Step 1: Prepare the Surface
All surfaces must be clean and free of dust, dirt, oil or other contaminants.
Wooden Floors (Interior Only)
Total wood thickness should be at least 1″ and top layer of wood must be an exterior grade fir plywood. The wood floor must be solid with NO “give” to it. The top layer of plywood should be nailed with 1½” wood / dark screws on 6″ centers and at 3″ intervals around the perimeter of sheets. Leave a gap of approximately 1/8″ between sheets of plywood in the top layer to allow for possible expansion. Fibre rock underlayment or schluter Ditra may be substituted or added to fir plywood.
Please consult an expert if you are unsure about the appropriate substrate for your Tile floor Application.
Must have cured for at least 28 days. Painted surfaces should be sanded with coarse sandpaper or etched with muriatic acid and vacuumed. Identify any cracks or expansion joints in the concrete and treat with an appropriate product before tile installation.
Please consult an expert if you are unsure of condition and appropriate products to use to prepare your concrete floor before your tile installation.
Use appropriate thin set over your substrate according to manufactures recommendation. Failure to use the appropriate thin set may result in product failure and void manufactures warranty.
Please consult a qualified expert if you are unsure of which products to use for your substrate.
Step 2: Establish Working Lines
Measure and mark the center points of two opposite walls. Stretch a chalk line between these two points and snap it to mark the center line. Follow the same procedure for the other two walls. Check the intersection with a square and adjust the line to cross at 90° before snapping second line.
If the room is not rectangular, place the two working lines in the major area of the room.
Lay loose tiles along one center line, leaving a gap between tiles of the desired grout joint width (usually about 1/8” to 3/16″). If the space between the last full tile and the wall is less than one half tile, move the center line one half tile closer to the opposite wall. Repeat this process along the other working line.
This method of laying out the tile will give wide border tile around the edge of a rectangular room. If the room is not rectangular, you may want to experiment with layouts that will give you full tile along the longest wall or at points where cuts would be more obvious, such as where tile stops at a doorway or next to a carpeted or wood floor area. Avoid layouts that will give pieces less than 2″ or ¼” the width of a tile along one wall.
After having established working lines in both directions, plan where to start the installation in the room so that tile can be laid out without walking on or working from the surface of freshly laid tile. Move starting line adjacent to wall from which you wish to start the installation. For straightness control, it helps to snap extra chalk lines in a grid pattern spaced to correspond to multiples of installed tile plus joint width.
Lay edge tile along starting wall, cutting if necessary.
Leave at least a 1/8″ gap between tile and walls to allow for expansion. Work about a 2′ x 4′ area at a time, spreading no more thin set mortar than can be covered with tile before thin set skins.
Press tile into place with a slight twisting motion. As each section is completed, make any minor adjustments to be sure lines are straight and wipe any excess thin set mortar off the face of the tile using a wet cloth or sponge
Step 3: Grouting
24 or preferably 48 hours after installing the tile, the floor may be grouted. Use a polymer floor grout mixed with water to a stiff, but workable consistency. This grout just requires the addition of water, no latex additives, because it already contains polymer additive to improve strength, adhesion and flexibility. Pack the grout into the joints using a recommended grout float. Remove excess grout from the surface of the tile by drawing the edge of the grout float diagonally across the tile joint. Wait about 15 minutes and then wipe remaining grout off the surface using a DAMP sponge working diagonally across joints. Rinse sponge or towel in clean water frequently and wring out thoroughly before continuing to clean floor. After cleaning, tile surface should be quite clean except for a slight surface haze.
The next day polish tile with a clean, dry cloth. On stubborn areas use a clean grout sponge with a recommended grout haze remover. Rinse with clean water.