How to Install Tile
For tile flooring, you should keep in mind the room layout and its usage before selecting the right type of flooring for that room. Homeowners frequently use tile floors for kitchens and bathrooms. These tiles have many types of stone, ranging from marble to travertine to slate, but they generally fall under the ceramic or porcelain categories. After selecting and purchasing the tiles, the next step is to properly install them into the room of choice.
Before doing any flooring installation on your own, it is always important to check with the manufacturer’s approved guidelines and confirm whether or not the installation is covered by warranty. This will help avoid any disputes related to manufacturer warranties.
To install tile flooring, the workload can be split into 4 phases:
- Planning the Space
- Setting Up the Space
- Spreading Adhesive and Laying Tiles
- Grouting the Joints
Planning and Preparing the Space
For planning, you should know the material of which the existing floor is made. Plywood makes this process easier, but you may alternatively have to remove the base trim and the particleboard typical in flooring. This step is to replace the particleboard with plywood. The tool that will help remove the board is a Skil saw.
After replacing the particleboard, inspect the space to make sure it is attached to the floor joists. The floor is now ready for the leveling compound. You will need backer board made of fiberglass or cement, sized at 3 by 5 feet. This is to prevent the tile from popping off.
At this point, you should have measured the room size and distance of opposing walls. The prior measurements let you know the number of tiles you need. You can also determine the tile sizes and patterns for the space. You should have 15% more tile than the square footage measured, since much of the used tile becomes cutoffs.
The step for planning is confirming that the entire surface is smooth. For best results, use a floor-leveling compound to float out any divots, holes, or differences in subflooring height.
Setting Up the Space
With planning complete, it is time to find the center point of the room. You can do this by measuring each wall to see the respective distances. Make sure to rehearse laying out the tiles starting at the center point. Carefully place tiles in a straight line towards a wall, leaving a small space between the tiles. Repeat this process as many times as necessary, depending on the room layout.
You may have to drill holes in the tiles, as they become necessary, for items such as radiator pipes or bath pipes. Once you’ve rehearsed all the tile placements and finalized measurements, you can now lay the adhesive.
Spreading Adhesive and Laying Tiles
You will have to pick up the rehearsed tiles and set them aside, so you can begin spreading the adhesive. Use a notched trowel and start from the center point and apply it to small sections at a time, following the rehearsed pattern. Spread the adhesive evenly in a raking motion.
Set the first tile with the corner lines made by the center point, without adding any additional pressure or twisting motion. Set the tile spacer and continue this until you are done with all remaining tiles. After the tiles have been set, wait at least one day or overnight, so the adhesive has time to dry. Once you can see that the adhesive is cured, it is time to grout the joints!
Grouting the Joints
Use a rubber float and press grout into the joints to an even level at a diagonal direction. Skim the excess from the tile with the rubber float. Wait a few minutes for the grout to stiffen up in the joints. To work across joints, use a damp sponge and remove haze from the tiles. Continue working through this process for all joints in the remaining quadrants of tiles.
We recommend using caulk for joints at the wall and floor interfaces, since tiles can expand or contract depending on the temperature. The caulk helps buffer the expansion and contractions that happen over time. After grouting, let the whole flooring area cure for about a week before mopping it to remove any leftover haze.
And that’s all it takes! If you still have questions, be sure to call/email the 2nd Street Floors team or contact your local contractor to help throughout the process.
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