Tile Laying



The secret of successful floor tiling is to spend time working out the tile positions - this is called setting out. First mark the mid-points of the longest wall and make a chalk line at right angles to this mark. Repeat for the adjacent shorter wall so that you have a pair of lines that cross.

Remove the skirting boards and door thresholds.



Lay your floor tiles along the two lines to work out the best positions. It\'s worth adjusting their positions slightly to use as many whole tiles as possible. Avoid having cut tiles along the wall that is seen as you walk into the room.

Tip: If any of the gaps at the room edge are less than half a tile wide, move the line across to increase the gap. Try and make sure tiles are symmetrical around any dominant features like a fireplace.



Start to the tiling process by spreading a square metre of the adhesive into one of the corners formed by the chalk lines.

Tip: Always use a notched trowel or spreader so that the adhesive is spread in evenly sized ribbons across the floor.



Gently press down on the first tile, using the lines as a guide. Carry on tiling along one of the lines. Add more tiles until you have covered the adhesive.

Tip: Some tiles need spacing joints - check the instructions. You can use plastic spacers to make the gaps even between each tile.



Now work outwards from the centre of the room, always using the chalk lines as a guide. Spread more adhesive and continue until you have covered half the room with as many whole tiles as possible. Now start working outwards from the centre on the other side of the centre line and cover the other half of the room. Leave the adhesive to set.

Tip: Check the tiles are level by laying a spirit level diagonally across the tiles. If necessary, put more adhesive under a tile to bring it level.



Now fill in the gaps with cut tiles. Use a tile cutter to trim the tiles to size.

Tip: Before you cut, make sure you have allowed for the grouting gap between tiles. If you have to cut around door architrave or other shape, use a profile guide to copy the shape onto the tile. Cut with a tile saw.



Allow the adhesive to harden, then seal the surface of porous tiles with a floor sealer.

Tip: Some floor tiles should be protected with a sealer coat to protect them from stains - check the maker\'s instructions.



Force grout in between the tiles with a squeegee. Push the squeegee across the joints in both directions to make sure the grout is worked into all the gaps. Use the straight edge of the spreader to make a neat grout line.

Wipe off any excess grout with a damp sponge before it dries and polish the tiles with a clean cloth.