Installing a Tile Floor

When installing a tile floor, begin by first removing existing baseboards. Take off any existing tile and strip residue from the floor with an appropriate cleaner. Any remaining texture or embossing should be smoothed out using a product such as Armstrong's S-199 Embossing Leveler.

Before you begin actually installing a tile floor, the center point of your floor must be found. Do this by finding the middle of the two longest facing walls. From that point, use a chalk line to snap a guide indicating the center of your floor.

When installing a tile floor that includes self-adhering tiles, remove the tile backing from the first tile and place it on the center point of your chalk line. With edges flush with chalk line, press the tile firmly into place. Many tiles come with positional arrows on the back of them, so make sure you place the tiles with these arrows all pointing the same direction.

Continue installing a tile floor using the above steps until you reach the edges of your floor.

To make accurate fits using only a portion of a tile, put the tile you're going to cut on the top of the last full tile laid. Put another tile flush against the wall and using a pencil, indicate with a line where these two tiles overlap. Cut the tile to be fitted with a sharp knife, such as a box cutter or tile knife, check it for fit, peel off the backing, and affix it in the space to which it goes.

To make tile fit around pipes or other protruding objects when installing a tile floor, draw a corresponding pattern on a piece of paper or poster board. Cut out the pattern and use it to trace around a tile. Carefully cut out the pattern left on the tile and place it around the protrusion, checking it for fit. Peel off the adhesive backing and press the cut-out tile firmly into place.

Installing a tile floor, especially with self-adhesive products, doesn't take long at all once you've taken the time to plan ahead a little. With forethought and perseverance, you'll have a nice, new floor in only a matter of a few hours.

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