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How to seal a concrete floor for tiling

Updated February 21, 2017

Concrete is frequently used in construction because of its strength and durability. You probably have it under your carpeting, unless you have wood floors, and it is also frequently used in the garage and basement. While concrete is a useful building substance, it is not necessarily aesthetically pleasing. Many home and business owners cover it with carpeting or tile. Concrete sometimes needs to be sealed before it can be tiled. Fortunately, sealing a concrete floor for tiling is not difficult.

Wash the floor with warm water, a mild detergent and a mop to remove any dirt or debris from the concrete. If stains remain after the floor dries, scrub them out with a scrub brush and a floor cleaner. A degreaser will be effective for oil stains, while oxalic acid works well against rust stains. Follow all instructions on the back of the cleaner containers, and allow the floor to dry.

Apply a concrete sealer to the floor with a bucket and mop, a roller or a sprayer. Start at the end of the room farthest away from the door and work backward toward the exit so you don't have to track back over wet sealer to exit the room. Allow the sealer to dry over the next several hours.

Apply a second coat of sealer once the first coat is dry.

Tip

Your concrete floor should be level if you plan on installing tile. If there is any unevenness, it is likely to cause cracks in the tile down the road and you'll want to use a leveller on the concrete before sealing it. Applying fans to the area can speed the drying process, but the fans must not be sitting on the wet sealer themselves and they must not be on too high. Overpowered fans will push the sealer across the floor and cause it to dry unevenly.

Warning

Ceramic tile may have trouble bonding to concrete sealer and unsealed concrete is best for the ceramic tiling process.

Things You'll Need

  • Warm water
  • Floor detergent
  • Mop
  • Mop bucket
  • Degreaser
  • Oxalic acid
  • Scrub brush
  • Concrete sealer
  • Roller or sprayer
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About the Author

Michael Davidson started writing screenplays in 2003 and has had a screenplay professionally produced. He has also studied martial arts since 1990 and has worked as a licensed security specialist. Davidson has written articles for various websites. He is a graduate of Michigan State University and holds a Bachelor of Arts in advertising.