Installing Floor Tiles – A Primary Guide

Laying floor tiles is a job for a professional tiler or a very competent DIY enthusiast because it normally requires particular tools and a specific amount of skill to get it looking perfect. Laying a square or rectangular shaped tile could appear relatively easy but the difficulties arise when tiles must be cut (as they always do) and formed around obstacles in the room. Cutting hard tiles such as porcelain floor tiles or some types of natural stone is a job that only professional equipment can do properly. It’s potential to hire the proper equipment but that can be expensive and there is still a risk of ruining expensive porcelain tiles with a bad cut.

If you’re confident enough to put in your floor tiles your self, or whether you will have employed a professional tiler, the most important thing to do first is put together the surface onto which the tiles will be laid.

If the present floor is concrete then the job will be quite straightforward – the mortar could be applied directly to the floor and the tiles laid on top.

If the present floor is wooden then the answer is less easy – cement backer units (CBU) used with a moisture-proof membrane are a sensible choice for a wall tile substrate in wet areas and are often additionally used in order to strengthen a floor and provide a moisture barrier between the tiling and undermendacity wood. But cement backer units will not solely forestall bending of a wooden floor under the load of very heavy floor tiles. For very heavy tiles being put in over a wooden floor a plywood substrate will be needed.

Once the substrate is prepared the area must be measured and the layout in your tile size planned and marked out. A cement based adhesive (thinset mortar) is then utilized in sections to the substrate with a trowel and every floor tile laid on top using the marked guidelines and plastic tile spacers to maintain even gaps between the tiles for the grout. The advantage of a thinset mortar is that it doesn’t dry too quickly so you may shift the tiles slightly to get the proper layout.

As every section of floor tiles is laid the level should be checked with a big spirit level because floors are not often solely flat. Extra mortar can be utilized to even out areas where there’s a slight difference in level.

For hard tiles comparable to porcelain tiles a wet saw with a diamond blade is used to chop them round fixed obstacles corresponding to sanitary ware, pipes and doorways.

As soon as all of the tiles have been laid depart the mortar to dry completely earlier than starting to fill the gaps between them with grout. There are three totally different types of grout available:

Unsanded – for grout joints less than 3mm wide

Sanded – for grout joints with a width of 3mm or more

Epoxy – a waterproof and stain resistant grout for any width of grout joint

Choosing the right type of grout for porcelain floor tiles will give a professional end but will also reduce the quantity of maintenance required, and if it is properly sealed it will final for as long as the porcelain tiles themselves.

Avoid walking on the floor until the grout has completely dried – this can take up to 2 days depending on the thickness of your tiles and on the width of the grout joints.

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