Sealing grout/priming a concrete floor necessary?

susanlynn2012August 10, 2014

If the installer does not want to use an Epoxy grout or a power grout and wants to use regular TEC AccuColor grout, will I be able to seal it myself in 72 hours? If yes, what do I seal it with that will be safe to use and work and how often to reapply?

Do I need to prime the concrete kitchen floor?

I was caught off guard Saturday around dinner time when the installer called (just met with him two days before) and told me he can start Monday or if not, he will start a big job and will let me know when he is finished.

I had two other installers see the job and the first installer is going on vacation but told me if he got the job to use the TEC Power Grout and buy a 15 lb bag (comes only in 10 lb or 25 lbs so I would have to buy the 25 lbs).

The third installer send me the estimate the day after and I saw it 15 minutes before the 2nd installer called.

I just wish I told him, I would let him know in a day. I was so comfortable with the 2nd installer since he brought in grout sticks and told me he would try to do a skinny grout line but now I am questioning that I would have to seal the grout and I am not sure if it would work and I am questioning why he is not priming the floor when the 2nd installer has it in his invoice?

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I don't know what "priming a concrete floor" means, but unless you'd like to join the folks who call me at least once a week with cracked or tented tiles, you must install an uncoupling membrane between the concrete and tile.

Your tile guys may tell you it's unnecessary. Have them answer my phone for a month and get back to you:

Here is a link that might be useful: Ditra

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 8:04AM
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Lynn, you're getting started on your kitchen?? Are you using the tile you had bought awhile ago? What did you end up deciding for cabinets?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 10:38AM
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Trebruchet, thank you for the information. I ended up not cancelling my tile install. The installer is doing a great job and gave me a 1/16th grout line using the running bond and it looks wonderful! I managed to convince him to use the Tec Power Grout and the special sealer on top of that so that I will have some protection. He would not use the epoxy grout and did not feel that priming my concrete slab floor in my kitchen was necessary. He felt my concrete was dry and in great shape.

Icskaisgir, Due to my insurance company wanting me to close out my claim, I decided to install my tiles under my appliances and on the floor and the do the hardwood floors everywhere else. Get my recessed lights fixed in the ceiling and installed recessed lights in my home office. Then I will buy my new downstairs windows since the vinyl cracked and the new doors that have settled and are so cold no matter how hard I try to insulated them. Then I need to replace my sinks and toilets upstairs.

Then I will revisit my kitchen. So far with the Tec Antique White grout the installer convinced me to use instead of the warmer Latricrete Mushroom grout with my tiles, it looks like the Shiloh Polar White may look great in my kitchen. I will see if I can bring sample doors home of this brand and another brand when I am ready again. I hope in a few months.

I also have to change the 2 years 7.5 months halogen light bulbs with LED and I am trying to decide between the 3,000K versus the 2,700K.

I love my tile floor! I will share pictures in a few days since the appliances still have to be put back and the floor sealed. The tiles to me look like real stone with a lot of variation in them.

This post was edited by lynn2006 on Wed, Aug 13, 14 at 0:57

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 9:10PM
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Ugh...that's a lot to do. But glad to hear your floor is looking good, can't wait to see pics:)

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 9:14PM
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Lynn, looking forward to your pics of your new floor. You're post has reminded me that I bought sealer months ago to seal my laundry room floor grout. Hopefully, I'll get it done tomorrow.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 12:06AM
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I remain puzzled as to why people are completely concerned about the durability of their grout and the thickness of their grout lines, yet show no concern for preventing the causes of "tenting" and cracking tile for which the only real solution is a do-over.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 6:33AM
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Lynn, my tile wasn't laid on cement, so I'm curious about the right way to do it and did some Googling. I also don't want you to panic because of trebruchet's comment, as I know you've been a very detail-oriented person. I'm wondering, for as much research as I've seen you do on cabinets, lighting, countertops, etc. over the last two or three years, if you ever read up on how to lay tile on cement? In my case, I just trusted my tile guy because I trusted my contractor, so it's the one area of my kitchen remodel that I didn't over-investigate.

