Tiling is a beautiful and charismatic way to bring a fresh, modern feel to your bathroom, kitchen, or just about any room you want.
Tiles offer endless creative ways to bring together a room design and provide a durable and easy to maintain surface that can remain cool in the summer and, when combined with underfloor heating, can bring a soft, even heat during the colder months.
Tiles are crafted from various materials with the most common being porcelain or ceramic, as well as marble, slate, quartzite and travertine. Each has its own unique quality which you will want to bear in mind when choosing tile for your next project. For example, ceramic being a softer material, is more susceptible to wear and tear over time, making it great for kitchens and bathroom, but not ideal for commercial use such as a restaurant. In a commercial environment, porcelain will really "shine" due to its density which makes it highly durable.
How do I lay floor tiles?
To start, there are a few things you will need:
Tools and Materials
- Tile spacers
- 5 Gallon Bucket
- Tape measure
- Thinset Mortar
- Tile cutter
- And of course tiles!
Now you can get started.
Step 1) Clean the subfloor thoroughly to make sure it is free of debris that might prevent the tiles from sitting level. You will also want t make sure it is completely dry.
Step 2) Find the center of the room. Measure each wall and find its middle point, then use chalk to mark a line crossing the room to the wall opposite. Place a tile in the center where the lines from each wall intersect and lay a row of tiles along the edge without using mortar, and use tiles spacers to keep an even distance. If the tile that touches the wall is going to be too thin, the center tile can be adjusted to allow the end tiles to be a good width aesthetically.
Step 3) Mix the thin-set mortar in the 5 gallon bucket. When mixing ensure that you are only making the amount that you can comfortably use in 15 minutes which is when the mortar will begin to harden and set.
Step 4) Using the notched trowel, spread the mortar evenly over the application area and firmly press the tiles into place, again using the spacers to keep an even distance. Keep your sponge and bucket of water close by to wipe off any mortar that smears on the top of the tile.
Step 5) As you are laying the tiles continually use your level to check that the surface is smooth and even.
Step 6) The tiles will take 24 hours to completely dry, so avoid walking on the tiles during that period.
Step 7) Once the tiles are dry, the edge tiles can be cut and placed. As you are installing make sure to leave a gap against the wall where the baseboard will go.
Step 8) With all the tiles laid and the mortar dry, grout can now be applied to fill the gaps in the joint.
Step 9) Finally, when the grout has dried, an applicator can be used to apply the sealer to the grout lines. Once hardened, your tiled floor will be complete!
To care for your newly tiled floors there are a few things you will need to do. You'll want to sweep or vacuum at least once a week, grit on the surface can cause scratches and abrasions. You'll also want to mop regularly using hot water and a mild detergent to keep dirt and dust build up to a minimum.
Over time sweeping and mopping will force dirt and grime into the grout. This will cause discolouration and possibly even mold build up, this is when you will need to start scrubbing using grout cleaner and a toothbrush. This is hard work but your efforts will be worth it.
Tiles in your home will create a timeless feel that will not only look great but feel great too. And if done right, your tiles will become a topic of conversation whenever you have friends or family visit.
Tile comes in many shapes and sizes, and can be used for things other than flooring. Today's options in tile ranges from porcelain to ceramic, with many sizes, and color in each. Grout color options, and mosaic tiles make mixing and matching fun.