Let’s face it, tiling is one job that most people would rather not learn how to do. However, it’s actually a lot easier than what many might think. In fact, doing the job yourself can save you a whole lot of money when compared to hiring a professional tiler for the job. As long as you know the dos and don’ts, then this task is a no-brainer for you.
Choosing Your Tiles
To begin with, you have to choose the tiles that you want to use. You may be surprised with the variety of choices when doing this. Tiles come in different sizes, colours, textures, materials and finishes.
Choosing which tile is right for you depends on how you want the room to be used and its overall style and feel.
Measurements and Calculations
You also need to measure out your kitchen floor area. You will have to decide whether you want the tiles to go under any kind of fittings and units, like a fridge. Generally, it is better if you tile under the fridge, stove etc. This is to avoid having to match up tiles to fill the void should you wish to move anything in the future.
When you have chosen what kind of tiles you want to use, you need to do some computations. You have to get your floor width and multiply it by the length of the room, this will give you the surface area to tile. Make sure to allow an extra 10 percent for a straight pattern and an extra 15 percent for brick, diamond or basketweave patterns. You also need to measure your width and then divide that by the tile size. This is to determine the number of complete rows that you’ll have. Also, this can help you decide the optimal wall edge to place your cut tiles against.
After doing the math, you can now start applying the tiles on your kitchen floor. Be sure that you have an even coverage of adhesive placed on your sub-floor. The type of adhesive to use would depend on your sub-floor or the surface you are tiling. If it is a concrete floor then you can use a standard Davco tile adhesive. However, be sure that you do not mix too much of the mixture at once, since it can set in as fast as 30 minutes.
If it is a wooden sub-floor then you need a fully flexible tile adhesive. You can know if an adhesive is fully flexible if it is written on the bag or the tub. If you have slate, then you need to use grey adhesive. If you are using marble then you need a white adhesive. This is so that no color coming from the underside would bleed and ruin your design. Make sure you always read the adhesive’s instructions before laying.
When you are done fixing your tiles on the floor and after you have allowed enough time for it to dry, you will need to do some grouting. If you have a high absorbing tile, you may need to seal them first before you can grout them. You have to use a specialized impregnating sealer so that they will be waterproof and can be more resistant to dirt and staining.
Mix up the grout and apply it using a grout float to your tiles. Try to work over the gaps until they’re all filled. If you have white marble tiles, then you need to use a white grout instead of grey since the grey grout can stain the marble.
To finish off, wipe out the excess grout that is bulging from your tiles, using a sponge. Also use a grout finisher or your finger to smooth out the grout lines. After this, stand back, relax and chill, while you wait for your work to dry up!
Check out the range of kitchen tiles at the TFO online shop or search the TFO website for more great DIY articles.