Using ceramic tiles for your kitchen or bathroom floors
has many advantages over other types of flooring materials. Ceramic tiles are easy to clean, hygienic, difficult to scratch and look beautiful. They come in a wide variety of colors and hues to suit your choice of color for your floor, and add life to your desired look. In installing ceramic floor tile on your kitchen or bathroom floor, you will need the RIGHT tools for the job.
Be it for installing ceramic floor tile on the whole kitchen area, or bathroom, or simply to repair broken tiles, having the right tools for the job would make the job easier and cleaner. If you’re a newbie at this, you might want to consider asking more information about the tools to use from home center specialists, or your local tool rental yard, so you’ll know more about the kind of tools you’ll need.
Safety first. Safety gear like a pair of safety glasses, heavy duty leather gloves, work shoes and long-sleeved work clothes are essential for your tiling work. An early step in tiling is to prepare the floor. If you are installing ceramic floor tile on an existing ceramic tile floor, you may need to tear it out to get to the concrete subfloor, where you can lay in your new ceramic tiles. For that, you will need a flat-head chisel and a hammer, or a mallet. Wearing protective clothing will help you avoid getting hurt from broken shards and other debris which cause nasty cuts, if you are not careful. After chipping away the existing ceramic floor, you’ll need the concrete subfloor clean from dust and debris, so have a broom, some sponges and clean dry rags, and buckets of clean water. Use a handheld sander to roughen up or scarify the subfloor so that the thinset mortar or tiling adhesive may be able to take hold once you start installing ceramic floor tile on it.
After tearing out the existing ceramic tiles and cleaning the concrete subfloor, lay it out. Find the center of your concrete floor by measuring the length and width of your floor. You can do this using a tape measure, a carpenter’s level, and some chalk and string. The intersecting point is your reference for laying in your tiles. Run chalk lines over your reference point so you’ll have a guide for installing ceramic floor tile.
Once your floor’s been laid out, you can start tiling. You will need a notched trowel, tile spacers, and tile thinset mortar or tiling adhesive. As you install the tiles, don’t forget to put in tile spacers between individual tiles so that you get an even and consistent spacing for your tiling grout.
When you reach the end of your ceramic tile row, the space left may not be enough for the full size of your ceramic tiles. So, you’ll need to cut your tile to fit in the remaining space. You can do this with a tile cutter. You may purchase a tile cutter from your local home center, or rent it out from the tool rental yard. Measure out the required size (don’t forget to include extra space for your tiling grout and cut away the excess tile material. But tile cutters only work for straight cutting. When installing ceramic floor tile, you will encounter irregular shapes. For that, you will need to use a pair of tile nippers. Draw an outline of the irregular space on the underside of the tile, and then etch a line along it using a diamond cutter. Then, use your tile nipper to break off the unusable edges, until you have required shape. Do this a little at a time, so you can control your tile nipping. Beware: The cut edges of the tiles are deceptively sharp. Smooth the cut edge with sandpaper so you can safely handle it.
After a setting period, you are ready to fill in the tile spaces with tiling grout. For this, you’ll need a rubber grout float. Use your grout float at angle to maximize filling in the spaces with grout, and press firmly as you go along. While you’re letting the grout dry for a while, get a few buckets of water, sponges and some clean rags. Remove the excess grout on your ceramic tile floor with a damp sponge. Rinse your sponge regularly so you can get a clean wipe and finish every time. Once done, dry your ceramic tile floor with the clean rags.
Getting the right tools and materials for installing ceramic floor tile on your kitchen or bathroom floor is important if you want to have a ceramic tile floor that is clean and pleasing to the eye. You can get most, if not all of your tiling tools from your local hardware store or home center. For equipment that is just too expensive to buy, visit a local tool rental yard and ask if they have the tools you need. Get the right tools for a ceramic floor that will last a lifetime.