This is a great video that gives you step by step instructions on how to install a tile floor. It is a very informative and gives lots of advice, especially if you ever plan on expansion. One key point I took away was if you have more than one box of tiles, you want to mix and match them to be sure there aren’t any color differences. Another thing to consider is that you want to leave a couple inch gap between the wall and do not grout that area. Just use caulk. When you get started, you want to check every few tiles to be sure the mortar is adhering to the tiles. I like how this video makes it look so easy that even I can do it. Time for some updates in my home for sure!
As you can see, this bathroom renovation’s in full swing. Now it’s time to start laying some tile. We’ve prepped the floor with this underlayment. If you haven’t seen the prep video, it’s important that you watch that one first.
We’re going to be laying this ceramic tile in a jack on jack pattern. It’s going to look great for our new bathroom. Before you start, it’s a good idea to mix tiles from different boxes in case there’s any slight difference in color.
Let’s get down to business. I’ve already mixed some unmodified thinset mortar following the instructions. It’s close to the consistency of peanut butter. Starting at the mark in the center of the room, fill the cavities and the matting with unmodified thinset using the flat side of the trowel. It helps to run the trowel in a couple directions. Try not to cover your reference lines. Now, comb additional unmodified thinset with the notched side of the trowel held at a forty-five degree angle. Don’t make swirl patterns. Just put the excess back in the bucket.
Next, lay the tile along the reference lines. Just lightly press and twist into the thinset, making sure to collapse the ridges of mortar and get full contact to the back of the tile. Keep laying the tile, putting spacers in between. For tiles that are twelve by twelve or larger, it’s a good idea to back butter or flat coat the backs of the tiles with thinset prior to setting the tiles.
Every few tiles, lift one up to make sure there’s full contact between the mortar and file. If not, you can back butter the tiles again, or use a trowel with larger notches to spread the thinset. Watch for any mortar on the face of the tile. Just wipe away with a damp sponge.
Once you have a few tiles set, check for high spots using a level. You can even mount with a rubber mallet. Keep laying the tile working in small sections. Leave a quarter inch gap between the tile and the wall to allow for expansion, and when it’s time to grout be sure not to grout in this space.
To make cuts, a tile cutter works great for small jobs. But a rented wet saw is a time saver for big ones. For the tile around plumbing, use a tile drill bit for holes, and nippers to cut curves. And remember to leave a quarter inch around pipes for expansion.
We’re making big progress on this bathroom. The wall tile is up, and all the floor tiles down. We’ve let the thinset dry for twenty-four hours, so now it’s time to grout. Mix it according to the directions, and usually a paste like consistency. Working in small sections, press the grout into the joints with the rubber float, then pull it diagonally across the joints and remove as much excess as possible.
After about twenty minutes wipe the grout lines in a circular motion with a sponge and clean water. The remaining residue can be removed with a grout haze remover.
After the joints have been filled, don’t walk on the floor for about seventy-two hours, or as recommended by the manufacturer.
Back to those expansion gaps. Just apply a bead of silicone sealant. In three weeks the grout should be completely dry, at which time you should apply a grout sealer.
The last step is to install any trim or transitions, and reconnect your plumbing fixtures.
Check it out. This new floor looks fantastic. But we’re not done with this remodel yet. Check out our next project at Lowes.com/HowTo.