How to Waterproof Concrete Before Laying Tile

Written by kimbry parker
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If you are planning to lay tile on concrete, you should first apply a waterproofing sealer to the concrete, especially if the concrete is laid on the ground. Cement is porous and can absorb water, which could compromise the tile mortar. If the tiles will be laid on exterior concrete, choose an acrylic-based waterproofing sealer designed for concrete. For interior tile installation, choose an epoxy-based concrete waterproofing sealer. Applying a waterproofing sealer to concrete prior to laying tiles will help to prevent damage to the tiled surface from developing.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Waterproofing sealer
  • Broom
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Dish soap
  • Stiff scrub brush
  • Rags
  • Paint stirrer
  • Paint tray
  • Paint tray liner
  • Paint roller
  • Paintbrush

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  1. 1

    Sweep the concrete with a broom to remove loose dust, dirt and debris. Fill a bucket with hot water. Add a few squirts of dish soap to the bucket. Scrub the concrete surface with a stiff scrub brush and the soapy water. Rinse the concrete with rags and plain water. Allow the concrete to dry thoroughly.

  2. 2

    Stir the can of waterproofing sealer. Use a paint stirrer to mix the contents, stirring up any sediment that may have settled at the bottom. Pour the sealer from the can into a paint tray with a liner.

  3. 3

    Dip a paint roller into the paint tray to absorb a generous amount of the sealer. Roll the waterproofing sealer onto the concrete in a thin, even coating. Overlap the roller strokes to ensure that no areas of the concrete are missed. Apply the sealer so that the concrete surface is completely covered but not so thick that it pools in any areas.

  4. 4

    Use a paintbrush to apply the sealer to edges or tight areas that cannot be reached with the roller. Smooth over the areas several times to avoid leaving brush strokes.

  5. 5

    Allow the waterproofing sealer to dry until it is not tacky to the touch. This generally takes a few hours.

  6. 6

    Apply a second thin coat of waterproofing to the concrete. Apply the sealer in the same manner as for the first coat. Allow the final coat to dry for at least 48 hours prior to laying the tile.

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