TILES

GENERAL Tile is a durable and attractive material for floors and walls. Easily maintained, it may be just the look we want for our living room, bathroom or kitchen. The decorator effect of tile has only recently taken hold in homes of all styles; from contemporary to colonial, tile has a design and style to fit all applications. Tile is widely adaptable and can be used in an array of settings, from kitchens and baths to dining rooms and living rooms. Whether it is a stone finish or a traditional glazed finish, there is a style to suit every taste. BENEFITS OF TILES When deciding on a new floor or wall, we have lots of options, and while tile is only one of those options, the following are TEN FACTS that set tile apart from others. Ease of Maintenance: While no floor remains entirely maintenance free, tile comes about as close at it can to being service free. Short of the application of the occasional sealant, tile requires only the regular cleaning that any flooring surface would require. With the installation of grout, tile becomes almost impervious to water damage, and can be virtually hosed off if necessary. Adaptability: There is a tile option for nearly any application, and imagination and creativity are only limitations when installing tile. From porticos in a dining room to a tiled hearth in front of a fireplace, we can adapt tile to nearly any surface, indoors or out. Cost Effectiveness: Tile is one of the most cost effective flooring surfaces on the market today. When considering initial costs versus longevity, it becomes quite clear that ceramic tile overall offers the best of any flooring surface. Square footage material costs stay in check with most other alternatives, and while the initial installation costs may be slightly higher, it's important to consider all the long term costs and value when judging overall cost effectiveness. Installation Variety: While our installation options are only limited by our imagination, there are a number of ideas already in place to get our creative juices flowing. Although flooring has always been the number one usage of ceramic tile, we are not limited to just floors. Backsplashes, porticos, murals and countertops can all be tiled in an artistic manner, subject to our décor. We can match our floor to our tile walls, or contrast the two to make our project stand out even more. Durability: Tile is great for high traffic situations due to its strength and resiliency to staining and wear. While not extremely impact resistant, the wear ability of tile is the reason for its durability.

Ease of Repair: Even though ceramic is strong, there is still the opportunity for breakage, as with any earthenware. When a breakage does occur, repairing tile is far simpler than fixing hardwood or plank flooring. Simply remove the broken pieces, clean the area, reinstall replacement tiles and regrout the repaired area. Completing tile repairs typically takes less time than repairing a wood floor, or even a composite flooring surface. It is important to keep several pieces of tile left over from the installation for these repair needs. Style: As always, style counts, and tile is no exception to that rule. Tile has a finish and style to adapt to any décor. There is an unlimited variety to tile, from bright vibrant colors to muted tones and everything in between. While colors and textures can vary greatly between manufacturers, virtually any combination of color and texture can be found on today's market. Easy Installation: Generally speaking, the installation process for ceramic tile is a project easily completed by the average workers. The basic procedure involves preparing the area, gauging the space, installing the tile, and grouting finished the project. Design Flexibility: There is the variety of sizing options of ceramic tiles, design flexibility is drastically improved. We can opt for smaller 6" x 6" tiles, all the way up to the 24" x 24", as well as the squaring options, such as "brick and block" or "Flemish" style joints. All these choices add to the design characteristics that are perfect for our application. Capital Improvement: In many cases, adding a tile floor and wall to the home will increase its potential resale value tremendously. Potential buyers will certainly take notice of a well installed and designed tile floor and wall. With its attractive style and impressive presentation, a good tile floor and wall can add thousands of money in potential value to prospective customers. SELECTION OF TILES When selecting a specific tile for our application, there are several factors that must be taken into consideration. • • • • Where is the space you plan on tiling? Is it a bathroom or kitchen, where water is likely to be introduced? Does the space incur a high level of traffic or excessive wear from family or pets? Is this an area where furniture will be slid or moved on a regular basis?

All these factors are keys when selecting the finish or type of tile we can appropriately install for our application. A well laid tile floor can last for centuries, so our selection should be made carefully, as this investment in our home can last as long lasting as the home itself. Homogenous tiles are used for floors and glazed tiles are for walls. We have to use only floor tiles when tiling a floor. There is a difference. Floor and

