First time tiling a floor


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Old 05-25-08, 02:30 PM
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First time tiling a floor

The title says it all: My first time tiling a floor and had a few questions. I'm tiling a basement bathroom. The floor is concrete and used to have linoleum tile on it, but now I want to put ceramic tile down. A couple of questions I had:

1. The floor isn't completely flat due to some of what I think is the old adhesive from the previous tile floor. Is there something I can get to remove the old adhesive (a chemical solution?), or do I have to scrape and brush/sand to get the spots of old adhesive off? Since it's only in a few spots around the bathroom, is it even important to get it all off?

2. The pamphlet I got from Home Depot recommended that I apply a waterproofing and crack prevention membrane (e.g., RedGard). Is this a nice-to-have, or really a good idea?

Any info or advice would be appreciated.

Thanks.

Mark
 
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Old 05-25-08, 03:12 PM
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Hi Mark!

You will want to remove as much of that old adhesive as you can. Get a can of Jasco adhesive remover and a hand scraper(sold at HD). The surface needs to be pretty flat, so if you have low spots in the concrete, get a bag of Self Leveling Compound (SLC).

Getting Redgard would be "insurance" for your tile, but not always required. Does this cement have any cracks? If no cracks, you probably don't need it.

Just tile directly over the concrete with a decent thinset, not the stuff in a bucket.

If budget permits, you can get a some Schluter Ditra underlayment. My HD sells it in the stores, but some stores it might be special order. This will act as a uncoupling membrane between your slab and tile.
 
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Old 05-25-08, 05:59 PM
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Mark,

Thanks for the quick response. Glad to hear there's an adhesive remover on the market. I'll pick some up tomorrow when I'm at HD. I'll also check to see how level the surface is to determine if I need SLC.

One last thing, am I right in sensing that the pre-mixed thinset isn't as good as the powder? I was planning on getting the pre-mix for the convenience, but if it isn't as good, then I'll get the powder.

Thanks again for the help.

Mark
 
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Old 05-25-08, 06:33 PM
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I always tell people to stay away from the stuff in the bucket. It costs more then a 50 lb bag of powdered thinset and doesn't do a good of job.

I would get a bag of Versabond thinset. Good stuff and only about $12-14
 
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Old 05-26-08, 04:27 AM
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Hi Mark,

Once again, thanks for the quick response and the tip on the thinset. That's a big difference in price for a little more work.

Okay, I had one last follow-up: I've got some old caulking around my tub and floor. It may be from the original construction (1983) or the previous owner. Anyway, it's really hard stuff and the thought of removing it makes my hands hurt. I noticed there is a "caulk softener/remover" at HD. Does that stuff really work?

Thanks.

Mark
 
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Old 05-26-08, 07:01 AM
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Try getting one of these tools:



[photo courtesy of Lowes]

It's called a 5 in 1 painters tool. It will help scrape up the old caulking.

I've never used a caulking softener, but you can give that a try as well.
 
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Old 05-26-08, 12:53 PM
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Mark,

Will do. Thanks again for the tip on the tool.

Mark
 
 

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