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Replace tile over mud bed

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May 27, 2013, 11:54 AM
Replace tile over mud bed
Hi everyone,

My kitchen tile is installed over a ~1" thick mortar bed (it's pretty old). The original owners installed this floor after they installed the counters, and among other things tiled in the dishwasher. When we recently had to replace the dishwasher, the only way to get it out was to chisel out a row of tile and a decent part of the mortar bed. I have since removed all of the mortar in the area and installed new wire mesh over the floor, and would like to fill in with mortar and tile in some replacement porcelain tile.

My question is this. What is the best way and products to accomplish this? Originally I thought I would mix some dry mortar, build it up to about the right level, then let it cure. After that I would add tile with normal thin set. Is this the right thing to do? I'm concerned that it will be hard to maintain the proper level if I do it that way. Is there a product I can use to fill in the ~1" deep by 49"x17" hole directly, setting tile on it while still wet so I can be sure to get the level just right?

Sorry if this is a stupid question. I'm a complete rookie on tiling and different types of mortars.

May 27, 2013, 12:29 PM
I was under the impression that concrete was the essential part of laying a mud bed. Google it or hopefully one of the real pros who occasionally posts here will answer.

it's an obsolete technique. the idea is, floors move and shrug with the house. this is not what tile likes, and it cracks and the grout crumbles out. best practice these days appears to be laying a solid plywood subfloor (if all plywood, 1-1/4 inch) that is screwed and glued down. then you set a concrete board. the guys who REALLY do not want to do it over use a foam isolation mat like Kerdi with thinset, then when that dries, thinset in the new tile. even if the subfloor shrugs a little, the mat will move while the tile won't.

sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?