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A tile floor is a great addition to areas of your home that gets a lot of traffic. Tile floors are durable and easy to clean. Follow these steps to install a tile floor in your home.
Use this checklist when you go to the store and purchase your items.
Remove the original flooring material before you install your new tile. The new tile installation is only as good as the underlying floor.
If you have linoleum flooring, you can place underlayment over the top of it.
The pattern options available when laying tile are virtually endless. These are two common basic patterns:
A jack-on-jack pattern is the most common. The pattern consists of tile laid like squares on a checkerboard.
A running bond pattern has offset grout lines for each row.
Either is fairly easy to set, although the running bond pattern is the more difficult of the two.
If you're doing a project, such as a table or countertop, you may want to create a mosaic of small tiles. Applied with artistic skill, tile mosaics can be stunning.
Floor tiles should be centered in the room for the best visual appearance. Keep this in mind when you lay out the floor tile.
Measure and find the center of two opposite walls. Use these points to snap a chalk line across the length of the room in the center of the floor, dividing the room in half. Then snap another chalk line perpendicular to the first so the two lines cross in the center of the room. Check where the lines cross with a carpenter's square to make absolutely sure the center point is square.
Dry-fit a row of tiles down both lines to the width and length of the room. Leave equal spacing for the grout joints. Most floor tiles don't come with spacers like wall tiles do, so you'll need to approximate the appropriate spacing.
If you lay out the tiles in this way, you can get an idea of any adjustments that need to be made to your original reference lines. The goal is to work with as many full tiles as possible. Also, you should end up with at least half-a-tile width in the areas where the tiles meet the walls. A slight adjustment at the center point may save you lots of time and money. Adjust the reference lines as necessary to achieve a layout that satisfies you.
Some ceramic tiles have spacers built into the tile itself.
Begin laying the tile from the center of the floor where your two final reference lines cross. Start by laying a tile at the intersection of the lines, and then use the lines as a guide as you work your way outward toward the walls in each quadrant.
Spread the adhesive with the trowel's notched edge, combing it out in beaded ridges. Spaces between ridges of adhesive should be almost bare.
If you wish, you may insert plastic spacers between the tiles to help maintain straight grout lines if the tiles don't have spacer lugs. Remove these after placing the tile but before they become firmly set in the adhesive.
If adhesive oozes up between the tiles, clean out the excess before it dries. Immediately wipe any adhesive from the face of the tiles with a solvent-soaked sponge or rag. (Check the manufacturer's instructions to determine the appropriate solvent.) Adhesives begin to set firmly in 20 to 30 minutes.
After you've installed several rows of tile, set them into the adhesive with the tile leveler and a mallet.
After laying all the whole tiles that will fit, begin cutting and adhering the tiles to fill around the perimeter of the room.
Nearly every tiling job requires trimming tiles to fit around borders or obstructions, such as window frames, electrical fixtures, pipes, basins, toilets or countertops. Straight cuts are relatively simple. Shaping tiles to fit curves is more difficult and requires practice and patience.
For small jobs, use a glass cutter or a simple tile cutter. Larger projects may warrant using a wet saw. Do-it-yourself wet-saw models are relatively inexpensive (in relation to renting). They make clean cuts with little waste.
Apply even pressure when using tools designed to score, cut and drill tiles. Pressing too hard can cause tiles to crack and break. Drilling tile requires a special bit.
To make cuts at a true right angle, use a combination square as your straightedge when scoring with a glass cutter.
When using a glass cutter or tile cutter, score the tile in one stroke to achieve smooth and even breaks. Repeated scoring will cause the tile to chip or crack.
Jagged Edges: Use tile nippers or pliers to nibble off the uneven edge of a broken tile.
Rough Edges: Use a round file to smooth rough edges of areas that have been nibbled away.
Cut Edges: If a straight-cut edge shows, rub it against a sheet of 80-grit aluminum oxide sandpaper to round and smooth the edge.
Mix the grout to the consistency of a thick paste, and apply it by forcing the grout between tiles with a rubber float held at a 45-degree angle.
Hold the float almost perpendicular to the floor. Wipe away excess grout from the surface of the tiles. Take care to pack all joints. Use a toothbrush to shape the grout.
After 20 minutes, wipe away all excess grout with a damp sponge. Keep your sponge clean by rinsing it often. Follow the grout manufacturer's instructions for curing and cleaning the grout.
After the grout has cured for a week, apply silicone grout sealer with a small paintbrush to help prevent grout discoloration.
*Time and Cost are estimated.