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How To Lay Ceramic Tiles

Laying ceramic tiles

Date created

Wednesday, 11 May, 2016 - 16:23

Last updated

Wednesday, 11 May, 2016 - 16:23

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The Key to laying ceramic tiles is that they must be laid on a suitable mostly flat surface. Ceramic tiles no matter what type all take compressive loads well. However laying ceramic tiles on walls, floors, bathrooms, and kitchen splash backs are the most common places where ceramic tiles are laid. Laying tiles is a fairly simple process however it does require a high degree of accuracy and quality materials. Find out how!

Step: 

Laying Ceramic tiles

The Key to laying ceramic tiles is that they must be laid on a quality surface. Ceramic tiles, no matter what type, all take compressive loads well but not reflective loads or where the sub-straight can flex . However laying ceramic tiles on walls, floors, bathrooms, and kitchen splash backs are the most common places in a house. Laying tiles is a fairly simple process however it does require a high degree of accuracy and quality materials.

Laying Wall Tiles:

To lay wall tiles, the wall must be flat as possible to receive a flat tile. Also if the wall has been painted it is best to sore the surface well so the tile adhesive will have a key to hold on to. If this is not done it is possible the paint will fail and thus the tiles will start to fall off. The best surfaces to lay tiles on to are cement backer board (fibre cement sheeting), cement render, plasterboard and concrete. Tiles are made to precise measurements and thus must be laid on a clean flat surface. Some common examples of this would be laying tile on a kitchen splash back and bathroom walls.

Laying tiles: Kitchen Splash back:

The kitchen is installed first and the level bench top is used to lay tiles up the wall to form a kitchen splash back. Starting level and staying level when laying ceramic tiles is the key to a quality job. If this is not done you will chase the tile level all the way up the wall and this will result in a tile bathroom tilesjob with excessive gaps.

Laying tiles on Bathroom walls:

When laying tiles on bathroom walls it is common to use level timber battens that are installed right around the room, so that the first tile is flat and level. Then you lay tile up the wall and remove the batten the next day and then cut a tile to fit in between the floor and the first tile.

Laying Ceramic Tiles on Floors:

Floor tiles just like walls need to be laid on a level surface to ensure a good result. The sub floor (the surface you lay tiles on) must have flloor tiling a level plane. This means you can still slope the tiles to a drain but the sub floor that is sloping must be flat. If the tiles are not laid on a flat surface or are laid on a surface with highs and lows greater than .5 of an mm there will be excessive lippage. Lippage is a term that describes the edges of the tile that protrudes above the tile that it is laid next to. Excess lippage means that one or more tiles are sticking up and you would trip on the edge of the tile.

Laying Bathroom Tiles:

Bathroom floor tiling needs a slight slope for water runoff. This means the cement under the tiles will need a slight slope and still be as flat as possible. The larger the ceramic tiles the more critical this becomes. Laying large ceramic tiles in a bathroom can be difficult and most times one or more of the tiles will need to be spit to get the correct fall into the drains. For the DIY tiler that is learning how to tile it would be easest not to start laying ceramic floor tiles in a bathroom that are larger than 300mm x 300mm.

General floor ceramic floor tiling:

The same applies to ceramic tiling for general floor tiling the surface must be flat and strong. If the sub floor has flex the tiles and or grout will crack. If the floor has excessive highs and lows you must level the floor first. For concrete floors use cement based floor leveling compond which is available at your local hardware store. For uneven timber floors have the floor sanded flat before laying ceramic tiles.