How To Lay Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tiles are a classy way to add style to any room. Flooring is a great way to update a room or tie together your current decor. Ceramic is a good choice for their durability and for the many design options they offer. You can easily lay ceramic tiles yourself and save money in the process.

Ceramic tiles need to by applied to a hard smooth surface. Any bumps or irregularities will need to be chiseled or buffed out before laying the first tile. If the surface is completely smooth, you will need to sand it as ceramic tiles adhere best to a slightly rough surface. Remove any baseboards or floor molding and make sure that any doors opening into the room will have enough clearance over the laid ceramic tiles.

Find the center of the room. The easiest way to do this is to snap a chalk line down the center of the room, then snap another line perpendicular to that, forming a cross. Where the lines intersect will be the center.

Lay the ceramic tile first without adhesive -- this is called a dry run. Starting at the center point, lay the tile outward in rows until you reach the walls. You will need to place grout spacers between each tile.

Using a notched trowel, you will then smear tile adhesive in a small one to two foot area, once again starting with the center. Carefully replace the tiles, giving each a short sharp tap with a rubber mallet to set them in place. Replace the grout spacers as you lay each tile in order to maintain your grouting space.

The border tiles are the last to be laid. First, measure each ceramic tile to fit the border space. Using a tile or glass cutter, carefully cut the tile. You will want to use a straight edge to keep the cutter from slipping. Then, clean any excess adhesive from the tiles and allow to set for at least 24 hours.

Grouting is the final step when you lay ceramic tiles. Mix the grout and spread into the spaces, insuring there are no air pockets. Work on a small area at a time. Have a sponge nearby to wipe up excess grout. Wait overnight then damp mop to remove any extra residue.

Let the tiles set up for ten days. Afterwards, seal the floor and replace the baseboards. Laying ceramic tile is a bit time consuming but very easy to do.


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