Laying new ceramic tile can brighten an entire room up and make it look modern and up-to-date. Ceramic tile installation is one of the three most popular do-it-yourself projects according to the folks at Lowe’s. Though not much more difficult than laying carpeting or installing vinyl flooring, there are some techniques and tips you will want to use and abide by when tackling this type of project.
First, let’s talk about how to prepare a room for installing ceramic tile. As with any type of flooring, remove all appliances and furniture from the room. This includes any moldings and fittings that may be in the way.
Door moldings that impede the tile can be cut at the base with a hand saw. Place a section of corrugated cardboard on the tiling surface. This will compensate for mortar thickness. Lay a piece of tile on top of the cardboard. Cut the bottom of the door molding just above the tile.
The most important step in getting your ceramic tile installed correctly is the preparation of the surface. The surface to be tiled must be firm, flat, level and clean. For a wood subfloor check that your floor joists are no more than 16 inches on center. Anything more than this will not provide a stiff surface to tile.
For concrete floors, the surface must be clean and free from waxes, sealers, compounds and other epoxies. For lying on top of an existing ceramic tile floor make sure that the existing tile is well bonded.
Next, plan how you will lay out the tile. A drawing of the area to be tiled will help to determine the proper number of tiles and other materials required. Try to utilize the maximum number of full tiles as possible when laying out your ceramic tile floor. This will help installation go more smoothly. Floors should be tiled from the center of the floor outwards so that any cut tiles will be at the edges of the room.
The adhesive mortar you use for your ceramic tile floor installation is very important. This is what keeps the tiles in place and ensures that they are properly bounded to the subfloor. Always use adhesive or mortar that is suitable for the application according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Mix mortar with an electric drill and mortar to minimize any lumps.
Following these steps before laying your first piece of ceramic tile will ensure a trouble-free installation. In no time at all you will be enjoying your new ceramic tiled floor and be able to join the thousands of others who have discovered how easy it is to do it yourself and save.