wall tiles may look similar, but floor tiles are generally thicker and are textured to make them safer to walk on. Larger floor tiles will not safely adhere to walls. On the other hand, wall tiles are less weighted, smooth and slippery. It cannot be used on floor because walking may not be safe. Ceramic floor tile is available in lots of sizes, all the way from 1 square inch - usually sold attached to sheets that are 12 inches by 12 inches - all the way up to 24 inches. Wall tiles sizes are usually 150 x 150mm (6 x 6 inches) 200 x 200mm (8 x 8 inches) 200 x 250mm (8 x 10 inches) and 200 x 300mm (8 x 12 inches). As a general rule, aim for large tiles in a large room and small tiles in a small room. Ceramic wall and floor tiles are made in a huge variety of colours, sizes and designs. However, all ceramic tiles do not resist water. In fact, some ceramic tile, called non-vitreous, will actually absorb water, so it should only be used in areas where it won't come in contact with water. Semi vitreous and impervious ceramic tiles both resist water (impervious tiles won't absorb any water all). So for using tiles on a bathroom or kitchen wall and floor, it must be semi vitreous or impervious tiles. WORKING OUT WALL AND FLOOR TILE QUANTITY The easiest method of working out how many tiles are needed is to measure the height of the wall or floor space and calculate how many of the chosen tile size will be needed to fit from floor to ceiling or over the floor space. Count any halves, or "bits" of a tile, as a whole one. Do the same for the wall width or floor width. Multiply the number required for the height by the number for the width and this will give the total number of tiles needed for the wall or floor. Repeat the process for the other walls and using the same process to deduct for doors and windows where tiling will not be done. When we have a total for the whole room, add 10%, that is add a further 10 tiles for every 100 that the calculations say to be needed. This is to allow for mistakes, breakages and to make sure we have some tiles of the same colour should any get broken later on. WALL TILES Ceramic tile provides a beautiful, long lasting wall that's easy to take care of and is almost impossible to mark or stain. Wall tiles can be installed literally any place to be able to enjoy their beauty, but the obvious locations are in kitchens (as backsplashes or countertops) and in bathrooms and showers. Preparation of the Wall Before starting the tiling work, the wall has to be prepared. Ceramic tiles can be installed directly on brick wall, plaster or over plain concrete surface. First the wall has to be cleaned. For the plain surface of concrete wall, chipping is necessary for the adhesion of cement. Before starting the work, water is given so that the wall becomes wet. Tiles are also soaked into water. This is done

because if we use dry tiles or work on dry wall, water of the mortar will be absorbed by the dry surface of the wall or the tiles. This can decrease the bonding strength of the mortar. Installation of Wall Tiles A measuring gauge is made out of a piece of timber 18mm x 44mm about 1.8 or 2.4m long marked out in exact tile widths including the spaces in between. This gauge will be used to determine where lines of tiles start and finish and to avoid difficult cutting. (Diagram 1)

To determine a starting point for tiling fix a perfectly straight length of timber to the wall horizontally with the top edge just over one tile height above the highest floor or skirting board level. A spirit level is used to check that the batten is truly horizontal. This batten, going the full width of the wall, will provide the level at which tiling commences, and will ensure that tiling lines are straight even though the floor may be uneven. The nails should not be driven fully home; they have to be removed later. (Diagram 2) Measuring gauge is used vertically from the fixed batten to check that at the top of the wall a narrow strip is not left to be tiled. Narrow tile strips are difficult to cut. If this situation arises then the horizontal fixed batten is dropped to leave roughly equal spacing at the top and bottom of the wall for cut tiles. By measurement the centre point of the fixed batten is found (the centre point along the width of the wall). This point is marked on the batten. Measuring gauge is used horizontally along the batten to determine where the last whole tile will be fixed close to the end of the wall. This point is also marked on the fixed batten. (Diagram 3)

A plumb line is dropped down the wall so the string touches the last mark on the horizontal batten (Diagram 4). Several pencil marks are made on the

wall, directly behind the string line, and then another batten is fixed vertically to the wall, along those marks (Diagram 5). The batten is checked whether it is truly vertical or not with a spirit level. A few tiles are laid into the corner formed by the battens to check that they sit squarely.

Tiling commences in the corner. Mortar is spread over an area of about one square meter at a time, and then it is combed out (Diagram 6). Or mortar can be used on the backside of every tile. The tiles are placed firmly onto the ribbed mortar with spacers set in between. The spacing between two tiles should be about 2mm. Working sideways and upwards, the fixing of all whole tiles are completed, and then it is left for about twenty four hours to dry. The battens are carefully removed, and then tiles are cut to fit around the perimeter. Every wall tiles must be in a same level. This is checked by plumb bob and string. A leveler made of timber is used to level the tiles if needed. At the corners of the walls tiles come in contact with each other perpendicularly. For these tiles the sides of the tiles are cut at 45 degree angle so that tiles can make smooth edge. FLOOR TILES Traditionally used in bathrooms and kitchens, floor tiles are beginning to be used in other areas such as living rooms and bedrooms to create stunning areas of color and texture. Today's floor tiles can be created to look like many other materials too, and there really are no limits to the effects that can be created. Preparation of the Floor Preparation for a tile floor is as important as any step in the tiling process. Taking extra care in the preparation process can save our time, material and aggravation. The first steps are to insure the substrate is appropriate for the application. Taking these steps will not only insure the quality of your work, but also guarantee that your flooring will remain in place and free from stress cracks for as long as possible.

