Ceramic tile is a great choice for flooring material and works well in foyers, kitchens, bathrooms, dining rooms, and even living rooms. Ceramic tile is versatile, as it can also be used in showers/tubs as well as a backsplash in your kitchen. Ceramic tile is durable, easy to keep clean, and holds up well in areas prone to moisture. Installing ceramic tile is fairly easy if you have the right tools. See below for installation instructions for a ceramic floor.
What You'll Need:
- Ceramic tile (enough for your floor plus a few extra pieces)
- Tile cutter
- Tile spacers
- To begin with, you need to figure out the pattern you want for your floor. You can stagger your tile, use a diamond pattern, or just lay them square. Then you need to figure out how much space you want in between each tile. More space between means more grouting, and also more grout to have to keep clean. Once you have the pattern and tile space figured out, you can begin.
- Lay the underlayment down beneath the tile. The underlayment can be found at your local hardware store near the flooring section. The underlayment can be screwed into the subfloor below.
- Next, mix your mortar according to the manufacturer's directions. Then, figure out where the center of the room is. This is where the first tile will go, then you will move out from here. You start at the center of the room so that partial or cut pieces will be on the outside and not as noticeable. Add mortar to the underlayment and spread it evenly using a long mortar knife in about a three foot section. Place your first tile down, pressing it lightly into the mortar, and add the spacers around the tile. Add your next piece of tile, continuing in this pattern until you have all of your tile laid, making cuts where needed. Allow the mortar to dry for 24 hours before adding grout.
- Mix your grout according to the manufacturer's directions, then using a grout float, add grout to the grout lines in between your tile. Try your best not to get grout on the tile itself. It can be cleaned off, but it takes quite a bit of scrubbing to do so (meaning extra work). Once you have the grout filled, allow it to dry for a few hours before smoothing it with your finger or using the edge of the grout float.
- Allow your grout to dry and set for at least 24 hours before sealing the grout with a sealer. Follow the manufacturer's directions on the sealer you use.
- When the sealer is dry, you can wipe the tile down with a mild detergent and water to get any grout or grout haze off of your tile.
Installing tile is fairly easy to do if you have the time, patience and tools needed, although it can be a little rough on the knees and back. Leave it to a professional flooring installation company if it's too big of a job to tackle on your own.