How to Install Concrete Tile on a Damp Basement Floor

Written by travis martinson | 13/05/2017
How to Install Concrete Tile on a Damp Basement Floor
Tiling your basemet floor is challenging, but can be done with time and patience. (Footprints in Tile image by bnstrong from

No homeowner wants to see a bare concrete floor and moreover, homeowners do not want damp areas in their homes, not even in the basement, as the dampness can cause mould which could lead to health problems. A good solution to bare, damp concrete floors in the basement is to tile over them. Being able to tile a floor yourself will save you large amounts of money in not hiring a tile contractor.

Roll out waterproofing membrane and cut it to the proper length at the walls with scissors. Repeat this process until the entire surface area is covered with waterproofing membrane.

Pour waterproofing paint into a paint tray. Use a paint roller to apply a thick coat of the paint over the waterproofing membrane. Cover the entire floor and allow paint to completely dry.

Determine the layout for the tiles and choose a place to start. Use a notch trowel to evenly spread thin-set mortar in that area, making sure to make the notches even. Spread thin-set mortar with even notches on the back of a concrete tile. Set the tile in place and press down firmly to make sure that the mortar on the tile bonds to the mortar on the floor.

Use a level to make sure that the surface of the concrete tile is level. If it is not level, use your hands to push on the tile to adjust the levelness. Never use shims or other objects to adjust the level of a tile, because this will cause gaps in the mortar and ultimately lead to tile damage. Repeat this process for every tile. Place spacers between every tile to ensure even grout lines throughout your surface area. To make sure tiles line up correctly, push tiles with a straight edge occasionally to straighten the lines.

When your tiling reaches the walls of the floor area, you will need to cut tiles to size to fit in the spaces. Measure the space remaining for each tile to be set and mark tiles with the correct measurements. Use a wet tile saw to cut each tile to size and set the tiles in the manner described above.

Things you need

  • Concrete tile
  • Notched trowel
  • Tile spacers
  • Level
  • Straight edge
  • Pre-mixed thin-set mortar
  • Waterproofing membrane
  • Paint on waterproofing
  • Paint roller
  • Paint tray

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