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Choosing Backer Board for Ceramic Tile Flooring

  • Transcript

    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. 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 – I stripped off the old floor –

    TOM: Right.

    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.

    MIKE: Right.

    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 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 – 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, use a good glue trowel with like, you know, 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.

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