Installation

Floor Tiles

Preparation:

  • Planning and setting out.
  • Calculate the surface area and remember there will be cutting along the perimeter
  • The centreline of the room is used as the setting out point for the tilling, this is to ensure the tiles are laid evenly and squarely in the most conspicuous part of the room with the cutting along the edges
  • No matter how small the area to be tiled, always start from the centre

Before you begin, make sure that the floor to be tiled is sound, firm and level.

  • Damp surfaces need to be treated with a waterproofing compound
  • Bumps will cause tiles to crack, therefore remove all high spots and if need be fill the low spots.
  • Powdery surfaces need to be coated with a latex-based sealer before being tiled

Find the centreline of the room, (along the longest line) You will most likely find the walls are not parallel nor square so "sweeten" the setting out line to suite. Mark it off with a chalk line.

 

Laying tiles:

Tiles are laid from the centre of the room outwards. Most tile manufacturer's recommend an adhesive. The most important rule for tiling is to cover only a small section of the floor at a time. Lay the four centre tiles in position to coincide with the crossed chalk markings. Do not push the tiles together as this can force the excess adhesive up between the tiles. Wipe off any surplus adhesive before it has time to set, using the 2inch nail between the tiles, or a damp cloth from on top of the tiles. Smears can be removed with soap and a brush - never use a solvent. Work outwards from the centre four tiles, applying only as much adhesive as is necessary for each small section before you tile. Finish one area before moving on to the next section.

 

Cutting tiles to fit:

Tiles around the edge of a room usually need to be cut to fit. Place a tile squarely on top of the last one before the border. Take another one and place this on top of the second (middle tile), but firmly butted against the wall. The inner edge is then used to mark a cutting line on the middle tile with a marking pencil. The uncovered part will fill the gap. Draw a second line inside the first so as to have space for grouting. (This will be the cutting line) Cut the tile using the tile saw. Make sure that the middle tile is of the correct type, and in the right direction, before cutting.

When you are laying into and around a corner, tiles need to be cut both widthways and lengthways. Use the same procedure as for a straight border, but repeat this for the two sides of the corner, without turning the middle tile.

Cut tiles individually even if the border looks straight and even, so that you take care of any irregularities. For odd shapes, such as beams or any other fixed apparatus, carefully nibble away at the tile using the tile nibbler, until it slides into place. A template cut from cardboard saves wasting too many tiles.

 

Grouting:

Allow 24 hours for the adhesive to set before filling the spaces between the tiles with grout. Grout is available in powder form to be mixed with water, or as a ready- mixed paste. Mix the powder to a stiff consistency.

Spread the grout liberally using the grout spreader, pushing it well into the joints. Use a clean flat sponge to wipe away any excess grout before it sets. When the grout has set, polish the tiles with a soft cloth. Ready-mix grouting is available in different colours.

 

Wall Tiles

Preparation:

Wall surfaces must be clean, dry and perfectly level. Remove any flaking paint and fill any holes. When tiling a complete wall, fix a temporary horizontal batten with its upper edge a tile width from the floor or skirting board, and level this with a spirit level. Tiles are laid symmetrically along the centre line of a wall or window. Aim to have the cut tiles at each end of the same width. Decide at which end of the wall you wish to begin fixing the tiles, and chalk a vertical line at this point. Use an adhesive recommended by the manufacturer and spread it evenly over the section that you are going to tile. (Drying time is about 30 min. therefore only spread enough adhesive to tile in that time). Clean off any "spilt adhesive" as you go, with a damp cloth. Ridge the surface with a notched spreader. Press each tile firmly onto the adhesive and work in horizontal rows. If the tiles do not have spacer lugs, use the proprietary spacers (they come in different sizes) or use matches as spacers.

 

Cutting tiles to fit:

Tiles around the edge of a wall usually need to be cut to fit. Place the tile to be cut against the wall upside down. Mark off on the edges the cut line, remember to allow for the grout size and you can allow another 2mm for work space (this 2mm will be hidden by the tile on the other wall. Alternatively if the other wall is complete then add 1mm as this would be a grout joint in any event).

So to recap. The tile to be cut is placed upside down in the position where it is to be laid and marked off on the edges. Cut the tile.Turn the tile over and rotate it 180 degrees and presto, the cut is in the corner hidden away. Cut tiles individually even if the border looks straight. For odd shapes, carefully nibble away at the tile using the tile nibbler, until it slides into place. A template cut from cardboard saves wasting too many tiles (it is useful to drill a couple of holes in the tile at the "turning" points as this will help to remove any stress in the tile).

 

Grouting wall tiles:

Allow 24 hours for the adhesive to set before filling the spaces between the tiles with grout. Grout is available in powder form to be mixed with water, or as a ready- mixed paste. Mix the powder to a stiff consistency.

Spread the grout liberally using the grout spreader, pushing it well into the joints. Use a clean flat sponge to wipe away any excess grout before it sets. When the grout has set, polish the tiles with a soft cloth. Ready-mix grouting is available in different colours.

 

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