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How to Tile Floors

by:Heng Xing     2020-05-04
Floor tile is set very much the same way as wall tile. The surface must first be in good condition, firm, perfectly smooth and free from moisture and foreign matter. Floor tile - the smaller unglazed units - come pasted on to paper sheets measuring l'x2'. Sheets of the tile are pressed into the adhesive spread on the floor, with the papered side uppermost. Let the tile set an hour. Wet the paper slightly with a damp sponge and pull it off the tile. At this time, the adhesive will still be pliant so you can re-align individual tiles if necessary. If you have to walk over the floor now, do so on board or cardboard so your weight will be more equally distributed. The floor, just like the wall, should be allowed to set for a day before grouting. But floor tile, which has little absorbency, doesn't have to be soaked before grouting. The grout mixture here is different. It should consist of one part waterproof Portland cement and one part finely screened sand. A minimum amount of water should be used in mixing - just enough for workability. Spread this mixture over the floor and work it into the joints with a squeegee. Joints should be completely filled. All excess mortar should be removed before it begins to harden. Use a burlap cloth at first and then a damp cloth. If necessary, go over it several times until all traces of grout are gone. Then polish with a dry cloth. The floor must now be cured. Cover it and keep all traffic off it for about three days. If it's necessary to walk on it during that time, put down boards. Where Tile Can Be Used Fine installations of ceramic tile by the homemaker have been made on bathroom walls, floors and countertops; in home laundries where a definitely waterproof surface is required; anywhere in the kitchen, including extensive countertops and splash-backs; and in game rooms where a durable yet permanently decorative finish is desired. Tile is being used increasingly as surfacing for living room floors and in the dining area. The most recent trend is the use of colorful tile on the exterior of homes where a decorative yet weatherproof paneling is desired, such as the exterior overlooking the outdoor terrace. Terraces, of course, have long been made of tile - quarry tile which is also made from natural ceramic materials. Quarry comes in shades of red, chocolate and buff. Entranceways are also popular sites for quarry tile. Smaller decorative uses of tile around the home include: fireplace fronts, hearths, windowsills where plants are set, table tops, surfaces of room dividers, radiator tops, stairways, and shelves. Cleaning Ceramic Tile All tile made from natural ceramic materials is easy to keep clean. A detergent is best for both floor and wall. For floors, the detergent solution should remain on the surface a few minutes before mopping. Wipe the floor and wall dry with a soft cloth. Most soap leaves a sticky film over tile. This film retains dirt and could make the floor slippery. If such a condition already exists it can be remedied with a wash of commercial scouring powder or kerosene. Waxes, plastic finishes, polishes, emulsions, nonslip coatings and the like are never required. Marble Tile Marble tiles are available to be applied to any wall surface that has been properly prepared. The marble tiles are installed in a manner somewhat the same as ceramic tiles. Here is the technique of handling marble, in this case Vermont Pavonazzo. Vinyl Tiles Although extremely popular in 12' squares for floor covering, vinyl tiles in the 17/4' squares for use on walls has decreased in popularity in the last few years. They have given way almost exclusively to ceramic tile which once was a mark of affluence because of their then high cost. Now, fired clay, or ceramic tiles, are being imported and sold at prices comparable to that of vinyl. Even at comparable prices, other factors weigh in favor of ceramic for wall applications. Ceramic tile has a sheen and luster that cannot be matched by vinyl. They are hard, however, and in places where furniture may bump against the tile, vinyl may be preferred. The resilience of vinyl is, of course, excellent for use as a floor covering. Vinyl tile is good for use in bathrooms, and it washes easily. For use in kitchens, one precaution must be considered. If vinyl tile is used behind the kitchen range there is the possibility of discoloration in time. Vinyl tile is not fireproof and the heat of the range may affect it. Of two types available one is applied with a mastic or adhesive and the other is self-adhesive.
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