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Old 03-25-2010, 08:34 AM   #1
ger72867
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Tiling on cement slab

The cement slab is level and clean. The finish is smooth. Can I lay the thin set directly onto the slab or does the slab have to be prepared in some manner to accept the thin set? ? Thanks.
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:30 AM   #2
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Sure, you can tile directly to the slab. But is it the best thing to do?

Well....

For a little added security to protect your investment, I'd use an anti-fracture membrane between the slab and the thinset/tile. This will help prevent cracking in the slab transmitting through to the tile. The box stores sell them (Lowes, Home Depot) and they vary in price and type (sheet or liquid). Most are pretty easy to use.

If you don't want to spend the money to cover the whole floor with a membrane, you at least need to cover any existing cracks if there are any.
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:33 AM   #3
Dave Taylor
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Hello George......

and welcome to the forums.

A little more information would be helpful.

Is this cement slab inside a heated area like a single family home basement or room floor, or is it outside in a garage or covered porch.

Is it a ground level patio slab, raised deck flooring over a heated space, condo flooring on the third floor..... What?

How old and thick is the slab?

Any cracks at all in the slab?

What kind of tile or stone you planning on using?

Thanks
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:34 AM   #4
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Yeah, plus all that other stuff Dave just said.
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Old 03-25-2010, 10:03 AM   #5
ger72867
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The slab is located in the lower level of the house, at least 18-24 inches thick, heated(its the bathroom), no cracks at all, smooth finish, about 30 years old. Not sure if I am going to use ceramic or porcelain tiles. Leaning towards porcelain. Anything else I missed?
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Old 03-25-2010, 10:10 AM   #6
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Welcome, George.

Doubt your SOG is more than about 4" thick in the field (other than grade beams), but even at that if it's properly reinforced it should be fine.

If it's got a really slick finish, what we refer to as a "hard trowel" finish hereabouts, you'd really benefit from a little scarification to rough up the surface before tiling, with or without any sort of crack-isolation or uncoupling membrane.

It is quite common to tile directly to concrete slabs. Usually it's not a problem. Sometimes the tiles crack. As Jason points out, a membrane can be added insurance against such cracking if all else is done correctly. Still no guarantees.

Porcelain tiles are ceramic tiles, by the way. Just a more dense version and what I'd prefer for my floor.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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