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AdamB5000 09-24-2008 07:29 PM

Do I need a threshold? Should I rough up my concrete?
Quick, painless question. I'm close to diving into the world of diy tiling. My bathroom is JUST about ready. First, quick question.

The entire house is a concrete slab. I removed the vinyl flooring from the bathroom. The hallway, which connects to the bathroom, currently has carpet padding and will soon have carpet. I'm concerned that tiling the bathroom might not leave the tile at a similar height to that of the padding/carpet of the hall. Is this a concern? Does this situation generally call for a marble threshold to make the transition?

Lastly, I will be tiling over my concrete floor. I have the mortar, tile, etc from the tile place and am almost ready to go. I did recently read that smooth concrete may have to be 'roughed up' before installation for better hold. The article mentioned something about acid treatment... or something. Any tips? I'm not sure where to begin looking for this. I'm almost scared to ask anyone at the HD or Lowes. ;)

Thanks, guys and gals.

Double D 09-24-2008 08:04 PM

The pro tile guys in my area use a roll on membrane over the concrete. This helps mitigate cracked tile if the slab cracks. It also helps with adhesion. They used to lay a vinyl over the slab for the same reason. I have also seen them use a thin membrane that comes in rolls. You should not be worried about the transition point between carpet and tile unless you are using a very thick tile or very low nap or glue down commercial type carpet. Make the transition point centered under the door when it is closed.:thumbsup:

JazMan 09-24-2008 09:41 PM


First, you removed vinyl flooring from the bathroom. What type of vinyl flooring? Is there any residue left? How did you remove the old adhesive? What type, kind (be specific), of adhesive will you be using to install the new tiles? What kind of tile, reg ceramic, porcelain? Unless the slab is shiny or was sealed, there should be no problem getting a good bond. Drop a few drops of water here and there and see if it soaks in.

Thresholds seem to be area specific around the country. I think in this case because both side are the same height, I would install a double beveled marble threshold. Hopefully the threshold is about 5/8" thick so that it'll be less than 1/4" higher than the tile, yet give the carpet layers a good edge to tuck to. In this area thresholds are the same thickness as the walls (4.5")


AdamB5000 09-25-2008 08:15 AM

The bathroom (and kitchen) had linoleum. After removing that I used a 4" razer scraper to get all the glue off the concrete.

The tile I'm using is by Stonepeak Ceramics.

I think it's ceramic. I knew at one time, but I've had the tile for over a half year and forget what exactly it is. :whistling2:

I'll have to check what type of mortar they sold me. I specifically told the tile place that I have concrete floor and the lady told me what I needed. I'll have to get a picture of that or whatnot.

The slab is in fact fairly shiny and smooth. I'll have to look into this roll-out membrane is smooth concrete is an issue.

I appreciate your answers and recommendations. I've never tiled before and I just want to do it right the first time. Perhaps I can even get a nice up-close shot of the concrete and post it to give you all a good idea of what I'm working with.

AdamB5000 09-25-2008 12:39 PM

My mortar is a latex full flex mortar. My concrete is smooth and water beads up. Looks like I have more prep work.

Double D 09-26-2008 10:06 PM

Adam, You want to use a good thinset mortar for setting tile in baths and kitchens especially. Mastic is a big no no. If you go with the sheet membrane it must be glued and rolled flat on the floor. I would use the roll on membrane. Much easier. :)

JazMan 09-26-2008 10:21 PM

OK, StonePeak makes porcelain tiles, your selection looks very nice. :thumbsup: Tec's Full Flex is a very good thinset mortar. Since water beads on the slab, that is not a good thing. What do you plan to do now? You may want to test-bond a few small pieces for a few days or longer to see if you get a good bond.


AdamB5000 09-28-2008 02:17 PM

I stopped at the local hardware store and was recommended a particular acid that will be applied to the floor for etching. I'll give that a shot and see how the concrete looks afterward.

Thanks for the help.

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