Tiles can provide an attractive decorative surface that is water resistant, tough, long-lasting and easy to clean.
This how to guide will explain how to use floor tiles in your home.
We will look at preparation of the floor, estimating the number of tiles you will need, what tools to use, how to cut around shapes, and finally, the correct techniques for tiling.
Tools and equipment required;
1: Spirit level
2: Felt tip pen or pencil
3: Measuring tape and steel rule
4: Pincers(tile nippers) to remove waste and shaping tiles
5: Combination cutter - OPTIONAL: Electric wet cutter
6: Notched adhesive trowel or spreader
7: Carborundum stone
8: Squeegee and sponge for applying and removing grout
1: Floor tiles
2: Floor tile adhesive (further reading here)
3: Grout (flexible required for wooden floors and underfloor heating)
4: Tile spacers
1: Remove any loose materials from the floor
2: Ensure any un-even floors. All un-even floors need to be self levelled using a product such as the Ardex Floor Level.
New screeds must be at least 4 weeks old. Seal wooden floors with Ardex P51 primer.
3: Wooden floors including chipboard and plywood must be screwed every 250mm along the joists. Be careful of wires and pipes under the floor.
Floor tile layout
1: Arrange tiles so that the cut tiles are around the perimiter of the floor
2: The floor should be centered from left to right and from end to end, so a cross is acchieved. The tiles should be either positioned on the center tile or half way through the center, which ever gives more than half a tile effect.
How to tile
1: A measuring gauge helps initial positioning of tiles. Make one by marking a length of timber in exact tile widths, allowing for the type of tile spacers which you are using.
Use this gauge to lay out the horizontal rows of tiles.
2:Apply the adhesive using a notched trowel over the area of 1 square metre, work from the centre line from one side to the other, a twisting action is required when laying each tile to ensure a solid bed.
3:When less than full tiles are required, mark the position of the cut line with a pencil, cutting is made easier with a cutting machine. (manual or electric)
4:Awkward cuts of L-shapes can be acchieved using an electric tile cutter or tile nippers
5: After 24 hours use a rubber squeegee to fill the joints with grout. Grout is a cement-based material for sealing the gap between tiles.
Other specialist grouts are available, for example, for food preparation areas.
6: Wash the excess grout off using clean water and a tile sponge. A grout finisher with a rounded point smooths the grout into a uniform finish.
When dry, polish the surface with a clean, dry, coarse cloth such as hessian
7: To drill a hole through a tile, place a strip of masking tape over the area. This will avoid a drill-slip.
Mark the position of the hole and then drill using a tungsten carbide-tipped drill bit of the correect size, so that the plug is below the level of the tile in order to avoid damage when tightening the screw.
If you are using porcelain tiles, appropriate drill bits are available from DTW Ceramics UK ltd.
DTW Ceramics UK Ltd., 48 Fitzherbert Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire PO6 1RU Call us on 023 9279 9007