How to install ceramic tiles on a floor

Installing new tiles in your home can be a very exciting affair, but you have to know the proper way to do it. A small mistake can spoil the whole thing, so it is best to know what you are doing. Here are a few ways to install ceramic tiles on the floor.

  1. Plan the tile layout –Find the center point of the room by measuring the four walls in the room for their midpoints. This will help you to plan the tile layout in the best possible way.
  2. Test your plan – Lay a single half row of tiles in both directions without mortar, starting at the center point and work outwards.Put spacers between the tiles and stop when there is not enough room for a full tile.
  3. Take proper safety measures – wear rubber gloves, eye glasses and knee pads while working to protect yourself from mortar and other stuff.
  4. Mix your thin set – The thin set is used to attach the tile to the floor. Ceramic tiles must always be installed using a polymer modified thin-set to get the best bond between the tile and the floor. Mortars must be allowed to stand for five to 10 minutes after mixing. They cannot be used immediately. For wood subfloors, be sure to moisten the backerboard by misting with a spray bottle filled with water before spreading the thin-set. Spray the backerboard as you work. Don’t mix too much of thin set or it will start to harden before you’ve had a chance to use all of it. Do not add water as this weakens the cement and severely affects the bonding between the tile and the backerboard.
  5. Apply the thin set – Now you need a trowel to apply the thin set.The size of the notch of trowel determines how much thin-set is left on the floor receiving the tile. For larger tiles, larger notch needed. Use your trowel to scoop out a generous amount of mortar from your mix bucket. Starting at the center begin spreading the thin-set with the flat side of the trowel and press it into the backerboard. This will ensure the mortar fully sticks to the backerboard.
  6. Test your mortar and lay the tiles –Once you’ve confirmed you have the right consistency in your mortar, re-lay your first tile, and make sure that it is fully pressed back into the mortar.
  7. Use trowel to comb the thin set – Use a small, thin trowel to remove a small amount around the edges of your tiles as you go because it will be hard to remove once it dries up.
  8. Ensure tiles are level and clean – After installing three or four tiles, and tap lightly with a rubber mallet. This helps to level and press them firmly in the mortar. Then continue spreading mortar and setting additional tiles.Use a damp sponge to clean off any mortar that ends up on top of the tiles.
  9. Select the right cutting tool –A manual cutter is used for small jobs. But for jobs that require cutting a large number of tiles, you will need to rent a wet saw. If you ever do a tiling project with natural stone, always use a wet saw to prevent it from breaking or chipping.
  10. Fill spaces with grout – Grout fills the spaces between the tiles. Before grouting, remove all of your tile spacers. Similar to thin-set, once the cement grout is mixed, let it stand for 10 minutes. Don’t mix too much grout at one time. Mix only a little until you become comfortable with the spreading process. Clean out the excess grout.
  11. Seal the Grout – Sealing your grout is critical to keeping grout lines clean and looking like new. Sealers prevent stains, and keep dirt from growing into the grout.
  12. Cover expansion Gaps – Cover the ¼-inch expansion gap left along the walls. You can do this with either bullnose tile or wood quarter-round moulding.Now the job is complete.

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