When you’re committed to finishing your basement or sprucing up a screened porch don’t overlook the benefit of putting tile on concrete floors. Select tile, especially porcelain tiles, works well when installed directly in the basement or on the porch of your Madison WI home.
Of course the process isn’t that simple. You need to prep the floor first. You don’t need to install a subfloor layer between concrete and tile. But you do have to prepare the surface. Begin with a complete survey of the basement or porch floor. Look closely for cracks and uneven areas. A cracked concrete floor allows moisture to accumulate beneath the tile. Moisture in the concrete destroys mortar and loosens tiles.
Where do you begin preparing the floor for a new layer of tile?
- Sweep/vacuum the floor – no matter how clean your concrete floor appears, sweeping is an excellent way to make sure. Use a vacuum to remove all the loose dirt, dust and debris.
- Scrub the floor – using a stiff brush remove all the stubborn dirt and stains. Use a degreaser in the cleaning solution. Spend extra time on any grease spots or oily stains.
- Rinse thoroughly – rinse small areas at a time and dry each section as you go. The floor needs to be completely dry so give it a day or two. The wet floor will raise the room’s humidity so if the room doesn’t have windows and good air circulation bring in a fan to speed the process.
It sounds basic, doesn’t it? But a few minutes concentrating on seemingly minor details pays big dividends when the final floor gets rave reviews from friends and family.
Additional Steps Before Putting Tile On Concrete
Once the floor is clean and dry there are three additional steps toward preparing a perfect platform for tile:
- Patch cracks – cracks can expand as the foundation shifts and ages. Use a commercial patching compound – or, better, bring in tile experts – to fill and smooth over every crack. Making sure no extra fill remains on the surface is vital. Leftover debris can cause the floor to uneven. An uneven floor leads to cracked and shifted tiles.
- Fill depressions and/or flaws – use the same patch material to fill depressions. There are self-leveling compounds to consider. Make sure all patches are dry and double-check the floor is level before moving on.
- Seal the floor – using a concrete sealant prevents moisture from seeping through and affecting the tile. Cover the entire floor evenly and allow it all to dry completely.
Sorting Out Tile Options For Basements, Porches
While the options for floors installed directly on concrete in basements and on porches are somewhat limited, you have choices.
Ceramic tile has been called the “Cadillac” of basement flooring. It is unaffected by water or water vapor. The top designer’s choice, it is available in dozens of colors, styles, shapes and sizes. Popular large-format tiles deliver the look of wood planks and go down with very little grout.
Like any other material, ceramic floor tile has both advantages and disadvantages, including:
- Advantages – there are so many style and sizes it’s easy to create a high-end custom look. Ceramic tile is sturdy and resists abrasions. Its ability to repel water and resist moisture (and resulting mildew and mold) makes it ideal for direct application to concrete floors.
- Disadvantages – a ceramic tile floor is not the low cost alternative. But you want a floor in your basement or on the porch that holds up for years, don’t you? It’s also a labor-intensive and time=consuming floor to install. Doing it right is best left to trained, experienced professionals with the right tools. While tile is mold- and mildew-resistant the grout used isn’t so routine maintenance is required.
A significant drawback for tile on basement and porch floors is the fact that it results in a cold floor. That’s often overcome by installing below the floor heating and using area rugs.
Choose Top-flight Materials And Expert Experience
What does your basement or screened porch floor need to deliver? No matter the size, shape or color you choose, the covering for your concrete floor should:
- Resist moisture, mold and mildew – very few materials are capable of delivering moisture resistance better than ceramic floor tile.
- Durability – depending upon how you’ll use the porch or basement rooms, there’s little more robust than modern tile.
- Comfort – are you planning to use your basement for a home theater or a family snack bar? Maybe it is destined to become “party central.” Applying tile on concrete is ideal for kitchen and bathroom areas. Mixing various floorings to fit your purpose makes sense, right?
Are you ready to get serious about a new tile floor for your finished basement or screen porch? To help make the decision process easier, make an appointment and visit Madison’s most complete tile showroom. Your first look around will open your eyes. It won’t take long to realize that Molony Tile is the area’s leading tile resource. Be prepared to be uncover options you never knew existed.
Molony Tile draws tile from all the top contractors. And, if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, our staff is ready to assist any way it can. For more than 70 years Molony’s experienced and skilled craftsmen have provided tile for high-end jobs throughout the Madison area.
Is it time to finish your basement or breathe new life into a porch? Explore your options. Call 608-268-8453 or email us to make an appointment. We’ll match your needs to the ideal tile on concrete solution for your Madison WI home.