Uneven Slabs [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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06-22-2008, 12:13 PM
My new “larger” kitchen incorporates the old “galley” kitchen and an adjacent addition done by a former owner. The problem is that the slab floor poured for the addition is approximately ˝ inch higher than floor in old kitchen. I want to lay a tile pattern continuously from the dining area adjacent to the kitchen, through the kitchen, including the addition, which is now a part of it.

How can I transition form one level to the other without it being obvious that the slab heights are different? Is there something that I can pour and float, essentially from zero thickness to the ˝ inch that I need to make up at the point the slabs meet? …something that will stick and also not just crack away later where it is very thin? Is there some sort of epoxy or cement/epoxy mix that will do this?

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06-22-2008, 12:17 PM
Mark - are the slabs both level so that the difference is consistent? How big is the lower area? If you're talking about feathering the transition such that there is a slope I'd be against that unless it was in a pantry or something. There's no way you wouldn't notice that slope on a walking surface.

tell us more, please!

Crestone Tile
06-22-2008, 12:29 PM
Hi Mark,

Some more info as Art suggested will help with getting an answer :) , but one thing that will be necessary is respecting the movement joint where those slabs meet. In the very least, it's a cold joint which will require a movement joint in the tile installation itself.

John Bridge
06-22-2008, 01:06 PM
Welcome aboard, Mark. :)

I agree with Art that the floor should be brought up level, and that might entail removing and re-installing the lower cabinets. Maybe not. The consideration is the dishwasher and being able to get it out if it needs repair or replacement.

06-22-2008, 01:39 PM
Here is quick pencil drawing that I hope will illustrate my situation. There is existing tile in the family room and somehow between that line and the slab joint, I would like to go up a half inch. It is several feet, so I was hoping that it wouldn’t be that noticeable. What do you think?

John Bridge
06-22-2008, 05:12 PM
Well, I suppose it's in the eye of the beholder. As I said, the problem might be with the cabinets. Have you checked that out?

06-22-2008, 08:11 PM
The 10' x 10' "addition" is 3/8" to 1/2" higher than the rest of the house. I was wondering if I could float in some sort of material and gradually bring the height up from the family room to the "addition". The cabinets don't really have anything to do with the floor slab height. I used IKEA cabinets with adjustable legs to get the base cabinet height uniform throughout - it allowed me to get by the slab height difference.

06-22-2008, 08:59 PM
Hi Mark :)

This is your house and if you want a good fix, instead of thinking about floating, consider grinding the high slab. If you could grind only 1/2 the slab, about 5 ft., 1/2 in. to nothing, the slope would be less than an 1/8 per ft. If you'll accept a slope, that's the best place for it.

Why disturb the good to accommodate a small bad area? Rent a grinder or hire someone to do it. If the grinding goes well maybe you could take the whole thing down. It's not that big of an area.

06-22-2008, 09:33 PM
a good scarifier might also work to remove some of the high slab. The one I rented from Homer to clean mine certainly would have worked. Adjust the blades to take off a thin layer and then keep working it. A long straight edge and level will help keep it even. Be patient - don't try to take off too much at one whack.