How To Lay Ceramic Tile Step By Step
1. PREPARE THE BASE FLOOR
• Start by removing all wax, grease or oil with a good, environmentally safe chemical or cleaner. Remember that adhesives will not adhere where oil or grease is a part of the base.
• Next, plane down high spots and re-nail any loose boards on wood floors. Any rough spots will gradually show through the floor tiles and may ruin the appearance.
• If the original floor is in poor condition, it may be necessary to cover it with sturdy plywood or un-tempered hardboard.
• When laying a new floor, nail every 10cm along the edge and 10cm apart in all directions. Stagger the panels so you don’t have four corners together. Start in the center of the panel and work toward the edges. Use coated or ring shank nails, and make sure the heads of the nails are even with board level.
2. START FROM THE EXACT CENTER OF THE ROOM
The first run of floor tile should be started from the exact center of the floor, so use these steps to locate the center of the room:
• Locate the exact center on each wall and mark that center spot.
• In rooms with offsets or irregularities, ignore the irregularities in the measuring process.
• Hold a chalk line at the center position on facing walls, as marked and snap it on the floor. The exact center will be marked at the point where the two lines cross.
• To check for accuracy, measure 91cm in one direction and 121cm in the opposite (90°) direction. When measured from true center, the distance from the 91cm marking to the 121cm point will be exactly 152cm. If this is not the case, re-measure and re-chalk each wall to find the true center. This is essential for a quality finish.
3. MAKE A FINAL CHECK WITH LOOSE TILE
• Start at the center point and lay loose tiles along marked lines from center, as shown in. This procedure provides an opportunity to make adjustments if the center is not correctly marked.
• After you have laid a full run of loose tiles along the chalk lines toward each wall, measure the remaining distance between the edge of the last tile and the wall on each run.
• If the distance between the last tile and the wall is less than two inches or more than eight inches, you will end up with an extremely narrow cut of tile.
• To correct, adjust the center line that is parallel to the wall by 11.5cm (half a tile) closer to the wall and remark.
4. PREPARE THE PLAN FOR TILE APPLICATION
• Open all cartons of tiles that are to be used. Conveniently arrange them so you select tiles out of each carton on an alternating basis. This will help to prevent any noticeable colour variation in tiles boxed together.
• Next, study the tile patterns and plan your laying pattern. If the tiles are all one colour, plan the pattern according to the grain.
• You may choose to alternate the run of the patterns (as above), or you may decide to lay patterns in one direction. Whichever pattern you choose, it is critical to plan in advance.
• For tiles of varying colours, plan your design carefully before applying the first tile. This will influence your selection of starting tiles. Samerininc Floor Tilers
5. APPLY THE TILE CEMENT
The next step – now that you have correctly marked the center of the room and selected the tile designs and patterns – is applying the adhesive for the tile. If you are using self-sticking tile, skip this section.
• Read all instructions for the product and follow carefully. Begin by spreading an even coat of adhesive over one-fourth of the floor. Most adhesives are applied with a notched trowel, but some are still applied with a brush or roller.
• In most cases, floor tile cement will dry to the proper consistency in about 15 minutes. However, your exact time may vary depending on humidity, temperature etc in the room where you are applying the tile.
• After about 15 minutes, place your thumb onto the cement. The cement should feel tacky but should not actually stick to your thumb. If it does stick, allow a little longer for proper drying.
• When tacky but not sticky, the cement is ready for the application. Samerininc Floor Tilers
6. LAY THE FLOOR TILES
• Start laying the tile at your markings in the center of the floor. It is important that the first tile is exactly square with the lines. If the first tile is started wrong, all other tiles will also line up incorrectly.
• Be sure each tile is butted firmly against the previous one, leaving no gaps.
• Do not attempt to slide tiles into place. Lay each tile firmly into position on the cement.
• Proceed by laying tiles alternately, according to your plan, toward each wall as illustrated in. This helps to counteract expansion and contraction of the tiles while enhancing the appearance.
• To cut the border tile easily and accurately, place a loose tile squarely over the last field tile in the row. Then take another tile, butt it against the wall and mark, as illustrated. Cut the tile along the marked line using ordinary scissors. In a cold room, you should warm tiles slightly before cutting.
• The cut tile will now fit securely into the border space. Be sure this tile is placed face-up and at right angles to the grain of the tile below it. This ensures the correct pattern when it is laid. Samerininc Floor Tilers Can Help
• When it becomes necessary to fit tiles around pipes or other obstructions, simply cut a paper pattern that fits around such obstructions and trace the
pattern on the tiles. Then cut with ordinary scissors and place around obstruction.
• You may want to consider adding a vinyl cove base of matching or contrasting colour to add to the appearance and to make the floor easier to clean.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not wash your new tile floor for at least one week after installation
TOOL AND MATERIAL CHECKLIST:
√ Chalk Line
√ Mastic Towel
√ Steel Square
√ Ordinary Scissors
√ Tape or Folding Rule
√ Hand Cleaner