Is Underlayment Required For Tile On Concrete [Explanation]

Are you looking for the solution on the query “is underlayment required for tile on concrete”? You’re are the right place then we have covered every piece of information that you need to know about it.

Flooring tiles are one of the best ways of adding aesthetic appeal to your flooring. If you want to install flooring tiles, you should not overlook the importance of proper underlayment to ensure the longevity of your costly tiles.

According to some of the leading flooring renovation specialists, quality underlayment beneath a flooring tile acts as a super adhesive for biting the subfloor concrete surface with the tiles.

At the same time, a suitable underlay avoids unwanted cracks that compromise the quality of your flooring tiles. That is why, according to some of the leading flooring renovation experts- a suitable underlay is somewhat like an insurance policy for your concrete tile slabs.

That’s not all! There are multiple benefits of using underlayment beneath your flooring tiles. We’ll learn about them and answer your doubt “is underlayment required for tile on concrete”.

Is Underlayment Required For Tile On Concrete?

The primary purpose of using underlayment beneath your flooring tile is to ensure that your tiles are immune from popular tiling-related problems for a long time and provide good support, stability, supports locking systems, noise reduction, and more.

While inspecting major tiling-related issues, it has been found by the experts that either lack of underlayment or improper underlay beneath the flooring tiles affects the flooring tiles of your house.

Well, that is why, if you are planning to install tiles on your concrete flooring, you need to install a basic underlay beneath your flooring tiles. You will definitely count this decision in the future.

Keep Reading: Detailed Guide On Laying Laminate Flooring Over Tile

Is It Okay To Lay Tiles Directly On Concrete?

Of course, you can do that! Multiple users usually lay tiles directly on the concrete. But there might be the slightest inconvenience with the shifting, bending, or flexing later with the base on which you are installing the tiles.

Whereas a solid foundation of the underlay will avoid such movements, shifting, or bending of the tiles when they are finally placed on your concrete floors.

That is why professional flooring renovation service providers use a solid underlay beneath your tiling slabs so that they cannot move or shift, or flex.

However, if your floor is in good condition, you can put the ceramic tiles directly on your concrete floor. But in the future, there will be a significant risk for your tiles to incur crack marks with time.

That is why putting a foundation layer beneath your flooring tile is always preferred.

How To Prepare Your Concrete Floors For Tile Installation?

It is important to ensure that your existing floor is made of concrete material. Note that only concrete floors are suitable for installing tiles on your floor.

If you have already planned to install tiles on your concrete subfloor, you should first find a spotless tile installation plan. Then only can you expect that the tiles you have installed on your concrete floor will last for a long?

Step-by-step guidelines are explained to ensure that your concrete floor is favorable for implementing tiling.

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Step 1: Collect And Gather All Of Your Supplies First

Before beginning restoration work, it is important to gather and collect all those things that you will be needed for filling the underlayment beneath your tiling slabs. That includes the following materials.

  1. A premium quality broom
  2. Concrete sealer
  3. Dustpan
  4. A bucket with a capacity upto 5 gallon
  5. A compound for patching concrete
  6. Trowel
  7. Scrubbing brush
  8. A roller with extended handle
  9. Towels or clothes for sweeping off

These are a few things that you should not overlook before beginning your DIY flooring underlayment restoration process.

It is important to know how to use these materials to implement underlayment beneath your flooring tiles.

Step 2: Sweep The Floor To Make It 100% Dust-Free

It is important to sweep the floor and make it 100% dirt-free. For making the floor dirt-free, you should start the process of sweeping the floor.

If you are looking ahead to sweep the floor, use a broom and a dustpan. It is equally important to ensure that the dust is removed and it is free from dirt and debris.

Once that’s done, you can move on to the next step.

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Step 3: Scrub The Floor If Needed To Make It Clean

Now that you have swept the floor, it is important for you to scrub it as well. Some stains can be too strong and persistent. It is possible to remove those stains with a scrub then; only you can fight those stains and remove them eventually that your broomstick fails to remove anyhow.

Step 4: Rinse The Floor Well

The usage of water comes after removing the dirt and strong stains accumulated on your concrete flooring. Make sure that you are using warm water for rinsing off the dirt accumulated in the warm water.

If you don’t have any access to warm water, cold water is a suitable option too. You can always use cold water to remove the dirt accumulated on your concrete flooring. Once the surface is dried up, you can begin your restoration work.

Step 5: Patch The Cracks, If There’s Any On Your Concrete Floor

It is important to patch the cracks in the concrete flooring after cleaning it. After cleaning your concrete floor, it is necessary to find out the cracks in your concrete flooring.

Once the patches are fixed, then only you can consider that your concrete floor is ready for installing flooring tiles on it.

While filling the cracks or uneven surfaces on your subfloor, it is equally important for you to remove the other dirt compounds from the top surface of your subfloor.

Uneven subfloors are not suitable for tiling your existing flooring. That is when you need to make the surface of your subfloor even. While filing the uneven gaps, look out for the bumps that can break the tiles post-installation on the slightest strike.

That is another reason for which you must not overlook the bumps or shifts while patching the cracks on your concrete floors.

A moisture barrier must be installed to protect your flooring. Later, this will be an uncompromising protective coat for your flooring tiles to fight moisture and dampness. If want to make your tile floors shine then you can read our guide on it.

