Laying tiles is a relatively simple, yet challenging, task for DIY homeowners or professionals alike. There are many things you should take into account before attempting to do this job. If you want your tiles to look tidy and last for a long time, without having to replace them, there are several steps you will need to take before you start working. Here are some things you need to consider when preparing yourself for laying bathroom tile flooring.
Tips for Bathroom tile flooring
- Assess your floor
- Plan the layout
- Inspect Your Work
- The Grout
First thing you will need to do is assess your floor and prepare the room. Take the toilet out before starting, so you can work freely around it; use a rag to cover the hole and block harmful sewer gases. You should also pull off the baseboard, since this will result in a neater job.
Secondly, you should plan the layout of your bathroom tile flooring carefully. Find the center of the room and use guide lines. You will use them when you start laying tiles, starting from the middle of the room and working your way out towards the door, so as to not tile yourself in.
Thirdly, cover small portions of the floor at a time with thinset mortar, and lay tiles following your set guides. Separate each tile with spacers before you place the next tile. Once you have laid a few tiles, inspect your work. Check to see if the tiles are neat and straight, as well as making sure they are sticking firmly to the mortar.
Once you have covered the whole floor, wait until the mortar dries up before you apply grout. Only then, remove the spacers and apply the grout, working in a diagonal direction so as to cover all the joints. Once you are done with this, remove the excessive grout from the tiles by using a sponge.
Tips for shower tile installation
- Install the Base First
- Start from the Second Row
- Mix the Mortar
- Use Spacers
- Lay the Bottom Row
- Apply the Grout
- Seal the Floor
When attempting to tile a shower, the first thing you should do is install the base, since the tiles will overlap there. Once you have finished with this task, you should cover the shower base for protection, so you can continue with the walls without ruining your previous work.
You should start the shower tile installation from the second row up. This is done to prevent the tile job to be uneven, because most shower bases will not be completely straight. The bottom row will be the last one you do, since you will need to cut the tiles to make them fit. Attaching a straight board as a starting line will help you keep the tiles leveled and in place.
Next step is mixing the thinset mortar according to the directions provided. Once you have done this, spread the mortar with a trowel, using the notched side to comb over the thinset. You should only cover a small work area at a time; spread the thinset mortar in the area where you would lay two or three tiles to avoid it drying up too quickly.
When you are done, take a tile and press it gently into the thinset, making sure you are lining it up with your guides. Use spacers to separate the space between the tiles, and set the next tile in the row. You should take special considerations when you reach a corner, since you might need to cut the tiles to make them fit. Once you have completed a row, move up to the next one; do this until you reach the top of the wall.
The final step for shower tile installation is laying the bottom row. Remove the support board, then measure and cut the pieces to fit, while taking special care to leave room for expansion. You should wait 24 hours for the thinset mortar to dry up completely. Then, remove the spacers carefully and prepare to grout. You should use a grout recommended for the type of tiles you have installed.
Mix and apply the grout with a rubber float, working it into all the joints. Do this in a diagonal motion, wait 10 minutes, and then wipe away the excess with a wet sponge. Work your way up in small sections until you cover the whole wall. There might haze on the tiles surface once it dries. You can get rid of it by using a haze remover.
After a few days have passed, you should apply grout and silicone sealers to the floor, edges and corner joints.
Working on your bathroom will take a few days of dedicated work and planning, but the end result will last for decades as long as you follow these instructions. When installing tiles in your shower and bathroom tile flooring, attention to detail is key.