The Trials of Tile Flooring Installation
Ceramic or porcelain tile flooring is very durable and a great investment in your home. Tiles will last forever if they are taken care of, and practically never wear out.
When you are getting ready to install the tile flooring you will need to get the ceramic or porcelain tiles, cement backer board, tile nippers, sponges, tape measure, knee pads, tile cutter or tile saw, grout, square, rubber float, chalk line, lots of water, eye protection, thin set, buckets, hammer, notched trowel, and nails.
You will need to remove all the molding and base boards. Remove any existing floor coverings, carpet, or wooden floors. Clean the sub floor making sure it is free of dust and debris.
Make sure the floor is sturdy and stable. Install cement backer board onto the stabilized floor and at every floor joist screw the backer board in with 2 inch galvanized screws. The old flooring will need to be disposed of, and most garbage services do not pick up such items. The old flooring will need to be take to the garbage dump. Most dumps charge a fee for the use of their services, so make sure to make the trip worthwhile.
If a certified installer had been hired, they would have removed all of the trim, flooring, and done the clean up. They would also have disposed of the old flooring and any other debris, saving the resident the dump fee.
Use a chalk line to mark two lines that intersect in the middle of the area. Make sure that the lines are square to each other (90 degrees). Lay a row of tiles along both lines on the dry floor. Put spacers between the tiles, leaving enough room for the grout. Look at how the tiles are arranged; you want as many whole tiles in the center as possible. Fiddle with the tile until you are happy with the way they are positioned.
Use thin set to hold your tiles in place. Use a notched trowel to spread the thin set. Spread the thin set only to as far as you can comfortably reach and lay a tile.
Install your tiles into the inset with a firm downward pressure. Remember to put spacers between the tiles. You can tap the tile on the corners gently to make sure that it is in place. Start at the center and work out to the walls. The cut tiles and boarder tiles are installed last. Use a tile cutter or tile saw to cut the tiles to the correct size. Leave the tile so set up in the thin set over night.
After the tile has set for a full day, it is time to grout the tile. Using the trowel you will slide across the blob of grout that you have on the floor going right, left, up and down with in an arm's reach, leaving little if any grout on top of the tile.
You will need to have someone washing the grouted tiles with a damp towel to get the excess grout off of the tile before the grout dries and sets. This can take several washings with the same towel, which is rinsed out in water several times before moving to the next area. Make sure that the towels are rung out well and not dripping wet, as this can make the grout not set up properly.
Do not walk on the new grouted floor for at least one day. When the grout has set up for at least a day, you can wash it again with fresh towel and clean water.
Many professional installers are able to get you tile at a great discount, especially when they are installing the tile floor. Quite often they do the installation, clean up, and removal of all the old flooring and debris for a discounted price. If the floor is installed by a professional installer, they will warrant the tile and work that they have done. It usually takes the contractor 2 to 3 days to do a tile floor installation. This is generally a one or two year warranty.
The molding and baseboards can be reinstalled. Many folks go with new molding and baseboards after they have put down tile.
Remember that the time that is spent removing the old flooring, installing the subflooring, laying out the tiles, thin setting the tiles, grouting the tiles, and cleaning up the tiles is a several day affair. It would definitely be a 2 weekend project for a do it yourself projects. Most home owners want their time for other things such as being with family and friends.