Laying ceramic tiles is a smart way to save money while preserving your flooring. Use these 6 tips to tile your floor properly.
Ready the Floor
Preparing the base floor helps the process go smoothly. Make sure the concrete is both sound and level to ensure you lay the tiles properly. An uneven base floor makes for a messy, poor job when it comes to placing the ceramic tiles.
Use leveling compounds, fiber cement sheeting or underlay to address hollows or deep dips in the floor surface. Don’t be in a hurry to tile after pouring your concrete. Any indication of dampness or moisture in the concrete means you can’t lay the ceramic tiles yet. As a test simply place a rubber mat on the concrete for 8 hours. If you note any condensation on the surface after removing the mat you need to wait to lay tiles. Allow the moisture to evaporate before getting to work.
Properly Lay Out Tiles
Bathrooms give you leeway when laying out tiles. Unsightly cut edges can be obscured by the bath, toilet and vanity unit. Remove all bathroom fixtures if you can before laying the ceramic tiles.
Do your best to line up the tiles in straight rows. This may not be possible if you have an irregularly shaped room, as not all bathrooms are square shaped. Align tiles from the vantage point of someone entering the room. This can give the illusion of straight, aligned floor for visitors.
Write a chalk line through the center of your room. Make the line parallel to any straight wall with no irregular nooks or crannies. Carefully lay your first row of tiles along this chalk line.
Work Off of the Center Line
Lay rows of ceramic tiles one at a time perpendicular to the row of tiles aligned with the chalk line. Work your way to the wall. Allow for spacing between tiles by using plastic tile spacers. Keep the gaps between tiles to a bare minimum for effective placement.
Try to allow for one full tile to be adjacent to the wall by adjusting your initial center line. This is to prevent the need for any difficult to make short cuts near the wall.
Consider using a floor tile cutting tool to effectively cut thick, heavy ceramic tiles. You can save cash and reduce any wasted tiles by investing in a professional tool since you may be cutting tiles to fit edges in the room. Shape a piece of cardboard the same size as your tiles as a template for cutting the ceramic tiles.
Laying Tiles Effectively
Press tiles onto an adhesive compound applied to the floor until the fluid leaks around the edges of the tiles. Wipe away excess and allow to dry. Use a level such as a block of wood to make sure the tiles are flat.
Grout a full day after laying. Spread the mixture between the tiles. Clean excess grout with a damp sponge and seal with a silicon based compound.