How to Tile > Step 2
A. PROPERLY PREPARE ALL SURFACES
Do not set tile over presswood, particleboard, chipboard, masonite, gypsum-based patching compounds, asbestos board and Lauan. Waterproof areas subject to wet conditions with a Waterproofing Membrane.
- Remove all wallpaper, adhesive, fixtures, moldings and electrical outlet plates.
- Be sure all surfaces are dry, level, structurally sound, flawless, solid and free from dust, oil, grease, paint, soap, tar, wax, curing compounds, sealers, release agents, loosely bonded toppings, loose particles, or any substances which may prevent or reduce adhesion by the setting material.
- Fill any nail holes, cracks and other surface defects using a Patching Compound, Self-leveling Underlayment or Crack Isolation Membrane where needed.
- Thoroughly sand painted surfaces to remove any gloss or shine.
- Make sure concrete is completely free from moisture and fully cured (at least 28 days old).
Plywood Sub-Floors and Underlayments
- Make sure sub-floor was properly installed with at least 2 layers of 5/ 8 ” CC plugged or better plywood, screwed 8″ on center in all directions and has a ” gap between all sheets (all sides and at walls).
- Make sure floor is well ventilated to prevent swelling from moisture build up.
B. CUT THE TILE
- ALWAYS WEAR PROTECTIVE EYEWEAR WHEN CUTTING TILE.
- Mark and cut all tiles needing to be cut before you apply adhesive or mortar.
- To make straight cuts, score tile with a tile cutter and snap the tile (figure 4).
- Use nippers to make curved or rounded cuts for use around faucets, outlets, etc (figure 5).
- BE CAREFUL, TILE IS SHARP! Smooth edges with a carborundum stone.
C. SET THE TILE
- Add mortar or adhesive material to area with a margin trowel.
- Using the straight edge of a notched trowel at a 45 angle, spread evenly the coat of material on the surface.
- Using the teeth edge of the notched trowel and additional material, comb material into an even-setting bed (figure 6)
- If skinning appears (when a thin layer of material dries on the surface) scrape off and apply fresh material.
- Only spread material enough to cover an area that can be completed within 20 minutes (approx. 20 sq. ft.).
- Place the first tile at the intersection of the vertical and horizontal lines.
- Do not slide tiles in place. Place tiles firmly with a twisting motion (figure 7), ensuring that 85% of surface back is covered (figure 8). Place remaining tiles working towards the exit.
- Do not step on freshly laid tile. If necessary, use plywood boards to step-on or kneel-on while you work.
- Use designated grout spacers to ensure an even, attractive installation.
- Once tiles are in position, use a rubber mallet and beating block to beat tiles so that at least 25% of the tile thickness is embedded in the material (figure 9).
- Let tiles set completely before grouting (at least 24 hours).