Do I sand down the sand mortar or what?
June 28, 2005 5:25 PM   Subscribe

After popping off our (hideous) ceramic floor tiles, how do I get the cement mortar down to the level of our concrete floor?

We'll probably just leave it that way for a year or so, until we can afford to install bamboo floors, so we need to get it smooth enough to feel comfortable underfoot.
posted by pomegranate to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
A hoe? An ice chopper? Throw down a carpet for a year?
posted by Ken McE at 7:36 PM on June 28, 2005

Assuming you can stand raising the floor 1/8 inch or so, you might be able to use self-leveling compound to raise the height of the floor to even it out. This would have the added benefit of giving you a level floor for the bamboo floor you plan to lay.
posted by true at 7:42 PM on June 28, 2005

If you want it done quickly and smoothly, rent a concrete floor grinder. Remember to wear a dust mask whenever working around airborne concrete.
posted by pmbuko at 7:44 PM on June 28, 2005

If I get what your asking correctly, you are talking about a grout-like material that is softer than cement that is raised up in lines in between where the tiles were. If that's the case then it will wear down very quickly by walking on it with shoes.

If not, then go with pmbuko.
posted by snsranch at 8:00 PM on June 28, 2005

My husband and I are going to be working on the same project soon and we've done some research. We've decided to use a latex based self-levelling compound to smooth and even out the floor. Talk to someone in the know at your hardware store.

To get big chunks of mortar off the floor there's a metal scraper tool that look's somewhat like a broomstick with the dustpan attached. Maybe you used it while removing the tiles? Otherwise time, muscle and a handheld metal scraper will get you level enough for the compound. If it's real bad, get the concrete floor grinder.

I can't wait till we're done with ours! Previous owners 'divided' the open rooms in our home with different colored and patterned tiles. Yuck.
posted by LadyBonita at 9:49 PM on June 28, 2005

Be warned: I just used the grinder on an outside tile removal project and the dust from the grout was substantial. Unfortunately I don't know of any other method to wear down the really hard stuff.
posted by quadog at 1:07 AM on June 29, 2005

Hello Mefi reader of the future. We did use a grinder, and it was HORRIBLE. It smelled like a dentist's office when they're grinding down bone, and it made more dust than I could have imagined, even with a vaccuum cleaner attached. So we decided to live with it and grind down the grout by walking on it. In the last six months most of the grout has turned to dust. We vaccuum every couple of days and it's been fine.
posted by pomegranate at 11:07 AM on December 6, 2005

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