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How to Tile a Basement Floor

How to Tile a Basement Floor in 6 Easy Steps

Experimenting with different types of basement floors can help you enhance the appearance of the basement, and what can be more versatile than tiles which are sure to change the mundane look of your basement.
DecorDezine Staff
Last Updated: Mar 9, 2018
One of the major issues that home owners face, when it comes to basements, is flooring. Flooring can play a major role in making your basement attractive. But, using fancy flooring ideas is not the answer, as there are other factors, such as, humidity, water logging, and moisture, that needs to be considered, as basements are built underground. There is one flooring solution to the basement that can serve the dual purpose and that is tiling the basement flooring. Basement tiles are available in wide range of varieties that you can play with, as per your taste and decor choice. Additionally, it also helps you control the humidity and moisture in the basement. And above all, tiling basement is simple, quick, and inexpensive as well! So, if you are tempted enough to have a flashy basement, read this article further.

Tiling a Basement Floor

To make tiling cost-effective you may do it on your own so that you can save money on the labor. But it is advisable to request your friends or family members for assistance so that the task becomes easier. It is also suggested that you start with tiling on the weekends, or during vacations, as it may require you to work for more than one to two days. And also avoid tiling basement floors during rainy season as leakage or water logging may interfere with the process or with the final output. After considering the above precautions, you may proceed with the task.

Step #1: Gather the Tools and Materials
Obviously, you will have to either borrow or buy the tools and materials that you would require to tile the basement floor. It is advisable to gather required tools one day before you start with the task, and check if all of them are functional. Those must needed tools are:
  • Measuring tape
  • Mortar
  • New tiles
  • Chalk line
  • Saw
  • Trowel
  • Spacers
  • Pliers
  • Sealer
  • Safety goggles
  • Hand gloves
  • Cloth and mop
Step #2: Clean and Prepare the Floor for Tiling
First, you have to clean the floor properly if you were not using the basement for a long time. If you already have some old and broken tiles on the floor, you have to remove them completely. If you do not have old tiles and only the concrete flooring, then you have to start preparing the flooring for tiling by removing any protrusions or nails from the flooring and make it even and flat. Then you have to seal the floor and let the seal dry.

Step #3: Take Measurements
Having a complete idea about the length and width of the basement is very essential, as you have to calculate and find the center of the basement. So, with the help of measuring tape, you need to take measurements and note them on the piece of paper. Then you find the center of the basement and mark it with a chalk. Also determine from where you would start the project, that is, from where you would start laying the tiles.

Step #4: Prepare the Mortar Mixture and Apply
Prepare the mortar mixture by mixing mortar and water and make sure there are no clots in it. For exact consistency, you must refer to the manufacturer's guidelines. Once the mixture is ready, start applying it on the flooring using a trowel with the right notch. Generally, a trowel with ¼ inch notch is used for spreading the mortar. But make sure to work on small sections so that the mortar is not dried before you lay the tiles.

Step #5: Laying Tiles
As you keep working on small sections, start with laying tiles on the small areas where mortar has been spread well to make the surface even. Before you place the first tile, apply some mortar on the back of the tile as well, and lay the first tile in the center of the basement flooring. Now, with the help of spacer, place three more tiles next to the first one so that they form a square. You can use ⅛ inch spacers, as they keep an ideal space between two tiles. In similar fashion, you have to complete laying all the tiles. In case of odd tiles cut them in the required shape and size, and lay them using the same process.

Step #6: Apply Grout
After all the tiles are laid properly, you must remove the spacers from the tiles. Then prepare the grout mixture and apply it on the gaps between the tiles using a rubber trowel. You may have to use a particular technique to apply grout so that it gets filled in the gaps properly. Applying grout in a particular angle can serve the purpose and makes the application process faster. Once all the gaps are filled in properly, wait for sometime till the grout set in. Then, with a damp sponge, wipe off the excess grout and let it dry thoroughly. You can apply the sealer on the tiles if you want, but, do it after cleaning the tiles.

You would require around two to three days to tile the basement of an average house. So go ahead, and put your vacation to good use, and enjoy having an attractive basement which will enhance the overall look of your house.
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