Tips for Installing Floor Tiles
Are you considering a DIY floor tile installation project? That’s quite possible, provided that you follow all the step-by-step instructions for installing floor tiles as recommended by the experts. Laying floor tiles isn’t just a skill, but also an art. It’s a task that can be mastered by any homeowner if they give it ample time and do a lot of practice.
If you’re just learning how to go about tile floor installation, start with small jobs such as doing just half the bathroom, the mudroom, and other similar areas. Leave the kitchen for now and until you’re an expert in the job. Here are some tips on how to install floor tiles on your own:
1. Prepare the floor.
The first step to installing tiles is to remove the old floor covering and sweep the entire floor clean. Unless you have a concrete floor installed, you will need a cement board to serve as a backer. It’s possible to install the tiles straight into the concrete floors. However, you have to level the bumps and other problem areas prior to installation.
2. Measure and scale.
Be sure to accurately measure the entire with and length of the room. Find the room’s center and draw a straight line from end to end. Draw another set of lines that are perpendicular to the first ones. Make sure that you’re making squares as you go along. Adjust the lines as needed. If your lines don’t have an angle of 90 degrees, then you’re going to have problems later. Place some tiles without adding cement along the drawn lines to know what size you’re going to need for the ones next to the walls. Adjust the tile layout as necessary.
3. Mix the cement.
When mixing cement, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. You can only work with a cement mixture for a certain period of time. Be sure to mix only the amount that you intend to use. Spread the cement using a notched trowel and try not to touch the lines so you can still tell where each tile should be placed. Spread only a small amount of cement a time and install a tile immediately on top of it.
4. Install the tiles away.
Lay down a row two to three tiles along the grid that you made. Work each tile to settle nicely into the cement to secure it in place. Be sure to check the height so that it’s uniform all across, but more particularly with the adjacent tile. Don’t forget to install the spacers on every corner. Continue with spacers to spread cement and lay tile. Cut to fit some tiles if needed. Let the tiles stand for 24 hours or whatever the manufacturers say it takes for the cement to set. Only after such time, you can remove the spacers and all excess cement.
These are the basic steps in installing tile floors. They’re not that difficult but they do require skills, expertise, and craftsmanship. If you think that tile installation is a little too complicated for you, then it’s best that you hire a floor tiling contractor to help you out.