Take the 2-minute tour ×
Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm looking to tile a basement floor that was dug out about 6", so there is a roughly 6" tall x 4" wide raised concrete border around the whole room, as they didn't dig out the edges. This border is mostly level but has a rounded edge, and it's painted.

I was thinking it would be a more finished look to tile over this edge with the same thing I'm using for the floor (TBD but probably slate).

How do I do this properly so that it comes out straight?

My best guess is to use a backerboard of some kind over the existing concrete border to guarantee I have a straight, level surface on which to apply the tile. I had been planning on using Ditra for the floor, in large part just because it seemed easier (and thinner) than cement board, but would I have to worry about the interface between the two? Would I attach the cement board to the concrete just with thinset, or should it be fastened somehow? Do I need to remove the paint (it's very well adhered currently, no peeling)? Or is this completely the wrong way to do this?

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 0 down vote accepted

If you want to ensure a perfectly straight and level corner along the entire length, then I'd suggest you build a two sided "box" to rest on the raised surface. Build it out of 1x1s, making a frame that consists of 3 long straight edges connected at perfect 90 degrees by short supports (cripples) spaced 12" on center.

Lay that box over the concrete edge, and use shims to get it perfectly level. Glue in place.

Then apply plywood to the frame and proceed with tiling as normal. (You don't need to ditra the box in this scenario, just tile to the ply)

Rough sketch showing cross section of wall/floor and stick diagram of proposed box framework: enter image description here

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks, this is a lot more simple than what I originally had in mind. I'm going to give it a shot. Do I need to worry at all about expansion/contraction of the plywood due to humidity changes? –  Paul D Nov 19 '12 at 19:26
    
If you are worried about it - if it's a humid environment - you should go ahead and use ditra as your underlayment. –  The Evil Greebo Nov 20 '12 at 1:35

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.