How To: Helpful Tips While Installing Tile
If you’re about to install tiles in your home, it’s good to know a few important tips. We created a helpful list of to-do’s!
Step 1. Remove all of your tiles from their boxes and arbitrarily mix them together. This will prevent unwanted patterns from slight color variations.
Step 2. Build your design from the center outward. Many people start around the boarder, but run into spacing trouble once they reach the center. Starting from the middle prevents this problem.
Step 3. When applying the mortar, be sure to hold the comb at a 45 degree angle and spread in a straight line. Inconsistent amounts of mortar can lead to uneven flooring. Remove any excess or unwanted mortar before laying your tile.
Step 4. After establishing the center of your floor, it’s time to lay your first tile. For best results, lightly press and twist as you lay it down. This helps to properly set the tile to the mortar.
Step 5. Tile spacers are a must-have when laying tile. These cross shaped plastic guides help insure equal spacing. After laying your first tile, rest the spacers in all four corners and continue this pattern as you work outward.
Step 6. In most cases, tiles will need to be cut once you reach the boarder of a room, or doorway. It’s important to cut about 1/4 inch smaller to allow for mortar and expansion.
Step 7. Time to fill in with the grout! Make sure to follow proper water-to-grout ratios per the manufacturers instructions. The minerals in well water are disruptive to the bonding process. Buy distilled water if necessary. Grout generally takes about 72 hours to dry. It’s very important to avoid heavy traffic during this time.
Step 8. When the time comes to clean your floor, avoid acid or bleach. Cement tiles should only be cleaned with pH-neutral soap and water. Re-sealing your tiles every few years greatly increases their longevity and preserves color.