Most people consider installing tile floor to be a simple task that includes putting down the adhesive, placing the tile followed by grouting, and sealing. Well, essentially these are the steps but when it comes to implementation, things are not so simple because there are a lot of intricate details that you cannot afford to miss if you want the best results. This is why we suggest you learn the method really well and then do the DIY. This will help you save money without compromising on quality.
In this article, we will cover all of the steps starting from preparing the area, and gathering the right equipment to do the work to the installation process.
So, are you ready to learn? I guess yes, so let us start.
Easy Steps to Install Tile Floor
1. Select the tile and start with the prep work
Tile installation although a fairly easy task needs a bit of preparation. Here’s what you have to do.
- There is a varied range of tiles in the market. So, choose which color, style or pattern you want to go for.
- Inspect the subfloor and fix any cracks, dips, or uneven surfaces you notice. The surface should be cleaned and dried properly before the installation.
- If you have an OSB subfloor or a plywood one, it is advisable that you install a cement backer that is water-resistant as your underlayment. For concrete floors, you do not need a backer board.
- After that, you must measure the entire area that you want to cover and accordingly check whether you have enough tiles to cover it.
- In order to make the small color differences unnoticeable, it is suggested that you mix tiles from various boxes.
- You can do your own research on how to prepare a subfloor to perfect things.
2. Gather all the supplies
Gathering supplies before beginning your DIY project is essential. Here is a list of tools and materials required.
For laying or cutting tile
- Mortar (thin-set)
- Grout mixing grill
- Notched trowel
- Level or 6’ straight edge
- Leveling Spacers
- Tile saw or tile cutter
For grouting and finishing up
- Grout (sanded or unsanded as required)
- Grout sponge
- Grout float
- Caulk (sanded, unsanded, silicone or acrylic as needed)
- For safety
- Safety glasses or goggles
3. Use a layout and test it
It is recommended that you draw a layout of the finished design of your tile on the subfloor before tiling the floor. This will help you determine from where you should start laying the tiles and ensure that the tiles are properly centered on the floor. Remember to make the layout lines square to avoid ending up with odd-shaped tiles on the walls.
Before beginning with the installation, do a dry run with your tiles.
4. Mix mortar and lay the main floor
- As per the instructions given by the manufacturer, mix the mortar. Do not overmix as that will damage the pigment.
- Use a notched trowel to apply the mortar to the floor. In the beginning, it is best to spread whatever is required for 1-2 tiles as it dries quickly. You can increase once you get the hang of it.
- Lay the tile carefully and ensure adhesion by working back and forth. Check each tile with level and make adjustments if required. There should not be gaps in between.
- Tile spacers can be used for the proper alignment of the tiles.
- Use leveling spacers if you are working with larger format tiles.
- Immediately clean up the mortar you see squeezing up. Keep a sponge and bucket full of water close to you all the time.
- Carry the steps until you have completed the full space.
5. Time to cut tile and lay edges
- Wear the goggles before starting. This is very necessary to protect your eyes.
- Use a tile saw or tile cutter to cut the tiles. The straight cuts are the easiest. Take the measurements first and then place them in the cutter to score and snap. Dry fit into the desired spaces and then finish with mortar.
- Curve cuts are a little trickier but you can handle them in a similar manner as well.
6. Get rid of the spacers
After you are done with tile installation, you need to wait for the adhesive mortar to dry. Check the instructions to know how much time is recommended. While waiting for that, you can actually get rid of all the tile spacers. Check the joints and remove any remaining pieces from them. After that, do the cleaning up and prepare to grout.
7. Time to grout
Proper grouting is crucial to get that perfect professional finish. Use grout to fill up the gaps in between the tiles. It, together with the adhesive, is very much essential to hold the tiles in place. Before you begin, choose the color of grout that best suits your purpose.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to mix the grout. For pressing the grout into the seams, use a grout float. Get rid of the excess grout but be careful not to remove them from the seams, otherwise, you will have to re-grout.
- For removing grout, use a sponge and water. Do not apply excessive pressure and let the sponge do its work.
- You need to clean the water and sponge frequently in order to ensure a clean floor.
8. Wait for a few days and then seal
You need to wait for at least a day before you can walk on the grouted tiles. Follow the instructions to know how many days to wait. After that, you can caulk the outer edges of the tiles. Many manufacturers give a caulk that perfectly matches the grout color. The grout needs to “cure” that is get fully dry and set. Here also, follow the recommended curing time and after that, seal using the sealer that is recommended.
The above-mentioned tips will hopefully help you install the tiles properly. But, if you are not that confident with it, feel free to contact the professionals to get the desired outcome.