How to Install Floor and Wall Tiles
You don’t have to pay professionals to install tiles on your bathroom or kitchen floors. With the following guide you’ll be able to do it like the pros. What’s more, tiling floors and walls use pretty much the same techniques, so let’s get started.
How to Fit Floor and Upgrade Wall Tiles
What You Will Need
- Grout float
- Notched trowel
- Mixing bucket
- Tile saw
- Circular saw
- Measuring tape
- Thinset Mortar
- Tile Spacers
- Backerboard Screws
Let’s Start With Tiling Floors
Step 1: Use a measuring tape to determine how much grout, tile, backingboard and mortar you’ll need.
Step 2: Put a cement board underlayment on the sub floor. Slice the panels with a circular saw so it fits the bathroom or kitchen floor. If necessary, use a jigsaw to make holes.
Step 3: Connect the backerboard onto the sub floor underlayment using a drill with driver bit. The screws should be apart by 6 inches.
Step 4: Put the edge tile in. Put the tiles in to determine the layout, using tile spacers to ensure each tile is uniformly spaced and squared. Set the tiles so those you have to cut are the least visible.
Step 5: Once you have determined the layout, start cutting the tiles to fit the floor. Use a tile saw for the most precise cuts.
Step 6: After you have cut all the tiles, place the tiles on the floor. If you’re satisfied with the layout, remove the tiles and prepare to apply the mortar.
Step 7: Get the mortar and mix according to the package instructions.
Step 8: Apply a thin layer of mortar on the floor. Use a notched trowel to apply the mortar. Place the tiles over the mortar, using tile spacers to ensure they’re in position.
Step 9: Once all the mortars have been applied, give the mortar 24 hours to dry.
Step 10: After 24 hours, take out the spacers and mix the grout. You’ll need a grout float to fill the tile spaces.
Step 11: After the grout has been set, wipe the extra grout with the sponge. Wipe vigorously until the tiles are clean and smooth. Do not leave any excess grout behind as they can be hard to get rid of when the grout dries.
Step 12: Allow the grout to dry for 24 hours, after which you apply a grout sealer.
Upgrading Wall Tiles Step by Step
What You Need
- Rubber grout trowel
- Tile grout
- Snap tile cutter
- Tile spacers
- Ceramic tiles
- V-notched trowel
- Thinset mortar or tile mastic
- Coarse-grit sandpaper
Here Are The Steps:
Step 1: Get a level and tape measure to determine where the tiles will go on the wall. Find the horizontal and vertical middle as that is what you’ll be using to keep the lines in order. Use a chalk to mark these areas.
Step 2: Cut the tiles to the desired size with a wet saw. Test fit the tiles to make sure they fit.
Step 3: If you’re satisfied with their appearance, decide how the tiles will match at the edges and corners of the wall. You won’t need to use full tiles for the edges and corners so cut them to the appropriate dimensions. Don’t forget to check how much space is required for every row.
Step 4: To keep the first row of tiles straight, put a batten in place. A batten is a piece of wood which you will utilize as a straight edge. The wood’s top edge should be aligned so it’s right along the marked mid-level line. Screw into place, and after the tiles are set, remove the screws and batten.
Step 5: Once you’ve cut the tiles to the desired size, you can add the tiles. The process is similar to when you install floor tiles for your bathroom or kitchen. First you mix the mortar according to the instructions.
While there may be some variations, the general rule is to pour the mortar in a container, add a bit of water and mix. Keep mixing and adding water until the mortar consistency turns into something like peanut butter.
Step 6: Start on a 2 x 3 segment of the wall, apply the mortar. Using the trowel, apply the mortar at an angle on the wall so its side notch sets grooves. Apply the mortar in long strokes. The grooves’ direction is not that important, but try to keep parallel lines.
Step 7: Once the mortars are ready it’s just a matter of putting in the tiles on the walls. Just like with the flooring, you apply the tiles one at a time, twisting the tile if necessary to fit it. And just like with flooring, use spacers to properly align each tile.
- If you’re installing wall tiles in a damp environment, apply some silicone caulking along the tile installation borders.
- Do not install on tile mastic or mortar where skin is starting to form. Use a paint scraper to wipe it clean before installing new tiles.
- You can install ceramic tiles on just about every wall type including unfinished and painted drywall. For the best results you should install cement backer board below putting on the tiles, similar to what you would do with floor tiles.
- Be patient when aligning tiles. It may take some practice to get the alignment right, but with the use of spacers and by predetermining the tile layout, there is less chance you will run into problems. If you follow the instructions here, you’ll be tiling in no time.
It takes some time to figure it out, but if you really want to, you’ll find that tiling is easy. With the right tools and materials you’ll be on your way to tiling like a professional, saving time and money.
A lot of times we pay for technicians and experts to do tasks for us, but a lot of those we can do ourselves by taking the time to study the process. This is especially true for floor and wall tiles, so you’re better served learning how it works.