Installing Slate Tile Over A Concrete Base

Lead Image
  • 4-40 hours
  • Beginner
  • 400-4,000
What You'll Need
Slate tiles
Leveling compound
Spacers
Sealer
Grouting bags
Thinset mortar

Installing a slate tile over a concrete base is a task that you can do on your own by following certain steps and tips. Slate is one of the most durable and long-lasting floor materials and requires little maintenance. It doesn’t allow dirt to show very much either. Concrete is an ideal subfloor for installing slate tiles. Preparation is the most important part of every do-it-yourself task and slate floor tile installation is no exception to that rule. The more time and attention to detail and workmanship you put into your slate flooring the more beautiful it will be.

Step 1 – Preparation

Before starting with the installation, you should remove all possible flooring and coverings. The older flooring will need to be removed and cleaned. Slate tiles can be installed over a wood floor or a cement floor, but in any case, the floor needs to be dry.

Step 2 – Level the Floor

Before starting you should check the concrete base to ensure that is level. You can use an 8-foot level to check it; in the case that the floor is not level, you can and should use a leveling compound that will make the concrete level. Make sure that the compound dries completely.

Step 3 – Use Thinset

Use the thinset over the concrete base and spread it evenly. You can use a trowel with notches that are proper for the size of the tiles you will be using.

Step 4 – Install the Tiles

Take the tiles and set them in the thinset. Make sure that you do not use more thinset than is necessary. Use the spacers to space the tiles evenly until you have covered the entire concrete base.

Step 5 – Use the Grout

Take the grouting bags and squeeze the grout into the lines between the tiles. Make sure that you do not leave any voids or gaps. Let the grout dry and cure for 2 to 3 days.

Step 6 – Use the Tile Sealer

Two to three days later use the tile sealer over the surface of the tiles. If you wish for a glossy result you should apply 2 to 4 coats of sealer. The sealer can prevent the slate tiles from staining. Keep in mind, though, that you should not use the sealer over waxed flooring because the sealer will not be effective. If the slate flooring is in a room with moisture, such as bathrooms or kitchens, you should also seal the gaps between the tiles and the walls. Always allow the sealer to dry properly.

Extra Tip

One of the first things you need to do is to calculate how many tiles you will need. If you take the floor plan or sketch it, you will be able to calculate the exact amount. However, you should always order more, at about 5 to 10 percent more than the calculations, because some tiles might break, or you might make some mistakes and you will need to use more tiles than you would normally. When you buy the tiles, you can buy the other needed materials at the same time, so that you buy the proper ones for the slate tiles you are using. Preparation is key.