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Unread 08-12-2022, 11:48 AM   #1
michael48
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Did I mess up my basement floor w/adhesive remover??

Hello everyone! Although i have been reading this forum for several years, I am newly registered. I have a couple questions that I just can seem to figure out... I have searched and read dozens and dozens of posts.

I am currently redoing my basement, of course... The slab originally had sticky vinyl tiles which I am removing and looking to replace with either click lock vinyl or ceramic tiles. The floor had been wet a few times, due to sewer backup over the years thru the floor drains. I have since capped them all and decommissioned one. No more water, although i have seen a damp spot occasionally near a corner or two but no actual water.

The original plan was to put down the click lock vinyl with vapor barrier directly on the old sticky tiles but some of them were popping up very easily so we decided to just take them all up. About half the 650sqft basement has been removed of sticky tiles now. Well that adhesive is a mess so I tried using the Sentinal 747 I think to remove it, which worked well for the most part. There are still some areas which I haven't gotten all the adhesive up or the 747 is still there.

Well we are now debating putting ceramic tile down instead of the vinyl. And now after reading all these posts about not using chemical adhesive removers have me worried the thinset will not stick. Most of the floor has a layer of old paint, so I got a 7" grinder and diamond cup wheel to start scarifying the floor. Do you think the grinder will work where I used the adhesive remover?

Also, my water heater and furnace are in the middle of my basement so I will be tiling around them. Is there any issue with just tiling around these and saving extra tile to fill them in at a later date? I'm obviously not going to move my furnace (I don't think) and don't really want to change my water heater out just yet.

Thanks for your time! I love this site for its wealth of knowledge, I even have the John Bridge tiling book! I think I bought it off eBay a number of years ago.
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Unread 08-12-2022, 03:25 PM   #2
cx
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Welcome, Michael.

I trust this is the cleaning product you used? Sentinel 747

The use of any solvent-based product to clean adhesive residue from concrete is going to allow some of the material to soak into the concrete surface and create a potential bond breaker for the thinset mortar used to set the ceramic tile. How serious will the problem be? I dunno, but it will be a problem.

I would recommend mechanical scarification to clean concrete before tiling. If you plan to do that with a 7" grinder, I recommend you bring a lunch.

If you remove the remainder of the existing floor covering using only mechanical means, you may still need some grinding, but it should be at least a little easier. Neither approach is likely to allow you to do the ol' Tom Sawyer trick with your young children.

You could talk with the manufacturer of the tile setting material you intend to use to see if any will be happy for their product to be used over what you have, but I wouldn't be too hopeful.

As for tiling around your mechanical equipment, sure, you can do that. If you'll be going all the way around them, such as with a kitchen island, you'll want to measure very, very carefully and adhere strictly to your layout lines to ensure that you'll be able to fit the same tile in later. Certainly can be done, though.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 08-12-2022, 10:39 PM   #3
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Time for a quick test…

I’d sprinkle a little water on the surface of the slab you’ve ground. After a few minutes, wipe off the standing water. If the slab has darkened where that water was, you’ve likely opened the pores enough for thinset mortar to bond properly.

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Unread 08-23-2022, 07:39 AM   #4
michael48
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I was able to grind about half the basement floor approx 375 sqft using the 7" diamond wheel. Actually went pretty smooth and practically dustless using a diamente dust shroud from amazon.

Question:
So now I'm ready to put down the Ditra over the concrete. I went to the local tile store and came home with Mapei Keraflex Plus for Large Heavy tile for $24 per bag. Apparently this is a modified thinset. I was told this is all their local contractors use and that it is equivalent to the Shluter thinset and would be fine to use between the Ditra and concrete, and on top for the porcelain or ceramic tile. Do any of you know if this is an accurate statement?

I'm worried because the Ditra instructions say to use unmodified thinset.
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Unread 08-24-2022, 07:10 AM   #5
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I would have opted for a non large/heavy mortar for installing the Ditra, Michael, but what you brough home will work. Remember to mix the mortar a little thin, as I believe Schluter suggests, for bonding the Ditra to the slab. And that same mortar will work for setting the tile on the Ditra. The only thing you're giving up is Schluter's warranty.
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Unread 08-24-2022, 08:29 AM   #6
michael48
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Hi Dan, Thanks for the reply!

Funny thats the only thinset they carry at the tile store, they use it on everything apparently... go figure.

Is there a better product thru Home Depot or Lowes, like versabond or something that would perform as well or better? Will the Mapei take forever to cure?

I have looked for unmodified thinset, and all i can find is the Custom Building Products $5 bag.
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Unread 08-24-2022, 08:36 AM   #7
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Very few residential DIY tile projects that cannot be completed successfully with VersaBond from Homer's, Michael. See my warranty information below.

But do stay away from the Custom Blend product from the same manufacturer at the same store.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 08-24-2022, 11:58 AM   #8
michael48
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Ok thanks CX. Just to be clear the versabond should work fine under Ditra on concrete basement floor even though its modified?
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Unread 08-24-2022, 12:46 PM   #9
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Yes it will. We (TYW) know that. Schluter knows that. Soon, you will know that.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 08-24-2022, 03:14 PM   #10
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Michael,

We have no issues with you using our Keraflex Plus under and over Schluter products.
You shouldn't see any extended periods of drying or curing. We have performed may successful applications tests with nearly all of our polymer-modified mortars and orange products.
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Unread 08-25-2022, 10:40 AM   #11
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Awesome, thanks guys!
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