooth the saw marks.

I'll try to do the side pieces Mon or Tues, based on some of your tips chandler. I expect I'll make a fair number of mistakes cutting but I got lots of extra tile. I'm assuming I do the vertical tiles before the field?

Let me know, anyone if you have any more advice. I may post again when I get ready to to the horizontal part.

Thanks!
June
 
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Old 07-28-14, 03:57 AM
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We've already given you the push on your new bike and let go. You are doing fine. I think your methodology will work. Work slow. Ask questions if you have any.
 
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Old 07-28-14, 05:05 AM
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forgot about this,,, IF you buy the tile from the apron/vest store, be aware much of it is imported from india &, impo, its junk its not all suitable for exterior use due to freeze/thaw issues,,, hopefully this isn't an issue for your location
 
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Old 07-28-14, 08:39 AM
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Thanks chandler. Decided I'm not allowed to do my fun project (tile) until I finish my not-fun project: a second sewer cleanout under the house. Will do that today then start tiling.

Stadry - what's an apron/vest store? Is that like Home Depot or Lowes? I got the tile at Home Depot. I know a couple of people around here (No CA) who have HD slate outside and it's been fine so I'm going for it. My stoop doesn't get very wet and I'll seal it well.
 
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Old 07-28-14, 03:22 PM
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Much of the tile I get at HD is made in America. I know, I had to look twice, and I do look.
 
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Old 07-30-14, 06:21 PM
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What consistency should the mortar and grout be? The bags only give amounts of water to add to the entire bag.
 
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Old 07-30-14, 06:42 PM
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Peanut butter......crunchy.....Jif. Grout a little looser, but not too wet.
 
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Old 07-30-14, 08:17 PM
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Thanks. How thick do I put the mortar on? I have a trowel w/1/4" notches. Do I drag it right down to the concrete?
 
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Old 07-31-14, 04:14 AM
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1/4 x 1/4" is fine. Hold the notches at a 45 degree angle or higher and scrape it against the concrete. It will leave ridges all uniform for the tile to squish into.
 
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Old 08-01-14, 09:43 PM
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Smile Done!

All done but the sealing and some cleanup. The slate is harder to work w/than ceramic but I like the look. My little saw worked great.
Thanks!!
June
 
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Old 08-02-14, 05:05 AM
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Whoa!! What a change. Looks really good. Congratulations.
 
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