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  1. Tiles By: Ashley, Thomas, nick ,Cole

  2. 1.How to lay out reference lines for floor tiles (bathroom) • If you have one wall that is definitely more visible than the others, you want your tile to be square to this wall. Snap a chalk line or draw a line out 90 degrees from the center of this wall to the opposite wall.Next, find the center of this line and draw a line perpendicular to it that runs into the remaining two walls. Double check that these lines are perfectly square; these are your starting reference lines. • If your walls are all equally visible, draw lines between the midpoints of the room's opposing walls. This should give you two perpendicular lines crossing at the center point of the room. These 90 degree reference lines are the key to a good layout

  3. 2.How to spread floor adhesive using a notched trowel • First of all you have to prepare the sub-floor, before spreading the thin-set. Therefore, fill the cracks and vacuum the residues and other particles. In addition, use a large level to check if the floor is perfectly horizontal. If needed, you have to pour a thin layer of self-leveling compound to make it horizontal. • Next, you have to buy the tile adhesive, according to your needs. On one hand, you could purchase powder thinnest (based on cement), which is perfect for bathrooms, kitchens and other wet areas, or could go for glue adhesive (easier to mix, but it doesn’t resist against water).

  4. Spreading the Glue Step #1 Mixing the glue • Mix the tile adhesive in a clean bucket, by using a drill machinery and a paddle. Nevertheless, you can also mix the thinset by hand, with a margin trowel. • Before spreading tile adhesive on floor, you have to make sure it doesn’t have lumps and the consistency is right. Load material on the trowel and see if it falls. If it stays on the notched trowel, but in the same time it can be spread on the floor, it means that it has the right consistency.

  5. In order to spread an even layer of tile adhesive, you need to use a notched trowel. This tool is essential for a professional job, therefore make sure you clean it thoroughly before using it. • You should notice that the trowel has also two straight edges and two notched sides.

  6. How to spread adhesive • Next, use a margin trowel or a palette knife to load the notched trowel with tile adhesive. Work with great care and wear gloves if your skin is sensitive. Spreading adhesive is a messy job, so we recommend you to put on some old cloths. • You don’t have to load too much material on the trowel (what you see in the image is enough), otherwise it will be hard to spread it on the wall / floor.

  7. Next, use the straight edge of the trowel to spread the adhesive on the surface. Hold the trowel at about 45º and move it several times, backward and forward until the adhesive bed is relatively even. • Smart tip: don’t apply adhesive on a large surface, but just enough to lay 3-4 tiles, otherwise it will dry out.

  8. Next, comb the tile adhesive with the notched edge of the trowel. Remember that you have to hold the trowel angled at about 45º, otherwise the ridges will be too thin. • Repeat the procedure, until the whole surface is covered with an even bed of tile adhesive. Work with patience and add more adhesive on the floor if necessary.

  9. Afterwards, you have to lay the tiles on the glue and set them into position, by using a mallet. Do not hit the tiles too hard, otherwise you risk damaging them.  • Use spacers between the floor tiles, as to get consistent joints.

  10. There are situation in which you don’t have access to a certain area (under a radiator, or other large items) and you cannot spread the adhesive on the floor. • In these situations, the right technique is to apply adhesive directly on the back of the tiles. In order to get the job done as a professional, you should comb the adhesive with the notched trowel.

  11. Last but not least, spreading tile adhesive on a wall should be done using the same techniques described above. • Just work with patience and don’t apply the glue on a larger surface than needed. Make sure you comb the adhesive with the notched edge of a trowel. Before installing the wall tiles, ensure the ridges are even.

  12. 3.Ensure that all tiles are evenly spaced and uniform across the surface • Once you've established the layout, you can start setting tile. But first, be sure your floor surface is thoroughly clean of dust and debris. • Prepare only enough tile mortar to be used within 30 minutes, this will prevent it from drying out. • Set all of your full tiles first, leaving any cut tiles around the perimeter of the room for last.

  13. Spreading Mortar • Scoop a glob of mortar on the floor. Spread it evenly within one section using the straight edge of a notched trowel. Try not to cover up your layout lines, you'll need them to align the tiles. • Using the notched edges of the trowel, comb out the mortar. Hold the trowel at a consistent angle (around 45 degrees) so the top of the mortar has a uniform height. The pattern of the ridges isn't important. If the mortar is too dry, the ridges won't comb out evenly; there tend to be gaps. If it's too wet, the ridges won't hold and they'll all blend together. • Again, work right up to the layout lines, but try not to cover them up.

