Guide on How to Tile on Concrete

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Thinking of the proper way on how to tile on concrete? If you are planning to wrk on this project, then it is best to be aware of the right techniques beginning with the preparation process to the actual procedure on tiling concrete floor. So, read along to learn more about this task as you read along.

How to tile on concrete


The best thing about concrete floors is that once these are free of abrasions or cracks, it is easy for you to lay ceramic tiles on them. If you notice that the floor is not leveled, then you may use a leveling compound and apply this to the floor before you begin tiling.

Cleaning and preparing the floor may take up several minutes, yet the effort is worth it because this helps ensure the superb appearance of the tiles once the project is complete. Just be sure to allow the floor to dry completely as this will keep the tiles securely positioned.

Follow these tips on how to prepare the concrete floor before laying the tiles.

1. Keep the floor free from dirt.

You may either use a broom or a vacuum cleaner to tidy up the area where you are planning to lay out the tiles. This way, it will be easier to position the tiles properly and make sure that they are placed on the floor properly. It is even better if you mop the floor to get rid of dust from the floor since leveling compounds tend to be quite sensitive when mixed with dust. After mopping, let the floor dry completely, which may take an hour or so.

2. Cover any cracks or holes.

Cracks will make the floor uneven, and this can affect the quality and overall appearance of the tiles. To get rid of these holes, you may want to combine the thin-set mortar with some water and begin mixing in a bucket. Use a trowel in stirring the thin-set well, and simply pour this substance in cracks until you fill up at least 1/4 inch right above the surface. You may smoothen the thin-set using a masonry float and just let the chemical dry completely.

3. Use latex primer on the floor.

In a paint tray, pour a good amount of latex primer. Then, carefully brush the primer using a paint roller, applying a single coating on the floor. Let the primer dry based on package instructions. In most cases, the primer might have to take about 24 hours before it dries completely.

4. Apply the leveling compound.

Initially, you will have to make use of a level when checking the floor. By doing so, you can check any low or high areas on the floor before you apply the leveling compound. If you notice any low levels, simply mark these areas using a marker.

Next, prepare the self-leveling compound by mixing it first in a bucket. Be sure to follow manufacturer’s instuctions as you do so. Afterwards, you can begin pouring the compound on the low areas. You will notice an expansion in the area until the correct level is reached. Spread the compound with a trowel until you notice that it turns smooth and flat. Wait for another 24 hours to allow the compound to dry before you begin laying down the tiles.

Guide to Laying Tiles on Concrete Floor

The best way to ensure perfectly applied tiles is by using layout lines to guide you. You can also rely on this in arranging each tile to make sure it is centered properly on the floor.

Generally, you should use square shapes for the layout lines as this would prevent you from obtaining tiles that are oddly-shaped. Begin by making a floor plan, which you may do so by using grid paper where you can draw the walls of the room. In your drawing, include any obstructions on the floor and doorways to achieve an accurate floor plan.

When you plan the proper layout of the tile, start by determining the central portion of the room. Simply measure all the four corners of the room beginning with the walls and locate the midpoints. Trace the areas with chalk after you have determined the midpoints of the opposite walls. Basically, the section where these points intersect serves as the center point of the room.

Applying the Layout

Then, lay the half row of tiles in two directions without using a mortar. Begin with the center point and gradually move outward. This technique allows you to keep the final outcome of the project as centered as possible.

Be sure to insert some spacers in between each tile. If you notice that the space found at the end of opposite rows is much smaller than a third of the tile, you will have to make adjustments with the chalk lines. This way, the half tiles will be more visible on two sides of the room. By starting at the center, this means that a third of the tile on one of the ends will result to have two-thirds of the tile on another end. This will give you an off-center look in your room.

Before you lay out the tile, you may get different tiles from the boxes and combine them. In some cases, there are minimal tonal differences between boxes of tiles. So, you will have to mix the tiles and lay out each tile in a way that the differences are barely recognizable.

If you notice that the tiles come with directional arrows drawn at the back part, just allow the arrows to point in one direction when you lay out each tile. By doing so, you can come up with the right pattern alignment.

Ensure Safety

When you install the tile, make it a point to put on your safety glasses and gloves while applying the mortar. Knee pads can also help in distributing your weight evenly, and you can prevent accidents this way.

These are only some of the basic tips you will have to apply when you tile a concrete floor. With these techniques, you can achieve good results while preventing any accidents along the way.