How to Install Tile Flooring

Add Durability and Style to Your Home With Tile

A tile floor can add a touch of style to any room. It also makes your floors more durable, easier to clean, and more comfortable to walk on. Best of all, you can even install your tile floor yourself using just a few tools and the advice from your trusted tile experts at European Heritage.

Ready to get started? Here is everything you need to know about installing your own tile flooring.

Tools and Materials

The tools necessary for completing a tile flooring project include:

  • Level
  • Goggles
  • Carpenter's Square
  • Sponge
  • Rubber Grout Float
  • Tape Measure
  • Hammer
  • Notched Trowel or Spreader
  • Buckets
  • Tile Cutter or Tile Saw
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Knee Pads

Your material list should include:

  • Tile
  • Grout
  • Tile Adhesive
  • Silicone Caulk
  • Silicone Grout Sealer
  • Cleaning Cloths

 

Step 1: Prepare the Subfloor

The first thing you need to do is prepare the subfloor for the tile installation by applying an even coating of thinset mortar to its surface. This layer will give the tile adhesive and grout a stronger foundation to adhere to. You should make sure that the subfloor is completely clean, and you should draw a set of reference lines for ensuring the tiles are going to be laid in the right pattern.

After mixing the thinset mortar to the manufacturer’s instructions, you will start at a reference line in the middle of the room and spread the mortar in areas approximately three feet by three feet using the thin side of the trowel. Do not cover the reference line.

Next, go over the mortar using the notched side of the trowel, holding it at a 45-degree angle. Comb the mortar going in one direction for the best result. When the trowel has a build-up of mortar during the combing, remove the mortar and return it to the bucket.

Step 2: Lay the Tiles

As stated, you want to work in small areas at a time because the thinset will dry quickly and the tiles need to be set while it is still wet. Locate the corner of your two reference lines, and lay the first tile so it borders both lines. Press the tile lightly and give the tile a light twist to set it into the mortar.

Place tile spacers along the four edges of the first tile and continue to lay the next tile, following your reference line, in the same manner. Add spacers between each tile laid so the gap will be consistent throughout the installation.

Once you have all of the tiles in a section installed, use the rubber mallet and level to make sure the tiles are level. If any mortar squeezes out from between the tiles, use a damp sponge to remove it before it hardens.

Start the entire process over in another three foot by three foot area. Once the entire floor has been laid, let the thinset mortar dry for at least 24 hours before continuing the project. Nobody should walk on the tiles during this time.

Step 3: Grouting the Tiles

Remove all of the spacers from between the tiles and mix the grout according to the manufacturer’s directions. If you have well water, then you will want to use distilled water for mixing the grout. You will know it’s the right consistency when it is paste-like.

When applying the grout, run it into the joints first using a rubber grout float and then rub the float diagonally across the joints to remove as much excess grout as possible. Once the floor is grouted, let it cure for at least 20 minutes or whatever length of time is recommended by the manufacturer.

Using a clean sponge and a bucket of water, wipe the damp sponge over the tiles in a circular motion to help set the grout below the surface of the tile. Next, use a grout haze remover to clean the dried haze of grout from the surface of the tiles.

Once the grouting is complete, the floor should be kept free of foot traffic for at least 72 hours so the grout has a chance to fully dry. After three weeks, the grout will be cured enough for you to seal the grout joints and you can install any trimming necessary for completing the project.

 

Still Need Help? Ask Your Local Tile Expert at European Heritage

Installing a tile floor isn’t terribly difficult, but we understand that not everyone feels comfortable tackling this type of project without professional advice. At European Heritage, we have tile experts who can help you through every phase of installation, from selecting the right tile to choosing the right grout sealer. Just visit one of our local showrooms or call us today at 020 7381 6063 to schedule a no-obligation consultation with one of our tile experts. We have everything you need to do the job right.

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