# How to lay the floor with ceramic or porcelain tiles

Ceramic or porcelain stoneware flooring can seem daunting, but with proper planning and preparation, these views can be dispelled. In addition, it is much cheaper (and more likely to be fun) to lay the tiles yourself than it is to hire professional workers to do it. Through careful planning and preparation, costs can be significantly reduced.

## Steps

### Method 1 of 4: Planning and Preparing

#### Step 1. Laying the foundation

An unpleasant question to face: "What is your floor made of?" Plywood is good. But if you have regular particle boards ranging from 1.25mm to 1.6mm thick, laid out on a 2x8 inch deck, you have to work. After removing the skirting board, you need to lift the wood board (this operation will be much easier if you first cut it into squares with a side of about 40 cm) and replace it with plywood. You will need a circular saw, and if you are renovating the kitchen, a special saw with a fine circle. Replace wood slabs up to where the row of slabs ends. After removing the wood board, you can inspect the deck and check to see if it is firmly attached to the floor joist or floor joist. Now everything is ready for the floor screed (if needed).

#### Step 2. Lay down the backing board

You will also need to put a backing (fiberglass or better cement sheets, which are usually 1 - 1.5 meters), otherwise the tile will fall off.

#### Step 3. Estimate the space to be tiled

The first phase of the assessment is determining the size of the room that will be tiled.

• The number of tiles you will need depends on the size of the tiles you want to lay and the tile pattern you want on the floor.
• Using a tape measure or digital laser rangefinder, measure the distance from one wall to another and write it down. Let this distance be 3.65 meters.
• Measure the distances between two other opposite walls. Let this distance be 2.15 meters. Multiplying these two distances (3.65 mx 2.15 m), we get a total area of 7.53 square meters.

• Please note: These measurements are based on the square shape of the room. If the room is not perfectly "square" (or, as in our case, "rectangular") due to the irregular shape of the floor plan (for example, there may be a small protruding section of the wall), do not correct this additional space in your calculations … You will of course have to lay it out with tiles, but taking this space into account can affect the definition of the "center" of the room, which will be described below.
• This area must be kept in mind to estimate how many tiles you will need to purchase in order to tile the entire floor.

#### Step 4. Decide on the size of the tiles and the pattern of its laying

• Tiles come in different sizes, for example 10 by 10 cm, 20 by 20, 30 by 30 (there are others). In addition, the tiles can be laid in different patterns.
• The total number of tiles you will need depends on the size and pattern you want. For the sake of simplicity, let's assume we are going to use 30cm by 30cm tiles and use a traditional checkered pattern, that is, lay the tiles in a pattern similar to the pattern on the checkered notebook paper.
• Since the area of the room is 7.53 square meters, we need about 84 30 cm (900 square cm) tiles (even taking into account the space between the tiles, called "seams"). However, beginners should stick to the golden rule of buying extra tiles to account for the potential for bad cuts and scratched and broken tiles. Buy one or two extra packs of tiles to feel confident.
• When laying the tiles diagonally, a large amount of material is wasted on the cuts. There is a useful rule that even experts use - when laying diagonally, buy 15% more tiles than you should buy based on the footage of the room.

#### Step 5. Choose a color

Here you are limited only by your own imagination (and the range of products in the store).

• The choice of color is usually a highly individual matter. The only additional planning and preparation step associated with color selection is the choice of grout. Grout is the "filler" that is placed in the space between the tiles - the seams.
• They can be gray, white, terracotta, etc. The combination of dark tiles with light grout and vice versa strongly emphasizes the space between the tiles.
• The choice of grout color will depend on how you want your floor to look. There are no hard and fast rules here.

#### Step 6. Prepare the space

• Make the entire surface as smooth as possible.
• You may need to use a floor screed (available from your local hardware store) to level out (create gradual transitions in the floor surface) any potholes, holes, or elevations in the deck. If you don't "line up" these differences, your tiles will crack. Finally, the floor surface is ready for tiling.

### Method 2 of 4: Installation

#### Step 1. Find the center point

You have already determined the size of the room, which is 7.53 square meters. meters.

