Tiling a Floor
March 30, 2014 Steven Murphy
Easy to Maintain,impervious to moisture,mar-resistant,fireproof,ceramic tile is made from hard fire clay,the substance of the earth itself.Replacing a tile floor is a good deal of work especialy if the old tile has to be removed.Tile floors are usually found in baths and kitchens,the two most used rooms in a home.Planning and schedueling your work is most important to expedite the project and get the room back in service quickly.
Choosing among the amazingly wide variety of tile available is mind boggling in itself.Many factors are to be considered,finish,color,texture,shape,and type.The choices can be determined somewhat by the surroundings and location of the floor,but there is a lot of research to be done,before you start the work.
Glazed tiles are colored on the surface and baked at high heat to bake the color on.Types of surfaces that are available are,satin,high gloss,matte,and dull.Unglazed tiles have pigments or natural colors mixed with the clay,so colors run throughout the thickness of the tiles.
Floor tiles are thicker than wall tiles,for durability and increased weight.Floor tiles come in many shapes and sizes,there are sguare,octagons,hexagons,rectangular,and sizes today can be as big as 24″ or as small as 1″.
If the floor is solid and has the proper underlayment thickness ar least 1″,you can get by with laying luana board screwed down every 8″,over the existing flooring. Screwing the luana board over the existing surface will give the flat smoth even surface you will need for tile.
This method will usually create a surface that is an uneven with the existing rooms.If you don’t mind this,and the floors abute in a doorway into a hardwood floor,use an oak thresh hold moulding.
If the floor needs to be torn out,it’s a lot of work.Cut the old flooring in strips and use a pry bar to get it up.Once the old floor is out screw down the underlayment,which is usually plywood or wonder board in a way to best strengthen the floor ,which is usually the opposite of the floor joice.Leave a 1/8′ gap between sheets and 1/2″ along walls.
After you have your surface ready to go,take a straight edge which is at least 4′ to 6′ in lenght and check for uneven areas,any uneven surfaces will have to fixed by floating mortor into low areas with a straight edge.Tile floors can only tolerate a very slight unevenness,so try your best to make the underlayment a perfectly flat surface.
Lay tiles out or measure to try and get the cut boarder tiles as even as possible around the perimeter.and snap a chalk line down center of room.If you are doing more than one room continue line into other room,that way you’ll have tiles running exact in both rooms.After everything is measured and lines snapped,make a dry run and lay some tiles out,just to make sure your calculations are exact.
You can tack batten boards along the lines to act as a guide for the first rows of tile.Work from the center out to the perimeter cut tiles,in a pyramid pattern,doing areas farthest from the door first.
When mixing mortor,mix a small amount at first,until you get used to the dry time,usually an hour.Use a notched trowel and spread mortor according to manufacturers recommendations.Use plastic spacers to get a grout line of consistent width and keep tiles aligned.Push tiles down with a little hand preasure to embed in the mortor.Remove spacers once they are in place,and keep joints clear of mortor,so you have a clean grout joint.
Once the mortor is dry (setting times are on the bag of mortor),grout can be applied using a rubber-bottom float.Pick a color that will not show dirt.Grout and unglazed tiles can be given added protection with a sealer,again follow the manufactures instructions.
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