  14. Setting and Spacing Tile • Lay the first tile in a corner, pressing down and twisting it a little to set it into the mortar. Test this first tile by prying it up by its corner and looking on the back side. About 70-80 percent of the tile should be covered with mortar. If you see nothing, the mortar is too dry. If you see only parallel lines of mortar, the ridges are too shallow. • Set the remaining tiles, aligning them to your outside layout lines. Keeping consistent spacing between the tiles is critical for straight, uniform grout lines. And remember that for two sides of the box the tiles should be set right up to the layout lines, and for the other two sides you need to leave a gap for a grout joint between the edge of the tile and the layout line.  (One tile setter we know ALWAYS sets the tiles tight to the front line and the right line of each section, and leaves the gap on the left side and the back side.)

  15. Setting and Spacing Tile #2 • Once the tiles are roughly in place you want to set them into the mortar and get them all at the same height. You can sometimes use a rubber mallet or grout float to push a corner or edge of tile down a little.  You will probably also have to pry up some tiles to add or remove a little bit of mortar, just to get them all level across the tops. • After setting a section, clean up any mortar that has squeezed up between the tiles. A putty knife or pencil works good for this. Also, sponge off any mortar on the tile surface. • And before you move on the to next section, that’s when you give the tiles one last eyeballing for spacing.  You can drive yourself crazy trying to get the spacing perfect as you’re leveling and cleaning them.  Wait until this moment to get it perfect.  Then move on to the next section.

  16. Setting Perimeter Tile #3 • One good plan of attack is to set all of your full tiles one day and come back the next day to measure, cut and set the tiles around the edges.  This way can rent or borrow a tile snapper or a tub saw for a single day and you can take your time and get each cut tile just right.It's a good idea to do measure each cut tile individually because the walls may not be square and you'll have to cut each tile a different width

  17. Back Buttering • Sometimes you won't be able to trowel the mortar directly on the floor, like under cabinets or in small areas. That's when you need to "back butter" the tiles individually. • Spread the mortar on the back of the tile with a notched trowel. If the tile is too small you can also use a margin trowel to spread the mortar. • Set the tile giving it a little twist to insure good contact with the underlayment.

  18. 4.How to apply grout (Choosing Grout)

  19. Choosing Grout • For grout joints wider than 1/16” you’ll want to use sanded grout.  Having sand mixed into the grout gives the grout extra strength to keep it from cracking (the same way that gravel helps make concrete stronger).  Most floor tile installations will use sanded grout. • For grout joints thinner than 1/16” (typically on walls and sometimes on countertops) non-sanded grout will work just fine.  It’s also easier to work the creamy, non-sanded grout into smaller grout joints. • Picking the right color for your grout is one of the biggest challenges.  The printed colors shown in grout brochures will be a little misleading.  We almost always recommend buying a small quantity of several grouts and doing some real-life samples For floor installations, some tile contractors we know will actually pour dry grout over small areas of the floor, sweep it off the surface and get a sense of how the different color grouts will look in the actual setting.  (The advantage of this method is that they can then just vacuum the dry grout out once the decision has been made.) • But dry grout will not have the same color as the same grout once it’s been mixed, applied, finished and then left to cure.  So when we’re in doubt about the color we take some leftover tile, glue it to a scrap piece of plywood, and actually mix up the grouts we’re considering, apply them, let them cure, and THEN make our choice. • Our other bit of advice about grout colors: don’t use white grout on a floor or counter top  It’s hard to keep clean.  A light gray grout will keep up its appearance better.

  20. Applying grout • Follow the directions of the bag or box for mixing the grout. Mix up only as much as you’ll be able to use in about 30 minutes.  • Just like with thinset mortar, after you’ve mixed it well, let it “slake” for ten minutes or so to let the moisture penetrate any remaining globs of powder and to give any additives in the mortar time to activate.  Then give it one last stir.

  21. Applying grout #2 • You’ll use a padded grout float to spread the grout over the tiles and force it into the joints.  For wall applications you can usually scoop up the grout from the bucket with the short side of the float.  For floors you’ll want to use your ever-present, handy-dandy margin trowel to scoop globs of mortar onto the floor. • We like to say that if you aren’t working up a sweat when you’re grouting then you’re not doing a good enough job.  You drag the grout across the whole surface of the area with the long side of the float and then use two hands on the float to push it down into the joints. • When you’ve finished an area (we usually work in areas about 3’ wide and 2’ deep), hold the long edge of the float almost perpendicular to the floor and scrape the excess grout off the surface of the tiles.  When you’re scraping the grout, make sure you’re sweeping diagonally to the joints so that the float is always running along the surface of the tiles and not accidentally digging the grout out of the joints. • When you’re working on a floor you usually just scrape the grout across into the next area you’re going to work on.  When you’re working on a wall you’ll probably end up with the excess grout on the float.  Either scrape it back into the bucket of grout or go ahead and spread it out in the next area you’re going to work on.

