Surface Prep

What substrates are acceptable to receive ceramic tile or stone?


There are many suitable substrates for the direct adhesion of tile or stone. Among them are concrete, concrete masonry, brick, cement plaster, cement backer board, mortar beds, exterior glue plywood (interior only), and gypsum wallboard (interior, non-wet areas only). It is even possible to install tile over unusual substrates (e.g. steel, fiberglass) or over some existing finishes (e.g. terrazzo, epoxy coated floors, ceramic tile, stone, and vinyl). Please refer to other questions in this section for more information on installing tile or stone over certain substrates and existing finishes.

Related Documents:

Product Selection Guide TDS 195

 


Can I install tile or stone directly to luan, particle board, oriented strand board (OSB), or other types of wood products?


No! Exterior glue plywood is the only suitable wood underlayment for installation of ceramic tile by the direct bond method (interior applications only). Masonite®, hardwood floors, strip wood floors, "yellow pitch pine" plywood, pressure treated plywood, marine grade plywood, fire treated plywood, composite panels, luan. wafer board, particle board, OSB, or similar reconstituted wood panels are not suitable substrates for the direct adhesion of tile or stone.

Related Documents:

Bonding Ceramic Tile, Stone or Brick Over Wood Floors TDS152
Product Selection Guide TDS195
Thin-set Troubleshooting Guide for Exterior Glue Plywood Surfaces TDS210


How do I prepare a plywood floor to receive ceramic tile?


The following is the criteria for the proper construction of plywood floors:

The total plywood thickness must be a minimum of 1 1/4" (32mm) thick. The subfloor (bottom layer) must be tongue and groove. Either 3/4" (19mm) thick or 5/8" (17mm). For the 3/4" (19mm) subfloor, use a minimum of 1/2" (12mm) underlayment. For the 5/8" (17mm) subfloor, use a minimum of 5/8" (17mm) underlayment.

The subfloor and underlayment sheets must be installed perpendicular to the joists. Leave an 1/8" (3mm) gap between the sheets. You must use and exterior glue type of plywood (CDX) for the underlayment. Douglas fir will provide the best results. See LATICRETE Technical Data Sheet (TDS) 152 "Bonding Ceramic Tile, Stone or Brick Over Wood Floors" for more information on other types of suitable underlayments. The plywood must be fastened every 6" (150mm) at the perimeter and every 8" (200mm) in the field. Wafer head galvanized screws provide the best results. The floor joists must be no farther apart than 16" (400mm) on center. They must be a minimum of 2" x 10" in size (50mm X 250mm).

Verify that the wood floor does not exceed the maximum standard for deflection called for by International Building Code (IBC) for commercial installations, International Residential Code (IRC) for residential installations or the applicable building code, historically L/360 under combined live and dead load has been used for ceramic tile. L/480 under combined live and dead loads has been used for stone and agglomerate stone. Simply put, if the floor bounces too much, the tiles can crack and come loose, or the grout can crack and/or powder out.

For best results, use 254 Platinum to install tile directly over exterior glue plywood. LATICRETE TDS 152 "Bonding Ceramic Tile, Stone or Brick Over Wood Floors" gives an overview on the proper construction of plywood floors.

Related Documents:

Bonding Ceramic Tile, Stone or Brick Over Wood Floors TDS152
LATICRETE Drawing ES-F143
LATICRETE Drawing ES-F150
254 Platinum DS 677.0
257 Titanium DS 292.0
MULTIMAX™ LITE DS 328.0


Can I install tile over existing vinyl or ceramic tile, or cut-back adhesive?

Yes. However, make sure of the following for each specific type of existing condition:

Vinyl flooring (Interior Only)
- The vinyl floor must be well bonded and free from any waxes, sealers, oils, dirt or other contaminants. It must be a full spread adhered system (not perimeter adhered) and must be non-cushioned. The flooring structure below the vinyl must be the proper thickness. (e.g. If the vinyl is installed over plywood - see LATICRETE TDS 152 "Bonding Ceramic Tile, Stone or Brick Over Wood Floors" for more information on the proper subfloor and underlayment thickness). Use 257 Titanium, 254 Platinum or MULTIMAX LITE for excellent bond and performance to install the tile.

Existing Ceramic Tile
- The existing ceramic tile must be well bonded and free from any waxes, sealers, oils, dirt or other contaminants. The flooring structure below the ceramic must be the proper thickness. (e.g. If the existing ceramic tile is installed over plywood - see LATICRETE TDS 152 "Bonding Ceramic Tile, Stone or Brick Over Wood Floors" for more information on the proper subfloor and underlayment thickness for the proper subfloor and underlayment thickness). Use 257 Titanium, 254 Platinum or MULTIMAX LITE for excellent bond and performance to install the tile for interior or exterior applications over existing tile

Non-water soluble cut back adhesive (Interior Only)
- Verify that the cut-back adhesive is not water-soluble by placing soapy water on the adhesive, allowing the solution to dwell for 10 - 15 minutes and then agitating with a stiff bristle brush. If the cut back adhesive starts to dissolve or soften, then it must all be removed. The flooring structure below the cutback adhesive must be the proper thickness. (e.g. If the cutback adhesive is installed over plywood - see LATICRETE TDS 152 "Bonding Ceramic Tile, Stone or Brick Over Wood Floors" for more information on the proper subfloor and underlayment thickness). Use 257 Titanium, 254 Platinum or MULTIMAX LITE to install the tile.

