What does "Float" mean? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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09-11-2003, 07:52 PM
I am having my kitchen floor (concrete) re-tiled. The old tile has been pulled up. My neighbor (who knows all..he thinks..but can''t expain it) told me to make sure my tile man "FLOATS IT"

What does this mean? The only thing I know about floating is, well..what you do in a pool, or with ice cream:D Floating tile???

Thanks for all the help you folks have given!


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09-11-2003, 08:13 PM
Float means to mud up which on slab is normally only done when it's recessed a inch or so. How was the tiled installed before? Stuck right to the slab with thinset?

09-11-2003, 08:39 PM
Davy, the old tile must have been just "glued" to the concrete. There is a bunch of old adhesive still stuck on the concrete..

So does "Float" mean to "level it all out, so it will be an even surface"?? Geezzz..I have learned so much for this board yet, am still confused:(

Thanks again,


09-11-2003, 08:43 PM
Hi Mary, that's probably what he meant. :)

09-11-2003, 09:08 PM
Your neighbor may be talking about leveling out the surface of the slab, Mary. Or something else. Dunno.

As Davy said, to most of us "floating" would be laying down a mud bed, which is not usually done on a concrete slab unless pre-planned on new construction.

Sometimes a tile man will speak of floating out imperfections in a floor or wall, meaning he will moosh a little extra thinset in there and smooth it out. When installing CBU (or sheetrock), applying thinset over the tape over the joints is frequently called floating. When my customer sees my bid and realizes she's gonna need a lot more dinero, she'll frequently speak in a tight voice about floating a new loan.

I think the best way to find out what your neighbor meant would be for you to go over to his house and axe him. :)