Learning Tile Installation

Ceramic is one of the most common household materials used on floors, walls and ceilings and a wonderful material to use for many other jobs as well. The colors and styles that are available today make it a very popular choice for many people but one thing to remember is the fact that it can chip and crack if installed improperly. Learning tile installation the right way with these quick and easy ceramic tile installation instructions.

  1. In order to give a somehow accurate estimate of the number of ceramic floor tiles, the amount of thin set, or cement, grout, as well as the tools you will need to purchase (or rent), measure the length and width of the floor area that you plan to tile. Start measuring by finding the center point of floor area you will be working on. You can do this by measuring across the room and marking the center. Do this in opposite direction and mark the center, as well. The intersection of the two lines is the center of the floor you will be tiling over. Run chalk lines over the intersection lines. These chalk lines will help you later with your tile positioning.
  2. Gather the right tools you will be needing for the tiling project. You can buy most of the tools and materials you’ll need at you neighborhood hardware store, or home center. For equipment that might over your budget like tile cutters, try asking your local home center or tool rental yard if they have the tools you need for rental.
  3. If you want to do a clean job of tiling the floor, make sure that the floor you will be installing tiles on is clean. If you’re working on a concrete subfloor, check for cracks and debris. Clean your concrete subfloor first, and repair the cracks. If you see that some of the cracks are too large to repair, replace those floor sections with new concrete. Large cracks (or even smaller ones) widen over time and this will affect your tiles, as well. If you’re working with a plywood subfloor, make sure it is structurally sound and capable of supporting your ceramic tile installation. Your plywood floor has to be at least 1 1/8″ thick, and supported by an equally strong underlayment beneath it. Ceramic tiles are heavy and would need a subfloor that can support their combined weight. Otherwise, they will become dislodged or even break. If you’re working on an existing ceramic tile floor, all you need to do is use a large flat-bladed chisel and a mallet, and just hammer away. Be sure to keep yourself protected — use heavy-duty leather work gloves, safety glasses, and long-sleeved work clothes.
  4. To get a clearer visual of how your tile floor would look like, lay out your ceramic tiles by following the chalk lines you’ve previously made. Start at the center and work you way down to the edges. Start at the center, where your intersecting lines meet and work your way out. You can go creative at this part of the ceramic tile installation instructions and actually see your desired look for real.
  5. Once you’ve positioned the tiles on the floor in the manner that you like, you can now begin tiling. Place the center tile and bond it to your subfloor using a thin set mortar, or a tile adhesive of your choice. It is recommended that you use a notched trowel to apply the mortar to the subfloor, but you may actually use the more common trowel variety that may be suggested by many ceramic tile installation instructions. To secure the ceramic tile in its place, press down while twisting it back and forth till the tile no longer is set. If some of the mortar or adhesive oozes out, use your trowel to scrape off the excess.
  6. Make sure that you allow the tile adhesives to settle overnight. You may also check your thin set mortar or tile adhesive’s ceramic tile installations instructions for the bonding’s setting or hardening time.
  7. Once the tiles have settled, it is time to apply the grout. Tiling grout is a construction material used to connect tiles, fill void and seal in the spaces between tiles. It comes in a wide variety of color tints that may be matched to your desired look, and tile color. Mix the grout according to its package’s ceramic tile installations instructions. Then, using a rubber grout float, work it into the joints. Use your grout float at angle so that you can fill in the joint gap with as much grout as possible.
  8. After laying in the grout in between the gaps between the tiles, use a damp sponge to wipe off the excess grout. Rinse the sponge frequently to get as much of the excess grout off, and keep each tile clean. You have the option of applying a sealant to the grout lines when they dry.

Once you follow these steps, you’ll realize how easy it is to make your dream ceramic tile floor come true! Now, all you have to do is maintain your new ceramic tile floor by keeping it clean and hygienic. And remember: Your new ceramic tile floor will be approximately 1/2 inch; higher, so you might have to adjust your furniture, electric outlets and other fixtures.