Installing Ceramic Tile floor?

Ok, I have done just about every renovation you can think of, in fact I built a 19 by 16 foot wood deck on the back of my house last year. I dont need answers of seek a professional. I am just asking for some tips or help for installing ceramic tile. I havent done it before, is it really hard? Or is it no brainer work once you have done it?

9 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    tips I have:

    1. Layout the backerboard and cut in before you mortar it down or nail it down. Mix the mortar very well, it should be at the consistency where you can drop a bit on the floor and it will not be runny.

    2. Before you lay the concrete backer board (hardiboard) down, you need to push mortar into the wood subfloor (if it is wood) with the flat side of the trowel, then, add more mortar and use a 3/8 inch trowel notch to spread the mortar on the floor.

    3. Put the backerboard down, press into the mortar, and put nails every 6-8 inches throughout the board. If you have a pneumatic gun of any type it will suffice. You want to sink the nail heads, but not dimple the backerboard

    4. You want to do the same steps for laying the tile. Map out your flor plan, either in your head and with a tape measure. or actually lay a few rows of tile out. You don"t want to get to a wall and have a 1/4" filler piece all down the wall.

    5. Then push the mortar into the backer board with the flat side of the trowel, before using the notched side.

    6. Start slow and get a row going in each direction to keep the floor square.

    7. You want to put the tile about 1/2" out of where you want them to lay and then push them into the mortar, to fill the crevases on the tile backing.

    8. Use tile spacers, you can get them at any Lowe's, Home Depot, etc. The bigger the tile, usually the bigger the groutline, but it is personal taste.

    9. With smaller tile, you can make an uneven floor look more even. The bigger the tile, the quicker the job will go (common sense).

    10. consistently wipe the excess mortar out of the groutlines as you go, it will make grouting alot easier.

    11. When you get ready to grout, wipe all the tile down with a damp sponge. Get oversized grouting sponges from Lowe's. Let the tile dry for atleast 12 hours, if not more. You can pop up an uneven tile that is not completely dry.

    12. Mix the grout to a consistency that is slightly runnier than the mortar.

    13. Depending on the size of the floor you may want to grout a section at a time.

    14. Try to grout the lines, do not grout the entire floor, and tops of the tile. It makes clean up harder and wastes considerable amounts of grout.

    15. You do not want to wipe all the excess grout off in one washing. Instead, after the grout begins to haze on the tiles, wipe off the majority of the excess grout, but concentrate on making sure the grout lines are even and do not have gaps, this will be your last time to fix them.

    16. When the tile hazes again, wipe with a damp sponge a second time, this time getting more of the face of the tile clean, and making sure the grout is drying nicely.

    17. It hazes again, the third time you wash, be very light with the strokes of the sponge, trying to clean the face of the tile. Just to get rid of the haze.

    18. Let the grout dry over night. The next day you can mop it with a light soap and hot water mix. I suggest using a sponge mop. Let this dry.

    19. The following day, or anytime after, you can seal the grout. BUT, before you seal the grout make sure you got all the haze off the tile. If there is still haze on the tile that will not wash off with soap and water. Mix one gallon of white vinegar with one gallon of hot water, mix and scrub the floor. This should get rid of the remaining haze. Then seal

    I hope this helps, I have done hundreds of tile floors, feel free to email me with any questions.

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  • rob s
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Common sense prevails along w/ some general knowledge. Sounds like you have that.. Go w/ a lot of woodys tips but a few.. # 7 up don t start out a 1/2 in away, you set the tile straight down and set into place w/ a twisting ( slight) motion ( ATC tile guidelines) And # 19.. Sealing (twice) should be done , in most cases 72 hours AFTER the grout is done.. The wiping of the haze should be done w/ a DRY towel , cheesecloth, or a white nylon scrub pad made for this. Cleaning w/ water (NEVER use a soap product) only captures the haze and spreads it more.. Any time a soap is used it will leave a residue that will attract dirt..

    Tip # 20.. Spread grout and wipe off at a 45 degree angle going over the tile.. Going down the lines will pull out the grout.

    Tip # 21,, All cement products should be mixed and let set 5/10 minutes and mixed again.. Never mix grout with a power mixer and paddle ( traps airs and weakens grout) Any questions , email me thru my avatar and check my qualifications there GL

    Source(s): 20 years in flooring as a store owner/ installer
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It's easy enough if you have some common sense, and it helps if the room is square and level.

    If you're going over a concrete floor, make sure it's clean and grease free before you start. If it's a new floor, I would apply a layer of Red Coat. This is a latex product that will prevent the tile from cracking if the concrete cracks. If the floor is not perfectly level, then you will need to apply a leveler in the low spots. Square up the room and find the center. Make your cuts along the outside edges.

    If this is a wood floor, you may need to add a layer of tile board such as Dur-rock to prevent cracking.

    In either case, use a modified latex thinset to set your tiles.

    Grout a small area at a time, maybe 5'x5', then sponge it clean using lots of clean water. If you grout the whole floor at once you'll play hell trying to get it all clean at once.

    Source(s): I'm a builder and was a stone mason and tile setter for 30 yrs +
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  • 1 decade ago

    child play, do a dry run pay attensio to key points in the room, such as doorways and other focal points. you dont want cut tiles ending up there. by laying a dry run it allows to make adjustments to the layout grid. also make yourself a story pole...... layout 4 or 5 tiles on the floor with spacers, make them on a yardstick or piece of wood. helps you check longdistance without laying out all the tile. its no no brainer work, once you have laid at least 20 or 30 floors youll still see ways to improve your layout. a perfect job consists of least amount of cutting line symetry and great grount lines good luck mike

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  • 1 decade ago

    Be sure to lay out a full row and a full column of tile in the center of the space. You want to be sure to shift the tiles so you terminate each column and row with at least a 1/2 tile. Be sure to start in the center of the room. Oh, and get some good knee pads.

    Source(s): Did my whole house. Turn out quite nice.
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  • 1 decade ago

    The main thing is the grout if you do not get it right floor will never look and perform the way it is suppose to. If it is a large room make sure you have help because it is very hard on knees and back if you are having to get up and down all the time.

    Also make sure you at least let it set 24 hours before you walk on it if you don't you will have serious issues.

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  • 1 decade ago

    No brainer. Just make certain you have enough grout under your tile. If you have air pockets, your tile will end up cracking after you are finished. Use spacers between the tiles, don't just eyeball it. I'm not the best person to ask about the laying out of the tiles, because I don't have an 'artistic mind', I think, so check with someone at Home Depot or wherever you are planning to buy your tile. Good Luck and Have Fun!!!

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  • 1 decade ago

    Why don't you practice on making a table top or something before you try a big expensive job like a floor? And by the way, I suggest porcelain over ceramic.

    Source(s): Me. Just a homeowner.
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  • 1 decade ago

    It looks really easy and a friend of ours who is a mechanic (not a carpenter) said it was easy also. I did find online a really good guide to lay one down.

    Hope this helps!

    Source(s): I love HGTV!
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