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Installing New Tiles

10 Tips to Master the Art of Error Free Tiling

Last Updated on October 29, 2011

Tiling isn’t as difficult as it sounds. It’s normal to be concerned that the tiles might crack, be crooked or not adhere right. The fact is that tiling is actually quite easy, provided you know some simple tips.

1. Put it on paper first. Drawing the pattern on graph paper will allow you to adjust for appearance and balance before you start laying the mastic.

2. Have all the materials you will need before you start. Go over the list and check it twice. Make sure you have the right trowel, the spacers, mastic, utility knife, measuring tape, level and pencil. Make sure you have the cutter you will be using for the tiles.

3. Clean the floor thoroughly. Nothing will ruin your job faster than a greasy floor that prevents the tiles from adhering properly.

4. Level the floor properly. Don’t rely on the adhesive to fill small holes and impressions in the floor. That’s not what it’s designed for. Before you start laying tiles, put your long level on the floor and shift it back and forth, searching for low or high spots. Correct these spots by sanding down the high areas and using a floor leveller in the low areas. Taking the time to do this will avoid problems with tiles that are uneven and it will prevent the tiles from cracking.

5. Lay the tiles out without actually using adhesive. Use your pattern and lay the whole tiles down to see how they actually look before you start. This is your chance to make minor changes.

6. Draw out the grid. This cannot be stressed enough. The grid will help ensure that your tiles are straight and that they stay straight as you work. Mark the straight lines about two feet apart, starting with cross lines that run down the centre of the room in either direction.

7. Work in small sections. Mastic can dry quickly, and once it dries you’re in for more work if the tiles aren’t in place. Spread the mastic in one of the quadrants you created with your floor grid. Lay the tiles in place, taking care that everything stays straight and true with the marked floor lines.

8. Use spacers to keep the tiles consistent. This is another tip that can save you a great deal of time. You can lay the spacers flat on the floor or wall and bury them under the grout. You can also choose to stand the spacers on one end and remove them all before the grout is applied.

9. Proper grouting will make or break the entire project. Use ready-made grout or mix it carefully following the manufacturer’s directions. The grout should be applied at a 45-degree angle using a rubber float. It should be worked into the spaces that are between the tiles. Use your thumb or finger to gently run a smooth line through the grout for an even and attractive appearance.

10. Seal the grout. This cannot be stressed enough. When the job is done and the grout has cured for a few days, take the time to seal it in. It will hold better and it will be more resistant to staining.

Laying tile isn’t rocket science. The average homeowner can do it and it will look great. Follow these tips here to make the job easier and to achieve a professional look that you will be proud of.

Isaac is a blogger and home improvements guru working for Cliq Studios, Cliq’ are a kitchen cabinets specialist who design, manufacture and sell the finest oak, maple and cherry kitchen cabinets. Cliqs’ easy to use website can help visualize your new kitchen!

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