Do It Yourself - Tile Installation
Tile Installation Procedure
Article from startremodeling.com
AT THIS TIME, PLEASE PUT ON SAFETY GLASSES AND WEAR THEM FOR
THE REMAINDER OF THE INSTALLATION
- Decide the layout. Since all joints are equal in all directions,
it is not necessary to orient the tiles to the incoming light.
The tiles can be installed in a conventional tile pattern that
brings all four corners together to a single point (photo 1a)
or a staggered configuration (photo 1b). Measure the room's width
and calculate the width of the last row of tiles. The last tile
must be at least 2 inches wide. The result will be more attractive
if you saw the whole tiles in both the first and last rows.
- If the floor is concrete lay out the foam underlayment with
moisture barrier with the membrane flap extended out onto the
sub floor. Initially, perform the installation with only one row
of foam laid out. When it is time to lay the next row of foam,
lay it over the extended plastic membrane flap and duct tape the
foam sections together to form a moisture barrier. For wood sub
floors, lay out the foamand butt the edges together, as needed.
Do not overlap the edges. Tape the foam together with duct tape.
DO NOT INSTALL ANY MATERIAL THAT HAS BEEN DAMAGED OR HAS A VISIBLE
DEFECT - THE MANUFACTURER'S WARRANTY MAY NOT APPLY.
- Check all tiles. Make certain the tiles are in good condition
before starting the installation. Saw to length and do a trial
layout of the first two rows of tiles. Cut the tile with the decorative
side up when using a hand saw or table saw and decorative side
down when using a circular, jig or other type of power saw. This
allows you to make sure the important first two rows are completely
straight before you start. It will also show you how many spacers
you will need and where to put them. Always leave ¼"
minimum space between the flooring and the walls.
- Set out the rest of the tiles in the second row checking the
fit and lay out of the installation. Make sure the installation
is square before preceding.
- Begin gluing the first tile in the first row in the left hand
corner of the starting area. Hold the first tile from the second
row with the decorative side down. Apply 1/16" to 1/8"
inch bead of glue in a smooth, continuous motion, to the upper
lip of the groove on both the width and length of the tile. Use
a dry cloth to remove excess glue.
- Gently push the tile into place and use 2-3 inch pieces of blue
plastic tape to secure the seam. If the tiles will not push together,
gently tap them into place with the tapping block. Remove the
tape when the glue is set, in approximately 1 hour.
- Now glue the other side of the second tile in the first row,
gently tap into place, and apply the blue tape across the seam.
Continue in this manner until both rows are complete. When you
install the last piece in the row, use the pull bar, carefully
lever the joint together, and use the blue plastic tape. Allow
the first two rows to set up (appx. 15-20 minutes) and then continue
the installation, row after row. Remember to remove excess glue
with a dry cloth.
- Often the last row of tiles will have to be cut narrower to
fit the remaining space. The best method is to place the tiles
to be cut on top of the tiles in the next to the last row. Very
carefully align the edges, then take a scrap piece of tile (with
tongue and groove) and trace the contour of the wall onto the
tile to be cut. Saw the tile accordingly.
- Carefully fit the cut tiles into place using the pull bar. Add
the spacers to hold the joint firmly in place and use the blue
tape to hold. Remove the tape when the glue is set in approximately
- Transitions and other installation accessories are available
from your local laminate floor dealer. These include trim track
(universal metal track for installation of square nose, t-molding,
step nosing, etc), wall to floor transitions, and stair and landing
treatments. When installing a transition, ensure that the transition
does not restrict expansion of the floor. Do not nail an in-floor
transition directly to the sub floor - this will result in a "pinched"
installation. To install an in-floor transition, glue or nail
the trim track to the sub floor and then snap the transition into
- To fit around pipes, measure and drill holes at least 1/2"
larger than the diameter of the pipe to allow for movement. Saw
at a 45 degree angle to the holes in the tile.
- Always protect the floor by using felt protectors for chairs
and other heavy furniture. When moving furniture, lift and move
before setting on the floor.