From Prep to Grout: The Comprehensive Guide to Tile Installation

Posted on June 07, 2023


Tile floors are durable, hold up against water, and look beautiful. Another advantage of tile floors is that they are easy to install as a DIY project.
Though the whole process of prepping the floors to laying the tiles and grouting may seem like too much, with the right tools and this guide, you can easily tile your floor.
Continue reading to know everything about tile flooring.
How to install beautiful tile floors?
While laying your tile floors is an interesting and satisfying process, remember that it takes patience and time.
Here is a practical guide for you to get started with your tile floor setting:
Step 1: Collect the required material
The first step in installing tile floors is to get your tools and materials in one place. Easily available, you can either purchase or rent these materials. Here’s a list of necessary tools and other things:

  •       Knee pads
  •       Safety glasses
  •       Hand gloves
Materials for cutting and setting the tiles:
  •       Tiles (you should have enough tiles to cover the entire surface of the room including 15% for wastage)
  •       Thin-set mortar
  •       Tile cutter or saw
  •       Notched trowel
  •       Tile spacers
  •       Utility knife
Grouting and giving the final finishing:
  •       Sanded or unsanded grout
  •       Grout sponge
  •       Grout float
  •       Buckets
  •       Acrylic, silicone, sanded or unsanded caulk
Step 2: Prepare the subfloor
Preparation of your subfloor is the most important thing in tile installation. An uneven or dirty floor will not allow the tiles to be set properly. Follow these steps for preparing the subfloor:
  •       Remove the old floor and clean the floor properly of dirt and debris.
  •       Any gaps or holes in the floor must be filled with cement.
  •       Use level pads to make the floor surface even.
  •       Mark 800 mm space from the floor to the tiles and between the level pads and markings on the entire surface.
  •       Wet the floor and let it stay for at least a day. Wet the floor again if it dries out.

Step 3: Firm up the layout
 This is a very important step because once the tile setting process begins, you will not be able to change the layout of the room. For planning the layout, you need to:
  •       Find the room’s center by measuring the lengths of the walls and dividing that in half. Draw a line on the floor as you connect the two center points.
  •       Dry lay the tiles to visualize how they will look. Don’t forget to include the spacers and the design elements of the tiles, especially when you are using uniquely-patterned tiles.
  •       If you are left with half tiles, shift the layout to adjust the tiles. 
  •       Plan the order of the entire room till the end so that there are no excess tiles.
Step 4: Tile installation
This is the most exciting part of the tile-setting project that most people look forward to. However, there are a few more things to do before you start placing the tiles. Let’s get to know these:
  •       Mix the thin-set in the right consistency and quantity. Know the open and cure timings so that you know the exact time frame that you have to work in. This is typically between 30-40 minutes. 
  •       Once the thin-set is ready, you can start applying a thick layer to the underlayment with the trowel. Ensure that it runs in a uniform direction.
Now is the time to start laying the tiles. Set the tiles using even pressure. Make sure that you allow the thin-set to set between the ridges and the valleys. Use spacers to get consistent grout lines throughout the floors.
Next, clean up the excess thin-set from the tiles without allowing it to clump up between the tile edges.
Step 5: Grouting
Grouting is an important step in the process of tile installation, which helps the tiles bond better with the floor while sealing the spaces between them. Here are the steps that you should follow while grouting the tiles:
  •       To begin the process of grouting, remove all the spacers from the tiles.
  •       Apply painter’s tape to the trim and floor space.
  •       Mix grouting according to the manufacturer’s directions.
  •       Spread it with the grout float. Keeping the float at a 45-degree angle will prevent uneven grout lines.
  •       Once the grout is filled, remove the excess bits while going through the joints diagonally.
  •       Remember to wet the grout at least twice daily to allow it to settle properly.
Once this step is over, leave the tiles and grout to rest. Don’t walk over them for at least a day.
Step 5: Sealing the tiles and grout
This is the final process before you get to enjoy your new floors. Sealing the tiles helps in letting them adhere to the floor for a much longer time and also adds to their finish. To do this, you need to use a waterproof paint-on sealant that’s made especially for tile floors.
Once you coat the tiles with it, allow it to dry completely for 24 hours. Try not to wet the tiles for at least a week to let the sealant harden completely.
This guide will help you in getting beautiful brand-new floors. To make the process more seamless and perfect, you can take help from professional tile setters. Connect with top-notch tile setting experts at Just Tile Setters in your area. Download the app or log on to the website for gorgeous new floors today.

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