So you’re ready to embark on a home improvement project – putting in on replacing the ceramic tiles in your home. If you don’t want to or cannot afford to hire a specialist, don’t worry. Installing ceramic tiles isn’t anywhere near as complicated as it may seem or as if installing industrial flooring. There are five steps to the process, which, if followed closely, will yield great results.
Select the Tile
The first and possibly most important step in this process is to figure out what type of ceramic tile you want in your home. Heavy duty floor tiles are perfect for rooms with a lot of traffic, such as the kitchen. There are loads of other aspects to take into account as well, such as how well the colour and pattern of the tile match the rest of the décor. The size of the tile is also very important. Big tiles are recommended for small rooms, since they will not make them look overcrowded with lots of patterns and repetition. You will also need to work out how much of the surface will be tiled, so as to know how much you need to shop for, both in terms of tiles, as well as with respect to adhesive, mortar or grout.
The tile market is varied and large enough to accommodate basically any budget. If you’re rather in a low-budget situation, you need to figure out a way to save, since prices can vary a lot from one producer to the next. Browse for local suppliers online, visit lots of stores and draw up a comparison chart at the end of the day.
Prepare the Surface
This step is essential in the ceramic tile installation process. Before actually starting to put the tiles in, you will need to make sure the surface they will be lain on is levelled, smoothed, primed and even water proofed. If the surface is not perfectly level, chances are the installation will turn out more complicated than it may have first seemed. Also, tiles that are not lain on a perfectly smooth surface will fall out or become chipped more easily, which means their lifespan will be directly affected.
Lay the Tiles Safely
This part of the process can turn out to be pretty messy. It’s advisable to seal off any room that is being tiled, if you don’t want your entire home to become filled with dust. Wear safety goggles when cutting or chipping tiles, because shards from ceramic can be very tricky to handle. Make sure no adhesive comes into contact with your skin, since it can be very difficult to remove and may even cause allergic reactions.
After the mortar or adhesive has dried, you need to continue with the finishing touches to the tile laying process. You will notice there are ungainly gaps in between tiles, which you will need to fill in with grout. Leaving these gaps open will cause lots of problems with dampness and humidity creeping in in-between the tiles. For grout, use a rubber trowel to lay it on, then a cotton cloth to clean out any excess substance. Make sure the colour of your grout matches that of the tiles.