Tiling is one of those jobs that looks like should be completely straight forward. You’re putting squares next to each other. Squares are pretty much designed for slotting in next to each other, so it’s hard to believe that anything could go wrong there. Hard to believe, but true. Mistakes can include mismatched or uneven tiles, adhesive squeezing up through the cracks, or, horror of horrors, tiles actually getting cracked while you work. Fortunately, we’re here to help. By following this simply step by step guide you’ll get exactly the floor you want.
1: Know Where to Begin
Before you even start tiling you need to work out where you’re going to put the first tile down. Get the mid-point of the room’s two longest walls and draw a chalk line between them along the floor. Do the same thing with the room’s shorter walls, adjusting the line so that it passes through the middle of the first line at a right angle.
2: Decide on Your Layout
These lines will prove crucial for establishing the layout for the entire room. Lay your first tiles along the lines so you can see how they look from the doorway. Look out for any spaces at the walls that are half a tile wide or less. If you spot on gaps like this, shift the central line so that the gap is large.
You should also try to make sure that any tiles around a dominant feature, such as French windows or a fireplace, are symmetrically laid out. When you get to the door, try to make sure that all the tiles lining it are whole tiles.
You want as many of the tiles as possible to be complete. If this proves difficult, you can cheat by expanding the width of the group line a little bit.
3: Put Down the Grout
Now you can finally get down to work. Spread a square meter of your grout or tile adhesive into one of the right angles you creates with your chalk lines. Using the notched edge of a trowel, scrape the top of the adhesive to create evenly sized ridges.
4: Begin Laying Tiles
Your first few tiles should go along the edge of your longest center tiles. With each tile, push it into place while ensuring it stays parallel with the other center line. Put a space on each corner of each tile so that the next tiles are evenly spaced.
5: Lay the Whole Tiles
After laying to the first few tiles, work outsides from the very middle of the room until you have laid as many whole tiles as you can across half of the floor. Measure each of the tiles with a spirit level to ensure that they’re even. Then move to the other half of the room and lay the rest. You should leave these tiles for 24 hours.
6: Cut Your Tiles to Fit
You can get a decent tile cutting tool for in the region of 50. Once all your whole tiles have been laid, use this tool to trim the edges of the rest of the tiles so that they neatly slot into the leftover gaps, remembering to leave room for the grouting. As always, safety should come first here, so wear gloves and goggles while cutting the tiles.
7: Seal, Grout and Enjoy
Once the last of the polished marble tiles are down you should give them at least half a day to set. Once they’ve set you should add the sealant and give it another two hours to dry. Finally, grout between the tiles and leave to set. Then all that’s left to do is enjoy your newly tiled floor!
Euan Farrel is a blogger and DIY enthusiast with a particular love of polished marble tiles.
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