The wide variety of attractive colors and designs of ceramic tiles makes them an extremely popular choice among homeowners. They can be used in any part of the house. However, you will find many people wanting to know how to install ceramic floor tiles in a bathroom or in the kitchen. The demand for these tiles in these two areas is very high, mainly because they are easy to clean and are not affected by water. Other advantages include high durability, less maintenance, and easy installation.
Steps to Install
To begin with, measure the size of the room to decide the number of tiles needed for the flooring. Procure tools and materials that you will require for your tiling project. It includes carpenter's square, thinset mortar, grout, tile spacers, trowel, measuring tape, a bucket of water, and a sponge. When you are ready with all these items, proceed with the following instructions.
Step #1: Preparing the floor
The most important aspect of installation is that the tiles have to be installed in a smooth and rigid sub-floor that can provide support. If they are installed in weak and uneven surfaces, cracks may develop very soon. Therefore, it is recommended that a plywood of half inch thickness is installed to make the sub-floor strong and even.
Step #2: Laying ceramic tiles
For this, you have to draw a perpendicular line from the entrance door of the room to the opposite wall using the carpenter's square and chalk. Start laying the tiles vertically along this drawn line. Draw another line perpendicular to the first row of tiles, and continue the process along the horizontal line, till you reach the walls. Then, keep laying the tiles next to each other so that the entire floor is covered.
Step #3: Taking measurements
Cover up the gap between the last row of tiles and the walls. You will notice that these gaps do not accommodate one whole tile. In that case, you will have to measure these gaps near each of the walls.
Step #4: Cutting of the tiles
Once you have all the measurements, cut the tiles with a tile cutter as required to fill up all the remaining gaps. After that, place the tile pieces parallel to each of the walls.
Step #5: Applying thinset mortar
Now, it's time to set the tiles on the floor with thinset mortar. Prepare the thinset mortar according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Use a trowel to apply adhesive or mortar at the back of the tiles. Apply some thinset mortar on the floor as well, and then spread it well before you place the tile over it.
Step #6: Placing the tiles
Start placing tiles from any one corner of the floor, and move towards the entrance. While setting these tiles, make sure you put tile spacers in between each pair so that the gaps between them remain uniform. After application of mortar, press each of the tiles slightly with a block of wood so that they all remain on the same level.
Step #7: Grouting the tiles
Let the adhesive dry up thoroughly overnight. Remove the spacers that lie in between. Mix the grout as per the manufacturer's instructions. Take a generous amount of grout on a grout float, and apply it into the spacing to cover the gaps properly.
Step #8: Sealing the grout
Once the grouting is completely done, wipe off excess grout from the tiles with a damp sponge. Keep the installed tiles untouched for the next one week, and let the grout get cured thoroughly. Finally, seal the grout using a silicone grout sealer. Thus, you can prevent the tiles from water damage and stains.
Following these instructions will make the task of installation easier for you. You may not have to hire a professional, which in turn will save you a lot of money. You might be wondering about how to install ceramic floor tiles on concrete. For this, you can lay the tiles directly on the floor using the same procedure. Remove the holes or defects if any, so as to ensure that the concrete floor is leveled.