People tend to spend hours or days figuring out which kind of tiles are best for their homes.
They quickly realize that they don’t know much about tiles other than their appearance. Whether they prefer utilitarian subway tiles or the mosaic ones.
However, their installation and many of the technical details involved may escape your attention if you’re not familiar with how they work. Read on to find out about tile installation.
Types of Tile Flooring
Depending on your personal preference and the surface, there are several types of tiles. Some are more appropriate for particular surfaces than others.
For example, those with matte finishes are better suited for bathroom floors that experience a lot of water splashing because they minimize the risk of slip injuries. There are ceramic, handpainted, mosaic, brick, and glass tiles.
Where Can Tiles be Installed?
When most people think of tiled floors, they mostly think of bathroom and kitchen floors. However, tiles can be installed just about anywhere.
Whether it’s the laundry room, dining area, pool deck, or hallway walls, tiles can provide a glossy surface in many places in and around the house.
Other than for esthetic purposes, tiles can be useful to combat termite infestation. As such, they can be found in most homes in hot and humid regions where termite infestation is usually a problem.
How to Install Tile Flooring
While you can install tiles by yourself, it’s usually not recommended unless you have significant experience. This is because mistakes can be costly, making you spend more money than you should.
It is advisable to hire an experienced contractor. You can slowly build up your skill level as far as tile installations go before attempting to do it yourself.
The following are some basic steps in tile installation:
- Before installing any tiles, ensure that the subfloor is ready. This means that it has to be clear and free from any protrusions or surface bumps that may hinder the tiles from settling properly. Ensure to remove the baseboard and any other obstructions.
- Measure and cut out an appropriate size of tile membrane. This is the layer that adheres to the subfloor, helping to separate it from the tile. Use thin-set mortar to ensure the tile membrane sticks.
- It’s best to start tile installation from the center of the room. The installer should find this exact point and mark it. This is where tile installation will begin. You move outwards in a spiral fashion, using associated reference lines to ensure a smooth pattern of installation.
- Dry fitting is crucial at this stage. This is the practice of ensuring the tiles are laid out with spacers. This makes it easier to cut them into the appropriate sizes if they don’t fit well before mixing any mortar.
- Mix the mortar and comb it out over the tile membrane. This should be done in the immediate space in which the installer has worked.
- The basic process involves laying the first tile at the center point in the room. The next tile is laid along the reference line, and the next one, and so forth. Each time a tile is laid, add mortar.
- Check the tile for smoothness to ensure they’re all at the same level. Ensure to check that the adhesions are as expected. You can wipe off any excess mortar with a damp cloth.
- Cut the tiles accordingly. This is to ensure the edges fit and to ensure there’s appropriate space for fixtures.
- Using a rubber float, apply some grout and clean the surface. Do this as the installer works the other parts of the floor. Do this quickly before the hardness sets in. The grout should be left in place for 72 hours to fully set in.
- Apply sealant to fixtures and expansion spaces. It is at this point that the baseboards are reinstalled, and then you’re done.
After proper installation, your tiles can last for very many years if cared for properly. Some experts estimate that tiles can last for hundreds of years if given proper attention.
The type of grout you choose to fill up the gaps between tiles is also crucial. Usually, sanded grout is preferred for wider spaces between tiles, while the unsanded type is best suited for tight corners.
Ultimately, tile installation might be hard, but the benefits are worth it.