Ceramic tiles can be incredibly decorative and they’re perfect for jazzing up a hallway, kitchen or bathroom. They’re even better with some underfloor heating. Learn how to lay them with this guide and take a look at this link for tools that’ll help you get the job done.
Getting Started and Prepping the Floor
Remove any doors that are facing inwards, as this will make the job much, much easier. Remember though that tiling the floor might raise the floor level, which could mean that you have to take the door off of the hinges and plane it so that it sits flush with the floor – after all, you don’t want your lovely new floor to all scratched as soon as you lay it.
You’ll need to remove the existing tiles before you can lay the new ones – but it’s quite easy (and fun). Cover your eyes with protective goggles and use a hammer and bolster to chip away at the tiles. Protect furniture by covering with sheeting. Once the tiles have been removed, fill any cracks. Check that the floor is level and if not, use a self-levelling screed. You can tile over tiles, but you’d have to coat with scratch paper and PVA first so that the new tiles can adhere to the old tiles. If you’re tiling over chipboard, cover it with plywood first.
Planning the Layout
Planning the layout really depends on whether or not you want to create a pattern with the tiles. Find the very middle of the room and mark with a chalk cross – use two lengths of string for this. Dry lay a single row of tiles from one corner of this cross, using spaces, along the line and up to the wall. Then lay a second line of tiles, so that there are two lines going to the wall. There will be a thin gap between the tiles and the wall, but this gap should be at least the width of half a tile or more as it’s too difficult to cut tiles any smaller.
Nail temporary battens around the room that you can use as a guide. Two battens should form a right angle and the sides of the battens should touch the edges of the two rows of tiles that you just laid. Dry lay tiles in the battened corner of the room.
Laying the Tiles
Spread waterproof adhesive over an area 4×4 tiles wide using a notched spreader. Lay your first tile using the battens as a guide, starting at the end of the room that’s further away from the door. Use the plastic spacers to mark out the distance between the tiles, using a spirit level to make sure that the floor is flat. If a tile is too high, put a piece of wood on top and then give it a gentle bash with a hammer. If a tile is too low, you can add another layer of adhesive to bring it up. Run a knife around the battens and tiles to remove excess adhesive, then keep going until you’ve laid all of the tiles you can. Leave to dry for 24 hours before removing the spacers and use a “wet” tile cutter to cut tiles for edges and around toilets.
For a clean, smmooth finish, use a grout spread edged with rubber. Ensure that any gaps are filled evenly, then wipe clean using a cloth before the grout dries.
Source: UKTV Home