07 Feb 2014

7 Tips for a Beautifully Tiled Floor

DIY tiling can be made easier with some planning and reading beforehand. If you’re tiling the walls as well, it’s best to tile your floor first. Once your floor preparations are complete, here are seven tips to help create a beautiful tiled space:

TIP #1 - Mix tiles from different boxes. With ceramic and porcelain tiles there can be variations between batches, so by mixing your tiles from several different boxes you ensure that any shade variation stays consistent. Remember that with stone there is variation piece by piece, which is intentional and naturally occurring.

TIP # 2 - Know where to lay your first tile. This is a very important step. Ensure you have carefully measured the space you are tiling and mark a line through the centre of the room in a grid-like pattern, then work outwards. Lay tiles without gluing first to see how they fit. For example, if the floor tiles are a larger style they may be moved away from the grid lines to ensure your floor and wall tiles line up seamlessly.

TIP #3 - Apply your glue correctly. Mix the adhesive and spread the glue using the correct notched trowel. The type of tile determines which trowel should be used. As a guide a 10cm trowel suits larger tiles such as 600 x 600mm, while a 12 mm trowel suits heavy stone tiles. When applying glue, use enough pressure to make even beads and apply enough glue to lay 2-3 tiles at a time, ensuring a minimum of 90% glue coverage on each tile. Use a flat edge to butter the back of tiles more than 400mm in size (this would include, for example, 300x600mm tiles).

TIP #4 - Lay carefully. Use marked lines to lay your first row of tiles and don’t cover your lines with glue as these are your guide. Place each tile firmly into the adhesive with a backward-forward movement to ensure adhesion and to eliminate and prevent air pockets/voids underneath.

TIP #5 - Watch the spread of glue. Work along the room in sections ensuring you don’t spread out too much glue at any one time. Scrape up the excess glue before it dries. There should not be any lumps. When spreading glue, work in areas approximately one square metre at a time.

TIP #6 - Spacers are your friend. Spacers keep the gaps consistent and your tiles nice and straight with even grout lines. Standing the spacers upright on their corners makes them easy to remove when the glue dries. The standard spacing for floor tiles is 3mm for indoors and 5mm for outside.

TIP #7 - Use trims for a neat finish. Areas such as hallways are where it’s recommended you use tile trims to create a clean border between the tiles and other surfaces.

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