Learn about installing ceramic flooring. Find out whether you should use backer board or just lay thinset down when beginning your ceramic floor installation.
LESLIE: Mike in New York needs some help with a flooring project. Tell us what you’re working on.
MIKE: Hi, there. I own two rental properties and I just wanted to tell you and Tom that your advice has really helped me several times already.
TOM: Oh, fantastic.
LESLIE: Great, thanks.
MIKE: Here’s the question. When I’m installing a ceramic tile floor, if I have a cement floor underneath it – stripped off the old floor –
MIKE: – can I skip the backer board – what some people would call mason’s drywall step – and go right to thinset and lay the tile down?
TOM: You can, as long as the concrete floor is perfectly flat.
TOM: Sometimes, using the backer over that helps you …
LESLIE: Gives you a more stable surface.
TOM: Yeah, helps you kind of smooth out the bumps and lumps that can occur naturally in a concrete floor. Because remember, that ceramic tile doesn’t bend very well and if you don’t put it on perfectly flat …
MIKE: Right, so if the floor – if I level it out and fix any cracks, then I can …
TOM: You can go right on top of it. Yep. Sure, it’s done all the time.
MIKE: Does it have to be scarified somewhat also?
TOM: No, as long as you have a good adhesive, then I think it should be fine. You’re probably going to put it down with a mastic.
MIKE: Yep. OK.
TOM: And as long as you have good adhesive and use a good glue trowel with like quarter-inch slots in it, so you have good bonding of the tiles to the concrete floor, it’ll be perfect.
MIKE: OK, you have helped me once again.
TOM: Alright, Mike. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.