DIY - TILE
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Below is a general overview of how to install tile, but as an authorized dealer for the thousands of products we carry, we have access to more in depth instructions, specific to the product you are purchasing. Just ask a friendly associate and we will be happy to send it to you.
DO IT YOURSELF - Tile
Tip #1: It is essential that the concrete surface is level and sound. If there are pronounced dip, hollows or expansion joints these should be filled and levelled using underlay, fibre cement sheeting or levelling compounds. There are a number of fillers available for this job.
Tip #2: When tiling floors in your whole home, tiling should not be carried out for three months after pouring concrete. The concrete floor should be dry and have lost its initial dampness. Use a moisture meter to confirm dampness or at the very least, check if it is dry by placing a rubber mat on the concrete overnight. If there is moisture on the surface when you move the mat next morning, the concrete is too moist for tiling.
Tip #3: Make sure that the tiles look straight when laying them out (dry-fit). If the room is not 'square' or is an irregular shape this can be a problem so line up the tiles on the floor so they look straight as you enter the room. Be very conscious of where you place a cut edge as they will be very noticable when grouted next to a full tile. When possible it is better to tile a floor with all fixtures removed (such as a toilet).
Tip #4: Snap a chalk line on the floor down the centre of the room parallel with the wall that will give the best layout. This will be the line you run your first row of tiles down.
Tip #7: Floor tiles are usually thicker than wall tiles and therefore harder to cut. To minimise wastage and save money it is well worth hiring a floor tile cutting tool, to cut tiles to fit the edges of the room. You can try renting one at your nearest rental store. In order to mark the correct shape on your tile before cutting it, use a piece of cardboard the same size as your tiles as a template. Use the template to mark the cutting line on the tile.
Tip #5: Work outwards towards the walls leaving a space between the tiles. Plastic tile spacers should be used to make this gap between the tiles. Any gap between 3mm and 12mm can be used.
Tip #6: Often a wide gap of 6mm or more is more attractive than a narrow gap. If the final line of tiles before the wall is less than half a tile wide, adjust all the tiles across until the gap is at least half a tile wide. This avoids small cuts which are extremely difficult to make.
Tip #8: Place a whole tile on top of the last complete tile that was adhered in place.
Next, hold a second whole tile on top of this tile so that it touches the wall, mark a line along the underneath tile. The off-cut from the underneath tile will fit into the gap. Just watch where your cut edges are going!
Tip #9: Apply adhesive to floor with a notched spreader or trowel. Push each tile onto the adhesive until it oozes out at the corners. Remove any excess adhesive and leave to dry fully before grouting. Check the information on the adhesive pack. Apply adhesive to an area of about one square metre at a time or it can start to harden before the tiles are applied to it. Use tile spacers between every tile and ensure these are removed prior to grouting.
Tip #9: Every so often use a straight edge or level to make sure all the tiles are laying flat. Any tiles above or below the level of adjoining ones should be removed and some adhesive adjusted. Do not leave this job for too long or it will be impossible to remove the tiles. Fix all whole tiles, then cut and fix the tiles round the edge.
Tip #10: Grout when the adhesive is fully dry after a 24hr period, and not before. Using grout, not all grout is waterproof, force the mixture between the gaps in the tiles with a grout spreader, working in a diagonal motion. Remove any surface grout regularly with a damp cloth.
Tip #11: With a clean wet sponge wash out and wipe away any remaining grout until the joints are smooth and level with the tiles. After 30 minutes of drying a hazy grout film should appear, wipe that away with a soft cloth.
Always check tiles & substrate for faults/flaws before laying.
Always do a moisture content test when laying tiles directly onto a concrete floor.
Use silicone or caulk for finishing edges plain transitions in the room to provide flexibility.
NOTE: The tips listed here are for general guidance only. You should always check with the Manfacturer regarding any specific installation requirements, techniques or materials required for your exact product.