Floor tiles are becoming an increasingly popular choice for floors over traditional carpets. Opting for floor tiles is not only a cheaper option, but also a cleaner and more hygienic choice for indoor and outdoor use. Tiling can be a simple process, but doing it yourself is not only very satisfying, but also extremely cost-effective. Most people tend to lay tiles themselves, thinking it is a very tedious job for experienced business people, but they are wrong! This can be a simple process, and once you get the hang of it, you’ll want to tile everything inside and outside the house.
Before you start, make sure you’ve completed all the preparations because you don’t want to suddenly show up in the middle of work. This is the list of items you will need, you may already have most of the equipment at home;
Glue or grout
Notched trowel or spreader
A garden hose
Squeegee, cloth bucket and sponge
Be sure to allow plenty of time to complete the work, as it can be frustrating and confusing to start but not finish. Depending on the size of your tile floor/wall space, there should be plenty of time over the weekend to finish a small bathroom or kitchen.
When purchasing tiles, you must order an amount that is about 10% more than the original amount allowed for breakage and cutting. It is always a good idea to buy all the tiles at once as it can be confusing and difficult if you can no longer get the same batch number as the rest of the tiles you have bought. This means that your tiles may not be the exact same texture and color as this will change from time to time with different batch numbers.
When preparing the work, you must ensure that the surface to be tiled is dry, smooth and above all flat.
1: Planning the location of the tiles: Before you start laying the tiles, it is very important to determine the location of the tiles first. After marking the center point of the longest wall, you need to draw a line perpendicular to the mark. The same should be done for the adjacent shorter walls, separating the two lines in the center of the room.
2: Place the tiles: Start laying the floor tiles along two lines to find the best position so that you can calculate how to use as many tiles as possible without cutting them. It’s best to avoid too many cut tiles on the wall that you see when you first walk into the room. A good tip is to try to make sure that the tiles are laid symmetrically around important elements, such as the fireplace.
3: Applying glue and laying tiles: First apply a square meter of glue to one of the corners formed by the chalk line. Gently press the first tile, using the lines as a guide, then follow one of the lines to tile. Add more tiles until the adhesive is covered. Now work outwards from the center of the room, always using the chalk line as a guide. Apply more glue to the floor and lay tiles until you cover half the room with as many whole tiles as possible. Next, start laying tiles on the other half of the room, starting again from the opposite side of the centerline. Then let the glue dry according to the instructions given.
Some good tips: -Use a notched trowel or cloth to spread the adhesive evenly over the floor. -Check your tile description to see if your tiles need spacer seams. Even if they don’t need them, you can choose to use plastic spacers to even out the gaps between the tiles. -Check if the tiles are level by placing a spirit level on the diagonal of the tiles. If there are any unevenness, you can put more glue under the necessary tiles to make it level.
4: Fill the gaps: You have to fill the remaining gaps with cut tiles. Use a tile cutter to cut the tiles to the desired size, but make sure to leave the gap between the tiles needed for the grout before cutting.
5: Sealing (if needed): Depending on whether your tiles are protected with a seal coat according to the manufacturer’s instructions, you may need to seal the tiles yourself, especially with porous natural stone tiles.
6: Grouting: Use a squeegee to press the grout into the tiles and push the squeegee over the opening in two directions to make sure the grout goes into all the openings. After that, use the spreader’s straight edge to make sure the grout line is neat. Before the grout dries, wipe off any excess with a wet sponge and finally polish the tiles with a clean cloth.