Can you apply ceramic tile directly to basement concrete with use of thin set?
Yes you can Kelly. Use unmodified thinset.
Unmodified is used in applications where there is the inability for the moisture to evaporate through the either the substrate (floor) or the tile above.
Use a white thinset if your grout is a light color and grey if it is dark.
Manufacturers have varying methods for mixing and installing their product. These instructions should be always be carefully followed.
I hate to disagree with you, but I wouldn't take the risk Kelly. If the basment slab cracks or shifts, your ceramic tile floor will break right along with it.
In a previous post you also mentioned installing a vapour barrier over the floor. This a always a good idea for a variety of reasons, least of which is concrete is like a sponge and will absorb any moisture below the slab. If you don't provide some sort of separation, then whatever you have on your floors is going to get damp as well. Extending a vapour barrier into the bathroom means that you won't be able to do a simply mastic application anyway (because it won't bond properly to the vapour barrier). If you're worried about headroom, do yourself a favour and put down a thin cement board (1/4") underlay and apply your tiles over that.
Henderson Brothers Contracting
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