Crack in Slab Floor
When we purchased our 25-year-old house, it had a crack in the foundation. The crack goes through our dining room and kitchen. In places, the crack is 1-1/2 inches wide. It is currently covered with carpet in one room and linoleum in the other. We would love to put ceramic tile in these rooms. Is there any way to "fix" this crack?
I believe you should be able to tile in spite of this crack. When you say the crack runs through these rooms, do you mean the floors in these rooms are on the slab which is cracked? If so, has the crack widened lately, does it move with the seasons? Is the floor on either side of the crack at the same level, or is the floor on one side higher than the other?
If the floor is level, and the crack stable and doesn't move with the seasons, you can fill the crack with a cement based crack filler. Then you can apply the mortar which will be the adhesive.
If the crack is stable (no movement) and the floor is relatively level you can still use the mortar to even out the floor. A thick bed Mortar can be used to even out very rough or uneven floors and can be applied up to an inch thick.
If the crack is not stable and opens and closes with the seasons, which probably does not happen or you would notice it in the drywall etc, you can cover the floor with tile backer board known as a cementitious backer unit or CBU. Covering the floor with this will allow the cement underneath to move slightly with out cracking your tile along the grout lines.
Finishing Concrete Floors
I am moving to a new condo soon and have decided to remove the carpet and vinyl and leave the concrete floors bare. What are the steps I should take to finish them? First remove the glue from the floor, but with which type of product? Then acid wash? How exactly? How long should I allow it to dry? Also, there are lots holes caused by the nails used to keep the carpet down. Should I fill these first? If so, how? What's next? Seal it? Or is this unnecessary? I've read that concrete stain exists, but that in time, it too may peel. Is wood stain better/appropriate? Also, is it possible to "polish" the floor for a smoother look? Finally, is there a book that someone knows of that would guide me step-by-step through this process?
I don't have good directions for staining the floor, but it is process that is within the ability of most people willing to do the work. Stains today do a marvelous job of coloring the floors and I have seen examples of floors stained to look like brick.
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