How to Put Slate Tiles on a Concrete Base

Slate tile is easy to work with, has a natural look and offers a unique look to your home. They come in various colors, shapes and sizes but their consistent and predetermined shape makes them an easy puzzle. They are a good option for a floor on concrete and you can do it yourself.

You will, of course, need to prepare the surface. Check the surface for defects like cracks and excessive humidity – small cracks aren’t a problem, you can fix them by filling with cement-filler. You want to make one outdoors, the concrete should have expansion joints which help accommodate in case of expansion or contraction and will prevent damage to the newly made floor. If it lacks them or has cracks it is highly recommended you replace it with a new base. Spray water on the surface and check for pooling and proper drainage. If there are high spots you can grind them with a floor-grinder but if the water pools in more than ¼ inch deep you need to remedy this before you start working on the floor.

Clean the surface of any residual adhesives, paint or other substances, then cover the surface with a cement-based product, making it as neat as possible. When dry, place the tiles using spacers in the pattern you want, trying to position all the necessary cuts on the wall less visible. Then proceed to cutting the needed tiles, place them again and make the final changes.

Now make an escape route so you don’t have to step on the tiles, and begin removing 4 to 6 tiles at once, spread the mastic or adhesive using a trowel, then reapply the tiles, with the spacers. Leave it time to dry, usually from 24 up to 48 hours, and then start applying the grout; force it into the seams with the edge of the trowel until they are filled, then wash the excess away with a water dipped sponge. Leave it to dry, according to manufacturer instructions, then spread a coat of sealer, following the manufacturer’s recommendation.

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