Installing Ceramic Tiles Without Any Drama
July 7, 2017 Steven Murphy
Installing ceramic tiles without any drama is highly important to grasp as a concept when it comes time to lifting up the old carpeting or other floor surface and then laying down quality ceramic tiling. Many people mistakenly think that this is a job only for professionals; though anyone with a good do it yourself work ethic can pull the job off if with just a little prior preparation.
In terms of popularity, ceramic tiles are always near the top of the list when it comes to floor surfaces that bring instant style and class to just about any room environment. They can commonly be found these days in bathrooms, living rooms and dining rooms though there are other rooms where tiles are just as appropriate. Larger sizes of tile can be a bit harder to install, so keep that in mind.
If you are experienced at laying down tile, feel free to go with just about any size. However, if this is your first project, it might be a good idea to go with smaller-size tiles. That’s because larger sizes are a bit more difficult to lay down because they are more susceptible to cracking, especially when they’re not laid down correctly. Take care to check out the floor underneath, especially.
These sub floors or under floors are extremely important to the tile laying process. When these floors are not as flat as they need to be, the tiles will be sitting on a surface that will not be as supportive as it should be. When there are larger tiles — such as those 12 to 18 inches or more square, they’ll flex and eventually crack under the strain of a heavy weight.
The first rule, then, in ceramic tile installation is to always check to make sure that the surface that the tiles will be sitting on is not only on the same plane as the tiles but also that the surface is extremely flat. This means that it needs to be free of any depressions or bumps. It may not need to be perfectly level, but if the floor is bumpy or depressed, trouble is sure to result.
In order to avoid this problem when it comes time to start laying tile onto the underfloor, take a precision straight edge (they can be rented or bought at any home improvement store) made of magnesium or aluminum and place it down on the floor surface. These edges work well and helping to find any floor imperfections such as bumps or depressions.
Once the straight edge is laid down, take your flashlight and aimed at being so that his parallel to the floor and pointing at the straight edge. Look down at the beam path and you should quickly be able to notice any bumps or imperfections under the straight edge. You’ll need to purchase floor leveling compound and then use it to fill in any depressions. Sand or otherwise smooth out any bumps.
When it comes to the tiles themselves, the work might be a bit detailed but it is also easy enough to accomplish if you’re willing to make yourself sit down and go over the actual steps needed to cut them and then place them down onto the floor properly. It’s of extreme importance, though, that you make sure you address the smoothness of the floor underneath before placing any tiles down upon it.