Installing Ceramic Floor Tile

By following a few easy steps anyone can install their own ceramic floor tile and receive professional looking results.

Ceramic tile is a durable and economical floor covering choice for almost any room in the house. You will find ceramic tile in a variety of colors, textures, sizes and styles with a wide range of prices to match. Don't hesitate to ask dealers to take several samples home with you. It is important to see the tile next to your cabinets and carpet directly under your own home lighting.

Among all of your choices, you will also need to decide on the color of grout you want and the width the grout will be between the tiles. Often making these choices can be the hardest part of the job.

Using decorative tiles for a splash of color or design can be very expensive. Although hard to find, there are companies that specialize in ceramic decales. Most shops will require you to mail your tile pieces to them for embellishment but some will send you the decals for you to attached and then have fired in a local kiln. This alternative way to purchase decorative tile can save you well over 75%!

After determining if you want to lay your tile at an angle or straight, the first step will require you to measure each room carefully to determine how many tiles you will need. First measure the square footage of the area that you need to cover and divide by the size of the tile. Account for cuts which will require you to purchase more tiles. Be sure and ask tile dealers for their contractors price which will differ from the listed showroom prices by approximately 10 - 30%. They will usually offer you this discount because you are installing it yourself.

By following a few easy steps anyone can install their own floor tile and receive professional looking results. In fact, most tile dealers will also offer you all of the tile laying tools you will need at a discounted price as well.

Tools and Suppies for this project include:

- Grout Compound

- A squeegee, sponge, bucket and mop or towels.

- Tile Cutter or Electric Wet Saw

- Tile Adhesive

- Tile or Grout Sealer

- Measuring Tape and Marking Pen

- Protective Knee Pads

- Latex Additive

- Notched Trowel & Rubber Float

- Package of Tile Spacers

Clean your substratum thoroughly before starting to lay your tile. Mix your tile adhesive according the maufacturer's directions. Remember to mix the grout compound with a latex additive rather than water for a stronger bond to the tile.

Use a notched trowl to apply the tile adhesive to the back of the tile. Make sure you cover the entire surface or the corners of your tiles could crack off or sag.

Press the tile into place twisting the tile slightly back and forth to settle it into place. Make sure the tile is level and add tile spacers on all four corners as well as in the middle of the four sides for best results in placeing your next tile squarely. Be sure to wipe away any excess adhesive.

After the tile is set, remove the tile spacers and mix your grout. Remember to mix the grout compound with a latex additive rather than water for a stronger bond to the tile. Apply the grout using your rubber float while using pressure to fill in all the cracks and seal the joints.

Start working in small area's to prevent the grout from drying to quickly. Having a partner to follow behind you with a sponge and clean water to rinse the tiles can help save time. For best results rinse the tiles several times and then polish them with a clean dry towel.

Later when your poject is completed, a tile or grout sealer can be applied using a small rag or old tooth brush to ensure that you will enjoy your tile hassle-free for many years to come.

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