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How do I properly install ceramic tiles? Answered



Best Answer 10 years ago

1. Take up the old flooring right to the subfloor. Keep it as flat as possible. 2. Lay down Wonderboard. It's a concrete-type board that is great for ceramic tiles. You don't have to do this step, but it works. Tape the seams with fiberglass tape and fill with mortar. 3. Decide how you want to lay the tile and draw a sketch if necessary (it helps) 4. Work in small sections a row or two at a time cutting tiles before you lay the mortar. Lay the mortar with a grooved trowel and put the tiles on top of it. Press hard and wiggle the tiles a little. Use spacers! They make the job look like a pro. 5. Finish and let dry 48-72 hrs. Clean the tiles and look for bits of mortar that will show through the grout and scrape them away. 6. Make sure the tiles are super clean and mix grout. Spread all over the tiles with a foam grout spreader at a 45 degree angle. 7. Let dry for 2 hours as it - grout will be lighter and hazy 8. Gently wipe excess grout with a grout sponge. 9. Repeat step 7 & 8 10. In 48-72 hours seal the hell out of it with a penetrating sealer. Do this several times.


Answer 10 years ago

You are right on. A few more tips though:
1) Big tiles=larger notches on trowel, small tiles=small notches
2) Every once in a while pull a tile back up, immediately after setting it and make sure that you are getting good coverage/contact with the mortar.
3) Only use glue/mastic for light-use areas. Always use mortar on floors.
4) I am a big fan of Wedi board http://www.wedi.de/home_usa/, it is much easier to install than Wonderboard.
5) If you are using unglazed tiles or natural stone pre-sealing the material makes grouting much easier, but keep the sealer off of the edges of the material that the grout will be in contact with.
6) Definitely snap out layout lines with a chalkbox to work to.
7) Go rent a tile saw. It is much easier to use, and the end result will be much cleaner. You can actually buy "homeowner" saws that work O.K. for less than $100.


10 years ago

No idea what "Wonderboard" is supposed to be but otherwise that seems a pretty correct method. Basically just make sure the area is as flat and clean as possible. It helps to lay out the tiles a bit to see if it'll turn out straight before adding mortar or tile glue to the mix, especially on small areas like countertops/kitchen walls. When convinced they will fit (cut with a tile cutter where needed, a rough edge pair of pliers does wonders for "sculpting" around round things where needed, once the edge is cut/cracked they're really pretty crumbly) glue/mortar down. A putty knife comes in handy for spreading the glue/mortar. Wait to dry per adhesive. Get a foamy grout thing from the store, mix up grout per package and pour pour it out onto the tiles, sliding it back and forth across the spaces between them trying to sort of "stomp" it into them with the foamy rubber grout thing. Sweep up as much as possible of the extra grout that didn't find a crack with the rubber thing or hands. Let dry per package, scrub/hack off the rest with nails, the putty knife from the start, or anything else that seems to work. Done. Dunno if that's proper, but I've down ten or so kitchens and that's what I did.