Preparation - testing the substrate

Before starting a tiling job, testing the substrate is crucial in order to avoid claims and to guarantee a long-lasting result. For this purpose, the areas are inspected visually and, if necessary, subjected to a mechanical and chemical test. This includes important steps like measurement of moisture (floor), checking substrate conditions, grinding the surface (CSA) and priming.
Basically, the surface must fulfil the following conditions: it must be sufficiently load-bearing, dry, even and free of dust and grease.

Moisture measurement

Evaluating the residual moisture in the substrate (floor) is in the responsibility of the tiler before starting with any tiling system installation - the CM method is a profen guideline for testing whether the substrate is dry enough and ready for tiling.

Checking substrate conditions

Checking substrate conditions (evenness, rigid, sandy, holes).


Visual inspection

A visual check of the subfloor can provide answers to important questions such as: Are there any visible surface imperfections like cracks, efflorescence,moisture damage or

Scratch test

Using a sharp metal object, e.g. a screwdriver, knife or nail, the surface is scratched crosswise. The deeper the scratch, the lower the strength or bearing capacity of the subfloor

Wetting test

The wetting test provides information on the absorbency of the subfloor. If the water is absorbed and the surface turns dark, it is necessary to apply a special primer for absorbent subfloors.

Adhesive tape test

A strip of adhesive tape is pressed down on an old paint coat. If the coat comes off when removing the tape with a sharp pull, it must be removed and afterwards a strengthening primer must be applied.

Wipe test

A wipe test is performed with the hand or a dry sponge, especially on plaster surfaces. If the hand or the sponge is covered with a chalk layer afetr wiping the wall, the chalking surface must either be consolidated or needs to be replaced completly.


Find out more about the substrate preparation of the floor and walls.