A Look At The Process Of Having A New Tile Floor Installed

Tile is the ideal flooring for rooms that might get wet, such as a kitchen, laundry room, or bathroom. However, tile is such attractive flooring that it can be used in all rooms of your home. Plus, tile floors are easy to clean and maintain, and the tiles come in a variety of sizes and colors. Tile floors are also durable and will last for many years, but when damaged, the cracked tiles are easy to remove and replace. Installing a tile floor can be difficult and time-consuming work, so you'll probably want tile flooring contractors to do the job. Here's a look at the process.

Preparing The Base

The tiles have to be square and level when installed, so the base under the tiles has to be level too. Tile can be applied to a subfloor or a concrete slab. When it's installed on concrete, backer board is often put down first so that cracks developing in the concrete won't cause cracks in the tile too. Whatever surface the tiles are applied to has to be clean, level, and dry before the work of tile installation begins.

Installing The Tiles

The tile contractor may mix boxes of tiles together to ensure a uniform color across the floor since some boxes might have a slightly different color shade than others. Then, the floor is marked to create a square guide for laying the tiles. Tiles are usually placed in the center of the room and applied from there to the edges. The tiles along the edges of the room have to be cut to fit with a tile cutter.

When the tiles are ready to go down, a thin layer of mortar is spread across the surface first. This is done in small sections at a time so that the mortar doesn't dry out too fast. The tiles are then positioned on the mortar and adjusted so that the space between them is uniform. This is done by inserting tile spacers in the joints. Grout is not applied between the joints right away. The entire floor is installed first, and the mortar is allowed time to dry to secure the tiles in place. Then, the spacers are removed, and the joints are filled with grout. Once that's done, the tile flooring is cleaned to remove traces of grout from the surface.

Finishing The Work

The contractor will come back later to seal the grout after it has had time to cure. Sealing is an important step that keeps the grout watertight and keeps it from absorbing dirt. You might also want a topcoat applied to the tile so that it has a glossy finish and resists dirt and stains. A tile floor can often be installed in one or two days depending on the size of the room, but you may need to limit foot traffic on the floor for a few days right after it's installed. The tile flooring contractor will let you know when your new tile floor is ready for full use.