How you tile a floor
Floor tiles are a great option because they are durable and easy to maintain. Since they are also very affordable, tiling your floor is probably one of the most popular home improvement projects.
Tiling a floor is not too difficult compared to tiling a wall, but there are a few pitfalls to avoid.
Before you start
Check the floor surface
Before you start laying the tiles down check the surface of the floor is clean and free from dust or bits of old tile. Sweep or vacuum until you're satisfied it's perfectly clear. The surface should also be flat, if this isn't true try using an underlay adhesive to fill in the gaps.
Mark your tiles
Start by marking a few samples to help give you an idea of how many tiles you need, and where the cuts should be made. This will cover a large portion of the floor so it is a good indication of how much material will be required for this project.
Measure out the perimeter
Measure out the perimeter of the room to determine how many tiles will fit. If you are using standard square tiles, calculate the length of one side and multiply it by two (for two sides) to get your total number of tiles needed. Mark the centre points of the walls in both directions if they aren't obvious.
If you'll be using an irregular shaped room or cut tiles, make sure to measure and mark both inside and outside the walls.
Arrange the marks to identify where cuts will be made and where tile pieces can fit without cutting. The spaces between wall markings indicate straight wall sections while the "X" section marks an area where smaller pieces will be needed because there isn't enough space for larger tiles.
Using a ruler, find the centre of one side of the room and mark it on the floor with a dot or piece of tape. Using this "0" point as a reference, measure from there to each wall marking and make dots along the baseboard level. This line is where you'll start your first row of tile pieces.
Tools you will need include:
Measuring tape, a straight edge or chalk line to mark lines along the floor, spacers to ensure even space between tiles, a saw for cutting tile pieces and a rubber grout float.
To save time you'll want to make as many cuts as possible before setting the first row of tiles. You can use any room-width straight edge (like a piece of moulding) as your saw guide.
Materials you will need include:
Tile pieces, sanded grout (if you want it), tile adhesive and curing compound.
Read the directions on your adhesive to determine how much water or other liquid is required. Mix only as much as needed for one row at a time. Keep any leftover mixed tiles covered with plastic wrap so they won't dry out.
Before beginning to lay the tile, make sure the area is clean and clear of debris. Clean away any dust with a vacuum cleaner. Now fully mix your tiles before beginning.
If you are using tiles that have not been sanded, do so immediately before installation. This will ensure better adhesion between the grout and the tile surface.
Steps to tile a floor
Where do you start when tiling a floor?
You start with a horizontal row of tiles which you hope becomes the starting point for all other rows. This is the only time it's okay to use your foot to press down on a tile while applying grout.
A string line can be very useful when tiling large floor areas. Grout gaps should be no more than 1/8" (3 mm) wide.
For instance, a bathroom floor needs to be waterproofed before you can apply grout. If the tiles are larger than 6 x 6", stagger the seams between rows instead of placing them in direct lines. This will prevent wavy patterns from developing in the finished floor.