preparing concrete for tile [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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08-22-2001, 03:53 PM
We are living in our partially complete house while we finish construction. I was hoping to put off tiling the floor until I can afford to really do it right and avoid damage from further constuction. However, the concrete slab we are living on is giving off dust which is really annoying. Is there anything that I can to do reduce the dust without making future tiling more expensive, time consuming or difficult for the tile setter (hopefully a pro in a few more months when I can afford one)? Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.


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08-22-2001, 04:44 PM
A combination curing - sealing agent? something that won't interfere with tile bonding later. Guys any reccommendations?

John Bridge
08-22-2001, 04:54 PM
Hi Sheila,

Jim is our best expert on concrete, and he's asking questions.

I think anything you might do will imperil your future ceramic installation. All the stuff we use to adhere tiles depends on what we call a "mechanical bond." That means that the adhesive (cement) has to reach into the pores and crevasses of the slab and grab hold. When you seal the concrete, you plug up the places the cement can grab onto. (That is not the most elloquent thing I've ever written.)

My advice (and certainly not the final word): Throw down some throw rugs. Sprinkling the concrete before you sweep will help keep down the dust. Everyone here knows how dusty it can be.


P.S. I just noticed you are in social services. Do you do counseling? Some of us here are in bad need. :)

08-22-2001, 05:07 PM
I was afraid you were going to say that. Anyway, we have actually been hosing it down when the dust gets too deep. We will find some good old rugs to throw down. I am sure I will be looking for more advice soon about installing the tile.

For example, is there a type of tile or method of installation that will maximize the hydronic heating system already installed in the concrete?

I do more planning than counseling, but I do a lot of both. Would be happy to help any way I can. I am always up for a good challenge.

thanks again.


John Bridge
08-22-2001, 05:15 PM
Challenge? Challenge? Just look at some of the stuff that goes on around here. :)

You used a big word, there. "Hydronic" I'm not familiar with. Guess it has something to do with water? You'll have to forgive me. I'm in Texas, and we spend our time trying to figure out how to COOL our floors.

Maybe some of the others no more about it.

08-22-2001, 05:28 PM
John , Hydronic = radiant heat, hot water tubes.

Sheila, any chance you could get someone over here from a Child Abuse agency? We're all under 12 years of age and John has us locked in his basement.

John see you on the other side about cures and sealers.

08-22-2001, 07:41 PM
Sheila, don't despair, we are working on it.

Rob Z
08-22-2001, 08:08 PM
Hi Sheila

Yes, there are a lot of people here that need lots of help. Do you do any Pro Bono work?

You could get masonite or hardboard to lay down over the concrete, with duct tape at the seams to keep it from moving around. I put this stuff down on kitchen floors, hallways, foyers, etc when I'm doing big remodel projects. The 1/8" hardboard that I get at HD is about 4 dollars per 4'x8' sheet.

08-24-2001, 05:16 PM
Ok, I did some checking about a sealer and JC's idea of a latex bonding material should work very nicely. You can get it from a mason supply house and dilute it with water, just roll it on after sweeping. Ask for milk, at least that's what it's called in the Eastern vernacular. It should actually help later.