Monday, February 16, 2015

How to tile a floor

How to tile a floor
In this article we look at how to tile a floor in three easy steps. If you have never tried tiling before and feel a bit daunted by the task, I'm sure by the end of this article you will feel more confident that the process in not only very achievable, but also a lot quicker than you may have previously thought! With the help of high-quality raw materials and modern tools, tiling a floor has become a relatively straightforward DIY task in the home.

Before we get started with our how to tile a floor guide, take a look at the list of tools below and make sure you have access to these, or items that will do a similar job before getting started. We always recommend that you purchase about 10% tiles than what you have estimated you'll need for the job. This will help to keep your project on track regardless of any mistakes or miscalculations. Good tile and flooring specialists will always accept any unused tiles and refund the money.

Another important step to remember before you begin is to makes sure your sub-floor is as clean as possible, removing any dirt and small particles that may cause problem when you come to lay the tiles themselves.

Tools for the job
  • a power drill with a mixing paddle attachment
  • tile adhesive (check with your supplier which is appropriate for your job)
  • safety glasses
  • a mixing bucket
  • dust mask
  • a spirit level
  • a trowel
  • a grout float
  • a grout finishing tool
  • knee pads
  • tile grout
  • a sponge (for cleaning up afterwards)
Step 1 – Apply Adhesive
Without further ado, let's begin finding out how to tile a floor! You should find instructions on the back of your packet of tile adhesive informing you of how much adhesive to mix, and the correct quantities of water. For speed and ease, use a power drill with a mixing paddle attachment to mix the adhesive together. In terms of consistency, the adhesive should be thick enough to slowly fall off an angled trowel after a second or two.

Place a generous amount of adhesive onto your sub-floor, and then using your trowel (be sure to purchase the correct trowel depending on the kind of tiles you will be laying), roughly begin to work the adhesive out from where you placed it. Next when you have an even amount of adhesive spread across the area you are going to begin in (I recommend about a metre squared at a time), begin scraping your trowel through the adhesive, allowing it to create notches to achieve what's known as a ‘solid bed'. The kind of trowel you use will determine the depth and width of these notches, and should complement the type of tile you're laying.

Step 2 – How to Lay Tiles
When you come to laying the tiles, be sure to check each tile carefully for cracks and imperfections before you lay it. With natural tiles such as stone or slate, you'll need to apply a light but thorough ‘butter' to the bottom of the tiles with your tile adhesive, to help to fill in all these cracks and inconsistencies. Lay your tiles carefully; being sure not to damage your back if you're laying heavy tiles. Once in place, apply a bit of pressure to the tile from above and gently move it in place to allow it to really sit in place. It's also important to ensure your tile is flat using a spirit level. If it needs adjustment give it a gently tap with a wooden block or with your spirit level.

Step 3 – How to Apply Tile Grout
Now that all your tiles are in place, you'll need to begin to mix your tile grout. Again, there are many different types of grout available, so be sure to ask advice on what's the most appropriate for your project. Follow the instructions on the back of your packet of tile grout to mix the correct quantities of grout mix and water. It's advisable to mix small amounts as you progress through the room. The consistency we're looking for is a like a smooth porridge.

Begin laying the grout onto the gaps between your tiles using your trowel; then using a grout float, spread the grout into the gaps with the grout float at a 45 degree angle to the floor, ensuring you are getting the grout into the gaps. After you've finished laying the grout, leave it to dry for about 10-15mins until you find the grout feels like a cream cheese consistency. Now, using your sponge, clean the surface of the floor removing any excess grout. Leave the floor for a further 15mins until you begin to see a haze form over the floor as the residual grout dries on top of the tiles. You can now use your grout finishing tool to clean up the joins between the tiles, and after this you can use a professional tile grout remover to thoroughly clean the floor.

Congratulations! You now know how to tile a floor!

DIY Resources:

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My Boat Plans
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Chickens 4 Wealth
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About the Author
Check out Topps Tiles for expert advice on how to tile a floor

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