Updates to your home make it more comfortable while you are living in it and add value in the event that you want to sell or draw equity. You can change the entire look of a room and add durability to your floor with a properly installed tile. Making the remodel decision is easier than actually installing the tile, but following the right steps simplifies the process.
1. Gather your tools- Here are some of the things you will need:
- Wedging tool
- Chalk string
- Tile cutter
- Knee pads
- Measuring tape
- Tile cement
2. Prepare the area- The underlying floor itself will need some work. Remove any old adhesives that may be left from the previous floor. Sealing cracks in concrete may also be necessary. You want your floor to be level all the way across so that your new tile floor will be even and last for years. Also be aware of parts of the room that will require you to cut tiles. Thinking about this during the preparation stage will make the work more efficient during installation.
3. Find the center- The exact center of your floor is where you will begin laying the tile. First, measure the center points of the walls of the room. Then stretch your chalk string from wall to wall, stretched from center point to center point. Now “snap” it down and it will leave chalk lines giving you an accurate center point of the floor.
4. Do a practice run- Lay tiles down without any adhesive. Use your spacers and make sure that you like the look and that the center has actually been found. A dry run is important because of it easy to fix mistakes when you haven’t used an adhesive.
5. Install the tile- Once your floor is prepped, you know where the center is and you have completed your practice run it is time to get started. You will be working on one small section at a time. Space out the section you will be working from (starting from the center of the room of course) and apply your chosen adhesive. Then carefully place tiles in straight lines. Use your spacers to help keep your floor uniform. Work quickly so that the adhesive dries against the back of the tiles, but don’t go so fast that you lay the floor unevenly. The corners of the tiles should be next to each other to obtain the look you want for your finished floor. When laying the tiles, place them in a downward motion in the place you want them to be. Do not slide them or wiggle them into place. Place them gently, apply some pressure to spread the adhesive and move on to the next tile.
6. Lay the grout- After you have installed the individual tiles, you will need to let the adhesive set. Your best bet is to let the tileset for 24 hours before you begin grouting.
- Start by removing the spacers you put down during installation.
- Next vacuum the crevices between the tiles to remove any excess dirt or pieces of flaked adhesive.
- Next, mix your grout according to the instructions.
- Spread the grout evenly over the open portions between the tiles. Make sure you are using enough to completely fill the gaps. Like with the tile installation, work in one section at a time.
- Once you have spread the grout, use a damp sponge or cloth to wipe any grout that may be on the tile itself. Do this right away so that the grout does not have time to dry. You only want grout in between tiles, not on top of them.
- Look over the whole floor when you are done grouting to make sure you have been consistent in all areas. This will be the best time to fix mistakes because once the grout sets it is very difficult to fix mistakes.
Consulting with a professional is a good idea before you begin any home improvement project. We are available to provide tips for projects you decide to undertake yourself. We can also reduce your workload and do the installation for you, ensuring a professional finish.