Tile floor installation

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Posted on November 12, 2009

Preparation works

Installation of ceramic tile starts from preparation works. First the faced areas are being measured to find out the quantity of tile and other materials. At floor measurement the angels are checked first. If they are not equal, consider the quantity and location of incomplete tiles in places adjoining to the walls. Note that after surface treatment faced areas dimensions will slightly change. At elaboration of installation scheme surface drawings are designed. Then a kind of facing to be chosen: seam to seam, alternate and diagonal. At this stage the following things to be determined: tile dimensions, use of decoration elements, borders and friezes.

Row-to-row tile location is marked in drawings.

Preparation of faced surfaces

This is an important stage in preparation works: ceramic surface lifespan in many ways depends on walls and floor preparation. For determination of floor readiness use a level, and for wall check – either a level or a plumb line. It’s important to find out surfaces deviation from the axes or planes. An acceptable deviation is 2 mm for a meter of a rule length, but not more than 50 mm for a room with area over 25m. Then surface flatness is checked by means of a long level or a flat brick. An instrument is attached to the checked surface. The gaps between the level and the surface are not to exceed 2 mm. Otherwise a higher unevenness to be eliminated. Surface solidity is checked by knocking. Frail layers are brushed away till a solid brick or concrete base appears. Wall facing is executed at the leveled surfaces, cleaned from dirt and oil spots. Old tile is to be removed. If a faced wall was previously painted, brush away a paint layer. If there are wallpapers in the room, remove them as well. If you are going to work with a floor, remove linoleum or PCV plates if there are any. After surface preparation proceed with a ceramic tile. For a better adjustment of tiles soak them in water for a while.

Facing should be started from a floor, as in this case it will be a base for wall tiles.

Tile floor installation.

Installation of floor tile

Tile floor installation.

If a straight tile floor installation is executed, choose a place for a first row. If a diagonal installation is made, start from a frieze marking. With a help of an angle and a level so-called beacon-type tiles are installed. Then help to set a surface and a covering level. Adhesive mixture is laid in places where beacons are installed. After that tiles are installed and knocked by a rubber mallet. To control if installation was executed properly in all axis and diagonals use a short level. Beacon-type rows are laid between beacon-type marks along the perimeter of a room, then intermediate marks and beacons are installed in the central part of a room. Tiles are installed into prepared cement mortar along a cord fixed horizontally to dowels, nails or bolts, nailed near beacon-type rows. When one row is finished check its flatness with help of a level.

Mastics for floor tile.

Ceramic tile is often installed not into a cement mortar or dry glue, but into bituminous mastic, that attach tile to the floor firmer. Mastics are laid on the precoated surfaces by a thin layer not exceeding 2-3mm. Tiles are laid on mastic and being knocked on after that. Remove the excesses of mastic with a steel putty knife and wash the remains with a dissolvent.

Ceramic tile facing.

Ceramic tile facing

Ceramic tile facing

Begin installation of ceramic tile from a wall in front of an entrance to the room. Ceramic tile can be installed to the walls by three ways: “seam to seam”, “by bonding” and “diagonally”. In the first case the tiles form rows in horizontal and vertical direction. Vertical seams are placed along a plumb line and horizontal – along a level. Installation of ceramic tiles by “bonding” is executed by horizontal rows. The third method of tile floor installation is the most difficult and is often used for a large areas facing. The seams between ceramic tiles should make perpendicular lines. The faced area is divided into separate squares or rectangles. The areas of marked squares and rectangles are faced with ceramic tiles afterwards.

Ceramic tile installation technology.

Ceramic tile installation technology

Ceramic tile installation technology

Tile laying starts from installation of beacon-type ceramic tiles along a level in a horizontal direction and along a plumb line in a vertical direction. For the firm attachment of a beacon-type tiles use a gypsum plaster, as it dries faster than a cement mortar. Then beacon-type tiles are removed, cleaned from a dried gypsum plaster and installed back with the help of a cement mortar.

Having installed beacon-type ceramic tiles mark horizontal rows of tiles installation. Ceramic tile is installed bottom-up. Installation starts from insert of a cement mortar to a back side of a tile. Then a tile is pressed to a wall and knocked with handle of a trowel to level tiles. Make sure that a mortar fills an area under each tile. Attachment of tiles with a wall surface doesn’t depend on a mortar thickness. Excesses of a mortar are removed with a trowel.

Thickness of seams between tiles can vary from 0.5 to 3 mm. To make seams thickness equal, head-boards are inserted between tiles. Thickness of a head-board should correspond with a thickness of a seam. When a mortar dries, remove the boards. After tile installation make seams rubbing. For this purpose use a rubber putty knife and a sponge. Seams are thoroughly cleaned from excesses of glue, dust and inserted crosses. Then prepare a grouting. Grouting is inserted into seams and is left to wet for a while. After that excesses of a material are washed with a wet sponge and profiled. Then use a dry cloth to wash excesses of material away. Sometimes tile surface is covered with special solutions protecting it from adverse effects and adding polish.

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