Tiles have been used as flooring for thousands of years. In the past, however, they were not faced with many of the modern building materials and chemicals in use. Painted cement floors were once the ‘in’ thing, especially in basements and outdoor living areas. Laying ceramic tiles over painted cement can create long term problems if the area isn’t prepared first.
Ideally, you would sand the paint back removing all traces, however, that can be time consuming and dirty. For the average DIY enthusiast, there are easier ways to approach the problem. Ceramic tiles are easy to install. What is needed is a firm, clean base that a bonding agent can stick to. To achieve this, start by brushing off any loose paint. You still need a clean surface, so a good scrub is ideal.
Once you are happy that all the loose paint has been removed, spread a thin layer of adhesive over a section of floor, then lay a half inch cement board over the adhesive. Repeat this process until the floor has been completely covered. Leave this to cure for three or four days, then install your ceramic tiles using traditional adhesives and grouting.
The benefit of cement board won’t be noticed immediately, however, over time the adhesive between your old floor and the cement board may break down and fail. This will turn those cement boards into a form of ‘floating’ floor. This will not affect your ceramic tiles at all. If you were to install ceramic tiles directly to that old painted floor, and the adhesive failed, you would have tiles lifting, moving or buckling.
Before installing ceramic tiles, talk to a tile expert. They can offer advice on how best to prepare your surface, install your tiles, and maintain them for a long and effective life. The tile experts at Éco Dépôt can help you find the right tile for your next project, helping you achieve the best finish possible.