Tile installation can be tricky, especially the ceramic ones. Most of the ceramic tiles are made from stoneware, earthenware or porcelain, they differ in texture, color and also application. Earthenware ceramic tiles are commonly used for roofing, while porcelain tile is applied in bathroom fittings as well as in making loudspeakers casings. The popular type of ceramic tiles, stoneware is the one preferable for flooring, they can be glazed or painted to meet specific flooring needs.
How do you install ceramic tiles on the floor?
Before jumping into tiling right away, do enough prep work.
1.Check the substrate surface
Inspect the surface where tiling is supposed to be done. Make sure there aren’t rough patches as that can lead to a failed grout, a flexing floor is just as important as the tile itself. If you doing bathroom tile installation on the floor or any surface prone to be wet, you should consider using water-resistant boards, and the boards have to clean and of right dimensions, true to plane.
In case you are tiling walls, the top line has to be level. Measure its height to avoid cutting very thin tiles. Proper layout of the walls is encouraged before any tiling process begins. For a symmetrical ceramic tile installation, establish the center of the substrate to where the tiles will go, then take its dimensions from the sides and draw a pair of perpendicular lines. This should help you lay down tiles in a more evenly manner.
With the floor dimensions and measurements in place, thoroughly mix adhesive with a power stirrer for about one hour, by that time, it should have mixed properly. Right from the chalk lines or stripes you drew on the surface, apply the adhesive in the right angle and place the first tile. Gently press the tile down to make contact with the adhesive material on the substrate and make sure the spaces between the tiles are uniform. Although larger tiles will equally need large spaces between them, insert spacers flat on the surface, and just to confirm the tiles lie flush to each other, use a level. After that is done, leave the tiles to dry. However, the drying time of adhesive will depend on the type of adhesive in use, but it generally takes about 24 hours for the adhesive to completely dry.
4. Cutting the tile
Tiles will need to be sliced so as to fit irregular corners or edges. Measure end-to-end of the tile to allow for allowances in the width of the gap, and subtract the grout gap.
Once the adhesive is completely dry, grout the tiles. But first, you have to mix the grout powder with water or any recommended additive, now you can apply it evenly distributing it into the joints. When there is color variation between the grout and the tiles, it’s advisable you mix it with dye or pigment. Once you finish up with grouting, wipe off the powdery residue with a mild detergent and a sponge.