Leave unfinished subfloor?

Discussion in 'Concrete Floor Finishes' started by elle_12, Oct 5, 2017.

  1. elle_12

    elle_12 Member

    We just bought a house that has a slab foundation with truly horrible tile on top of it. We're talking, two mismatched colors of yellow/red with a jagged line down the middle of the house because they ran out of the first color and had to switch. It's open concept, 700sqft.
    We don't have money this year to put new flooring back in. But I'd really love to rip up the tile and grind down the thinset before we have all our nice furniture moved in.
    So my question is... how horrible will the finished product look if we just leave it for a year? I really don't mind the bare concrete look but I'm aware this won't be as pretty as a professional concrete floor.
    Do I need to do some kind of sealant to protect the concrete? Does anyone have pictures of their concrete after removing tiles/thinset?
  2. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    You can do that, we did for a few years till I stumbled on an agreeable flooring with my wife. If you seal it, then some other type floor glueing down may not stick correctly. Slab will absorb liquids. Not sure what's available to you equipment wise to grind thinset. It's not easy, tiles are sharp and Silica can not be breathed in, otherwise you need respirators and exhaust fans depending on the layout.
  3. elle_12

    elle_12 Member

    I am dreading the thinset grinding- it seems like there's no easy way. Home Depot said they rent a device that should work ok- it's like a floor buffer but with an attachment that has blades on the bottom? I can't really find any posts from people who have tried one. I believe the professional version is called Diamabrush.

    The floors were put down in 2000 immediately after the house was built so I'm a little worried the thinset will be VERY stuck. But the tile is so poorly done and uneven that there's no way we could lay flooring over it, so it'll have to come up at some point. The quotes I was getting to have someone else do it were in the order of $8/sqft.
  4. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    We charge @ 3.00$ ft to remove tile and grind thinset with disposal. Probably 1-2 day job depending on manpower/equip. using the Dustram system. There may or not be a contractor near you. That's about our rate so other areas/accessibility etc can be a factor.

    Home Depot rents chipping hammers and bits, hard bit for tile, then flex blade which rests on slab as it pulverized thinset off. The diamabrush could then smooth things out a bit, I haven't used it but am aware. Here is the surface I like to leave when done.

    Attached Files:

  5. elle_12

    elle_12 Member

    Thank you! That's all super helpful information. Sadly we live in CT so the cost of everything is high and there is no Dustram contractor around.
  6. I would venture that the $8/sf is a "I don't want the job so I will just price myself right out of the running." The $8/sf in some areas would get you an 'entry level' epoxy finish.

    Mike's costs would be middle of the road for most places. Getting a concrete polished up a bit more so that you can live on it might be adding to the cost. The downside I've heard about living on an unfinished/unsealed concrete floor is it is DUSTY. More than you would ever think possible. Lots of area rugs will help but the dust is something that will encourage you to find a floor sooner rather than later.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. SteveG

    SteveG Pro Member

    • Funny Funny x 1
  8. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Just got a request from a customer I did work for in New Symrna about 2 years ago asking if I'd go to Sarasota to work on his brothers place. I referred him to another Dustram contractor in Sarasota. Not too keen on the travel anymore.

    Most of the dustfree guys are along the southern US where tile and slabs are more prevalent.

    Polishing may not work for a tile removal depending on what look a homeowner wants, then it gets into toppings etc which can bring costs up substantially.
  9. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member


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