Tile flooring is a job for the homeowner that could save some money by doing a little work themselves. However, hiring a professional to lay your tile may produce the best results for a fair price. Decide whether or not you should handle the tile flooring on your own by judging the extent of the project.
First, the style of tile must be decided on. Various tiles have different installation procedures. Once the choice has been made, the grout for the job is chosen to match. Some will choose a contrasting grout and others will prefer the no line look by matching their grout as close as possible to their tile.
The mortar or thin set used to set tile to a surface is available in two colors a white for lighter jobs and a gray for anything darker. This is due to the possibility of the mud showing through the grout if it’s a little high.
The structural condition of the sub-floor is important for a long lasting durable tile floor. If the sub-floor moves the tile will crack. There are products to lay under tile such as wonder board which is a cement product that is screwed to the floor every 6 inches and thus strengthens the floor. This is recommended for floors with only one layer of plywood.
Once a solid structure has been established, tile can be laid. Firstly, everything should be dry fit. Cut all tiles to fit and lay them out. Using the smallest piece that is large enough to make the tile needed will minimize waste. This can save a trips back and forth to the store.
Grout joint size has been chosen by this time and small tile spacers are inserted between the tiles to keep the lines straight. These spacers come in every size from one sixteenth of an inch to three quarters of an inch. The most popular size is one quarter or three eighths of an inch.
Remove tiles and pile them in a way so they can be put back in the order the floor will be laid. Back out of the room starting at the wall the farthest from the door. The tile can’t be stepped on for twenty-four hours after it’s laid.
Mix the mortar according to the instructions that come with the product. Using the proper notched trowel lay a bed of thin set across the wall one tile deep. Groove the bed and set the tiles. Work out of the room.
Follow the instructions that come with the grout and grout the job to complete the tile flooring project. As you can see, this can be an easy way to save some money on tile flooring, but for the best results on larger projects see your local flooring contractor.