All about tile installation
Tile will bring your home to a new level! First, though, you'll want to learn all about installation. Whether you're planning on handling the job yourself or you're looking to hire professionals, it helps to be prepared and to know what to expect. Read on to learn more!
Before the tile installation
If you are installing your tile yourself, you'll need to do your research. First, determine what to do with your old flooring. You may wish to hire professionals to help you remove and dispose of it as well as move any furniture away from the work area. From that point, you will need to prepare your subfloor and choose the proper grout and mortar. This is an essential step. The manufacturer of your tile should be able to advise you on this.
Since tile installation can be challenging for DIYers, it is recommended to hire professionals. If you do choose to go this route, a pre-installation walk-through with your tile installer will help ensure that you are prepared for the big day. The removal and disposal of old flooring and trim, sub-floor preparation, and door clearance can be addressed during this walk-through.
During the tile installation
Once you have chosen the proper mortar, you'll need to mix it as per your tile manufacturer's recommendations. Using a trowel, you'll need to spread it thinly; you'll then use the notched part of the trowel to "comb" out the mortar to ensure even application.
Once the mortar is spread, you'll start to lay your tile, pressing and twisting each one into the mortar to help it set. Be sure to place tile spaces around the edge of the tiles as you place them. Make sure your work is level and use a rubber mallet to flatten tile down into the mortar as needed. Any extra mortar should then be removed with a damp sponge or cloth. Once the job is finished, you'll need to let the mortar dry for at least 24 hours afterwards.
To apply grout, remove the spacers from each tile and mix the grout as per the manufacturer's instructions. You want a paste-like consistency. You'll then apply it using a rubber grout float, keeping the entire application thin and level. The grout should take about 20 minutes to dry. You can then clean off any excess with a damp sponge. You'll need to stay off of your new tile for at least 72 hours after this point. Then, in another three weeks, you'll need to seal the grout with a grout sealer.
If you've chosen to have professionals install your tile, you can relax while they handle all of the hard work. Simply plan to be home for the duration of the installation and expect some noise. Be prepared to keep children and pets away from the work area.
First, the installer will determine tile layout. Then, using chalk as a guide, your installer will spread mortar while carefully placing the tile. Spacers will then be placed between tiles. After the mortar sets, grout is applied—sometimes, the next day. The installers should be able to keep you informed every step of the way.