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Step 6: Inspect The Concrete Subfloor To Fix Any Damage

At times, your concrete floor may have significant damage that flooring renovation experts may have overlooked earlier. Now that you are looking ahead to implementing a DIY strategy for fixing your concrete subfloor, you should take those unnoticed damages carefully.

If needed, fix those damages after running an inspection. It will eventually help you to install flooring tiles on your concrete floor that lasts for a long time.

It is always advisable to use a premium quality underlayment. Premium quality of underlayment ensures the concrete surface of your subfloor sits rigidly on the slabs you have installed. One such tiling quality can withstand minor cracks after a few years.

Step 7: Use The Sealer Coat, If Required

When you are done with all of these, you can seal the concrete floor finally. By sealing the surface of your subfloor, you are assuring a protective layer for preventing the moisture from peeping through your concrete floors, causing damage to your tiling.

The best part is a sealer coat encloses all those gaps on your concrete floor so that the tiles rigidly remain attached to the base of your subfloor surface.

After applying the sealant, use a roller to put a protective layer upon it. It is important to look out for any uneven layers while running the roller on the sealant.

Use the roller to make the uneven layers, even if you find any. When you are done, allow some time for the sealer to dry up completely.

The rigid surface will clutch your flooring tiles or slabs for the next 6-7 years without any dispute when the sealer dries up.

How To Make Your Concrete Floor Waterproof Before Installing Tiles?

It is important to make your concrete flooring waterproof before implementing tiles on it. While waterproofing the concrete, a barrier should be created that repels water and allows the water vapor that’s entrapped to escape.

Waterproof concrete also removes the threat of stains caused due to mildews and mold. However, you can also waterproof the concrete by using concrete sealers.

Before using any sealer, you should consider the type of sealers- the penetrating sealers and film-forming sealers. The film-forming sealers guarantee protection to your flooring with the epoxy or acrylic layer.

The penetrating sealers are meant to check water penetration in your concrete flooring. This particular sealer variety is readily accessible.

The main problem with the film-forming sealer is that it wears after a few years. If you are using it, you might have to apply it multiple times to get the best results.

Whereas, by using the penetrating sealant that comprises substances like siloxanes and silicates, you can always check and control water leakage in your concrete floors.

One of the major disadvantages of the penetrating sealant is they are a bit costly compared to film-forming sealers. However, if you have the budget, choosing a penetrating sealer for sealing your concrete flooring is advisable.

This will be a one-time investment for you. That’s because you may not have to worry about sealing your concrete floors for at least the next 5-6 years.

Keep Reading: Tips To Caulk Between Baseboards & Floorboards

Additional DIY Tip To Follow:

It is important to know that applying a sealer to fresh new concrete is not at all a wise option. That is why wait for a month and a few days and allow some time for the fresh new concrete to settle down.

Then, you might think of applying the sealant for curing the concrete thoroughly. That’s because it needs some time for a sealant to adjust with your concrete flooring.

How To Choose The Right Underlayment While Installing Tiles?

It is important to know the problem that you might face if you are not using the proper underlayment while installing tiles on your concrete subfloor.

That’s why you should look ahead to take care of the underlayment available in different forms. These are some of the underlayment options available for you,


3*5 cement boards belonging to Durock or Fiberock quality applied on wooden subfloor helps you with deflection. Eventually, it makes the floor more rigid and suitable for tile installation.

Uncoupled Membrane

The uncoupled membranes are pretty ideal for isolating the substrate from the tiles. It enables the tiles and substrate to move independently so that the substrate’s movement does not allow the ceramic, porcelain, or stone tile to create a crack formation on the top.

Liquid Applied Membranes

The liquid applied membrane is a good option for peeling/sticking the tiles with the membrane. This is one of the main reasons liquid-applied membranes are pretty popular.

They are less expensive and are always considered a better option for sticking the tiles on your concrete flooring. This particular variety of membrane needs a minimum time of 4-6 hours for drying time before you can finally walk upon it.

To be safe, it is always advisable to use a roller or trowel to prevent crack formation upon it. It’s one of the main reasons for maximum tile installation service seekers to prefer liquid applied membranes on your concrete flooring. At the same time, it is less expensive too.

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Peel And Stick Membrane

The peel and stick membranes are a really good option for preventing cracks on your concrete flooring tiles. You can apply the tile right on top of it.

The lifetime warranty against cracks assured with this particular variety of membrane can be quite a good investment only if it is applied correctly.

According to some of the leading renovation service providers, applying primer before using peel and stick membrane is always recommended for attaching your tiles rigidly with the base of your subfloor surface.

Final Verdict

We hope this detailed guide was helpful on the query “is underlayment required for tile on concrete”. Choosing the right material for applying underlayment beneath your subfloor surface is always important.

Remember that the membrane you are using beneath your tiling slabs plays an important role in clinging the tiles with your concrete subfloor. The slightest mistake while applying the underlay membranes may cost you bitterly in the long run.

However, if you are planning to opt for a DIY method for installing tiles with underlayment on your concrete flooring, always consider some of these guidelines shared above.

It will always enable you to choose an ideal tile underlayment material for ensuring maximum longevity to your concrete flooring.

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