Installing ceramic tiles over concrete can help
to create a more inviting indoor or outdoor
What You’ll Need:
1. Cleaner: A muriatic or other acid-based cleaner is usually the best
way to completely clean the concrete prior to installing tile.
2. Concrete Patch/Floor Leveler: The floor must be level or your tiles
and grout will form cracks.
3. Concrete Sealer: This should be done before adding a floor
leveling compound. A sodium silicate or lithium silicate based
sealer will help to waterproof and strengthen the concrete.
Because silicates work below the surface, they won’t interfere
4. Tile: Choose the type and style you want to go with. Make sure
you add 15% to your square footage measurements when
ordering to compensate for mistakes and for cut pieces.
5. Mortar: Different kinds of tile require different types of mortar.
Ask the sales representative who sells you the tile to help you
choose the right one.
6. Trowel: A grooved trowel will be necessary to spread the mortar. They
are available with different sized grooves, so be sure to read the package
directions on the mortar to ensure that you buy the right size.
7. Grout: Aside from being available in many different colors, grout comes
in two varieties: sanded and un-sanded. The sanded variety is used when
the gaps between your tiles is bigger than 1/8″. The sand gives the grout
additional strength. Anything 1/8″ or smaller will be just fine using un-
sanded grout. You will most likely find that you want to use the un-
sanded grout in the smaller gaps because it finishes much smoother.
Working sanded grout into a small gap can be frustrating. One word of
warning: if you are using marble tile on your floor, never use sanded
grout! Make sure you install it with 1/8″ or smaller gap because you
must use un-sanded grout with marble. The sanded grout will scratch
the surface of the marble tile and it is not repairable.
8. Grout Float: This is used to work the grout into the gaps between the
Prepare The Concrete:
The Armor Concrete Cleaner &
Micro Etcher deep cleans the
concrete and opens up surface
pores to allow for adequate
adhesion for concrete coatings,
and better acid staining color
development and reaction.
Using an acid based cleaner or deep cleaner such as
The Armor Concrete Cleaner, clean the concrete and
allow it to dry thoroughly. Examine the floor and see
if there are any cracks or pits that need to be fixed
and use the proper concrete repair kit to repair them.
Once your repairs have dried, take the time to
seal the concrete with a penetrating sealer.
Used to Waterproof Your Entire Basement
(Walls and Floor) – The Armor S2000 is a
highly concentrated, enhanced silicate-based
sealer, which penetrates deeper, carries more
active minerals, and seals tighter than any
other concrete sealer on the market. While it
is designed to be applied from the inside of
the basement, it can be applied to the outside
of the foundation as well.
Once the sealer has dried, apply the concrete
patch or leveler and make sure that you have a
flat surface with no defects.
Plan The Layout:
Before installing the tile it is a good idea to lay
our your design. Pre-plan which and how many
pieces of tile have to be cut and where the cut
tile will be placed. Chalk lines will become very
helpful so make sure you mark the floor.
Mix The Mortar:
After you have decided where you want to
begin, follow the instructions provided by the
manufacturer and begin to mix the mortar.
Don’t mix too much in advance as it will begin to
set up on you before you can use it. Using your
grooved trowel, begin spreading the mortar over
a small area. Never spread out more than what
you can cover with three or four tiles at a time.
Install The Tiles:
Lay the tiles into the mortar and using the spacers, make sure
you are running even with the chalk line. As you move on to
the subsequent rows, use the spacers to keep your pattern
square. Once a tile is set, try to avoid touching it again.
Wash the tiles off with a damp rag as you
go to prevent clumps of mortar from
drying on the surface. As you get to the
end of the room, make sure your cut
pieces fit properly, and then leave the
mortar to dry for the manufacturer’s
specified length of time.
Mix the grout as specified on the package and begin liberally
spreading it over the tile using the grout float. Use the float to
make sure that there are no low spots, and then use a damp
rag to wipe any excess grout from the face of the tile. Don’t
worry at this point if the tile appears a little cloudy. Once the
grout has had time to set up, repeat the process, again using
the float to squeegee and extra grout off of the face of the
• Once the grout is completely dry, take a wet rag
and wash the surface of the entire floor. As the
floor dries, you will probably notice a haze
forming over the tile. Allow it to dry completely
again, and then go back over it with a slightly
damp rag – this should polish the haze right off.
Once you have polished the remaining
grout and mortar residue off of the
floor and you are confident that the
grout has fully cured, use the grout
sealer to prevent stains and mildew
from taking hold in the future.
Learn more about Foundation Armor’s
professional grade line of concrete sealers,
concrete coatings, concrete cleaners and
concrete repair products by visiting
FoundationArmor.com or by calling 866-306-