Related Documents:


Installation of Ceramic Tile Over Existing Flooring TDS135
LATICRETE Drawing ES-TR712
LATICRETE Drawing ES-TR302
254 Platinum DS 677.0
257 Titanium DS 292.0
MULTIMAX™ LITE DS 328.0


I just removed existing carpet and have the carpet adhesive on the floor. Can I install tile over this carpet adhesive?


No. The existing carpet glue must be completely removed prior to the installation of tile or stone. The best way to completely remove the existing carpet adhesive is by mechanical abrasion (e.g. bead blasting, grinding, etc...). The use of chemicals to remove the carpet adhesive is not recommended since any chemicals would have to be neutralized and completely removed prior to the installation of tile or stone.

Can I install tile or stone over a painted surface?


No. For the best results, the paint should be completely removed. There is no way to determine the long-term results of a new tile finish over a painted surface. The paint can peel, break down or otherwise come loose from the substrate. The best way to remove the paint is by mechanical abrasion. The use of chemicals to remove paint can result in a contaminated substrate.

Related Documents:

Installation of Ceramic Tile Over Painted Wall Surfaces TDS 131

How do I prepare a concrete floor to receive ceramic tile?


Make sure that the existing concrete is clean, dry, structurally sound and free from any bond breaking or bond inhibiting materials. Bond inhibiting materials can include, but are not limited to, sealers, waxes, oils, curing compounds, dirt, grease, form release agents, paint, old adhesives, cement laitance, etc... If these materials are present on the concrete, they must be completely removed prior to any direct bond installations of tile or stone. Additionally, the industry tolerance for substrate flatness is to have no variance greater than ¼” (6mm) in 10 ft. (3m). Use a LATICRETE® NXT self-leveling underlayment, LATICRETE SUPERCAP® self-leveling underlayment, mortar bed or patching material (e.g. LATICRETE NXT Level Plus, LATICRETE SUPERCAP SC500, LATICRETE 3701 Fortified Mortar Bed, LATICRETE NXT Patch) to bring the concrete surface to within tolerance.

Related Documents:

Preparation of Concrete for Direct Bond Applications of Mortars and Membranes TDS 118
NXT Substrate Preparation and Primer Guide TDS 230N
LATICRETE Drawing ES-F111
LATICRETE Drawing ES-F112
LATICRETE Drawing ES-F205
LATICRETE® NXT Level Plus DS 505.0
LATICRETE NXT Primer DS 502.0
LATICRETE SUPERCAP® SC500  DS 057.1
LATICRETE SUPERCAP Primer Plus  DS 058.0
LATICRETE 3701 Fortified Mortar Bed DS 100.0
LATICRETE NXT Patch DS 501.0


How do I prepare an exterior wall to receive ceramic tile?


Walls to receive tile or stone must be made smooth and plumb. Exterior walls typically require a waterproofing membrane and the proper placement of a suitable vapor retarder/vapor barrier. It is the responsibility of the project design professional(s) to specify and place all wall installation components. If the wall needs a leveling coat refer to one of the applications listed below:

Related Documents:

LATICRETE Drawing ES-W201(E)
LATICRETE Drawing ES-W211(E)
LATICRETE Drawing ES-W221(E)
LATICRETE Drawing ES-W241(E)
LATICRETE Drawing ES-W265

When do I need to install a mortar bed on a floor?


A mortar bed is required for horizontal installations when you encounter any of the following conditions on a project.
1. Slope must be created to a drain, trench, gutter, etc... and if the slope cannot be established within the subfloor.
2. The installation of ungauged (varying thickness) tile or stone requiring the wet set method (ANSI A108.1A).
3. When a floor surface is contaminated, damaged or otherwise cannot accept direct bonding (e.g. spider web cracks, painted or oil soaked concrete).
4. When elevations must be met to match existing flooring or adjacent floors.

There are two types of mortar beds:
a) Bonded
b) Non-bonded
Which type of mortar bed to use depends on many factors. Typically, the bonded system is used when the underlying substrate is structurally sound, clean and free of all potential bond inhibiting materials (e.g. concrete curing compounds, sealers, oil, old flooring adhesives, paint, etc...). A non-bonded mortar bed is used when the substrate is likely to be subject to movement, or is contaminated with bond inhibiting materials. In either case, 3701 Fortified Mortar Bed is ideal for any application where a high strength mortar bed is required.

