Tile is a popular flooring choice for many homeowners because of its durability, beauty, and easy care. Most homeowners can install tile flooring on their own by following a few simple steps.
Prepare the Subfloor
Before you begin the installation process, you will want to prepare the subfloor. Remove any old flooring material and inspect the subfloor for damage. If your floor is concrete, patch any cracks and fill in low spots with a patching compound specifically designed for concrete floors. Wooden surfaces must be dry, rigid, and free from cracks, holes, or other damage. If the subfloor is not level and smooth, your tiles may crack and the grout will not adhere properly. When you install tile flooring in an area that is exposed to water (i.e. bathroom or kitchen), cover the subfloor with a water-resistant backer board. In other areas, use cement backer board to cover the subfloor.
Purchasing the Tile
Measure your floor carefully to ensure you purchase the correct number of tiles. To find the square footage for a room, multiply the width of the room by the length of the room. Rounding up the measurements to the nearest foot will ensure that you purchase the correct number of tiles for the project. Make sure you purchase enough tile to ensure uniformity. You won’t want to have to go back to purchase more. It’s possible that you won’t be able to find the exact same pattern, which will cause the newer tiles to appear slightly different from what you originally installed.
Lay Out Your Tile
It is best to do a dry run to ensure that you have purchased enough tile for the project and to assure that your work will be aesthetically pleasing. Begin in the center of the room and work your way outward to each wall. This ensures that the tiles along each wall will be the same width when you cut tiles to fit to the edge of the walls. Now that you have the tiles set, mark your starting point and remove them. To make the installation process easier, add chalk lines on the floor in a grid pattern parallel to the walls to use as a guide as you lay the tile flooring.
To install tile flooring, you must use an adhesive to adhere the tile to the surface. There are several premixed adhesives to choose from; however, a good thin-set mortar is easy to work with and adheres well to most surfaces. Mix the mortar according to the instructions on the package. To keep the mortar from setting too quickly, mix small amounts every 30 minutes.
Spread a thin layer of mortar on the surface using a notched trowel at a 45-degree angle working in small areas. Lay the tile using the chalk guidelines and press into place. Continue to place tiles using the chalk guidelines, working your way to the door to avoid putting weight on the tiles. Using plastic spacers between tiles when you install tile flooring will keep the joints uniform. Once all of the tiles are laid, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the mortar package to allow the mortar to set before walking on the tiles.
When the tiles are set, cut tiles for the partial border by measuring the distance from the wall to the first full tile. Subtract the width of the grout line from the distance to get the correct measurement for the cut. You can make a straight cut across the length of the tile by using a scoring cutter. Once all of the partial tiles have been placed, allow the tiles to set completely before removing the spacers and applying the grout.
Grouting and Sealing
Mix the grout according to the instructions on the package. Wearing gloves, spread the grout evenly with a rubber float at a 45-degree angle to the joints. Allow the grout to set for a few minutes before removing excess grout with a sponge dipped in clean water. After the grout has hardened, apply a sealant to the grout according to the directions on the bottle.
Are you ready to install tile flooring in your home? Curran Design Center has all of the supplies and materials you need to install tile flooring in any room in your home. Located in Nixa, Missouri, we are a family-owned and operated business dedicated to helping our customers find the perfect flooring product to suit their style and budget. Contact our friendly staff by calling 417-724-1018 or click here for a free consultation.