The tiles installation process is a complex medley of style, functionality and precision.
It is not just about aesthetics and design sense, but also about creating a user-focused solution.
So as a result, you will need a coordinated and comprehensive effort. Proper tile laying will enhance the beauty of your house or office almost immediately.
But the buzzword here is proper. In the absence of appropriate finesse in execution, it can mar the look of your room instead of improving it.
Proper attention to preparation, design and layering can bring about a striking finish.
Proper installation also makes the tiles more durable.
The right preparation is crucial for effective tiles installation. This is essentially a step by step process and has to be undertaken systematically.
1) Choosing The Right Tiles
Often choosing the right tile is the most difficult part of the job. It is often very confusing deciding where to start from.
View this article on 25 different tiles materials for flooring and wall.
You may look through a variety of magazines and talk to experts. But all of that can help you only to a certain extent.
- Tiles Size: First of all, think about the tiles size you are deciding on. Typically large floor tiles can make the room appear spacious and well ventilated. Smaller sized tiles are better suited for bathroom, kitchen and other smaller sections of the house.
- Tiles Colour: The colour of the tiles you choose is crucial. Remember to maintain a balance in the overall colour coding. Also, pay attention to the texture of the tile and the area you are installing it.
- Types of Tiles: Different kinds of tiles are better suited in different areas. Be it your home or office; the tiles should sync with rest of the décor.
2) Prepare The Substrate
In very simple words, this refers to preparing the sub-floor before installing the tiles.
- Even Surface: You have to make sure that sub-floor is completely flat. It should be stable, strong and structurally solid.
- Cleaned: The substrate also has to be completely free of grease, oil and any dirt elements that can potentially reduce the impact of the adhesive. Also, remember that you must fill up any type of holes or spots on the surface.
- Functional: For bathroom concrete surfaces, also make sure that you apply a waterproofing membrane. This will ensure that it does not absorb excess water. Moreover, it goes a long way in making the installation significantly more durable.
3) Planning The Tiling Layout
Contrary to popular beliefs, the tiling layout has to begin from the centre of the floor. It is never a good idea to start tiling from the walls.
You must always follow a square pattern starting from the centre. This immediately will alleviate potential alignment mistakes. The wall borders have to be covered last.
This is important because many times, the walls may not be straight. They may not be totally parallel to each other either.
As a result, only when you start from the centre, it can pan out appropriately near the borders.
Sometimes, drawing a layout design can help you better plan the tiling layout a lot more efficiently. You can easily count the number of tiles required and buy accordingly.
You can always buy a few extra but can easily avoid additional cost and potential wastage.
View this article on 10 unique tiles laying patterns.
4) Tiles Measurement, Cutting
Measuring the floor of the tile is another important step to make sure you have a glitch-free tile installation.
Measure the walls or the floors that you are going to tile accurately. Remember proper measurement is often the foundation of quality tiling installation.
Make sure that you always include a few additional inches of grout in your measurement.
If you don’t account for it right at the beginning, your entire plan can fall apart.
The next step is applying the same precision in cutting the tiles.
A common mistake is cutting the tiles too early. The trick is to cut these closer to installation precision and a complete finish.
You also need to check if you have to account for deeper grout space.
Only after taking into consideration all these factors, you must begin cutting. Remember, once you have cut the tile, there is no way to join it back.
This kind of careful analysis and precision cutting will reduce wastage to a large extent. Therefore it also makes the process extremely cost-effective.
5) Tiles Adhesive Preparation, mixing ratio with sand
Mixing the adhesive properly is the next preparatory step in tile installation process.
You have the option of either mixing this adhesive by hand or mechanically. But more than that, you have to choose the right type of adhesive for your tiles.
The ratio of the sand and cement with synthetic adhesive is also crucial. Ultimately, this is what will make sure that the tile installation is sturdy and remains intact for a longer duration of time. Different types of cement will offer you different property.
The material of the substrate you are applying to is also very important. A certain type of adhesive is better suited for a certain kind of tiles.
You have to do this groundwork very carefully. Ultimately that’s what will be the deciding factor.
Once the preparatory jobs are done, it is time for the actual action. The entire installation process incorporates precise coordination and execution of the various elements of tile installation.
