If you are installing tiles over concrete it will create an attractive space either inside your house or out on the terrace. If you are renovating a terrace area, a tile floor will make a lovely stable area to set up your barbecue and cookout in Summer.
1. Prepare the concrete to make it smooth
Clean the area using an acid-based cleaner and smooth out cracks using your concrete repair kit. Allow time for it to dry.
2. Seal and Level the Concrete
Using a sodium silicate, to strengthen your concrete, and allow it to dry. Get out your spirit level and make sure that the surface is even, it has to be flat to make sure that cracks don’t form in the tiles.
3. Tile Layout
If you have never tiled before, use plain tiles as patterns have to be matched up. Some tiles may need to be cut, using a tile cutter.
4. Mix Mortar
Follow instructions on the packet to mix the mortar. Then don’t spread out too much as it will dry prematurely. Use a trowel, fit for purpose.
5. Lay Tiles
Lay tiles on the mortar using plastic spacers, this keeps the pattern of tiles square. Once a tile is set don’t move it, work with 4 at a time.
6. Clean off the tiles
Clean off the tiles using a damp sponge, as you don’t want any mortar clinging to them. Make sure that your end tiles have been properly cut, if any break discard them. It is always necessary to have a few extra tiles to cover breakages. Allow drying time suggested on the mortar packet.
7. Apply Grout
Mix the grout, following instructions on the packet, and spread it over the tiles. Fill in the gaps then use a wet rag to clean any grout off the tiles
Using sanded grout gives the tiles and grout extra strength. Sanded grout is never used on marble tiles.
8. Clean Up
Once the grout is dry, thoroughly clean the tiles off, you may need to do this three times before it is completely dry. Grout float can be used to fill gaps in the tiles with grout.
9. Seal the Grout
Once the grout has thoroughly dried, use a grout sealer, this is important to prevent and mildew and stains from getting in, in the future. If your tiles are outdoors, this all needs completion before the rain or bad weather.
Laying tiles is not as easy as it sounds, and it is a good idea to have some practice first, by trying to lay some old broken tiles. This way you will be ready for any problems that arise, and you will know how to deal with them when you install a tile floor for the first time.
Make sure that your tiles are thoroughly cleaned off when you install a tile floor or it will be dusty. You can use soap and water on a sponge, once it is dry if the floor does not look clean. Dust is a sign that your tile floor is not clean enough.