4 Tips For Installing Porcelain Tile

Porcelain is a beautiful material to use for tiling your floors. It can be used in your bathrooms, kitchen, or your entryway. If you want to try installing the tiles on your own, these tips can help you get it done properly.

Remove the Flooring

If you have not done so already, you will first need to remove the current flooring. You not only need to remove any carpet or tile that is currently laid, but the subflooring and trim as well. As you remove the flooring, make sure you also remove any staples or nails, because these can get in the way of an even tile flooring during installation. Also be sure the surface is level by scraping it clean, followed by vacuuming dust, dirt and debris.

Prepare the Subfloor

Once you know the surface is clean and level, you can start preparing the new subflooring for the porcelain tiles. The subfloor is very important when you are installing tile because you can reinforce it so that it doesn't expand and crack the porcelain tiles. Put down a thin layer of cement board as your subflooring, and you won't have the problem with it expanding as you would with wood, but it still provides a flat, stable surface for the tile.

The cement board can be laid down with simple roofing nails after cutting them to fit your flooring properly. A carbide-tipped tool can help you score them and snap them off so they meet the edge of your flooring and give you a clean edge. For cement board, it is best to stagger the pieces, just as you would if you were installing wood flooring.

Finding Your Starting Point

The last thing to do before you actually lay down the tiles is tape the seams and find your starting point. You want the cement board seams to be covered with cement board tape, as this prevents unevenness when the tiles are installed. To find the starting point, begin at the center of the room. Run chalk lines across the length of the room, and then the width of the room. These lines should be equal to each other.

Install the Porcelain Tiles

You are finally ready to install the tiles. Porcelain installation works well when you use a thin set material. Mix it with water in a bucket, according to the package's instructions. You want the mixture to be the consistency of creamy peanut butter. Your electric drill might have a mixer attachment that makes this process easier. Use the thin set material to place tiles one at a time. You want to go across the room starting from the center chalk line, then moving gradually to the edge of the room. They should sit for at least a day or so before finishing with the grout. Contact a tile dealer like AW Eurostile to get started.