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How to Tile a Painted Floor

06/22/2011 8:43 PM

I'm planning to tile my floor, I'm no expert but it's my house. I want to tile the gallery but it has about 4 coats of paint that has been applied over the years. I've been painting it. What should I do in a situation like this? I do not know if the tile will hold on the painted floor with thinset and sand or if it will loosen as time goes by.

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#1

Re: How to Tile a Painted Floor

06/22/2011 11:21 PM

My guess (Not in the tiling industry but ahd a bit to do with coatings and paints) is that provided the substrate is sound AND the paint is sound AND the adhesive mix used in the thinset is compatible to bond to the paint, then it should be good.

Trouble is that often floors would be waxed or contaminated in some way. Proper paint stripping would achieve two purposes for you. Remove any waxy coating and provide a good keyed surface for your bonding.

Again, this is my guess as it's not my field.

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#2

Re: How to Tile a Painted Floor

06/23/2011 12:21 PM

I suspect you will need to coat the floor with paint remover and scrape as much off as possible, and then sand it before laying tile.

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#3

Re: How to Tile a Painted Floor

06/23/2011 10:31 PM

I'm no tile expert but would consider nailing on a fine wire mesh for the thinset to grab. This technique is used when applying stucco so should be similar.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: How to Tile a Painted Floor

06/23/2011 11:00 PM

Thanks I think I'm gonna go with the fine wire mesh......

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#19
In reply to #3

Re: How to Tile a Painted Floor

06/25/2011 4:49 AM

Please reject this idea unless you have a lot of money to waste...

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#5

Re: How to Tile a Painted Floor

06/23/2011 11:27 PM

Ideally one should not fix tile on painted surface.

If you wish to do it use epoxies as an adhesive to lay and have piece of mind about worrying anything.

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#6

Re: How to Tile a Painted Floor

06/23/2011 11:33 PM

Hello Phillip, Just clean the floor by mopping with mild soap or floor cleaner and check with a paint scrapper anything that might be loose. As long as the paint is adhering to your floor and there is nothing rotten, you are good to go. I have plenty of tile over painted floors, no problem. If you do have some loose paint, wire brushing and stripping may have to happen. Thinset works everytime.

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: How to Tile a Painted Floor

06/24/2011 12:07 AM

GA. Also, mix the thinset with the acrylic additive that gives it more "stick" and a bit more flex. I did my 100 year old kitchen floors with umpteen coats of paint with tile 15 years ago and it has withstood the tortures of the damned. I did prep them with TSP first, mixed with some Dawn liquid detergent, then a clear water rinse X 2. Squeaky clean, and mildly abraded. If you have latex down, you want to have the floor moist and slow the drying process down considerably(wet sheets or newspapers), and no not even think about walking on it for 48 hours or more. Hope it's not between you and the only bathroom!

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#8

Re: How to Tile a Painted Floor

06/24/2011 7:41 AM

Thinset sticks to everything!

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#9
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Re: How to Tile a Painted Floor

06/24/2011 8:40 AM

I am assuming this is a wood floor? If so I would recommend putting cement board down making sure the wood is taught, with no loose areas. screw down the cement board very well then use thinset.

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#18
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Re: How to Tile a Painted Floor

06/25/2011 4:47 AM

I'll second that!!! Even on tools placed in water...

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#10

Re: How to Tile a Painted Floor

06/24/2011 8:59 AM

The first issue is substrate. painted 3/4 pine on joists 24" on center will be completely inadequate, no matter what the surface. If you have a very stable, substrate, I would tile on cement board or a slab. Even 1/4" is adequate. You can apply thinset to anything, as stated. There is a reason that pro's don't. Poor bonding has little resistance to moisture induced movement, and loose tile and cracked mortar is a nightmare.

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#11

Re: How to Tile a Painted Floor

06/24/2011 10:46 AM

I'm an interior designer, not an engineer, but when I have questions like this, I always call the manufacturer (in this case the thin set or epoxy manufacturer). There are many things to consider when tiling: In your case - type of paint over sub-floor to enable the tech (or chem engineers here) to advise on chemical bonding, thickness and material of sub-floor, spacing of joists. FYI, I always require my subs to lay 3/4" plywood with expansion gaps over floor joists 16" o.c. to support the weight of the tile and make sure it doesn't crack later down the road. Also the floor must be flat with no more than 1/4" variation in 10 feet (there are leveling compounds that can be used if not flat). ANSI has standards for tile setting over various floors. Hope this helps.

