Choosing and Laying Ceramic Floor Tiles
Ceramic floor tiles are available in a number of sizes and thicknesses, and they usually have a matt unglazed surface. Unlike wall tiles, most of them are made without spacer lugs.
Concrete floors are the best surfaces on which to lay ceramic floor tiles. If uneven, they need screeding; if level, anshould be used.
Wood or board-lined floors are suitable surfaces on which to lay ceramic floor tiles.
Make sure that the floor to be tiled is flat and firm — nail down any loose boards and sand the surface if necessary.
Very uneven or rough floors can be lined with resin-bonded ply.
Use ansuch as BalFlex, which is rubber based and remains permanently flexible to allow for background movement.
Because of the thickness of the floor tiles, some adjustment will have to be made to the doors so that they will fit over the tiles.
Mix theaccording to the instructions. Use a plain trowel to spread it over the first square metre (yard) of floor in the corner where you have laid out the battens.
Press the tiles into the adhesive and insert spacer pegs in between them. The spaces must be a uniform 3 mm (1/8 in).
When you have finished the first square metre, scrape off any excess adhesive from around the tiles and coat the next area. Continue in this fashion until the main area of floor is complete.
If your battens were not at the correct angle to start with, you will find that the tiles will gradually get closer together, or further apart, as you work across the room. The only remedy at this stage is to attempt to space the tiles so that they are even. Failing that, you must take them all up and start again with the battens correctly angled at 90°.
When the main area of floor is complete, remove the battens and cut tiles to fit into the spaces round the edges of the room.
Place a tile upside-down over the space to be filled and mark two points to indicate where the tile must be cut (allow 3 mm for the spacing). Continue these marks around to the face of the tile and score a line across the surface with a tile cutter.
Kneel on the floor and grip a spare tile between your knees. Hold the tile to be cut with one hand on each side of the score line and strike the area of the line on the edge of the tile between your knees . The tile should break cleanly.
Smooth the cut edge with a carborundum stone, rubbing it along, not across, the edge.
Butter the back of the tile with adhesive and place it in position with spacer pegs and with the cut edge up against the wall.
Leave the floor for at least 24 hours for the adhesive to set before removing the spacer pegs and rubbing grout into the joints. Grout the floor in the same way as described for wall tiling, but use a rubber squeegee instead of a sponge to make sure that the grout penetrates into the gaps.
After allowing the grout to dry, rub the tiles over with a dry cloth.