08:19AM | 01/01/01
Member Since: 12/31/00
2 lifetime posts
I am finishing a basement, and the floor is concrete. It appears pretty level, except a little uneven where the floor meets the foundation. A couple questions
Should I waterproof the concrete before tiling, and if so, what is best.
The concrete is very smooth, I have heard that the tile will adhere better on a rough surface. What do you do to "rough up" a smooth concrete floor? Thanks so much!


09:16PM | 01/08/01
Member Since: 11/14/00
333 lifetime posts
You probably do not need to waterproof the floor before tiling unless you already notice moisture "sweating" up from the floor now. First, your concrete floor should have a moisture barrier already on the outside of it. Second, tile and concrete "breathe" pretty much the same, so any moisture that evaporates through the concrete should also evaporate through your tile.

TO ensure you do not have a moisture problem, though, you can tape a sheet of plastic to the floor and remove it a few days later. If you see moisture trapped there, you might want to mositure-proof the concrete first. But if it is dry, you are fine.

As for "roughing up" the concrete, it should not be necessary and would be difficult if you tried. The standard way I have laid tile on a cement subfloor is to lay some plywood down with some liquid nails onto the concrete, and then attach a cementboard onto the plywood with screws. Home Depot now has a product called "Hardi-backer" (sp?) which it carries right next to the cementboard, which is lighter, cheaper and supposed to be better. The liquid nails will definitely adhere the plywood to the smooth concrete just fine, and the plywood gives the floor a slightly more comfortable feeling to it.

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