Related Documents:

LATICRETE Drawing (Bonded) ES-F101
LATICRETE Drawing (Plaza and Deck) ES-F103 
LATICRETE Drawing (Non-bonded) ES-F111
LATICRETE Drawing (Bonded) ES-F112
LATICRETE Drawing (Non-bonded) ES-F114
LATICRETE Drawing (Non-bonded) ES-F141
LATICRETE Drawing (Lath) ES-F145
3701 Fortified Mortar Bed DS 100.0 

How do I prepare a wall to receive ceramic tile?


Walls to receive tile or stone must be made smooth and plumb. Exterior walls typically require a waterproofing membrane and the proper placement of a suitable vapor retarder/vapor barrier. It is the responsibility of the project design professional(s) to specify and place all wall installation components. If the wall needs a leveling coat refer to one of the applications listed below:

Related Documents:

LATICRETE Drawing  ES-W201(E)   ES-W201(I)
LATICRETE Drawing  ES-W202(E)   ES-W202(I)
LATICRETE Drawing  ES-W211(E)   ES-W211(I)
LATICRETE Drawing  ES-W221(E)   ES-W221(I)
LATICRETE Drawing                         ES-W222(I)
LATICRETE Drawing  ES-W231(E)   ES-W231(I)
LATICRETE Drawing  ES-W241(E)   ES-W241(I)
LATICRETE Drawing  ES-W244(E)   ES-W244(I)
LATICRETE Drawing  ES-W265

(E) = Exterior (I) = Interior

How do I install tile or stone over a mortar bed?


There are two options.

  • “Cured” Mortar Bed - Allow the mortar bed to harden and then waterproof or thin set the tiles onto the mortar bed using a LATICRETE Polymer Fortified Thin-set mortar system (ANSI A108.1B).
  • “Green” Mortar Bed - Install the tile or stone onto the fresh mortar bed by applying a slurry bond coat (e.g. 257 Titanium, 254 Platinum, etc...) directly onto the "green" mortar bed and to the backs of the tile or stone. Place the tiles into the wet slurry bond coat and beat/level into the mortar bed with a beating block or rubber mallet until the desired elevation is met and the tile or stone is fully bedded (ANSI A108.1A).

Related Documents:

LATICRETE Drawing ES-F101
LATICRETE Drawing ES-F111
LATICRETE Drawing ES-F112

Questions about Self-Leveling Underlayment


When should I use NXT™ Level Plus or NXT Level to prepare a floor?


Use NXT™ Level Plus (and NXT Primer) to level existing, clean concrete or exterior glue plywood floors (with properly fastened diamond wire lath) to depths up to 1 1/4” (32 mm) in thickness. Use NXT Level (and NXT Primer) for applications up to 3" (76 mm) thick. Please refer to the Self-Leveling Underlayment Installation Instructions (DS 002.4)for more information.

Related Documents:

Preparation of Concrete for Direct Bond Applications of Mortars and Membranes TDS118
NXT Level Plus DS 505.0
NXT Level DS 504.0
NXT Primer DS 502.0

Can I install an NXT self-leveling underlayment on top of a waterproofing or anti-fracture membrane?


No. LATICRETE does not recommend the use of any self-leveling underlayment (SLU) onto any waterproofing or anti-fracture/crack suppression membrane. Cementitious self-leveling underlayments exert stresses during the curing process. The stresses created by the curing SLU have the potential to cause loss of bond between the SLU and the membrane, or, between the membrane and the underlying substrate.

LATICRETE Waterproofing/Anti-Fracture Membranes (e.g. HYDRO BAN® or 9235 Waterproofing Membrane) should always be installed on top of the fully cured and sufficiently dry SLU to provide waterproofing and crack suppression as close to the tile/stone finish as possible.

Related Documents:

NXT Level Plus DS 505.0
NXT Level DS 504.0
NXT Primer DS 502.0

Questions about Sound Control Underlayment


 

What can I use to reduce impact sound transmission through my tile or stone floor installation?


There are two options which LATICRETE can provide to help minimize the transmission of impact sound through a flooring assembly;

Option 1: 125 Sound & Crack Adhesive is a multi-functional product which provides sound control (up to ΔIIC of 17), anti-fracture protection (exceeding ANSI A118.12 requirements up to 1/8"[3mm]), and a tile adhesive.

Option 2: 170 Sound & Crack Isolation Mat is a 1/8"(3mm) thick sound control membrane manufactured from 89% recycled rubber content. Easy to install using 254 Platinum or SURE SET, 170 Sound & Crack Isolation Mat provides a ΔIIC of 15 to a flooring assembly.

Related Documents:

LATICRETE and Sound Control TDS163

LATICRETE Drawing ES-F135
125 Sound & Crack Adhesive DS 024.0
170 Sound & Crack Isolation Mat DS 170.0
254 Platinum DS 677.0
SURE SETTM DS 261.0