Installing tile flooring in the kitchen, bathroom, or even throughout your entire ground floor can seem like a great idea, but it’s also hard work. Some DIY tilers also make the mistake of thinking tiles can go straight down onto any old floor, without effective preparation.
This is a collection of basic tips that are useful when trying to lay down tile flooring in your house.
Start with an Even Floor
Tiling a wavy and uneven floor is something you really don’t want to do. As well as being a difficult process in the first place, it can also lead to problems in the future. With uneven surfaces, it’s much more likely for tiles to become loose or dislodged.
Before you tile, check the floor with straight-edged pieces of wood or a level. If you find any low spots, you’ll need to apply a layer of the screed to bring up the surface to match the rest of the floor.
However, for floors with significant variation between highs and lows throughout a floor’s total area, it’s well worth putting down a layer of self-levelling liquid floor screed to create a flat surface.
A pre-mixed liquid screed is poured across the floor surface finding its own level, so you can rest assured it will be perfectly flat when you need to lay down your tiles. Just make sure you give the surface good sanding to remove any laitance, as well as vacuum up any excess debris or dust.
Take Your Time
If you don’t have prior experience tiling floors then you should absolutely take your time when handling a job that is probably a lot more complicated than you’d first imagined.
Allow for Movement
Whether you are tiling onto an existing concrete slab or a brand new liquid screed floor, it’s vital to think about movement. Most solid substrates will naturally shrink or expand over time and if you don’t plan this into your tiling strategy, you could see stressed surfaces lead to several fractures and breaks over time.
A combination of movement joints and expansion gaps are incredibly useful. However, you can also look into using newer anti-fracture mats, which effectively unbind the tiles from the substrate, taking away any stress between the two layers.
Invest in the Perfect Adhesive for Your Tile
It pays to make sure you use the correct adhesive for the kind of tiles you want to use, as well as the type of floor substrate you are tiling onto. For instance, most porcelain floor tiles should be laid with a flexible, cement-based adhesive from a reliable brand.
The best tile adhesives should accommodate some movement and vibration, whilst offering exceptional adhesion with the concrete floor substrate.
Work with a Professional
Without trying to undermine your DIY skills, we’d recommend considering how a professional tiler could help you avoid the various mistakes and problems that arise when tiling your floor.
It might seem like an easy job, but the perfect finish of a well-tiled floor is all too often achieved with painstaking preparation and craftsmanship.
In reality, no two rooms are the same, so an experienced tiler will be able to assess your individual floor and propose the best action to take when it comes to angles, curves, cuts, height and how tiles will interact with the substrate below.
If you’re tiling a kitchen or bathroom floor, you’ll probably want to consider waterproofing some of the floors and sealing the room to reduce damage from leaks.
Ceramic and porcelain tiles are non-porous, but water can easily seep down through the grout joints into the substrate below.
You might not need to apply waterproofing to the entire room unless you create a wetroom, but you’ll certainly need to add the right level of protection to areas that are likely to take on high levels of moisture.
Contact Flooring Screeding Contractors in Northampton
If you’re looking for a Flooring Screeding Contractors in Northampton for a floor renovation project for your home, UK Screed Ltd can help advise on a floor preparation and planning approach so you can achieve the very best effect with your new tiled floor.
Our self-levelling screeds, which are perfect for any underfloor heating system, maybe just what you need to ensure your new floor is as flawless and impressive as you’d hoped.