Tile floors are beautiful, and it’s possible for any homeowner to lay new tiles without professional help. If you want the best results, however, be sure to follow these tiling tips to ensure your new floor isn’t rough around the edges.
- Tip 1: Gather Supplies
Before laying any tiles, make sure you have all the supplies you need. Adhesive and grout dry quickly, so if you’re scampering to find the tools you need to finish the job, you may end up with uneven tiles. You also don’t want to walk across tiles that haven’t had time to set to find tools that you left across the room.
- Tip 2: Use a Level
Uneven tile floors are not attractive. The tiles are also more likely to pop up over time. To prevent this from happening, make sure you always use a spirit level. You can check the level of each tile before moving to the next one. If the adhesive is still wet, it’s easy to adjust and correct uneven tiles.
- Tip 3: Prepare the Floor
Never try to lay tiles on a floor that hasn’t been properly prepared. If dirt and grime remain on the floor, the tiles may not adhere correctly. Always clean the concrete beforehand. Wood flooring should be strengthened with concrete boards. If you plan on tiling on top of vinyl, be sure to prime it with an acrylic primer.
- Tip 4: Start in the Centre
Never try to begin tiling at the corner of a room. Instead, be sure to place the first tile in the center. This will ensure that any cut tiles are hidden in corners and edges. It’s best to finish tiling by an exit so that you don’t have to walk across your work once you’re finished for the day.
- Tip 5: Use Spacers
The gap between each tile should be consistent across the room. Place spacers between each tile. For small tiles, use a 3mm spacer. Larger tiles look best with 5mm spacers.
- Tip 6: Cut Carefully
With any luck, you’ll need to cut a few of your tiles. Do so using the right tools. A tile cutter is often all that is needed, but some people prefer to use a wet tile saw. Measure and re-measure each tile before making the cut. There’s no going back if you cut a tile to the wrong size.
- Tip 7: Use a Grout Float
Grout needs to be placed in the spaces between each tile. A grout float is the best tool to do this. The rubber surface can be used to push the ground into the gaps until it’s level with the tile. Wipe away any excess grout before it dries.
- Tip 8: Polish the Floor
Once all the tiles are in place and the grout has dried, be sure to polish and clean the floor. Use a rag to remove any dust, dirt, or leftover grout. The completed floor should be polished to a high shine.
Avoid walking across your freshly tiled floor for several days. Any large furniture can be put in place after the tiles have had plenty of time to settle. By following these simple floor tiling tips, your new tile floor is sure to look as if it were professionally installed.