Home Improvement: Installing Floor Tile

Installing floor tiles in the home is a great home improvement project, and one that can offer a significant value to the home. Quality made porcelain and ceramic floor tiles are very attractive, and are nearly impossible to wear out when properly cared for. As an additional bonus, homeowners can perform the job of installing the tiles themselves. Any specialty tools require for the job can be rented at the local home improvement store, with the only additional tools required will be a lot of labor and patience.

Getting Started

To begin with, the homeowner needs to remove the existing flooring which might be carpeting, old tile, linoleum, or hardwood. This begins with removing the baseboards that surround the room that will be tile, along with doorjamb moldings. The substrate, (the floor below the floor covering) needs to be stable and in good shape. The floor tiles are extremely hard and durable, but are extremely brittle they can break easily, if there?s avoid in the substrate below.

If you?re installing the new flooring tile on a wood floor, it needs to be stabilized. This might include the need to nail down the existing plywood, or add glue to the joist below. Once the substrate of the floor is stable it is time to take the next step.

The easiest way to stabilize a plywood floor is to install cement backer board. The manufacture suggests that the homeowner glue the backer board before placing it into its proper position. Then, the backer board should be nailed to the floor joist below using long 2 inch or 2 ? inch galvanized nails.

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The Layout

The layout of the room is critical for proper installation of flooring tile. Be sure to measure the width and length of the room to determine square feet. With a chalk line, intersect two different lines to indicate the center of the room. This will determine the width of the room, while the other determines the length. Make sure the lines are square to each other, and that they form an angle of 90?.

Begin by dry fitting the floor tile. This means laying out a single row of floor tiling along both lines. Add spacers between each floor tile to allow for grout. With the proper layout you can begin permanently setting the tile into place.

Installation

The installation process is easy. Start by mixing thin set mortar to the consistency of peanut butter. Take your notched trowel and spread the newly mixed thin set evenly on the back of a few flooring tile. Take the right amount of time to set the first futile in place and apply a firm amount of downward pressure without pushing out the mortar.

By starting in the middle of the room, and working toward the walls, it will be easier to provide the desired result. You?ll need high quality tile cutters or a rented tile saw to cut pieces to fit along the walls and doorway.

After the mortar has set up by the next morning, it can be walked on to apply the grout.

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