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Tile Floor Over Cement

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November 28, 2006

A common question many homeowners have relates to applying tile floor over cement. It is possible to do this and it is an excellent way of improving the look and attractiveness of a cement floor. However, there is a bit more to it than just laying the tiles directly on the existing cement floor.

You should never apply tiles directly onto cement. This creates any number of problems down the road. For instance, if the cement floor has any cracks in it (which most do) or ever develops any cracks (which most do) the movement of those cracks can cause the tile to crack as well. In fact, cracked tile due to movement of cement is one of the most common problems that occur when you apply tiles directly to cement. Other common problems include old paint on the cement floor interfering with the bonding process and a cement surface that is too smooth for the mortar to adhere properly.

Tile Floor Over Cement

The best choice when it comes to putting tile floor over cement is to secure cement backer board to the cement floor and then apply the tiles to the backer board. The best way to secure the cement board to the original floor is to nail it or use special concrete screws.

If you choose the option of nailing, you will want to buy or rent a tool called a ramset. This device uses special gunpowder cartridges to drive specially hardened nails right through the backer board and into the concrete. It is very important to get the right sized nails and cartridges or you risk not getting the nails all the way into the cement. If not done properly you could be left with nails sticking up and backer board that is not 100% secured to the cement floor.

Oakland, CA

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