In the kitchen, I've removed the tile and would like to install new tile. The floor still has much thinset over concrete. The concrete has hydronic lines for heated floors, has metal mesh on the bottom, and has tar paper over osb. Removing the tile caused several holes in the concrete which are patched with Quickcrete. The hydronic lines have been exposed in some areas as the concrete was not much thicker than the line.

The contractor wants to use a hand grinder with a dimabrush with vacuum to knock down the thinset some more as his Harbour Freight air scraper didn't do much. He then wants to use self leveler to fill all the valleys and level the floor.

Some say leveler over solid thinset is OK. Others say it's not.

I was thinking of picking up a rotary hammer drill with appropriate blades and try to knock down the thinset myself.

What should I do? Ripping out everything and starting over is not an option as the cabinets are on top of tile. ⁰

  • Are you ok with the increase in height? You need to pour enough leveler to cover the high spots in the thinset. Then once you set the tile on top you'll have the additional thickness of thinset as well – redlude97 Apr 2 at 19:34
  • It's already 3/4" taller than the engineered wood floor. What's another 1/8 to a 1/4! Lol – Tim Apr 2 at 20:55
  • Anyway I visited the local tile place. The guy recommended using several layers of thinset to level the floor. He did not recommend removing anymore thinset for the risk of damaging the lines and concrete. He'll be out next week to inspect. His company can do it hourly at $140 per hour. Steep, but I can't really remove the old floor. – Tim Apr 2 at 21:08

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