Tile Installation

The tile is to a fabric as the tiled surface is to a garment. Suitable, good quality material is required in order to make a garment, but it is not enough.  The assistance of a good designer and tailor are also required. Similarly, in order to create a well tiled surface, good quality and well-chosen tiles are required but are not enough: an expert designer and a good tile installer are also required. In the hands of a designer/tiler, the tiles become like the material in the hands of the tailor/designer.

 

Laying the tiles means realizing the project.  The installer must assess the area to be tiled, the tiles that have been chosen and design which he may have drawn up as well.  He assesses the cost and the time. It is always wise to ask for a written quotation.

 

The Designer And The Installer

 

A tiled surface is a ‘building system’ that requires careful planning before the tiles are installed. This requires the services of a specialized technician.  The designer must know and assess the surface to which the tiles will be installed, which will form the ‘base’ or ‘background’ of the tiled surface; the environment in which the tiles will be installed; which tiles have been chosen and their technical characteristics.   Using this information, the designer must establish and specify:

  • the tiling technique: the type, composition, thickness and application procedure of the bedding layer.  The bedding layer may consist of cement/sand mortar (thick bed method) or tile adhesive (thin set method).

  • any special treatments or auxiliary layers that are to be applied to the surface that is to be tiled (tile over tile, tile over marble).

 

The designer must:

 

1. Establish and specify if the tiles should be installed in a parallel or diagonal pattern.

2. Whether to follow the tile design’s orientation or to compose a certain design on a number of tiles.

3. Consider whether to make the center of the room as the reference point (one tile exactly centered), or no tile           cuttings on entrance.

4. Remember that the type and route of the grouting has important effects on aesthetics, technical and budgetary       constraints. Eurotiles suggest 4mm to 8mm distance between tiles.  Closer distances may cause the tiles to             swell up and become detached in case of structural movements (e.g. tremors, vibrations).

 

The installer must:

 

1. Organize tiling operations

2. Check the surface to be tiled and prepare them accordingly.

3. Carefully check the measurements, the corners, whether the walls are upright, unevenness in the floors, and if         necessary to take appropriate measures (roughing or topping to make the surface plane and even).

4. Optimize tiling work plan; arrange tiles in harmonious manner (cut tiles or ill-matched tiles must not be installed       in the most noticeable positions).

5. Prepare the mortar or adhesives and install the tiles

6. After leaving the tiles to set for a certain time (few hours for tile adhesives, to one to three days for mortar),               according to the type of surface (floor or wall), apply the grout and give the surface a final cleaning (wipe-off  m     excess grout with wet sponge/cloth).

 

Pointers:

1. Tiles will set satisfactorily provided that the surface is not touched too soon.  Planks may be laid over a tiled floor     before walking on it and heavy furniture and household furnishings should also not be placed on it.

2. If other tasks have to be carried out in the newly tiled area, the tiles must be properly protected from damage         (abrasions, scratches, paints).

3. In many cases, polished porcelain tiles (synthetic granite) are more exposed to the risk of stains from colored         grouts than unpolished ones.

4. Make sure no air is trapped between tile and bedding (tap with hammer’s wood handle when setting the tile to       prevent this situation).

 

LAYING CERAMIC TILE FLOORS

 

New adhesives and grout facilitated the ease of tile installation, and an increased variety of epoxy and cement mortars allowed for different setting bed thickness.

 

Mortar beds are now lighter, more flexible, and much thinner than they were previously, having shrunk from several inches to as thin as 3/32".  A greater variety of materials are used for setting ceramic floor tiles, including bonding agents and waterproof membranes.  Basic installation methods have not changed significantly, but they vary according to the type of sub floor on which the tile is to be laid.  While the same concerns for level underlayment and strong adhesion exist, advancement has occurred mostly in the increased speed and ease of laying the tiles through the use of thin set adhesive.

 

For existing wooden floors, carefully cover with cement boards.   Make sure the boards are tightly tacked and without movement before applying the tile adhesive mixture.  In some cases, reinforcement of wooden flooring is required to fix movement problems before covering with cement board.

For best results on using tile bonding adhesives (TBA): Strictly follow the manufacturer’s instructions.  Refer to Eurotiles Superior Tile Adhesive bag or MATRIX bag or flyers with installation instructions.