The Difficulties of Laying Tile Floors


Ceramic or porcelain tile flooring is hard to beat regarding longevity and value. If properly maintained, tiles can last indefinitely without showing any wear.

You’ll need ceramic or porcelain tiles, cement backer board, tile nippers, sponges, tape measure, knee pads, a tile cutter or tile saw, grout, a square, a rubber float, a chalk line, a ton of water, eye protection, thin set, buckets, a hammer, a notched trowel, and nails to install the tile flooring.

All trim and baseboards must be taken down. Take up the carpet or wood flooring if there is any already installed. Make sure the subfloor is clean and clear of clutter.

Verify the floor’s stability and strength. After the subfloor has been stabilized, the cement backer board should be installed and screwed into place using 2-inch galvanized screws at each floor joist. Unfortunately, most disposal providers will not remove the old flooring for you. The outdated floor coverings must be discarded. Making the trip to the dump worthwhile is essential because most of them charge a fee.

A professional installer would have handled the demolition, flooring, and cleanup for you. They would have removed the old flooring and any other rubbish, saving the homeowner money on a trip to the dump.

Create an intersection in the center of the area by drawing two lines with a chalk line. Check that the angles between the lines add up to 90 degrees. Tile the floor along both of the marked lines. Use tile spacers to ensure adequate area for the grout between each tile. Take a good look at the layout of the tiles; ideally, the center should have the most complete tiles. Adjust the tiles’ placement until you’re satisfied with the result.

A thin set is used to secure tiles. Thin-set should be applied with a notched trowel. The thin-set should only be spread as far as a tile can be laid without bending over.

Press down firmly as you lay the tiles into the inset. It’s essential to separate the tiles with spacers. Give the four corners a light tap to ensure the tile is securely fastened. Work your way outward from the center. Tiles that need to be cut and tiles for the border are laid last. Tiles can be cut to size with a tile cutter or tile saw. Let the thin-set dry overnight with the tile in place.

Grouting the tile should be done after it has been set for a full day. Within arm’s length, move the trowel to the right, left, up, and down across the blob of grout on the floor, leaving very little grout on top of the tiles.

Before the grout dries and hardens, you’ll need someone to wipe down the grouted tiles with a moist towel. This often requires multiple rinses of the same towel in water before being used in the following location. Towels should be cleaned thoroughly before use because excess moisture can prevent grout from setting.

Do not walk on the floor for at least 24 hours after it has been grouted. You can repeat the cleaning process with a new towel and clean water once the grout has dried for at least a day.

You may purchase tiles at a significant discount when hiring a professional tile installer. They typically offer bundles that include installing, cleaning, and disposing old flooring and trash. If you hire a professional to lay your floor, they will stand by their work and tile with a warranty. The average tile floor installation takes a contractor around three days to complete. Usually, this warranty lasts for two years.

Trim and baseboards can be put back in place. After tiling a floor, many people update the look with brand-new molding and baseboards.

Remember that tiling a room from start to finish, including demolition of the old floor, subfloor installation, tiling, thin setting, grouting, and final cleanup, might take several days. DIYers would need at least two weekends to complete the project. Most homeowners would rather spend their time socializing or doing something else.

Sears Home Improvements’ Search Marketing Manager is named Shawn Hickman.

Visit the Flooring page on our site for more details on how to install tile flooring.

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