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Unread 01-03-2007, 11:55 PM   #1
Mr.T
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Leveling Basement Floor in Bathroom + I'm New!

First off, I have to state how truly fantastic this site is. The amount of information and the willingness of the people on the board to help no matter how simple the issue may be is wonderful.

After reading and re-reading many of the posts and articles on this site, I am building up the courage to take on my first major tile job. But before I get to far, let me focus on my first issue. Pictures should be attached.

The bathroom floor area measures about 7.5' x 4.5'. Unfortunately the concrete area where the toilet base sits is WAY higher than the surrounding floor. Ths was all completed before I bought the house and ripped out the original bathroom (I've seen prison bathrooms in movies that were cleaner and had more appeal). My guess is that in order to tie in the the exisiting drain line, they could not put the piping low enough and maintain pitch. The difference in height at the end of the level in the picture is 7/8".

Anyway, I plan to tile the floor using Multi Raja 12"x12" slate tile. I obviously need to level the floor out and bring it up to the level of the toilet area. My assumption was the following:


1) Clean the floor real good.

2) Install a wood dam at the door way.

X) Do I need to rough up the concrete at all?

XX) Do I need some type of adhesive before the next step?

3) Use some type of SLC or mud (recommendations for preferred product would be appreciated)

4) Thin-set on top of SLC (Again, any recommendations here would be great)

5) Standard tile installation.


I was a little overwhelmed by what seemed like a lot of different leveling methods, but my problem seems straight forward. Any help is greatly appreciated. I live in the SE Michigan area, so I can get basically any products I need. We have tons great specialty shops around here. Thanks again and I'm glad to be here!
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Unread 01-04-2007, 12:20 AM   #2
muskymike
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Hi there, Mr.T welcome! Seems like you have your tracks covered pretty well. You will need a primer with the SLC to put on the concrete before you pour it.
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Unread 01-04-2007, 05:18 PM   #3
Mr.T
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Mike,

Thanks for the reply. Glad to hear I have the steps right. I guess I should have been more clear on one question. Since the ONLY high point of floor is the area where the toilet sits, does it make sense to spend the money on SLC for the rest of the area(since I would have to raise the rest of the floor almost a full 1", or should I simply mud the floor out and attempt to feather it in to the high point? I also want to feather it down slightly at the entrance way so that the tile surface at least ends up close to the carpeted area.

Also, any opinoins on products would be great. Thanks again!

~Nick
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Unread 01-04-2007, 05:48 PM   #4
Rd Tile
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You can't feather mud, but the SLC can be thinner at the door, also looks like a nice crack there, I would install a crack isolation membrane over the SLC when finished.
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Unread 01-04-2007, 06:13 PM   #5
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Howdy Nick,
Since you'll be on the forum for a while, if you haven't already, go to the UserCp and edit your signature so's you won't have to keep saying "Name's Nick"
cause everyone will want to know it..
If you use concrete to fill that in the recommendation for waiting to tile is about 28 days.
If you use a product from say Custom Building Products (HD) such as LevelQuick you can tile in hours after pouring.
I understand that Ardex is also a good product.
Always, always, use a primer before pouring an SLC.
I use Custom's Versabond and have found it to be great. Laticrete, and Mapei also make thinsets..
Like RD Tile said, you can't feather mud and you also can't feather tile very well if your thinking about the step at the doorway.
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Unread 01-04-2007, 07:07 PM   #6
Lazarus
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The SLC is the way to go. The key here is to mix up entire 50lb bags at once. It will help to have a couple o' friends working with you thru this process. While you're pouring ome bucket....they should be mixing another. Keep it moving! Mix to the instructions...it'll look REAL "soupy," but that's the way you want it. As you said, build a dam.... I seal mine with caulk. It's easy to pull out later. Use a flat trowell to "feather out" the mix as you go. Not too hard....just keep moving and you'll have a laser-flat floor.
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Unread 01-04-2007, 10:32 PM   #7
Mr.T
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Per the norm on this site, immediate and insightful responses. Thanks to all! Sounds like SLC is the ideal way to go. Hopefully I won't have to buy to much. Either way, I won't be tiling immediately, so I have some time. As for friends to help, that will be my dad and wife. I'm sure by the second bag I'll be yelling at my dad, my wife will be yelling at me, and my dad will be yelling at both of us!


RD,
That is actually not a crack you see, but the mating point between the original floor concrete and the replacement concrete when the original owner had the basement plumbing installed. It appears they then painted the floor at some point in the bathroom area (note the dark grey vs. the light gray of the natural concrete). Luckily the concrete seems very sound.

MudMaker,
That's my big fear, I don't want to have to install a staircase just to get in to the bathroom! I'll fix that signature too!
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Unread 01-05-2007, 06:05 AM   #8
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It can still create the same problems as a crack and should be honered the same way, and if any paint there, that too should be removed mechanically with a grinder.
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