This will have to progress in a step by a step fashion for the best results and durable installation.
In this way, you can follow the procedure in a systematic manner. That is often the fine line that distinguishes a great quality installation from a mediocre one.
Moreover, when you pay attention to the individual processes, the finesse in the final outcome enhances the beauty of your walls or floor.
Step 1: Install Cement Board
After the initial preparation, it is important to install a cement board. This serves a dual purpose. On the one hand, it creates a strong base and on the other hand, it provides a suitable platform for installation.
The cement board is also waterproof and reduces chances of water soaking and warping in your property. Less of water will also make the tile installation lot more durable.
When you are arranging the cement boards, carefully plug the joints. This will reduce instances of large cracks and improve the longevity of the structure to a great extent. Understand more about 17 Types Of Concrete Cracks here.
Step 2: Make Sure the Floor is Even
It is important to keep your eye on the floor level and seek uniformity in placement. Once the cement board sits flat, the tiles can also be applied in a more uniform fashion.
You can always adjust the cement boards wherever you notice potential mismatch. You can also strengthen the joints with mesh fibre. This will enhance the overall look of the final product.
This complements the initial preparatory work and improves the efficiency of the installation process as a whole.
Now is the time to lay your tiles finally. Be it on the floor or the walls; this step is extremely beneficial.
Step 3: Draw Reference Lines
Next, it is time to draw certain reference lines. This is very important because more often than not, the walls are not uniform. They are, in fact, far from straight.
With the reference lines, your tile alignment will maintain a straight focus. This process also helps you to highlight the corners and the edges adequately. That means your perfect alignment will also enable perfect cuts for the tiles near the borders.
As the pattern starts unfolding, you can easily get a hang of the overall structure. This will prepare you for the next step, the actual laying of tiles.
Step 4: Dry Fitting Tiles
Dry fitting the tiles is very important before you install these permanently. This will help in resolving potential alignment issues if any.
Especially if you are using a specific pattern or creating a pattern using different tiles, this dry fitting is essential. It gives you a fair idea of how the final pattern will look like.
Also, dry fitting helps you plan the installation at the edges in a smooth way. You can also plan how you want to cut the tiles and fit the edges appropriately. You can go ahead with actual installation after this.
Step 5: Install Tiles
Use a notched trowel to spread the tiles adhesive on the floor, make sure the adhesives are at even height.
It is recommended to work in the smaller area to prevent the tiles adhesive from drying out too fast.
When you lift up the tiles, and you find there are only lines of tiles adhesive sticking on the tiles, this means the tiles adhesives are drying out too fast or the bed is too shallow, you may need to increase the ridges height or working in a smaller area.
Step 6: Tiles Grouting
The next most important step in tile installation is undeniably grouting. Depending on the type of surface and the tile variant, you have to choose sanded or unsanded grout.
You have to also decide on the size of grout that you need. Mix the grout in limited batches.
This will make sure they stick well, and there is limited wastage. It will not dry out either in this way. Remember to always use the grout float. This will help you scrape out the excess from the tile face.
Curing the grout normally takes about 20-25 minutes depending on the weather.
Of course, these steps make the whole process slightly more time taking. But at the same time, the additional time makes the tiles sturdy and robust. This reduces the interim maintenance cost to a large extent. Once the tiles are installed, you can relax for a long time.
Curing Of Tiles
After the tiles are installed, it is time to cure these. The time for curing varies from tile to tile and also the floor condition. In very simple terms, curing means the tile or the floor is set.
The tiles are fixed permanently, and it can be now exposed to daily use. As a result, you have to set aside different time for the tiles to dry and then cure.
The grout is fairly sticky at this phase, and it can be rather simple to remove. You can clean the tiles when the grout completely dries too, but that is time-consuming.
The whole tile installation process is a balance of masonry expertise combined with artistic excellence. You need mathematics like precision in taking the measurements and cutting the tiles.
But after that, it is about unleashing your artistic skills. Systematic step by step execution offers the best results.
In fact, during grouting and careful you have to be cautious as well. Otherwise, you can end up scarring the tiles. Paying heed to expert advice is crucial.
The best way of tiles installation is looking for an experienced tiles installer. Just let us know where you want to install, our team will keep in touch with you.