How to Install a Tile Floor

  • February 22, 2022

Tile installation and flooring are among the most popular options for homes and businesses. Luxury vinyl tile flooring and floor tile options, such as ceramic and porcelain, are generally durable and cost-effective and have low maintenance requirements. 

However, correct installation is critical to get the best value from your new tile flooring. This guide takes an in-depth look at carrying out a living room, kitchen, or bathroom tile installation. 

How to Install a Tile Floor

Tools and Materials

Before you can install your new tile floor, you need the proper materials:

  • Underlayment: Installing a membrane or cement board prepares the subfloor for tiling.
  • Adhesive: The types of tile glue include epoxy mortar for stone tile flooring, thinset mortar for cement backer, and tile mastic for tiling walls.
  • Grout: Consult the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure that you use the correct grout for your indoor or outdoor tile flooring.
  • Sealer: Some floor tiles and grout products require a sealant application.

A tile flooring installation project requires the following tools:

  • Margin trowel
  • Cutting tools, such as a scoring snap cutter, wet saw, and utility knife
  • Spacers of the right type and size
  • Measuring tools
  • Grouting float
  • Buckets and sponges 

Before Your Begin

Thorough preparation is necessary to ensure that your tiling project is a success:

  1. Install the underlayment: Most tile types will not adhere sufficiently to a wooden or concrete substrate. You need to install an underlayment to prepare this subfloor for the tiling process. However, you can install some types of tile laminate flooring directly on the concrete subfloor or over existing tiles.
    When installing bathroom tile flooring, make sure that the underlayment is waterproof. Waterproof underlayment options include a paint-on application, backer board, or a fiberglass composite membrane.
  2. Plan the tile layout: After installing the underlayment, the next step is planning the dry layout of your tiles. Find the center of the floor by snapping a line between the half points of the opposite walls. Then, place rows of tiles along the lines, starting from the center point. If you end up with a sliver cut when reaching the wall, adjust the starting point accordingly.
  3. Mix the thinset mortar: After planning your tile floor’s layout, you can start mixing the adhesive or thinset. Follow the mixing instructions carefully to ensure sufficient tile adherence to the substrate.

Steps on How to Install a Tile Floor

Now that your thinset mixture is ready, you can start installing your tile floor. Thinset takes around 40 minutes to harden, depending on the product you use, so plan the timing of your installation project accordingly.

  1. Apply the thinset: Using a trowel, apply the thinset to the substrate, then spread it evenly across the surface. If your tiles have a large surface, apply the thinset to the back of the tiles as well. The grooves that a notched trowel leaves in the thinset should run in the same direction throughout the subfloor.
  2. Lay the tiles: Starting from your center point, place each tile into the thinset, then apply even pressure. As you lay the tiles, remove the excess thinset from the tiles and underlayment. Use spacers to ensure that the gaps between the tiles are consistent. 
  3. Measure and cut the edge tiles: Measure the remaining space when you reach a wall or corner. Then, cut a tile to fit this measurement using a scoring snap cutter, and remember to take the grout joint into account. Lay the corner tile into the thinset.
  4. Grout the tiles: After laying the tiles, clean the entire floor surface to remove excess thinset, then remove the spacers. Next, mix the grout following the manufacturer’s specifications. You can also grout luxury vinyl, a tile flooring that looks like wood.
  5. Seal the tile floor: Sealant provides your new tile floor with a protective layer while enhancing its appearance. Wait for your grout to cure before applying sealant.
  6. Caulk tile joints: The last step of the tile floor installation process is caulking the joints between floors, walls, counters, and fixtures. Caulking these joints strengthens them and ensures that they are waterproof.

How Much Does It Cost to Install Tile Floors?

The cost of a tile project installation depends on various factors, including the tile type, the floor area you want to cover, and the necessary preparations. On average, you can expect to pay around $10 to $25 per square foot for materials and installation. The average labor cost ranges from $4 to $35 per square foot.

Conclusion

At Carpet To Go, we are a leading tile floor supplier and installer serving Seattle, WA, and the surrounding areas. If you want to replace your old floor, we will provide you with a comprehensive and one-stop solution, ensuring that you receive lasting value for money. To shop our wide range of available floor tiles or schedule an installation, call us today at 206-693-4543.

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