Top-notch tips for laying floor tiles

Top-notch tips for laying floor tiles

Setting your own floor tiles may save you a lot of money, and it's a job that anybody can do on their own time and budget. While tile is lovely, it is also difficult to work with: Sanding, caulking, and reinforcing the nails are all out of the question. As a result, it is preferable to do the work correctly the first time.


Level it

The majority of the time, while renovating, we utilize floor levelers to flatten the floor rather than to make it level. Make a batch of floor leveler and pour it over any pocks or bellies (which some people refer to as 'bird baths') in your floor that are deeper than a quarter-inch deep. The important thing is to achieve the appropriate viscosity: It is somewhat more viscous than water, but not significantly so. In order for gravity to attract it into a low location, the substance must be fluid enough to flow. Remove any sharp edges with a flat trowel.


Get your hands on the right tools

Kneepads: They're unsightly, almost usually unpleasant, and very heated. They're also a hundred times more comfortable than spending your whole day squatting on your bare knees.

Drill: While in low gear, the speed of a cordless drill is just about the correct pace for mixing mud without whipping it up too much.

Trowels: Use a Hyde Tools margin trowel to create a clean edge. This $9 tool is invaluable for mixing tiny quantities of material, scooping it out of the bucket, and spreading it out on the floor, among other things. Additionally, a 3/8 x 3/8-inch notched trowel should be used. Big format floor tiles, such as a large format trowel, are available. Prepare the floor by screeding a layer over it with a flat-edged trowel before combing it out. When installing plank floor tiles, comb the thinset perpendicular to the length of the floor tiles.

Saw: The only game in town is a high-quality wet cutting tile saw, which is the only game in town. There is no such thing as a waterless one, so put it up indoors where it may get wet and you can clean it up without causing damage to your belongings.


Don't crack up

The floor tiles itself does not move, but the objects in its immediate vicinity do. Basement flooring, walls, and countertops are all susceptible to shifting. Make use of a crack isolation membrane known as Red Gard, which is watertight. RedGard works in a similar way as employing rosin paper beneath a wood floor; it is a 'bond-breaker'. RedGard flexes beneath the tile in the event that it is moved by the slab. It's also waterproof, which helps to keep moisture and humidity from groundwater under control, which is beneficial. It's also a great choice for bathroom and wet service improvements. To apply, just roll the paint on with a paint roller and allow it to dry completely.

Don't crack up

Layout requirements

Unless there are a few exceptions, the initial row of floor tiles should have the same width as the final row, regardless of the size of the room in which they are installed.

The larger the space, the more difficult this is. And the more criteria there are, such as notches around room characteristics, the more time you'll need to think about it and prepare ahead of time, as well. Cast a line with a visible laser, then measure the remainder of the space, make minor modifications, and lastly snap the final layout line in chalk.


Thinset is a mixture of thin and thickening agents.

Thinset should have a consistency similar to peanut butter. Flowing yet still standing up as you comb it with a notched trowel is what you want. The reason for checking the thickness of the thinset is because the floor tiles will be forced into the standing seam of thinset. Essentially, it is the mud that squishes beneath each tile that holds them together to the floor. If you make the mixture overly watery, you run the danger of having to replace a tile in the completed product. Another advantage of a paste-like consistency is the ability to "back-butter" a tile. To compensate for a tile that is setting too low in comparison to its neighbours, back-buttering is the process of applying thinset to the back of the tile and the floor.


Final hacks

Things that move on wheels move more easily. When feasible, construct carts and roll items to save space. They are excellent for blending thinsets.

Make a bridge to prevent yourself from actually tiling oneself into a corner. A carpenter's cart is attached to one end (lock the casters). An unopened bag of thinset may be found on the opposite side of the table. When you run out of space, just call it a day and stroll over the bridge to the other side of the room, where you may complete the remaining tiles the next day.

Grout is the last stage in any tile installation. It is critical to change the water often in order for the grout to adhere properly. Grout cleans better when it is cleaned with clean water. Cloths that are damp, but not soaked, work best.

I'm a huge believer in the importance of having excellent tools. Having a professional floor tiles cutter may make the difference between finishing a tile work quickly and letting it drag on for an eternity on the job site. A skilled floor tiles cutter also helps to decrease waste since they cut tiles in a clean and precise manner.

When at all feasible, I like to use a scoring tile cutter to cut the vast majority of the tiles. It's less time-consuming, less dirty, and clean-up is as easy as brushing off the platform after each use.

I've come across tile that has resisted being cut with my scoring cutter on a few occasions (thick porcelain floor tiles usually fall into this category). I use my wet saw to cut the tiles for this project. It is also possible to use a wet saw to create angled and corner cuts into the tiles. I've been using the same low-cost wet saw for years, but when it finally fails, I'll switch to a more powerful wet saw.

In order to make more accurate complicated cuts or to knock off a little amount of material, I recently began using an angle grinder with a diamond blade. It is more efficient and requires less clean-up than the wet saw when making complicated cuts.

Finally, if you're tiling a shower, you'll almost certainly need to cut a hole in your tiles to accommodate a plumbing pipe or two. I use a drill equipped with a diamond hole saw to do this work.