Prepping Your Concrete Floor for Ceramic Tile Installation

Installing ceramic tile in your home can not only add value,  but it can help take the strain off of carpet you may have in high traffic areas. Tile flooring in your kitchen and bath can hold up very well and also add to the overall decor of these rooms.

Much like adding curb appeal to your lawn, replacing flooring with something more up to date will add to the overall appeal on the inside of your home.

Tile flooring installation can be costly depending on the type you select and how much a flooring contractor charges for prep work and installation.  You can help cut quite a bit off the price of your new tile floor by doing the initial prep work yourself and it is a fairly simple and easy process.

In this DIY Reviews article in our Home Improvement section, we will outline the tools needed and the processes you need to follow to prep your concrete floor for tile installation.

Tools & Supplies Needed:

  • Vacuum
  • Pry bar
  • Hammer
  • Mask
  • Gloves
  • Large scraper
  • Level
  • Floor patch or leveling product
  • Hard bristle scrub brush
  • Soap & Water

Step 1: Remove trim or baseboards

Make sure you don’t throw them away because you will need to replace them at the end.

Step 2:  Remove all existing flooring

  • Wood flooring and vinyl flooring can easily be removed with a flat pry bar or hammer
  • Carpet should be pulled up along with the padding. Be sure to also remove the tack strips

Step 3:  Scrape floors to remove residue from glue

Using a sharp floor scraper, remove all residue from the floor. You should also use a tile adhesive remover. These can be purchased from home improvement stores.

Step 4:  Calculate your new flooring needs

Some would say you need to do this before you start prepping, but its better to do so after you have removed the flooring so you get an accurate measurement. If you aren’t sure about how to obtain the measurement, has a great calculator you can use.

Step 5:  Find low or high spots in floor

Using a floor leveler, lay in varying spots around the room to check for spots where you may need to use a patch or leveling product. When you go to purchase one of these products, make sure to get the one that is specific for a concrete floor.  Leveling products should be applied based on manufacturer instructions.

If your floor is especially bad, you may want to consider adding a plywood or backer board instead.  Find a video tutorial at Seling Floors for step by step instructions.

Allow the leveler to dry completely (usually 24 hours) before moving on to the next step.

Step 6:  Sweep and clean the floor

  • Sweep the floor well
  • Using a hard bristle scrub brush, scrub the floor with a mild soap and water
  • Rinse the floor well with plain water to remove any soap residue
  • Allow the floor to dry completely
  • Remove any additional dust with a vacuum

Your floor is now prepped and ready for your tile! If you have chosen to have a professional install your tile, make sure you get several free quotes before you decide which contractor suits your specific project.

If prepping and installing the floor is something you want to complete on your own as a DIY project, make sure you prepare for your ceramic tile project before you start!  This can help you save money and make fewer mistakes.

Have you prepped your floor for a ceramic tile installation? Add a comment and give us your tips!



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