Ceramic Flooring and Porcelain Tile Installation
If you want classically beautiful floors, ceramic and porcelain tile are beautiful choices, but they require an equally artful hand when it comes to installation that will last. Poor installation means poor quality floors, which is why Affordable Custom Flooring ensures you get the best product and installers who know the importance of proper installation.
To see what goes into ceramic and porcelain tile installation, here’s a look at some of the processes involved, step-by-step:
Step 1: Preparing the Floor
To get the best installation, the surface needs to clean and dry – no dirt, wax, or grease, and also no extra elements like appliances or moldings. A smooth surface with no uneven parts is also important, so uneven or damaged floors have to be addressed first.
Step 2: Marking
When laying tile, it’s best to work in grids, and that starts with finding the center of the room and marking the center lines. This is done by measuring each wall, finding the center points of each, and then snapping a chalk line (a string coated in chalk so that it leaves a mark when it makes contact with a surface). For a beautiful, sturdy floor, it’s important that the squares are perfect, so each intersecting point needs to be checked.
Step 3: Prepping the Tile
There are two parts to prepping the tile: layout and cutting. It starts with laying out the tile to determine how each section will work. Working along the center lines, from the middle out, the tiles are laid out with tile spacers.
As the tile is laid out, it sometimes becomes necessary to cut a tile to fit a certain floor shape, as when a tile meets a wall. After marking the necessary cut, this is done with either a tile cutter, a saw, or a nipper (a tool that breaks the tile a little at a time to get a custom edge).
Step 4: Laying the Tile
This takes attention and smart use of adhesive. In order to keep the adhesive strong and effective, it’s necessary to only mix enough to last 30 minutes at a time. Once it’s mixed, the adhesive is spread into the grid in which you’re working, about a quarter of an inch thick, then notched with a trowel to create ridges.
Once the adhesive is down, the tile goes down, generally starting in the corner of the grid. A slight twisting motion bonds the adhesive to the tile. Once that particular grid is stuck to the adhesive, a light tap with a rubber mallet secures it in place, but it will need to sit 24 hours before grout is applied.
Step 5: Grouting
Grouting starts a day after all of the tile is in place and has been secured. Just like the adhesive, the grout can only be mixed in small amounts at a time. It’s applied between the tiles as spacers are removed, then pushed down between the tiles with a squeegee. It’s important to wipe away excess grout immediately and sponge off residue after the grout has sat for 20 minutes. It takes 72 hours for the grout to properly set and another 3 weeks before polishes and seals can be applied.
Ceramic and porcelain tile installation is an involved process, and if it’s what you want for your house, it will need to be done well. When it comes to this type of installation, a professional is preferred—after all, a floor only truly shines when it is installed well!
If you want to find the right ceramic and porcelain tile for your home and an installer you can trust, Affordable Custom Flooring in Central Ohio is at your service.