LAY YOUR OWN TILES IN 6 EASY STEPS
Laying tiles is a great way to add some class and style to your home or backyard. Although many people are uncomfortable with a Do-It-Yourself tiling program, the whole process is relatively easy and safe. Whether your project is an indoor bathroom or a total outdoor tile extravaganza, follow these six easy steps and it will be as easy as 1, 2, 3!
Step 1 – Measure
Grab a notepad, a pencil and some measuring tape and head to the area you want tiled. Measure the width and breadth of the space, making note of any obstacles, such as a drainage pipe or a fence. As you measure, keep in the back of your mind the styles and shapes you want. A good idea before spending any money is to make a print-out of the tiles and to arrange them on the floor of the room. This way you can at least get a taste of what the space will look like when tiled.
Step 2 – Level the Ground
The surface area should be completely stripped and as flat as possible. If you are laying outdoor tiles, remove all rocks, grass roots, twigs and any other debris. If the surface is even a little bit sloped then the tile will not sit flat.
If you are laying tiles inside then the floor should already be relatively flat. If you are laying on concrete and the surface is not flat, then you may have to hire some equipment to sand the surface back.
Step 3 – Lay a Moisture Barrier
A moisture barrier will protect your tiles from the ground up. There is nothing more frustrating than spending thousands of dollars on tiles, only to find out that they all have to be ripped out because of water damage. If you are unsure about what moisture barrier to buy, talk to the salespeople at the store where you bought your tiles from, they can recommend a moisture barrier that is appropriate for your project.
Step 4 – Start to Lay Tiles
Once your moisture layer is in place you can start laying tiles. If your tiles are being laid inside, then you will also have to add some thin-set mortar on the surface before you start. Once that’s done, start laying tiles from the centre of the room and expand outwards. Make sure you use tile spacers to keep the distances between each tile uniform.
Step 5 – Cut Tiles for the Edges
Your tiles will never fit perfectly in your project space, so have tile cutting equipment ready in hand. Tile scribers and tile cutters are the two most common methods, but there are many different ways to cut a tile. Check out www.thetiledoctor.com for more information on tile cutters.
Note: if you are laying thick outdoor tiles, such as sandstone pavers, you may have to get them cut by a professional.
Step 6 – Fill the Spaces with Grout
Once your tiles are in place, fill the gaps with grout. Wipe away any excess grout with a wet towel and cover the entire surface with a sealer.
Well, there it is! Your brand new tiled surface is finished in just six easy steps.