Question on prepping concrete bath floor [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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11-29-2009, 07:41 PM
Gosh its been a few years since I've visited here but I'm back with another project!

We have a small rental cottage, built in 1951. It's time to renovate the small bathroom. We've pulled out the toilet and the small vanity and this weekend we pulled up the tile. We're in the cleanup stage now.

The tile was quite small, maybe 1/2-inch pieces on a 12-inch mesh sheet. They were laid on a concrete slab. In fact the whole cottage is on a concrete slab. My husband found that where the floor meets the back wall there was a small strip of wood flush with floorline. Not sure if we leave it or replace it.

We are wondering the best way to prep the concrete floor before retiling. It is a very small area as the bathroom is more like a powder room although there is a shower. The floor area is approx 4 1/2 x 4 1/2 feet. Can we use RedGuard on this floor? We used that before when tiling walls in another project. Appreciate any advice.

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11-29-2009, 08:09 PM
If the concrete is clean, free of cracks and reasonably flat, I don't see where any other prep would be necessary.

Enlighten us some more on the condition of the concrete and we can be more definite. Pictures are a plus too :)

Houston Remodeler
11-29-2009, 08:12 PM
The piece of wood sounds like a screed left over from when the floor was set originally. Leave it, or remove it if you are worried about termites or ants like we do down south.

11-30-2009, 09:13 AM
Thanks for your replies. I have attached a photo.
As you can see it is a very small area. Because it is a rental/guest cottage on our property we want it to look nice without going to high-end products.

We will go with a simple retro look in keeping with the style of the cottage; post WWII. I was thinking of "Chloe" for the floor tile, a small pedestal sink, and walls will have a white bead-board panel; chair rail height.

As for cleaning the concrete my first thought was to use a grinder since the area is so small. My husband feels that will kick up too much dust and wants to use a citrus based cleaning agent followed by a self leveling product.

Will that be enough or do we need some sort of cement backer-board over the concrete? This bathroom will not receive heavy use. The cottage is 550 s.f. and can only accommodate a couple of people at most.

Chloe tile by American Olean

11-30-2009, 09:18 AM
Welcome back, alygal. Please put a first name in a permanent signature line for us to use. :)

Point out to your spousal unit that the floor doesn't need to be level, it only wants to be flat and clean. And chances are you'd need to scarify what I see there before you could use a self-leveling product, anyway.

It will, in fact, be exceeding dusty to grind the floor a little, but that's what I'd do with it. You got a window in that room?

My opinion; worth price charged.

11-30-2009, 09:39 AM
Thanks CX. I went into Edit Signature...hope I did it right.

Yes, there is a small window in the bathroom and I knew it would be pretty dusty...we've got a supply of masks and eye protection. Just gotta talk :blah: my better half into the notion cuz I don't think any citrus agent will get the cement smooth enough.

11-30-2009, 10:10 AM
You got it right, Aly. :)

Don't know what your "citrus stuff" might be, but if it's sufficient to remove what's on your slab, it's also gonna soak into and seal the concrete surface. This is not a good thing and you'd need to grind anyway.

Put a box fan in that window, pointing out, and use the dust masks and other protective stuff and get it cleaned up.

Best to convince Mr. Aly that it can only be done correctly by a man, though. You do know how to do that sorta thing, right? :D

My opinion; worth price charged.