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Unread 06-02-2022, 12:33 PM   #1
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How prep crumbly floor?

Hello, weekend warrior here doing my first tile job. I would love some expertise or just some opinions on a couple points my research has been unable to uncover.

I'm looking to add a laundry room to the basement, the room is about 6x14 and my wife has her heart set on white large hexagonal tile, so I am currently looking at Toscana Carrara Hexagon 9 in. x 10 in. Matte Glazed Porcelain from home depot.

The concrete of the basement is ~100 yrs old and is just pretty crummy. As in it sort of just crumbles quite a bit and I don't think that I trust anything adhering to it.

My plan was to put in the studs and then lay in ¼" concrete board on the floor, and then tile directly on top of that. Would love feedback on that, but also the following specifc questions:
  • The floor is pretty flat, and level, so I think the backerboard will be the same or better. If that was turns out to not be the case, would my strategy be to level the backerboard with self leveling compound underneath? pour it on top of the backer board? Level with just more thinset? I do plan on using spin doctors to help with lippage.
  • Am I going to be in pain if I get a ¼" square trowel?
  • Should I get a cheap tile ($100?) saw? A slightly more expensive saw? A manual score/cutter?
  • Any need for a decoupling or other membrane with the floor being concrete/backerboard?
  • What else am I not thinking about?
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Unread 06-02-2022, 03:16 PM   #2
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I would consider Ditra for the floor after thoroughly cleaning it. as far as a reasonably priced saw is concerned.....look at the "Diamondback" 7" saw from Harbor Freight. With a Pearl P4 or P5 blade, this will server you admirably.
“Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it.”
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Unread 06-02-2022, 08:32 PM   #3
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Welcome, TS.

I'd need to know more about the surface of your concrete to make any rational assessment of what to do with it, but I can say for certain you cannot install CBU over it. All CBU manufacturers require their product to be fastened to the wood subfloor over a bed of thinset mortar with mechanical fasteners. No reasonable way for you to do that.

My opinion; worth price charged.

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Unread 06-04-2022, 07:07 AM   #4
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I've seen concrete crumble but it's usually only on the surface, say the top 1/4 inch. Is that what it's doing? Does the surface sound hollow when you lightly tap on it with a hammer.

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