LESLIE: Admir in Texas is doing some work in the bathroom. How can we help?
ADMIR: Hi. I’m working on some projects in the house that … I moved into a brand new house and I want to do ceramic tiles in my bathroom. And I have concrete in the … foundation is concrete. And I have vinyl on the top. And what am I to do? How that works?
LESLIE: Are these for the wall or for the floor?
LESLIE: For both. Okay. Well definitely, when you’re buying tiles – ceramic tiles – make sure that when you purchase a floor tile, that they have good anti-slip resistance. You want to make sure that you don’t fall down. Look for a slip-resistance rating on these floor tiles. That’s very important. Because a floor tile and a wall tile are very different. If you put a wall tile on the floor, you’re going to be falling down left and right. So first, look for that.
ADMIR: Oh, okay.
LESLIE: Tom, what kind of prep work should he do on the floor if he’s going right to the concrete subfloor?
TOM: Well, Admir, with a concrete subfloor, you probably can go right on top of that with the tile. Probably the bigger question is when you move up to the walls. What kind of walls do you have in your bathroom, right now?
ADMIR: Oh, I’m not sure. I moved in the house when the house was finished. So I’m not sure.
LESLIE: So is there drywall there already?
ADMIR: Drywall, drywall.
LESLIE: Even a cement backer board.
TOM: Or a cement backer board, right. Because the problem is that if you put the tile on top of the drywall, it’s not going to last you more than five or 10 years before you find that tile falling off and sort of melting with the drywall. So it’s probably a good idea to cut out the drywall from above the tub or shower area and replace it with a cement backer board and then tile on top of that. That will give you a much better job, Admir, and it’ll last you a lot longer.
LESLIE: And as far as adhesive goes, make sure you pick an adhesive that works right for the tile that you’re buying; usually it’s a tile mastic. You can get a tile mastic that also works as a grout, so just do some research; ask the folks in the aisle. Get a tile mastic. You want to put that on with a trowel using a back butter technique so you’re getting the grid work into the mastic. Put your tiles on, let it set, grout it, seal that grout and you’re good to go.
TOM: Okay, Admir? Good luck with that tile job. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.