  22. Applying grout Cleaning off tiles

  23. Cleaning Off Tile • You’ll have to use some judgment about how long to continue with the spread-smush-and-scrape phase before you go back to clean off the surface of the tiles.  You want the grout in the joints to have a little time to harden, but you don’t want to wait so long that the residue on the surface of the tiles gets too hard to clean off.  For a do-it-yourselfer, an area the size of the back wall of a bath/shower surround (or maybe about 10 square feet of floor) is about as much as you’ll want to do before starting to clean the tile surface. • You'll need a bucket of fairly clean water and a soft, thick sponge for cleaning off the grout. Use a gentle circular motion with a damp sponge to clean the surface, rinsing the sponge out often. • When you can’t see grout any more on the surface, move on to “shaping” the grout in the joints.  Gently run a damp sponge parallel to the direction of the joints, trying to get the grout just a little below the surface of the tile.  But try not to expose the edges of the tile. Here it's especially important to be using a fat sponge with big, rounded edges.

  24. Cleaning off tile #2 • When all the joints look good, you’re ready for the final wash. • Squeeze the sponge out pretty dry and wipe it gently along the surface of the tile with one stroke.  Flip the sponge over and use the clean side for the next stroke.  Then rinse the sponge and repeat, working across the area.  Resist the temptation to make more than one stroke with one side of the sponge.  (Some pros use two sponges, one in each hand, to minimize the trips back to the bucket.) • The job will look great while the surface of the tiles is still wet.  But as they dry off you’ll notice a slight haze forming.  If you’ve done the washing right, this haze will be so thin that you can leave it on while the grout in the joints continues to harden.  You should be able to come back a little later and use a soft rag to gently rub the haze away.

  25. Purpose of sealing the grout. • No do not seal grout. Grout needs to be able to breathe, so that any moisture that gets in behind your tile is able to escape. If you seal the grout, that can't happen. No matter what, moisture - steam and water - eventually will get through the grout, or through a crack in your tile. So, if your grout is sealed, how will that water evaporate back out? It can't. And that will lead to problems


  27. Advantages of using concrete backboard • The advantage of cement backerboards is that, while not waterproof, they are dimensionally stable when wet. That just means that when they get wet they do not swell up. Any swelling behind tile is a bad thing. It will lead to cracking grout, tile, and all sorts of bad things.

  28. Advantages of using a mortar bed • In the case of the floating mortar bed, the tile layer is unaffected by minor cracking and movement in the substrate. This can be very important in applications over concrete where cracking in the concrete could result in cracking in the tile. It is also very important in tile installations over structural slabs (not on grade) or other structures where vibration and deflection can be expected (as occurs in some exterior walls).

  29. What is a jury stick? • On walls you can't really lay out tile to see how they're going to fit. So it's a good idea to make what's called a jury stick or tile stick. Basically this is a straight piece of wood (a 1x2 works well) with the proper tile spacing marked on it.

  30. How to layout and set wall tile • The basic principle of any tile layout is that you want full tiles in the most visible areas of a room, and you hide cut tiles in less visible areas. • Generally, all of the horizontal grout lines should line up from wall-to-wall in a room.  In figuring out the vertical grout lines, you should treat each wall, or section of wall, as a separate layout. This way you can choose the best layout for the visibility of each wall.

  31. How to layout and set wall tile

  32. How to cut ceramic tiles around hot and cold water pipes • Step 1 : Measure and mark the area to be cut on the piece of porcelain tile. If the hole is to go around a plumbing appliance on a wall, such as the shower head pipe where it extends through the substrate, or the hot and cold water valves on a bathtub wall, make a simple mark on the tile as a center point to use as a reference. Accurately draw any square, rectangular or other types of cut-outs on the face of the tile.

  33. Cutting tiles cont. • Step 2:Make any non-circular cuts using the tile wet saw. Use the lines as a reference point. Use a tile saw that has an adjustable “chop saw” (otherwise known as plunge) mechanism on it. Loosen the swing mechanism prior to making any cuts, which allows you to raise the blade of the saw above the cutting tray, slide the tray with the piece of tile on it directly beneath the blade, and then plunge the entire mechanism downward into the piece of tile. Repeat this process for each line of the square/rectangle/triangle or other type of non-circular hole. You may also use a hand-held masonry saw for non-circular cuts

  34. Cutting tiles cont. • Step 3 :Make all circular cuts with the drill and carbide/diamond core drill bit. Core bits come in a variety of widths depending on the size of the hole (usually for a pipe) that you need to cut. In most cases, you will use a core bit that is half an inch larger in diameter than the actual pipe. Once you have placed a corresponding mark on the piece of tile, center the drill bit onto the mark and apply pressure while drilling, thereby cutting a hole through the piece of tile. This is the only way to make circular cuts through a piece of porcelain tile.

  35. Where should you use caulk? • Caulk is used to finish off the edges of ceramic tile installations, and help make transitions between two surfaces like a tile wall and a bathtub. Most caulks come in color and texture similar to the grout used with the rest of the ceramic tiles