Installing tile floors is a relatively simple job that you can often do yourself. The key factors in tile flooring installation are time and patience, but the actual installation can be done in few simple steps.
Some key things to consider before installation include:
- Make sure the subflooring is at least one inch thick, and sound enough to support the weight of a tile floor.
- Repair cracks or holes using self-leveling compound.
- Sand away major bumps in wood subflooring.
- Remove all trim from the walls and clean the subflooring.
- Seal areas that have been subjected to moisture with a waterproof membrane..
Steps to installing tile flooring:
Snap a chalk line along the center of the room that runs perpendicular to the main entrance. Snap another line to mark the center of the room running parallel to the main entrance. Beginning at the intersection of these lines, lay a line of tiles with spacers along the chalk line that runs the length of the room.
Lay a second line of tiles with spacers along the chalk line marking the width of the room. Shift the tiles until you have an equal border on both ends and along the sides of the room. Snap a chalk line to mark this border. The intersection of the border line and the line marking the width of the room will be your starting point.
Remove the tiles and apply tile adhesive using a trowel to an area that is equal to two or three tiles. Gently set the tiles into place. Insert a spacer between each tile as you lay them into the adhesive.
Continue applying a small amount of adhesive and then the tiles working from side to side, and moving backward, toward the main entrance. Remove the spacers before the adhesive has dried. If the spacers are embedded into the adhesive, you may grout over them later.
Repeat this process until the entire floor is tiled and then allow the adhesive to set for at least 24 hours before installing tiles around the border.
To cut the border tiles, lay a tile over the last full tile you laid and place a spaced against the wall. Place a spacer against the wall and set another full tile against the spacer and over the previous loose tile. Mark a line across the second tile that marks the edge of the first tile beneath it.
Cut the tile using a tile cutter, scoring the line you marked only once before cutting. Continue measuring and cutting to fill the border around the flooring, and install with adhesive as you did with the full tiles.
Wait 24 hours before grouting your new floor, and then wait 24 hours before cleaning dried residue with a wet mop.
Leave the grout to cure for at least 10 days, unless otherwise specified on the manufacturer’s label. Do not seal your flooring during this period. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when choosing a silicone sealer to finish your tile floors.