16 Apr 2013
Tiling your own floors is a rewarding, simple way of updating and adding value to your home without the added expense. However, you’ll need to be patient and methodical to get it right.
TAL shares a step-by-step guide on how to effortlessly lay down floor tiles. Here’s how…
Mark the centre point of the room and transfer these marks to the corresponding walls.
Starting at the centre, place a row of loose tiles along these lines. Your cut tiles should be at least half a tile wide.
Position the straight edges as per step 4 and remember to leave room for tile spacers.
If the cut tiles are too small, move the centre tile so that the middle of the tile aligns with the mark on the floor. Repositioning the tiles will now ensure correct cuts.
Mark the new starting point and transfer these marks to the corresponding walls. Position the straight edges on these marks in both directions.
Start at the centre of the room. Use the appropriate adhesive and with the straight edge of a floor trowel, spread the adhesive onto the floor.
In a horizontal direction, notch the adhesive with the floor trowel. Be careful not to spread more adhesive than can be tiled in approximately 15 minutes.
Before you start working, ensure that the tiles are dry and that the backs of the tiles are clean and free from dust and contaminants. From there, bed the tiles firmly into the adhesive using a rubber mallet.
Never butt-joint tiles instead make use of tile spacers to create uniform spacing. Remove these before you start grouting.
Lift the occasional tile to check for full coverage of adhesive on the back of the tile and make sure that no voids occur underneath the tiles.
When you start working on your floor make sure that you tile out from the centre mark to the edges, keeping the lines straight and tile spacing even. Leave the cut tiles until last.
Measure and cut each tile to fill the edges, leaving room for the tile spacers. Butter the back of the tile with adhesive and place the cut edge towards the wall and bed it firmly into place using a rubber mallet.
Allow the adhesive to dry before grouting. From there use your wall and floor grout or quarry grout and work it well into the joints with a rubber squeegee.
Remove the excess grout with a damp, not wet, sponge. Allow the grout to dry and then polish it with a dry cloth.
Provide movement joints in all the corners and in large tiled areas approximately 5 metres apart internally and 3 metres apart externally. Remember to rake out the joints and leave the area
un-grouted. Finally fill the space with a joint sealant.
For more DIY tips, vist www.tal.co.za
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