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My house is 1 story, but I have a basement so all the floors on the main level are "upstairs" and have a wooden subfloor. I ripped out the vanity in a bathroom I'm working on and starting taking out the tile. I had a bit of trouble because the vanity had to be lifted almost 2" to come out which I thought was odd. It looks like there is some type of poured in "concrete" like material above the wooden subfloor and the tile. Any idea what this is? Can I just pour in more where the vanity was to level it out?

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    Looks like leveling compound to me. I'm not sure if you'd pour more where the vanity was, though. Feb 12 '16 at 20:29
  • With all the damage to the "material" from scraping up the tiles, you're going to have to do something to get a level surface again over the whole floor.
    – JPhi1618
    Feb 12 '16 at 20:33
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    If that is a quick-level cement product, that's normally only supposed to be 1" thick max. Because of how brittle it is, I'd be worried about future cracks, but I honestly don't have any experience with a poured floor like that. Is there a step up into the room?
    – JPhi1618
    Feb 12 '16 at 20:49
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    My guess would've been in-floor heat. We've done homes where the master bath subfloor was lowered for just this reason.
    – isherwood
    Feb 12 '16 at 21:21
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    @E.V.I.L. I took a big hammer and broke it up. There was a metal mesh stapled to the subfloor so I used a pry bar to help pull it up. WEAR SAFETY GLOVES. After removing it all, we used self leveling compound to get everything flat and had tile put down. I do not remember if we put down cement board before the tile went down or not as we had a contractor do the install. I'll have to go back through my progress photos to see. Nov 19 '20 at 2:47
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This floor has been floated, a very common and traditional method for preparing surfaces for tile. To "float" is to apply a cement and sand mix similar to concrete but without rocks, gravel or coarse sand. A 2" thick float is not uncommon at all.

It is often applied using a "dry pack" method wherein only enough water is mixed to ensure proper set but wet enough to pack, shape, feather, and blend.

Do not use pre-mixed bagged concrete mix. If you do not want to mix your own, use pre-bagged mortar mix and "dry pack" the area. I guess you could then use a thin layer of floor leveling compound to flatten, smooth, and blend the damaged areas and seams.

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  • Thanks. I'll finish demo this weekend and work on prepping the floor for the new tile. Feb 12 '16 at 22:00
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Looks like they poured the floor for the tile backing. You could use sackrete to fill the area. Once your tile is chipped up use a self leveling compound to prep for whatever type of flooring you want to use.

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    So pour some in to fill the hole and enough to level it out across the whole surface? What sackrete product am I looking for here? Feb 12 '16 at 20:45
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    Just the standard cement mix, Easy to mix if you have a wheelbarrow and a shovel. It can be mixed in 5 gallon buckets but that is a bit harder. You don’t need high strength But it is only 6$ per 80 lb bag lowes. Sorry I thought this was the link I first posted not their home page.
    – Ed Beal
    Feb 12 '16 at 20:56
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thats drypack. its an older way to prep a floor to allow for tile installation. it was used to allow for the floor to breathe, so any moisture that got past the tile mortar didn't get trapped between the tile and the base (as it would if you just used concrete). nobody does it anymore because the last two decades have seen the use of polymeric modifiers to almost all grouts and mortars. it use to be standard practice for good to high quality tile work. just fill the hole with sakrete or some other such concrete pre-mix in a bag (3/8 stone or bigger, 32mpa or higher - almost all bagged concrete meets this requirement)

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