Laying Hard Tiles
Hard tiles are ideal for wet areas because of the durability and looks. However, you need to plan work thoroughly and use the correct techniques in order to maximise both these qualities. If the tiles are unglazed, it is important to seal them with our propriety the sealing solution. Otherwise, their surface can become ingrained with adhesive and grout, which can be difficult to clean off. The majority of floor tiles are supplied with a glazed surface, which makes application more simple.
Where to start
Most rooms are not totally square, so start by laying full tiles along a skirting/wall junction is not usually an option since slight imperfections in wall alignment will become magnified as the tile design progresses across the floor. You should therefore start by finding the centre of the room. Attach a chalk line between centre points on opposing walls, pull it taught and snap the line onto the floor surface to provide a guideline. Repeat between the other two walls. The point at which the lanes bisect is the centre of the room. All tiling designs should be planned from this point. Lay them dry first in order to determine the best starting point, which is ideally on a wall with few obstacles. You can then draw another guideline to show the starting line for the first full quarter sales. This line should be adjusted so that any cut lines needed around the edge of the room are balanced.
Laying the tiles
- This example standard tiles are being laid onto a plywood sub floor. Secure wooden battens along the starting guideline and at a right angle to this lane to provide a good edge to butt the tiles against. Apply adhesive with a notched spreader in the area where the first tiles are to be laid.
- Position the first tile allowing it to bed into the adhesive before pressing it firmly in place
- Continue to add tiles, keeping consistent gaps between each tile using a piece of card as spacers.
- Every now and again use a spirit level to check that all surfaces are flush. make sure that no tile edges protrude above the surface level of sink below it
- When all the whole tiles have been laid, fill in around the edge of the room with cut tiles. It is best to let the main body of tiles dry overnight before completing the edge, since you will have to stand on the tiles when measuring.
- Draw guidelines on tiles that need to be cut. Use a tile cutter to score and snap along the lines.
- A tile saw is the ideal tool for cutting curves. First make a paper template of curved shapes such as the toilet pedestal and use it as a guide for cutting.
- Once all the tiles have been laid and the adhesive is dry, mix some grout and fill the joints between the tiles. Press the grout firmly in place and wipe away any excess.