How to Install a Ceramic Tile Floor
Home-improvement pro Scott Branscom shows how to install a ceramic tile floor.
Clean the floor of dust and debris. This ensures the tiled surface will be level.
Check the manufacturer's instructions for tile installation before purchasing or beginning tile installation.
Measure to find the center of the room, and snap two chalk lines that intersect exactly in the center of the floor.
Before starting the project, start with a dry run, laying out the tiles and the spacers. This determines where to start the process and helps determine the width of the grout lines.
Snap an additional chalk line the width of a tile out from each wall. This will help keep the tile placement perfectly straight. Continue laying out tiles and spacers until placement is correct.
Use a self-mix thin-set mortar for the tile installation. Pour just about an entire bag of the dry mixture into a large bucket. Add just enough water to get the dry mixture wet, and begin mixing. Continue to mix until the texture is creamy. Then let the mortar stand for about 10 minutes to get tacky.
When the mortar is ready, begin working on one section of the floor. Spread the mixture on a 2'x2' section of the floor and use a notched trowel to obtain an even layer of mortar. Work in small sections to keep the mortar from drying before the tile is in position.
Put the tiles in place.
When you get to a wall where a standard tile will not fit, mark and make cuts with a standard tile cutter. If you don't use a tile cutter, mark the tiles and have a tile supplier cut them prior to installation.
Continue the process, using the chalk line as a guide and placing spacers between each tile to ensure uniform distance between the tiles. When all the tile work is complete, allow the tiles to dry in place for several days before grouting.
Grout is available in a variety of textures and colors. Pick a color that matches the color of the tile. Use a rubber trowel or float to spread the grout across the tiles at an angle to be certain to get it between each tile.
When the gout is in place, wipe away the excess with a damp sponge or cloth. Repeat this process several times, being careful not to remove the grout lines around the tiles.