Steps To Tile A Floor Using Cement Tiles
Tiling a floor is a profession and those who specialized in doing it makes good money from it. The idea of tiling a floor may vary from one country to another due to differences in weather and environmental conditions.
Whichever be the case of the materials your country uses, it is important to grab this idea in case if such need arises and there is no available tiller in your area.
Some who could not afford the cost usually go for tiles that are less expensive like the plastic tiles. Those who could not afford any of them or who may have some other preferences can go for carpets and rugs.
Before tiling a floor there are factors that must be considered, such factors include:
FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED BEFORE TILING A FLOOR
- The topography of the floor. This simply means how smooth or leveled the floor is. Tiling a floor will require that the floor is made smooth and uniform on the surface level.
- The material used for the floor. This is important because cement tiles cannot be used on floors made of woods, backed clays, iron or steel floor surfaces, floor made of thick glasses, and so many other possible floor materials. In my building experience, I have noticed that all the cement tiles usually used for flooring are on floors made with concretes. You will understand the detail of concrete floor at the end of this article.
- The quality of the concrete floor. A concrete floor that was made with poorly mixed concretes will not be able to last long, the evidence will be visible when the floor starts to crack after some time, hence mounting tiles on such floor will make some of the tiles to sink inside and possibly break in pieces after some time.
- The quality of the building. There are some newly built houses that may not need cement tiles on their floors, instead; special customized interlocking stones can give the floor the beauty it deserves than cement tiles. So if you are a builder, prescribing such to your client may not be a bad idea.
STEPS TO CARRY OUT GOOD-LOOKING TILING WORK
Assuming all these factors are in place, and you are required to proceed in the tiling work there are procedures you must follow to ensure the floor has its surface well organized and your tiling work appears professional, to achieve that follow the guidelines below:
- Sweep the floor surfaces and scrub the areas that need to be smoothened.
- Use spirit gauges and plumbs to detect areas on the floor that has no uniform level with others. Mark out those areas with chalk or any other colored material, indicating the diameter or perimeters of such area, if possible; use precision tools to know the difference in height such area has with other surfaces.If the area found to be defective is higher or above the main uniform areas, then you may be required to chisel down that area. But if it appears to be lower or below the main uniform areas, you may decide to compensate the depth during the tiling process by adding more mortar on the surface of that area before dropping the cement tile on it.
- After the above, proceed to square the floor surfaces. Squaring the floor surfaces involves obtaining the squared pattern of the floor, such that you can determine how many tiles that can cover the floor. Besides that, it will also help you to know where to start placing the tiles and the actual location each tile supposed to be. After squaring the floor and marking out the important areas on the floor, any other little space or gap that may exist can be filled up by cutting out such size from a complete tile or broken tile such that the whole job appears professional.
- After the actions in number 3, pour enough quantity of water on the floor and allow the water to be absorbed such that the floor appears soft and smooth. At that instant, if there are hard areas that refused to be chiseled initially, try chiseling them again and you will observe that they will be easier this time.
- Prepare your mortar for the laying of the tiles. First make a mortar of cement and soft sand at the ratio of about five wheelbarrows of sand to one bag of cement, the reason for the above ratio is to ensure the mortar is concentrated with enough cement so that the adhesion between the floor and the tiles will be very strong and defects on the floor surface may not easily affect the tiles.
- The mortar should be mixed properly with enough water in it but should not be too soft that it cannot maintain its shape when spread on the floor.
- Pour the mortar in a head pan used in building works and starting from the edges you marked doing the squaring in number 3, gradually use a hand trowel to empty the mortar from one side of the edges.
- Do not spread the mortar over a wide area on the floor else it may get strong before you would reach out to place the tiles on all the areas, and do not empty all the mortar on a particular sport so that you can start spreading it from the sport, the reason is because the bottom of it may stick to the floor surface before you could reach out to spread it to other areas you are placing the tiles.So the idea is, use a hand trowel to drop about six packs and spread the small quantity in the small space you could tile within the short time and then move to the next space to repeat the same process.
- Before dropping the tile on the mortar, pour some cement in another head pan, and mix the cement with water such that it appears watery. This watery cement will be spread on the back of the tile where it will make contact with the floor before dropping the tile on the mortar.
- Repeat the process in number 9 to ensure all the floor surfaces are covered.
PRECAUTIONS DURING TILING WORK
- Avoid touching any tile once it has been placed on the mortar else, you may distort the whole arrangements on the floor.
- Do not allow anyone to walk or place any object on the tiles until about forty-eight hours when it would solidify.
- To avoid the temptation of matching on the tiles after placing them on the floor, start your tiling job in a way that the last tiles will be placed at the exit points and never forget to move backward with all your working tools including the excess mortar on the floor.
Having read these guidelines I believe you will have a successful working experience when the need arises. However, do not hesitate to drop your experience, encounters and suggestions or questions in the process through our available comment form and questions forum.
Philip is a graduate of Mechanical engineering and an NDT inspector with vast practical knowledge in other engineering fields, and software.
He loves to write and share information relating to engineering and technology fields, science and environmental issues, and Technical posts. His posts are based on personal ideas, researched knowledge, and discovery, from engineering, science & investment fields, etc.
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