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Old 05-03-2008, 09:02 AM   #1
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marble tile over existing slate and concrete flooring


Guys/Gals. I have done the search thing, but didn't see any reference to my situation so I wanted to seek some assistance.

I have plans to tile a small 4x4 bathroom. The subfloor is an existing slate flooring over the slab. Solid as rock so to speak. There isn't a way, without major deconstruction to jackhammer it out; the slate is pressed into at least 4'' of concrete.

So the 24K question is: Can I apply the 12x12 marble directly to the slate without fear of potential problems down the road?

The slate is mostly level throughout the space, but shows some raised areas. The slate is cut geometric shapes with 1/2 grout lines. The high spots are no higher than 1/8''.

Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated.

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Old 05-03-2008, 10:35 AM   #2
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marble tile over existing slate and concrete flooring


I'm sure you want to hear it's ok to do this but I would advise against it. Slate doesn't make a good substrate. CAN you tile over tile? Yes. In this case, I wouldn't. I suppose it would really depend on the condition of the slate but knowing slate has a tendency to shale, that's what worries me about saying it's ok. To be safe, I'd say it's a bad idea. Personally, I never tile over tile.
Here are a few other threads about tiling over existing tile.
http://www.contractortalk.com/showthread.php?t=33739
http://www.thetiledoctor.com/repair/tileovertile.cfm
http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/...ad.php?t=59318

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Old 05-03-2008, 11:13 AM   #3
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marble tile over existing slate and concrete flooring


Angus,

Thanks.

Additional information: Slate is in perfect condition and solid. It's over 40 years old and runs the length of the hallway adjacent to the bathroom too. Slate is sunk into a 4" mortar bed. Rock solid. Grout is in perfect shape too.

With only a 4x4 square to deal with and little traffic in the room, I am thinking the only issue would be a solid bonding between the two materials. Even if the bond isn't perfect, how much movement could take place in such a small area to create cracks or failure??

If I have to take the expense, in time and labor to jack out 4" of mortar, I may just end the project now. Just not worth the effort for $50 worth of marble.
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Old 05-03-2008, 11:21 AM   #4
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marble tile over existing slate and concrete flooring


Well, what's the worst that can happen then? The marble won't stay adhered. In that case, go for it, use a really good modified thinset and hope for the best. If the marble comes up in time, you're only out the $50.
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Old 05-03-2008, 11:29 AM   #5
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marble tile over existing slate and concrete flooring


What kind of marble?
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Old 05-03-2008, 11:57 AM   #6
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marble tile over existing slate and concrete flooring


Rialto Beige 12x12 marble tile. 3/8 thick
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Old 05-04-2008, 09:21 AM   #7
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Well, I'm going for it!! Thanks for the helpful feedback. Hopefully I am successful with this install. If I made a mistake, well, so be it. I can always do it over again, the right way!

I purchased a good quality marble and granite mortar along with the suggested additive. I am optimistic that this will turn out for the best.

If anyone cares, I'll post a pic when complete.
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Old 05-04-2008, 10:03 AM   #8
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You should do before and after pics. Please post when finished. GOOD LUCK!
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Old 05-04-2008, 10:56 PM   #9
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marble tile over existing slate and concrete flooring


IF you choose to do it, best way to keep it stuck will be to coat the floor with an acrylic bonding agent (looks like milk, white and quite runny) and then do a self leveller over that to even out the floor, then tile away as normal with a proper Polymer modified WHITE mortar, grey mortar can bleed through marble. Good Luck! (if you have left over bonder you can use that instead of water in your mortar as well and it will make it the most sticky mortar you've ever worked with! We used to use this for outside applications before they came out with an all in one for outside.)
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Old 05-08-2008, 09:20 PM   #10
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Things look good! I used the additive instead of the water mixed with the white mortar. Mortar was a bit sticky. I may have not mixed it enough. Tiles went down well. When tapping the tile: zero hollow sound. I've let the mortar cure for almost a week now.

Next step grout and sealing the marble, well in reverse order. When I have the bathroom put back together, I'll post up the before and after shots. It will be quite a dramatic transformation.

This bathroom was a bit more than I expected. Termites damaged most of the framing. Drywall, electrical, mudding and taping were the beginning stages of this redu. I only intended for a quick freshen up, but I had a full blown demo and reconstruction. Zero fear now if I presented with similar issues in other rooms.
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Old 05-09-2008, 05:56 PM   #11
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marble tile over existing slate and concrete flooring


*lmao* that sounds like EVERY reno around our house! Always way more to deal with than initally though.

I warned you it would be STICKY, I would bet that you mixed it up enough, it's just really really sticky when you do it that way. I did an outside job and got a little on my brick and could never get it off again, it was stuck for good. We always give fair warning to customers when they buy that stuff because it will stick to almost anything!

It will be good to see the pic's! Be proud of a good job done!
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Old 05-19-2008, 06:49 PM   #12
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Ok, the floor is in, grout in place and I have another question for the experts.

I had to finish the job in a bit of a rush; long story..but my problem is one that I cannot fix on my own.

In some spots on the marble tile, the dried grout has dulled the marble and in some spaces, it remains. I did my best to remove the grout, but it was difficult, because it was, well dark...again long story..

Any chance someone has a solution to removing these dull areas where some grout remains?? Any help would be appreciated...

I have taken a few shots of the floor, but haven't gotten them up, yet..
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:53 PM   #13
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If you can't get the grout off with a mild detergent, it may have seeped into the marble. Try a bit of hydrogen peroxide on a folded paper towel and let the peroxide work it's magic. Make sure the towel is saturated and maybe even use a bit of wax paper over the paper towel to keep it from evaporating too quickly. If that doesn't work, you may have to resort to an abrasive cleaner made for polishing marble. Don't use anything acid-based!
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:58 PM   #14
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Angus,

I wasn't sure about the detergent. I'll try it tonight. If that doesn't work, Ill hit the peroxide too.

Again, thanks for the advice.

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