Bond Breakers | Concrete Slab Bond Breakers

Concrete Slab Bond Breakers.

Treasure Coast tile contractors enjoy a tile installation advantage.  The vast majority of floor tile installations done here are over a concrete slab.

Ceramic Tile Installation Using Large Format Tile.
Straight Lay Pattern for Ceramic Tile Installation Using Large Format Tile.

There is no better substrata over which to lay ceramic tile than a concrete slab. That said, the success of any installation over a concrete slab, where tiles are directly bonded in a thin-set application, can go wrong.

First, where tile is to be bonded directly to a concrete slab, using one of the thin-set methods, the concrete slab that is to receive tile must be cured before the tile application. Also, liquid curing compounds or other coatings that may prevent bonding of the tile setting materials to the slab should not be uses. If they have been used, they must by neutralized.

Identifying Bond Breakers.

Bonding strength can be an issue if the concrete has been contaminated with bond breakers or other impurities.  Successful tile installation begins with identifying potential bond breakers or contaminants and successfully removing them. Curing compounds, sealers, coatings, paint, existing adhesives, residue from previous floor coverings, oil, lose cement, dust, dirt, etc.  should all be viewed as potential bond breakers.  Surface contaminants can also react with the bonding mortar or adhesive. That could have a detrimental effect on the success of the installation.

Finishing techniques along with the use of some types of concrete additives can also affect the ability of a mortar to form a good bond. Steel or rotary troweled concrete produces a dense, glass-like surface which makes it difficult for a mortar to develop a mechanical or adhesive bond. Concrete additives along with finishing techniques can also produce a very dense concrete surface.

Visual assessment is the first and most basic means to identify if potential bond breakers are present. The most obvious bond breakers would be paint, dirt, adhesive residue, pigmented coatings, loose particles, drywall dust or dust from sanding drywall compounds.  Oil and grease, which have penetrated the slab, are sometimes difficult to detect visually.

Clear, colorless coatings and steel troweled concrete surfaces can be difficult to differentiate. Penetrating sealers are virtually impossible to detect visually. If a concrete slab appears to be clean, place a few drops of water on various areas of the slab. When water penetrates immediately and readily it is an indication that the concrete needs minimal preparation and will allow the mortar to form a good bond.

For a more comprehensive overview of Bond Breakers, check out this report by The Ceramic Tile Institute of America, Inc.

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My tiling service areas include Port St. Lucie (PSL), Fort Pierce, Stuart and Vero Beach, FL.

In St. Lucie County Boyer Tile LLC. services Port St. Lucie, St. Lucie West, Tradition, Torino, Tesoro, Lake Charles, Lake Forest, Magnolia Lakes, PGA Village, The Vineyards, St James Golf Club, The Cascades, and Fort Pierce, FL.

My tiling service areas include Port St. Lucie (PSL), Fort Pierce, Stuart and Vero Beach, FL.