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#12

Re: How to Tile a Painted Floor

06/24/2011 10:47 AM

Hi,

I have done probably 30-40 floors over the years. I have been a land lord and real estate investor as a sort of 2nd occupation over the years. My floors had to stand up tro both tenants and scrutiny of buyers. I have done marble, and exotic patterns in ceramic.

Originally I started by hiring high priced contractors to do the work, but I learned from them and eventually no longer needed them. So that said, I going to give you the benefit of my experience.

1) Prep the area - pull up an fixtures that are in the way. Remove all base board molding. This is easily done using some special pry bars that look like screw drivers with the heads bent at 45 deg. You can but these from Harbor Freight cheap.

2) Inspect the floor for any structural defects and repair (this can be a separate item discussion of its own. Make sure that there is no movement in the floor when you apply weight. If there is, then this needs to be structurally addressed before going further. Remove any loose paint. Optionally apply a primer. red Guard is a great product that will create a moisture barrier and protect against problems due to flooding (from an over run sink, etc).

4) You want to cover the entire floor with 1/2 in cement board. This stuff goes by the names Duroc and another that I can't think of the name right now - Duroc is what I use. You could also use Hardi board but I prefer fiber glass reinforced solid cement.

5) to apply the backer board you use some special screws - both the board and screws are available at places like Home Depot. I like to also add the addtional step of gluing the board down with liquid nails (in the gallon can) troweled with an 1/8' floor adhesive trowel. Screws need to be placed every 6 in on center in a square array.

Once you have done all these you are ready to do a good tile job.

Contrary to other posts about putting tile directly to wood - I wood never do this. I have never seen an installation like that where tiles did not come up. Any moisture will guarantee wood expand and break the cement loose.

Good luck, hope this helps.

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#13

Re: How to Tile a Painted Floor

06/24/2011 11:08 AM

Um, guys, the OP never said the floor was wood. If he had said that my answer would have been different, (going with Hardieboad/Duroc subfloor mentioned above.)

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#14
In reply to #13

Re: How to Tile a Painted Floor

06/24/2011 11:21 AM

um rorschach, all of the answers except yours mandate identifying substrate before you can get an answer. That's all.

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#15

Re: How to Tile a Painted Floor

06/24/2011 11:36 AM

Just a note of caution based on a friend's tale.

She was tiling a small section of her basement floor on a cool spring morning. She had been spreading the adhesive in a nice even layer for some time when the furnace kicked in. The resulting explosion blew her clear through the basement door and across the back yard. The house is a write off. Please be sure to ventilate the room well while working.

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#16

Re: How to Tile a Painted Floor

06/24/2011 2:19 PM

Assuming that you're installing porcelain or clay floor tile, the easiest solution to your dilemma is to first install cement board underlayment specifically designed for such applications. I wouldn't install a new tile floor without it. First, because it helps trap spilled liquids that will permeate through the grout lines from getting into the wooden flooring materials below and prevent wet rot. Secondly, it helps minimize with thermal expansion and contractions of the flooring and keeps the tile from "popping" loose. Thirdly, it helps minimize the effects on the tile if the underlying floor flexes too much, which can pop or crack the tile.

I highly recommend that you install James Hardie Hardiebacker cement board. You can purchase 1/4-inch thick or 1/2-inch thick board, and it comes in 3 foot by 5 foot panels, however I would recommend using the 1/2" board over the thinner one. You secure the boards to the wood substrate with cement board screws, thus eliminating the need to scrape or paint strip the floor. You then tape the joints followed by application of the thin set adhesive. If you visit the company website they habe step-by-step instructions on how to install the board.

Presently, I'm in the midst of installing the Hardiebacker board and tiles in our kitchen and adjoining dining room...about 300 SF worth.

The cement board is easily scored with a utility knife, or you can cut it with a circular saw....just use the proper masonry saw blade with (industrial) diamond-coated rim. Make sure you do the cutting outside and use a face mask because there is silica present in the board....bad news for your lungs if you breathe it in!

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#17

Re: How to Tile a Painted Floor

06/24/2011 9:35 PM

just apply thin coat of tile adhesive on the floor and lay the tile. you have to take care that the coat is even so that the tile will also be in one level.Fill the gap between the tile with Tile Grout which is available in different colours matching tiles If it were to be wall this might come off. Since it is floor, there is constant downward pressure, it will hold for a life time.I have done the same on Red Oxide coated floor at my house

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#20

Re: How to Tile a Painted Floor

06/26/2011 1:38 PM

Hey guys thanks for all of these useful ideas much appreciated

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