I have a small utility closet that is 28" wide and 78" long. I have never tiled before, so I wanted to try my hand at a hidden away place. I have two questions:

  1. There is some glue from the carpet padding that could be scraped up, but do I need to put a backer board down or can I tile directly onto the cement. Most of that is paint on the floor.

  2. We are putting down 6x24" tiles. What is a good layout of the tiles? I came up with this, but any suggestions?

Thanks for the tips!

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  • you can lay out tiles any way you like
    – jsotola
    Mar 16, 2018 at 2:10
  • I used orange oil and a scraper to remove the adhesive from previous vinyl tile on concrete slab. The professional tile installer on the last two bedrooms in our 2000 sq ft slab told me he would have to grind the floor prior to tiling, but I was out of town when he did the work so I cannot say if that was actually done. He told me that he used highest quality thinset and he suspected that the previous tile installer for the other part of our house had used a second rate thinset leading to hollow sound under some of the 18" x 18" Daltile. No tiles are loose. Mar 16, 2018 at 9:32

1 Answer 1


Direct to concrete would not require backer board, just make sure you use the right tile set thickness and back butter the tile, ensure the proper gap, and lay the tile any way that looks good to you. Factor in waste from cuts and make sure you get enough in case you break any.

  • What about using Schluter Ditra? schluter.com/schluter-us/en_US/Membranes/Uncoupling-(DITRA)/… We had 2000 sq ft of tile 18"x18" bonded directly to concrete most done by one contractor and some of it has a hollow sound. My wife and I prepped the floor for this contractor. The remaining two bedrooms were later done by a second contractor who ground the concrete after we prepped it and maybe used a better thinset. No hollow sound from his work. Mar 16, 2018 at 9:20
  • 1
    I have done quite a few tile jobs directly to concrete, getting the old glue off makes a big difference, as far as cheap thinset I have never found a difference other than some have extra binders even these can sound hollow if not bedded properly, back buttering really is needed on larger tiles and helps to eliminate the hollow sound.+
    – Ed Beal
    Mar 16, 2018 at 14:31
  • I agree with @Ed Beal, the "hollow sound" is related to setting technique rather than quality of mortar. Direct to concrete is fine, remove all that paint and old adhesive by thoroughly scraping, as it could affect the bond. Mar 16, 2018 at 16:52
  • What is the best method to get glue and paint up? Seems like that would be a long process. Suggestions for this?
    – junta
    Mar 16, 2018 at 22:22
  • Adhesive remover that won’t make you high amazon.com/Mastic-Remover-Gallon-Franmar-Chemical/dp/B0006NL1JA
    – Kris
    Mar 16, 2018 at 22:35

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