Lay tiles - the substrate


From the ground depends heavily on how good or bad the final result will be. But that does not only depend on the look immediately after laying the tile. It is also about the medium to long-term adhesion of the tiles.

The texture of the ground when laying tiles

Almost on every surface tiles can be laid. However, different floors also have different properties. From the respective subsoil therefore depends very much, which preparatory work you must carry out. A swinging wooden floor requires a different approach than a substrate made of anhydrite screed in a new building. The building materials trade now offers modern materials, with which you can lay tiles on almost any surface. Nevertheless, even modern building materials reach their limits, so you should not expect miracles.

Basic nature of the substrate

Of course, it should be as solid a substrate as cast iron, anhydrite or cement screed. The surface must also be level. In addition, the substrate must be completely dry. Especially new screed floors require a lot of patience until they are completely dry. Modern floors offer many advantages: under the screed are footfall sound insulation and vapor barrier, so you do not have to take any special consideration.

An older underground

For older floors you can expect everything: cement floor, rough concrete floor or even wet floors. Under no circumstances may you start to prepare the substrate for tiling when the floor is wet or damp. This moisture has a cause that needs to be corrected first. If necessary, this means that the entire underground has to be removed to integrate a vapor barrier.

Wooden floors, flaking materials, floors or plasters

You should always do a scratch test on a surface with a screwdriver or something similar. The deeper you can penetrate underground, the lower its strength. But this is important so that the tiles stick firmly. Such substrates may then have to be treated with a leveling filler, adhesive and blocking agent.

Chalky or peeling ground

Peeling plasters or chalky surfaces must be removed in any case before tiling. Depending on the circumference may be enough a wire brush, but can reach to the grinder. On a ground that had previously been tiled, the tiles on an old floor may have been located in a low bed of cement.

Cement deep bed as underground

Depending on the condition, it should be filled with leveling compound or leveling screed. Optionally, it may also be necessary to remove the entire cement bed. Best suited for this is a concrete grinder. Even rough and uneven concrete floors can be sanded with such a machine until they are even.

Old wooden floors

A wooden floor as a base, so planks or parquet, requires special preparation. Optimal are special installation panels, such as screed panels, after the wooden floor was previously leveled with leveling filler. Depending on the individual requirements, reinforcement may be necessary. Basically you have to take into account in the case of a wooden floor as a base to the tiles that the wood receives sufficient ventilation.

Lay tiles on old tiles

You can also lay tiles on old tiles. Either it is sufficient to apply a primer, or - if you really want to be sure that the new tiles last long - you rough the old tiles before. Broken tiles or tiles with cavities below knock out and fill the holes with tile adhesive.

Tile adhesive and grout

There are numerous tile adhesives and grout. For tile adhesives, there are some especially for outdoor use, for natural stones or for ceramic tiles. But many "special" tile adhesives are mostly plastic-coated, ie flexible adhesives. Even with numerous natural stones. Nevertheless, you need to focus on choosing the right adhesive for natural stones. All in all, it can be said that you always make the right choice with a highly flexible tile adhesive - these adhesives are suitable for almost any surface, but are slightly more expensive. So it is with grout. Also grout you can advertise as ordinary grout or flexible grout.

Tips & Tricks

For strongly absorbent reasons, it is recommended to apply a special primer. It prevents the soil from drawing too much water from the glue and thus adversely affecting the hardening process. To see how much water a soil absorbs, just pour out some water to watch us move in fast and dark spots. If you can wipe away most of the water after a few minutes because it has not moved in, it is not a very absorbent floor.

If you are not sure what the substrate is like, get a specialist. He can tell you immediately what options you have.


Video Board: Trowel and Error - How to Set Tile the Right Way