Ceramic & Porcelain Tile Flooring Installation
Although DIY tile installation is an option, hiring a professional installer is the preferred way to go. Certain factors make installing ceramic or porcelain tile a more difficult do-it-yourself project. Its density and hardness require a wet saw with a porcelain diamond blade. You’ll need knowledge of working with thinset mortar. Most important, if your subfloor is not level or is damaged, you will absolutely have to correct this problem to reduce lippage, or variations in tile height.
Tile installation can be messy and sometimes a lengthy process. Knowing what to expect before installing tile floors will make the process go smoother.
Steps to installing tile floors
Step 1 – Your flooring retailer will handle arranging for your tile installation. The first step is measuring the room(s) to determine how much tile is needed. Purchase 10 % more tiles to allow for broken or chipped tiles in the box, and jobsite tiles that need to be cut to fit. Your installer will minimize waste by using cut or damaged tiles in smaller areas.
Step 2 – Preparation of the subfloor. If your subfloor is in good condition, prep may only require cleaning and possibly minor repairs prior installing the concrete backer board on which tile is laid. Keep in mind that the backer board and tile together may raise the height of your floor and require different transitions between rooms. Prepping the subfloor often involves using power tools to cut and sand. Expect dust and a little noise inconvenience.
Step 3 – Once the subfloor is prepped, it’s time to start laying tile. This process is simply a matter or spreading mortar, setting your ceramic or porcelain tiles in place, and finishing with grout. The installation crew will need an area outside to cut or trim tile with power saws as they work.
Step 4 – Your new tile floor is in place and looks amazing! But before you can walk on the finished floor, it needs at least 48 hours to dry and cure. Some rooms may require additional drying time. Check with your installer ahead of time so you can plan your household schedule accordingly.