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Steps To Perfect Tiling
Written by Elizabeth Wood
Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement


In order to tile a floor successfully, it is suggested that you do some careful floor preparation and become familiar with some of the general guidelines involved. By following a few important steps, tiling your floor can be done easily and effectively.

Step 1.) Symmetry: It is important that your tile floor appear symmetrical. In order to do this, you will need to find a center point to begin working. Make sure to pay special attention to smaller rooms.

Step 2.) Baseline: If the room you are working in isn't perfectly square, your tiling make appear off center and sloppy. Use a wall as your baseline. The tiles will appear parallel to that wall and make the entire tiling job look neat and professional.

Step 3.) Working Lines: During layout, it is important to consider where the eye will first fall. In most cases, the best idea is to identify the longest wall and establish the first "working line." If the room is large, it is best to use chalk lines. Use your center point and baseline to snap a perpendicular line on an opposing wall at the exact spot the tile needs to be placed. This will divide the room into four sections in which you will be working outward from the center point.

Step 4.) Testing Rows: It is always a good idea to position rows of tiles in each section and line them to the wall and around the wall. By doing this you will soon find out if you have selected the right center point, if tiles can be cut properly to fit certain spaces, and if all the other measurements were made accurately.

Step 5.) Cutting Tile: With the right tools, cutting tile can be easy. Be sure to always wear adequate eye protection and gloves. The first step to cutting tiles is to measure accurately with a tape measure. Use a felt tip marker to mark the glazed surface. Next you will need a tile cutter. Simply slide the tile in place by aligning the center line of the cutter with the mark in which the tile is to be cut. Once the tile is in place, use the lever and draw the cutter across the surface of the tile. Be sure to use even pressure. Lastly, snap the tile.

Step 6.) Prepare the Surface: Make sure the surface is dry and flat. Remove all unsecured sheet flooring, damaged tiles, loose plaster, wallpaper, and pealing paint from walls and floors. Clear everything and anything that will interfere with the layout of your new tile. Be sure to carefully prepare the surface and plan the layout for your new tiles. The more time you spend preparing and planning, the better off the overall project will come out.

Step 7.) Adhesives/Grouting: Tile is typically used in areas that receive a certain amount of moisture, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. For this reason, it is important to use a waterproof adhesive. You also have the option of using grout. Grout is a messier process that will take more time. But results will be the same. Also, with grout you have the option of adding a pigment.

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