Choosing The Right Floor Tile
Choosing the right floor tile will make a big difference when you are repairing floor tile or installing floor tile. My favorite is porcelain floor tiles because it has durability, different sizes, different colors, and different texture. Some porcelain tiles have a marble look to it, some have a smooth surface and other tiles have a rough, non-slip finish. Porcelain tiles can be difficult to cut, I would recommend using a wet saw.
Ceramic floor tiles are good tiles for installing on the floor. Ceramic tiles also some in different sizes, colors and texture. Ceramic tiles can have a high glazed finish which will make it easy to clean but can be slippery when wet. Ceramic tiles are easier to install because they are lighter and cut easier on a wet saw or manual tile cutter.
Granite floor tiles are the most durable of all floor tiles. Granite tiles are usually 1/4 inch thick and heavier than most floor tiles. Granite is installed by butting each tile together leaving as little space (no space) as possible. Granite tile can be difficult to install. The surface must be level and you should use thin-set mortar made especially for install granite tiles. If you install granite tiles in the bathroom, I would recommend that you use a sealer on the granite tiles before you grout your granite tiles, always using a non-sanded grout for granite tiles. Granite tiles can be very pricey.
Marble tiles are less durable than granite tiles but the finish product after installation will be a beautiful glass-like finish that you can’t help but notice. Yes marble tile is perhaps the most beautiful of all tiles when installed properly. Like granite, marble tiles should have a sealer applied before you grout the tiles using a non-sanded grout. Marble tiles should be butted together leaving as little space (no space) as possible. Also you should use the thin-set mortar made especially for marble tiles. Like granite tiles, marble can be very pricey.
Preparing The Floor For Tile Installation
I am not a fan for installing tiles onto plywood floor or any wooden floors. It just doesn’t work and in time you always have a problem. Your floor tiles can crack or break as well as your grout cracking and removing from between the tiles. So preparing your floor is the key for successful tile installation. If the floor is not level and has a difference of 2 or more inches, it may be necessary for a mud job.
I like to use a cement board when installing floor tiles. But the foundation that is on the floor should be level. If it isn’t level, you should remove the plywood laying on the house beams and level the beams and re-installing the plywood. You want your foundation as level as possible! The cement is leveled by a wooden floater which also leaves a smooth surface when dry.
Now you can install the cement boards and secure the boards using the special screws that are made especially for floor installation. Never use sheet rock screws, the heads will break in time which will cause your tiles to crack or break and the same goes with the grout. When done, you will have a good surface that is level for installing any floor tiles.
Installing Floor Tiles
After your sub floor is prepared, you are ready to install floor tiles. For a 12″ x 12″ porcelain tiles, I used a 1/4 inch spreader for spreading thin-set mortar onto the floor. Now spread some thin-set mortar onto the back of the floor tile so it will grip and hold better on the floor. Install the tile onto the thin-set mortar and work the floor tile into the thin-set mortar. For a 12″ x 12″ floor tile, I used a 3/8 inch spacer to separate one floor tile from the other.
You continue installing the floor tiles until the job is completed. Of course some of the floor tiles will have to be cut with a wet saw cutter or a manual tile cutter. After the floor tiles are installed over night, you can grout the floor tiles the very next day. Remove the plastic spacer between the floor tiles before you grout. Sponge off the excess grout from the floor tile and dry with a towel. Wipe off the haze from the floor tiles by using clean water and sponge and drying the floor tiles with a towel or paper towel.