A Must in Tiling a Basement Floor
Flooring can become a major headache for homeowners, if they fail to install the most suitable one for their basement. Water logging is the main problem for most basements. As basement is constructed underground, it receives only little ventilation and light. As a result, basement is often cold, moist and damp. Even basements in the most dry areas have some amount of moisture problem. Moisture encourages mold and mildew growth
How to Tile a Basement Floor
No matter what purpose you decide to use your basement for, ceramic tile flooring always serves as a great option. Ceramic tiles are easy to install, durable and very light on maintenance. Besides, ceramic tiles can be installed on any type of sub flooring. Ceramic tiles can be installed directly on concrete sub flooring if it is reasonably even. If it is not, then you may have to level the ground first. In case, the concrete flooring underneath has been painted, then you might have to remove the paint first. You will have to order 1-2 inch cement boards, upon which you can install tiles.
Sanding down the concrete flooring is time-consuming and messy business. Besides, there can be an additional problem of tiles not adhering to the floor underneath properly. A good solution to this problem is sanding down lose paint and scraps. You will need a pole sander and 80 grit sandpaper for this purpose. Sand down paint peels and scraps from concrete with the help of a pole sander and 80 grit sandpaper. Next, vacuum the loose paint and debris. Clean the flooring of any dirt, grime etc. Mix thinset concrete adhesive with a latex additive. Spread this mixture using a notch trowel in thin layers. Start working on one section of the flooring.
Take a cement board and place it on adhesive mixture on concrete. Secure it in place by beating it with a wooden block and hammer. Proceed in a similar fashion until all the area in covered. Cover the gaps between adjoining cement boards with a layer of fiberglass reinforcement tape and thin set adhesive. You may have to leave the floor undisturbed for several days, before it is ready for tile installation. Ceramic tile installation can be done normally. Start with the entrance of the basement and work your way towards the interiors. Use chalk markings and square so that you stay on the right track.
Alternatively, you can also start laying tiles from the center of the room. Draw two perpendicular lines, which intersect each other right at the center of the room. Take this point as a reference for laying first tile. Work your way outwards from the center of the room. Again, use chalk markings and square to ensure you lay tiles in a straight line. Make use of tile spacer, so that grout lines are formed in a straight line. Clear out excess grout immediately. Allow the grout to set for at least a day. Seal the flooring with ceramic tile floor sealer. Follow manufacturer's instructions to the word.
The only problem with tiling a basement floor, is that of cold. This problem can be mitigated by using area rugs or carpets. It is important to note that water logging problems in a basement must be taken care of before installing tiles. After installation, ceramic tiles almost need no maintenance. However, you may have to take a re-grouting project after a few years, as it tends to get dirty.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Graeme Stephens has been running the largest owned carpet cleaning company
in new Zealand for 24 years. IICRC qualified "master restoration technician"