Categories FAQ

Readers ask: Will tile mortar stick to old mortar?

You can put new thinset on top of old, but only if the old thinset is perfectly smooth and level. This is rarely the case once the old tiles have been removed. The best option to smooth out the old thinset and prepare it for new tiles is to grind it down.

Will mortar stick to old mortar?

Applying fresh mortar on top of old mortar that is loose or falling out will do little or no good; enough of the old mortar must be removed to make room for a layer of new mortar that is at least half an inch thick, and even then it is important to make sure that what is left of the old mortar is still solid and

Will tile stick to mortar?

Mortar is commonly used to attach tiles to drywall or flooring. However, tiles can also be installed using an organic tile adhesive called mastic, or in select cases with epoxy. Mortar can be used with most tiles, and glass and stone tiles typically require mortar.

Do you need to remove mortar before grouting?

Because this mortar looks different from the grout, it needs to be removed before the final grout can be laid down. It is fastest to remove the mortar as soon as you see it seep up. Even if you wait until it’s time to grout, though, you can still get the mortar out of the grout joints before you apply the grout.

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How do you remove old mortar?

Some Thinset mortar can be removed by using a chipping hammer with a scraper attachment. Use short jabbing motions to get under the mortar and pop it from the floor. But, if the mortar is stubborn, you may have to go directly to the big tools.

Can you lay tile over old mortar?

The best option to smooth out the old thinset and prepare it for new tiles is to grind it down. Use a floor grinder and pass it back and forth over the old thinset until it is perfectly smooth and level. You can now tile directly on top of it as if it were a new surface.

Why is my tile not sticking?

If your ceramic floor tiles aren’t sticking, it could be due to improperly mixed grout/thinset or not using enough grout/thinset. You could also be attaching the tiles to the wrong base, letting the thinset become too dry before applying the tiles, etc. Determining the problem is key to fixing it.

How do you remove mortar from tile before grouting?

Add a squirt of dish soap or a cup of granulated sugar to a bucket of warm water and then apply it to the areas where thinset is present. Use a sponge to gently scrub the thinset. You may start to notice the marks fading and the thinset coming away from the tiles already.

Will grout stick to thinset?

Grout is a filling material. It is a Portland cement (the same as used in concrete) in which polymers have often been added to make it stronger. Grout has a low structural strength and does not stick to surfaces as well as thinset.

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How do you soften mortar for removal?

After 20 to 30 seconds of hammering, you should notice the thinset breaking apart. If not, pour some more boiling water over it to loosen it. You can also use a masonry chisel that is the same width. Continue removing the thinset in small chunks until you’ve removed enough to accommodate your new tiles.

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