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Host Tim Carter shares some tips for installing ceramic tile on concrete using thinset mortar.
Tags:How to use Thinset on Concrete,installing ceramic tile,thinset mortar,askthebuilder,ceramic tile,concrete,flooring,house,thin set,thinset,thinset mortar on concrete,tile,tim carter
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Oh hi, how are you doing? I’m here getting ready to install some ceramic tile on this concrete slab. And I want to tell it to you right now; I’m just going to give you a few tips. I can give you hundreds and hundreds of tips about installing a ceramic tile floor. But this is only going to be a really short video, not a three-hour DVD. So, just keep that in mind. What I want to show you is, first of all, if you’re going to work on a hard surface like this, one tip, use knee pads, really good ones, or some type of contraption like this, it’s got some nice foam to keep your knees off that hard surface. If you do that a lot, you’re going to really hurt your knees, believe me. The next thing is I’m installing this tile on a concrete slab, as you can see. And, there used to be a wall right here, and this was just a little storage room where I’m nailing. And we’re going to continue this existing ceramic tile. Unfortunately, whoever put this ceramic tile in here, they did not put down a cracked isolation membrane. And if I put one down here, it’s going to make this floor tile too high, so I have to put the tile directly onto the concrete. I looked at the concrete, it’s got its fiber measurement forced, and there are no cracks, so we should be okay. But in this case I have to put it right down to the slab. What I’m going to use is thin-set mortar, which, I’ve already mixed up and you can see the consistency of it. It’s kind of thick but it will fall off this knife, and what, the reason you want to use the thin-set is because we’re putting floor tile down and that thin-set will get this hard as rock. It’s basically cement, it’s what it is, a concrete. And it won’t allow the tile to push down and crack under pressure or under tension. The one that tricks, is that I’ve already scraped the floor to make sure that there’s nothing on this concrete. But here’s a mistake that a lot of tile-guys make; don’t just stop to sweep the floor and then they’ll put their thin-set down. Well you know what the floor can still be dusty. Here’s a really great trick, just take some clean water and a sponge, and just lightly clean the concrete, like this, right where you’re getting ready to put the thin-set down. You don’t want it to be too wet, but the advantage is, that gets rid of all the dust and it makes for a really, really good bond with the thin-set because the concrete, the dry slab is not going to pore the moisture out of the thin-set too quickly. I’ll just then go ahead and put some thin-set on like this. You can see that consistency, you have to use knots trowel like this and make some really neat corduroy texture, watch. You want to make sure that you don’t give me that thin-set on the adjacent tile, yeah that’s looking good. And you want to hold this trowel and about a 45-degree angle, if you hold it too flat, you’ll scrape so much of the thin-set away. Yeah, you want to keep it away from those lines. It’s really easy to work this thin-set. Sorry about all that loud noise. Oh yeah, look at that. Make sure that thin-set’s all the way up to the line. This simple, and all we got to do is pick up the tile, I’ve got my line right here, and know that I’m going to maintain a three-eights inch joint between the two and its that easy to put in and I’ll push it down make sure its nice and into the thin-set. And it’s really pretty that’s pretty much that simple. There’s lots of other step you need to know about how to put ceramic tile down, but that’s just a quick tip to make sure that that thin-set is really going to bond well to that concrete slab. Get that concrete slab a little damp before you put the thin-set down. I’m Tim Carter for AsktheBuilder.com. If you want to discover more home improvement tips, go to AsktheBuilder.com.