Installing tile can be a physically demanding job. It calls for hours of bending, kneeling, reaching and lifting heavy tile. This is one of many reasons why it’s best to rely on professional tile contractors to do the work. A tile project can take anywhere from a few hours, to a few weeks or even months depending on the size of the job.
Once a plan is in place and the blueprint has been made the real work begins. Often times tile projects begin with demolishing or removing the material from the existing space. If working on fresh concrete, the concrete must be at least 6 weeks old and thoroughly dry before setting floor tiles. We often use a hammer drill, scraping blade, or other tools to remove existing tile. We then must sand the sub floor, drywall, backer board or base surface area to make sure that the region is completely flat. The surface where we will place the tile must be smooth, flat and free from dirt and grease.
Next we cut to size the uncoupling membrane, often known as Ditra, which will protect against cracked tile and grout, and act as a waterproofing layer. Once the Ditra is cut to size, we then mix the initial mortar and spread it on the surface with a trowel. After the mortar is spread we can then lay the Ditra. After the Ditra is in place we use an un-modified tile adhesive, which goes on top of the Ditra and beneath the tile.
Now we can begin to cut and lay the tile and apply spacers between tiles, walls, and other objects. We cut tile using wet saws, tile scribes, or handheld cutters to make sure the tile fits correctly. We frequently use power tools to specially cut tiles to fit around sinks, pipes, toilets, and other objects. When setting tiles you typically want to start on the far wall and work your way back towards the entrance door.
It is important to take your time and make sure that the tiles line up correctly when laying the tile. Use spacers to ensure correct positioning and room for grout to be applied. Once the tiles have had a chance to sit for at least 24 hours and the mortar beneath them is dry we can then apply grout for the spaces between tiles. After the grout is in the joints, it’s best to use a wet sponge to clean up any excess. After the grout has dried, apply grout sealer to the joints. Lastly we apply caulk for gaps between tile and walls or other surfaces. The process for installing wall tiles is very similar to installing floor tiles except you will be mounting the tile to dry wall, wonder or backing board. If you have any questions please give us a call!