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Ceramic Tile Installation Tips

Ceramic Tile Installation Tips over Exsiting Subfloors

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Ceramic Tile
Photo by TracyLinuxGeek

Ceramic Tile Installation Tips

Installing ceramic tile should be done carefully and certain precautions must be taken to ensure that the ceramic tile will bond correctly over the surface. Certain products and materials must be used to get a professional new tile surface over the existing surface. Before installing ceramic tile be sure the surface has been cleaned and leveled.

Installing Ceramic Tile Over Concrete

Installing ceramic tile over concrete requires the reparation of all cracks and voids prior to the installation process. Fix all cracks, with crack suppression products if crack are small, or about 1/8 inch. If installing ceramic tile over larger cracks, you must consider removing the concrete section and pouring a new concrete slab. If you are concerned about cracks, you may want to have an isolation system installed onto the slab to separate/detach the tile from the slab. It is important to verify that there are no chemical products acting over the concrete surface. Chemical products applied over the concrete surface can reduce the bonding capacity of the tile over the surface. To check the slab for the presence of such a coating, drip a few drops of water on its surface. If the water beads, it's highly likely that a coating was applied.

Installing Ceramic Tile Over Wood

Installing ceramic tile over wood requires certain knowledge and the wood surface must be structurally sound to support the ceramic tile weight. Chip board, cushioned vinyl flooring, particle boards of any type, OSB (Oriented Strand Board), tongue & groove planking, and hardwood floors are unsuitable substrates to directly install ceramic tile over. Tile is hard and will break or dislodge if the surface bends under the load. If appropriate sand the wood surface to make it smoother. Remember that the installation will work better if it is being installed over an adequate subfloor and be at least 1 1/8" thick when combined with the subfloor. If the tile installation is going to be made in bathroom, consider applying an isolation membrane over your wood subfloor, it will protect against expansion and contraction. Interior grade plywood and particle board are not materials capable of withstanding ceramic tile weight.

Installing Ceramic Tile Over Existing Tile

Before installing ceramic tile over existing tile you will need to roughen the existing ceramic tile surface to produce a rougher surface where the new ceramic will grip on to. It is recommended to sand the floor using 80-grit sandpaper. After the tile has been sanded, clean and remove all particles and dust, before applying a floor leveler product. The floor leveler product will fill in grout lines and level the surface completely for the new tile application. Use a thinset to install ceramic tile over existing tiles. Consider that doors, cabinets and other hardware might be reworked or replaced with new ones to compensate for the height reduction. Latex or epoxy type mortars are best for installing tile over tile.

Installing Ceramic Tile Over Existing Vinyl

Installing ceramic tile over exiting vinyl could be more complicated than expected. Installing ceramic tile directly to vinyl or linoleum surfaces should be avoided whenever possible, however if you decide to install follow these steps. First you might want to remove the vinyl floor and its adhesive. If this is not possible, lay a backerboard with thinset and this will be your new subfloor material. It is important to use the recommended thinset by the backerboard manufacturer. Make sure all loose adhesive is removed from the surface and verify that a good bond to the substrate can be achieved. For cut-back adhesive residue, verify that the thin-set manufacturer's mortar is compatible.

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