How to tile a floor
This text guide is designed for the DIY tiling enthusiast and covers the essential things you need to tile a floor.
What tools do you need?
When your tiling a floor you will need to make sure the floor / substrate has a damp course. If the floor does not have a damp course then you will need to use a waterproofing or priming product. These products are designed to prevent any water getting trapped underneath the floor overtime or from water rising from underneath the floor. Another important aspect to consider is the height of your doors, cupboards and other fixtures in the home. Tiles can be quite thick and you may need to consider trimming any existing fixtures.
Tools for tiling a floor
Most tile preparation and adhesive products such as primers, grouts, cleaners and adhesives contain harsh chemicals. Protective gear and caution should always be used when dealing with these products.
How to apply tile adhesive
The first step to applying your tiles to the floor is to mix your adhesive using your power drill and bucket. All adhesive products should have detailed instructions for the method and quantities to be mixed. This usually includes how much water you need to add to your adhesive. Take note of the pot life of the adhesive as well, this is important so you do not mix too much adhesive at once and have it set over time in your bucket.
The type of adhesive you choose to use will depend on the area you are tiling as well as the type of tile you have selected. Please consult a tiler or your tile sales representative for further information and tips. Adhesive bags will commonly have a phone number you can also call to ask specific questions regarding the product.
Before you apply your adhesive to the floor you must ensure that you have marked out your tile lines using a tile marker pen. There are many different techniques to applying adhesive to either your tile or floor to lay your floor tiles. However we recommend applying two tiles worth of adhesive at a time using a notched trowel.
Place a suitable amount of adhesive on the floor using your notched trowel and spread it out thickly to cover the surface area of your tile. Your notched trowel should be placed at a 45 degree angle when applying it to the floor. Use slow movement towards you to spread the adhesive. The notched trowel you have selected will also determine the thickness of your adhesive.
How to apply the tiles
Once the adhesive is applied and has been spread on the floor using your notched trowel then you are ready to applying your tiles. When laying your tile onto the adhesive, grab hold of the middle of the tile on both sides if possible and lay it gently against the adhesive within the boundaries you have marked. Place a little bit of pressure on the tile and wiggle it so that it pushes further into place and to release any trapped air.
To ensure the tile is level, you can use a spirit level and place it on top of the tile or tile levelling clips and wedges after applying a few tiles.
Repeat the process with all tiles. Once two or more tiles are laid, you can start placing the tile spacer or levelling clips between tiles at the top and bottom to create an even space. The tile levelling clips will do both create the space for grout and level the tiles. Make sure you have a bucket of water and sponge nearby, sometimes it can be common for adhesive to get on the top of tiles and you will need to wash it off before it dries.
How to apply grout
Once all the tiles are laid the next part of your DIY tiling project is to apply the grout. The type of adhesive you have used will determine how long you have to wait before grouting or before any foot traffic can go over the laid tiles. The type and colour of the grout will also depend on the tile and size of the grout gap.
Grouting is very simple. Just follow the mixing instructions on the grout bag to make sure you use an appropriate ration and amount of water and grout in a mixing bucket. A good consistency of grout when mixing is similar to that of cream or cream cheese, not too runny and not too thick.
Once your grout has been mixed you can then apply it into the grout joints using a grout float at a 45 degree angle. Remember to clean any excess grout as you go along.
When applying the grout ensure you're pushing the grout float against the grout gaps to ensure all gaps are filled. Be cautious not to make these gaps too thick.
Remember that the above information is general advice only and your specific situation may be different depending on a number of different factors. Nerang Tiles recommends seeking professional advice for your specific situation.