Can I skip self-leveling compound and smooth concrete slab with tile mortar?
Hello all. I’m finishing my basement, which has an old concrete slab floor I plan to tile. Slab isn’t in terrible shape, but has a few cracks, dips, high spots–at most there’s 1/2″-1″ variance in floor height over a 10-foot radius.
Most online sources say I should smooth or level the floor with self-leveling compound in advance of the tile. I don’t really care about it being ground level–just want it flat enough the tiles don’t crack.
I’m wondering, can I achieve a smooth enough effect by just applying mortar slightly thicker in the dips, trying to make a flat plane with the tops of the tiles as I go? That is, can I get away with not making the floor perfectly flat before applying mortar and tile?
The tiles I’m going to use are 6″ X 6″, about 3/8″ thick.