Do it yourself!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

How To Install Ceramic Tile

Something to think about before attempting to tile work in your own house is how permanent it will be. It will probably be one of the most visible areas in your house.  So if you haven’t done much in the line of home repair or construction you might want to think twice and hire a professional. If you still feel like you can do it here is an outline of how to go about it.

First you need to decide how you want your room to look. Most stores that sell tile have decorators and designers on staff that will assist you in this area. Your main considerations will be size, make, color and lay of the tile. These are critical questions. You could spend hundreds of dollars and several days labor for a bad job if your not careful.Remember that you will probably have to look at the result of your efforts for a long time to come.
Tools Needed

Steps To Take

  1. Figure How Much Tile You Need. Once you have decided on the tile that you want to use you need to know how much to buy. Measure length x width and add 5%. That will get you very close to what you need. If the room is very unusual try dividing it into square or rectangular sections.
  2. Prep The Floor. Start by taking off the doors and removing all furniture including the toilet. The shoemolding will also have to come up. If your floor has vinyl on it now that is well adhered to the floor you can lay over it by using a thinset with latex added. If there is already tile on the floor it’s almost always best to take it up along with the old thinset. The floor has to be clean and smooth.
  3. Undercut The Door Jambs. With either a jamb saw or a hand saw cut the bottom of the door jambs so that the tile will slide under them
  4. Layout. Decide how you want the tile to look. Usually you can measure off of the longest and most visible wall, find the center of the room pop a line and work off of that line. If your laying the tile on a diagonal start with the tile laying point to point on the center line.
  5. Laying the tile. Mix the thinset so that it’s about like thick mash potatoes. Using the trowel spread enough for a couple of tiles then lay them in place and use the spacers to keep them straight. Continue that method until through.Check the tiles periodically to be sure your using enough thinset. At least 80% of the tile should be covered. Usually a 1/4” trowel is sufficient. Use a larger trowel for larger tiles.
  6. Grouting. Let the tile set for at least 24 hours before grouting. Mix the grout and apply to the joints with a grout float being sure that all of the joints are filled. Let set until firm and then wash. Work the grout to a smooth slightly recessed finish then pick up excess grout haze by rinsing your sponge after each pass. Wait a couple of hours and wash again.

Now your floor should be finished. Put the doors back on, reset the toilet and put the room back together! There are many different sealers available. Just follow the directions carefully.

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