• Determining the center point is the most important part of the tiling process. This point defines where you will place your first and subsequent tiles.
• Measure the length of the wall, for example, from 3.65 meters. At 1.83 m, half the length, mark a point with a pencil.
• Do the same for the other 3.65m wall. Attach one end of the paint cord to one end in the middle of the wall and extend to the middle of the other wall. "Click" the paint cord on the floor by lifting it slightly and then releasing it - this will leave a straight line print on the floor.
• Measure the walls 2.25m long and mark points 1.08m from the edges on both walls.

#### Step 2. Rehearse the tiling

When you find the center point, you will notice that you have got a "sector" floor scheme, or, in other words, 4 parcels of equal area.

• Starting from the center, "rehearse" the tile pattern by simply laying the tiles on the floor without any adhesive or glue.
• Place the first tile in the corner closest to the center point. You will be laying one sector after another.
• Start laying the tiles in a straight line towards the wall, leaving a small distance between the tiles.

#### Step 3. Repeat the same procedure on line 1.08 m

• You are using 3 whole tiles and one tile cut to 10 cm, because the size of 3 joints plus one wall joint is 5 cm, and the calculated size of the wall tile is 15 cm (15 cm tiles - 5 cm joints = 10 cm tiles).
• Please note that this does not obey the realignment strategy mentioned above. Since this room is "square," the true center is best left where it is. Cuts to each side (in this example, you will have wall tiles with a side of 23 cm for "short" 2, 15-meter walls, and with a side of 10 cm for "long" 3, 65-meter walls.

#### Step 4. Follow the same procedure for the other three sectors

Since the floor pattern is symmetrical, it is best to make all cuts of the same size.

#### Step 5. Pre-drill some of the tiles so that they go into the places on the floor where the radiator pipes, water pipes, etc. are located

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To put tiles in these places, you will have to drain the water from the heating system, remove the radiator from the wall and remove the taps from the pipes. It takes a lot of time, but it's worth it if you want to achieve a minimalist look. Your floor will look better if you drill a hole in the tile and place it where the pipe exits.

#### Step 6. Use a hole saw to drill a perfect hole in the tile

If you don't have a hole saw, use a wet tile saw and make a square hole in the center of the tile. Draw a square on the wrong side of the tile where you want to make the hole. Gently place the wrong side of the tile against the saw at the center point of one side of the square. Gently press the tile against the blade and cut out the side of the square. Repeat for the other sides of the square hole.

### Method 3 of 4: Applying glue or mastic and tiling

#### Step 1. Lift all the tiles and set them aside

• Begin to spread the adhesive over the prepared surface with a notched trowel. You should start from the center point. Work in only one section and apply small portions in the order you followed during your styling rehearsal.
• Apply the adhesive evenly, then use a notched trowel to smooth out the applied adhesive. Furrows should not be too deep or too shallow.
• Place the first tile where the corners formed by the center point are. Don't twist the tile - just firmly, but gently push it in.
• Install the styling dividers and continue working on the next tiles. (Remember to add spacers after each tile is laid.)
• Use a spirit level to determine the degree of slope of the tile as you install it. (Not all surfaces are perfectly flat!)
• If the surface is slightly uneven, then you can either correct the position of the tiles or add some glue to the floor. Usually, after the sector is completed, you should pull out the spacers so that they do not catch with the glue.
• Follow this procedure when tiling the rest of the floor, checking the level as you go.

After the tile is glued, you must wait at least one day (or night) for the glue to dry or set. Once the glue has set, you can start rubbing over the seams.

### Method 4 of 4: Grouting

#### Step 1. Continue working by sector as before

• Apply with a rubber float only enough grout to work effectively.
• Press the grout diagonally into the joints to match the tile level.

### Remove excess with a rubber float. You will notice a slight "grout" on the tiles

• Wait a few minutes for the grout to harden.
• Run a wet rag along the seams (if you run the rag along the seams, you can pull out too much grout) to clear the plaque from the tiles and finish the seams. Try not to put too much pressure on the seams.
• Check the seam for completeness and smoothness as you work.
• Continue the procedure on other seams in the remaining sectors.

#### Step 2. Consider the need for a seal

For joints that are against a wall or door sill, it is better to use a seal instead of grouting. There are a number of advantages to using a seal. All tiles can expand or contract depending on temperature fluctuations. Wall seams are also called expansion seams. The sealant in these joints will slightly compensate for expansion or contraction.

#### Step 3. Let the floor harden

Wait about a week for the entire floor to harden, and wash it well to remove any remaining grout residue.