Self-leveling over a tiles

Can you self-level over a tile?

It is 100% possible to self-level over a ceramic tile and gets an even floor, but before you start pouring self-leveling compound over the ceramic tiles, there are things to inspect so the work will not be in jeopardy. But don’t worry, because that is what we are going to explain.

Tiles that can withstand concrete over it

  • Ceramics
  • Marble
  • Quarry
  • Porcelain 

These tiles have what is needed to act as a subfloor

The process of resurfacing tile floor with concrete

Check the ceramic tile

It is very important to check if the ceramic tiles are in good condition and adhere properly to the floor. So check: drag a chain across the ceramic tiles and listen carefully for a change in sound, which indicates a problem beneath the tiles, or a hollow sound, which indicates a gap between the ceramic tiles and the floor.

Take a look at the grout lines. A chisel and hammer may be used to remove any loose grout. To find any broken or loose tiles on the floor, look around. Take out any loose tiles and allow a gap so that the compound can be poured in. Pick up any shattered pieces.

Take a look at the grout lines. With a chisel and hammer, eliminate any loose grout. Replace the grout in the lines by pushing it into place with a grout float, or you can seal up the grout joint with filler, or you can prime the grout joint, but the only downside to that is that it will consume a lot of primers, especially if the space is large.

Scuff up the ceramic tiles 

If the ceramic tiles are glazed, which is almost certainly the case, it is necessary to ensure that they bond with a self-leveling compound. You have to roughen the ceramic tiles’ surface by sanding so as to improve adherence with the self-leveling compound. 

However, you may want to hire an industrial scrubber or a diamond grinder and some sanding pads if you are cleaning a bigger floor. It will not take long to finish the process. While sanding, remember to wear your mask.

Clean the Ceramic tiles.

Using a push broom, sweep up any dirt or debris from the floor. To get rid of any oils or embedded debris, scrub the tiles using a nylon scrub brush and tile cleanser. After giving the tiles a good rinse with clear water, towel them off with a cloth.

Any pollutants that might contribute to a reduction in the bond strength must be removed from the substrate, which must be clean and free of dust, oil, and other impurities. 

The substrate should be mechanically removed until a sound and solid foundation is obtained if it does not satisfy the minimum tensile bond strength requirement of 75 psi. 

After removing any stray items, vacuum.
The air temperature should be kept between 50 and 800F, and the substrate temperature should be at least 450F during application.

To promote equal drying, enough airflow must be given. RH 90% or less should be the minimum moisture content for the substrate.

Application red guard (optional)

This is done with a roller that the painter used, the reason for applying this is for the grout lines not to ghost out when the self-leveling is done

Cut and seat mesh

This is laid over the tiles after the red guard has been applied, and then you touch it up with a little gas heat for it to sit well on the floor, I will advise that if you are going to do this method, you have to call a professional.

Checking the bubbles in the mesh

If there is a bubble below the mesh then it calls for attention, because if not taken care of it will go through the leveled concrete. 

Mixing and pouring of leveling compound

During this process, you must have buckets and mixing equipment ready, as well as a mixer with you. Pour some water, like half the bucket, so that you can mix the compound without spilling the mixture. 

It is necessary to create a dam by using spray foam to seal up openings at the edges of the wall so that the self-leveling compound will not flow into areas that are not required.

It is advised to follow the manufacturer’s directives to know the particular amount of compound you will mix at a time. 

Self Leveling Area

After pouring the compound into a bucket of water, you mix it with an industrial drill. Please avoid a cordless drill because, in my experience, it will almost disappoint during work time due to the battery capacity. 

Polishing the new concrete floor

For the new floor to be shining and attractive, you will need to polish the new floor, I have a well-detailed article on polishing a floor

Application of sealant 

At this time, it is important to seal the floor so as to avoid deteriorating substances that are dropped on the floor.

Always follow the particular application instructions provided by the manufacturer. Make sure you prime the floor before sealing, Depending on whether the sealer is solvent- or water-based, the two most popular ways to apply sealers to concrete surfaces are by roller or spray.

Always aim for complete coverage when applying sealers, whether by rolling or spraying. Depending on the concrete’s porosity, the normal coverage rate ranges from 250 to 300 square feet per gallon.

The most crucial concept to keep in mind is that less is more. It is recommended to use two light coats, being careful to avoid puddles or thick, uneven spots where the sealer has been applied.

To achieve consistent coverage, apply the second layer of sealer perpendicular to the previous coat or in the other direction. Wait as long as the manufacturer advises before using the second coat of sealant.

Decoration of the Concrete floor

You can make the new floor look beautiful since this is a newly rehabilitated floor. There are ways that you have to avoid when trying to decorate your floor, things like stamping are not good because they will cause so many weak spots on the floor. But you can use epoxy, polyurethane, and others that do not have UV sunlight issues. If you use epoxy, there are so many designs and colors you can choose from.

Read more: How to color concrete

Tile to Avoid

When we are talking about tile that can serve as a subfloor for concrete, there are tiles that are excluded due to their natural tiles like floating vinyl

A floating floor cannot serve as a concrete subfloor because it may move. Additionally, a floating floor will expand and contract based on the environment in the room, and this could also be a problem. Typically, a floating floor