I found a discussion on a contractor's forum, and GW's own tile god, Bill Vincent, posted his opinion:

Let me put it this way-- it never hurts to Ditra the floor. However, if that concrete's been there for years, and there's no real cracks in it, I'd go right on the concrete and not have a problem guaranteeing it. If there ARE any cracks, I'd check them to see if there are any with one side higher than the other. If that's the case, I wouldn't tile it at all, because NO membrane, not even the "legndary" Ditra, will protect the tile from vertical movement.

So in your case, if the cement is free of cracks, Ditra would have been a precaution only. Treb, do you agree?

Here is a link that might be useful: Ditra discussion

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 11:15AM
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may_flowers, thank you for letting me know that if my concrete floors were in good shape, it was OK to just use thin-set to install the tiles. I was amazed at how good shape the concrete floor was on the kitchen. It also had hardly any glue on it from the Linoleum floor that had come up and cracked that was in stalled in 1996. The floor was fairly level and flat with one tiny exception where there was a tiny crack on the concrete so skinny near the sliding door. Very soon, I am replacing my drafty old sliding door with a double pain Okna sliding door. I wish I replaced it before the tile floor but I did not realize the tile guy would caulk next to it.

My two small foyer tile floors near the front of my home were installed at the end of December 2008, are having no problems and the concrete floor was level there with no cracks.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 3:21PM
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P.S. I am also going to remove the expensive heavy duty vertical blinds that really block light since I bought the more expensive kind that curves to look like curtains when closed. The color is called Alabaster and is has shades of off-white, cream and ivory in it and I loved them until I bought the new tiles. I thought they would keep the cold out but they do not. Once I get the much warmer sliding door that will have no draft, I can put sheers on the window. I am facing woods and have a privacy fence. The tile installer pushed the vertical blinds out of the way with a heavy duty rubber band on top of crates and it is amazing how much light is coming into the room. I wish the installer did not stack them inside the window in order to have access to the light switch.They were installed about 7 - 8 years ago.

I had a very tiny female Maltese dog that marked who passed away at the young age of 8.5 years on 1-2-14 which is why I went with this type of PVC textured curved blind for ease of cleaning them. Now, I do not have to worry about marking. I miss her so much. She had heart problems since birth and she was on a special compounded medicine to keep her alive that I feel was part of the marking problem. She was so adorable (and tiny at 4 lbs) and so loved.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 3:26PM
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"Treb, do you agree?"

I would agree that a 10-year-old floor is much less likely to move than a newer one, but I'd never lay tile on concrete without an uncoupling membrane. It's cheap insurance.

Most of the weekly calls I get are from owners of houses built during the boom times. The builders couldn't get the concrete to cure and the tile laid and the illegals paid fast enough.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 5:43PM
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My townhouse is 24 years old and only had Linoleum on this concrete floor all these years. The two foyer areas had engineered wood floor glued that have now been replaced with tile since 2008 and the are level and flat with no problems. Usually I feel Trebruchet is correct but the installer already installed the tile and amazingly the floor was in good shape and flat and level he said. The tile floor is making me so happy as I hated the cracked and damaged Linoleum floor so much.

Thank you so much Trebruchet, may_flowers, romy718, and lcskaiser for being there for me. The floor seems to be stain resistant since my installer ended up listening to me and using the Tec Power Grout. He still has not had a chance to come back to seal it with a special product he found to make my floor even easier to keep clean. I love the 1/16th grout lines.

I brought home so many sample doors on Friday in various shades of white. My floor seems to look best in whites not too yellow. It also look great with dark cherry doors but I want a white kitchen.

I will finish the other projects and then pick my cabinet doors and white shade with the granite since it is not the door color that makes the kitchen be a wow I have learned but how everything goes together.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2014 at 12:30AM
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