17 Nov 2014

5 Preparation Tips for Tiling a Floor

If you’re tiling a floor yourself, it pays to be very thorough with your preparation of the substrate. You need to make sure the surface is flat, clean and firm, otherwise a multitude of problems could occur - your tiles could break, jut out or lift. If you do have problems with your tiling project check out this video on how to fix common DIY tiling problems.

A little knowledge goes a long way, so here are five things to remember during preparation stage to help you achieve a fantastic result:

TIP #1 - Tiling over existing tiles. This is an option as long as the existing tiles are still solid. If they are high gloss porcelain you may need to grind the tiles to create a rough surface or, alternatively, paint on a bonding agent prior to applying your adhesive for the new tiles.

TIP #2 - Removing existing tiles. A hammer and chisel is a common approach. But if your floor is solid and strong, a jackhammer will get the job done far quicker.

TIP #3 - Ensure your substrate is level and smooth. Use a spirit level to check for highs and see if there are any lows in the floor. For cement floors use an internal and external self-leveller – you just pour it on and let it dry. National Tiles recommends using a self-levelling system to assisting in creating a beautifully laid floor. These systems work as an easy step-by- step process and will greatly assist in the installation of large format tiles.

TIP #4 - Screw, don’t nail, your underlay sheeting. Nailing may be quicker but when longevity and stability is required there’s no substitute for screws. Screwed sheeting is far less likely to lift or squeak. Liquid Nails will give your sheets extra grip.

TIP #5 - Primers give better adhesion. Tiles bond better over a primer – simply clean the surface, apply the primer and allow at least 30 minutes drying time (depending on the manufacturer’s specification).

See our video on tiling preparation for more.

In our next post: some tips on laying your floor tiles.

Disclaimer: these posts contain general tiling information only. If you need advice, you should seek professional advice based on your particular circumstances.