DIY Projects – Floor Tile – Part 2: Installing Floor Tile
This is part 2 of our DIY floor install series.
If you need information regarding how to remove old floor tile please refer to our previous blog post here.
Now, we’ve removed our old floor tile, cleaned up our space, and ensured our bare floor is free of any residue or old adhesives from prior installations. Most importantly we must ensure our bare floor is leveled and free of any significant damage or defects that could affect your tile over time and cause cracks or uneven installations.
Before you start, be sure to check the manufacturer recommended specifications on the thinset you use for proper drying time including acceptable ranges of humidity and temperature levels at the time of the application, to avoid any surprises.
Installing your tile can be broken down into 5 relatively straightforward steps. With a little patience and proper planning, installing your tile can easily become a day well spent with fruitful results.
Adhesive – To start, an adhesive of some sort must be applied to your bare floor. Typically thinset mortar is used as it is suitable for most tile installations. A trowel is used to apply and spread the thinset mortar across the area in question. The notches in the trowel are usually the size of the tiles thickness. While “combing” the mortar with these notches they create grooves that help improve overall adhesion.
- Laying Tile – Now that your mortar is even applied and spread across your floor, it’s time to lay down your tile according to the plan you have set in advance. The tile should be laid down gently, and with fingers outstretched, slightly twist the tile as you place it to help further spread the mortar beneath. Be sure to keep a straight edge or a level handy to make sure your keeping an even installation.
- Cutting Tile – Once the larger, main pieces are installed, smaller pieces must be cut to size in order to place around the edges of your room where entire sheets of tile would not fit. A wet saw produces the cleanest cuts, so it is ideal for exposed edges or thicket tiles. For more details on cutting tile be sure to read our recent post on the topic here.
- Drying Time – Depending on the mortar used, drying time may vary. Typically for thinset mortar 24 hours is an ample amount of time.
- Grout – Depending on the type of tile used, you will have a choice between sanded or unsanded grouts. Again, be sure to verify with the manufacturer recommended specifications for your product to ensure proper application. Be sure to choose a color that either blends or coordinates well with the tile being installed.
When all is said and done, take a step back and enjoy your hardwork! Now it’s time to get all your furniture back in place!
Caution: Be sure to check with your county or area of residence to ensure you follow any and all applicable building codes as well as confirm whether or not you will need a permit to make these types of renovations to your home or building and remain in compliance.
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