In over my head on this update [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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06-17-2016, 07:07 PM
Hello all! My name is Matt and I really need some expert advice for this renovation i'm doing to the "4 season room" as we've come to call it. It was in desperate need of an update and we are just finishing the "demo" portion. I severely under-estimated the project the floor has become.

Attached is 4 different angles I was able to get a picture of. The concrete is in terrible shape and our original plan was to lay ceramic tile. Once we started pulling up the carpet we found another layer of tile that's been there for who knows how many years. What you see in the pictures is how it looks right now, we haven't tried any chemicals to get the black adhesive up and it's really not something i'd like to do.

Judging from these pictures do you think we'll ever be able to get a flat/smooth enough surface to lay tile? I have 0 knowledge of tile and concrete and am way over my head here. The guy we are hiring to lay the tile does it professionally, he said we'll never get all the black adhesive up just do the best we can and he'll work with it. This concerns me because I don't want this to be a "quick job" where he gets paid and it'll have to be repaired in a few years. I'd appreciate any and all help guys, thank you.

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06-18-2016, 12:26 AM
Hello, Matt. Welcome to the forum. :)

I've moved your thread over here to the advice forum where it's more appropriate.

The black that you see on the floor is called cutback adhesive. There are a few things to know about it, the most important thing being, it can contain asbestos. The only way to find out for sure is to take a sample and send it off for testing.

The only way to completely remove it is to grind it away down to the bare concrete. If it contains asbestos, you don't want to grind it, or even disturb it. If it doesn't contain asbestos, you can grind it all, or you have the option to scrape it down to just a stain on the concrete and use an appropriate thinset that will bond to cutback residue. There are several on the market.

If it tests negative for asbestos, the best option is to grind it all away.

06-18-2016, 05:35 AM
I'm not a pro.
I think if you scrape off as much of the "cut back" as you can, you can then paint over it with this I had this situation in my in-laws Condo that I was tiling. The cutback came off well (I didn't need the Eco-Prim-Grip) using a 6" wide razor edge scraper.

You can level the floor with a "self leveling" product like this and then tile. Note the floor doesn't need to be level, it just needs to be flat (no dips or high spots).

06-18-2016, 10:55 AM
Hi Matt. :)

Tell us what we're lookin at around the stairs and laundry area. Are those cracks, separate pours, low or high areas, or what? :)

06-18-2016, 10:59 AM
Yes the low spots are separate pours. I don't know what they were thinking when adding this room to connect garage to house.

06-18-2016, 11:48 AM
You'll need to bring those low area up, and use a crack isolation membrane over the joint.

How low are they? :)