In some cases, screeding - a procedure that uses a very dense cement mixture - is spread to level a floor. The next step in preparing for a tile floor is to gauge or lay out the planned flooring area. During this process, it is important to take into consideration any obstacles may be encountered during the installation. These obstacles may include standpipes, drains, doorways, electrical receptacles or floor vents. When preparing for a tile job, it is best to think forward to these potential scenarios and know what to do when they arise. Consider Substrate Material: When considering an appropriate subfloor or substrate, it's imperative to consider a few factors. Introducing substrate may raise the level of the floor by up to a half inch. Once that is added to the quarter inch height of the adhesive and the quarter inch of the tile itself, the height is increased by nearly an inch. This may be a factor when considering door clearance, or thresholds for crossings into other rooms. In applications where height restrictions prevent cement subfloor, thinner materials are available; composite substrates offer an equally strong bonding agent and are only around 1/8" inch thick. Screeding: Screeding is a procedure most commonly associated with commercial applications, yet in recent years, it has found usage in homes across the country. It is best used in a scenario where a high spot is present and the rest of the floor must be brought up to that high spot to ensure levelness. 1. Using a moist mixture of sand, Portland cement and lime, rake together everything in a large pan and spray lightly with a hose. Once the mix is sufficiently moist enough to clump in hand and stay together, the mixture is ready to spread across the floor. 2. From the low spot, a level “ribbon” of sand the length of one wall and even with the high spot is created. Another ribbon is created on the opposite wall, level with the high spot. The two ribbons should now be level to each other. These ribbons will be used in conjunction with a large straight edge to evenly distribute the rest of the mixture across the open floor space. 3. Using a flat trowel, the screeded area is firmly troweled to satin finish. If a cavity id found, a fist of the screed mixture is taken, and forcibly thrown directly on top of the affected area. Straight edge is pulled over the area, and troweled to a smooth finish. 4. Once the entire area have been screeded, let the mixture sit overnight to ensure a solid working surface to walk and work on. Laying Out the Tile: Floor tiles should be centered in the room for the best visual appearance. So it should be kept in mind while laying out the floor tile. 1. First the center of two opposite walls were measured found out. These points are used to snap a chalk line across the length of the room in the center of the floor, dividing the room in half. Then another chalk line was

snapped perpendicular to the first so the two lines cross in the center of the room. The lines are checked where the lines cross with a carpenter's square to make absolutely sure the center point is square. 2. A row of tiles is dry-fitted down both lines to the width and length of the room. Equal spacing is left for the grout joints. Most floor tiles do not come with spacers, so the appropriate spacing is approximated.

Fig: Laying out of tiles.

3. By laying out the tiles in this way, an idea of any adjustments can get that need to made the original reference lines. The goal is to work with as many full tiles as possible. Also, it should be end up with at least half a tile width in the areas where the tiles meet the walls. A slight adjustment at the center point may save lots of time and money. The reference lines are adjusted as necessary to achieve a layout that is satisfactory. Installation of Floor Tiles 1. Laying of the tile is begun from the center of the floor where the two final reference lines cross. Installation is started by laying a tile at the intersection of the lines, and then the lines are used as a guide as work way outward toward the walls in each quadrant. 2. Typically, a cement based adhesive is used to secure the tile to the substrate. A notched trowel is used to apply the tile adhesive to an area about 2-foot square in the starting corner. 3. The tiles are placed into the adhesive with a gentle, yet firm back and forth motion. Each tile should be in level to the ones alongside it. 4. Use the spacer to make sure the tiles are evenly spaced, and continually use a level to make sure the top of the tiles are flush with one another. If any tiles are too high, use a rubber mallet or a block of wood and a hammer to tap them down.

5. If adhesive oozes up between the tiles, the excess should be cleaned out before it dries. Any adhesive should be wiped out from the face of the tiles with a solvent-soaked sponge or rag. Adhesives begin to set firmly in 20 to 30 minutes. 6. Similarly Adhesive is spread and tiles are laid to next 2-foot square areas, moving back and forth across the room. 7. When all the full tiles have been laid, let them set overnight. After the adhesive has set up, it will be the time to cut and install the border tiles. CUTTING TILES Cutting tiles is very important for the proper installation of tiles. It is a simple procedure that follows the old adage: measure twice, cut once. Cutting tiles is similar both for the floor and the wall tiles. Nearly every tiling job requires trimming tiles to fit around borders or obstructions such as window frames, electrical fixtures, pipes, basins, toilets or countertops. Straight cuts are relatively simple. Shaping tiles to fit curves is more difficult and requires practice and patience.

1. A dry tile is placed exactly over the last full tile. A 1/2" wide spacer is put against the wall. 2. Another dry tile is placed up against the spacer so that the side edges are lined up with the first loose tile. A line is marked across the first tile. This is the line need to be cut.

3. Either a tile cutter or a glasscutter can be used to cut the ceramic tile. If using a glasscutter, a straight edge is placed along the tile and the line is scored once with the glasscutter. Then the tile is placed on the edge of a workbench or over a couple of match sticks or spacers and snaps the tile along the scored line. 4. To make cuts at a true right angle, a combination square is used as the straightedge when scoring with a glass cutter. When using a glass cutter or tile cutter, the tile should be scored in one stroke to achieve smooth and even breaks. Repeated scoring will cause the tile to chip or crack. 5. For more complicated cuts, a tile saw or tile nippers can be used. A tile saw typically consists of a diamond edged carbide blade, and a water source. This water source is imperative, as it constantly coats the tile surface with a cooling effect. GROUTING THE JOINTS After the tiles have all been installed and the adhesive has set up, it's time to grout the tiles. Grouting tiles is done in the same way whether they are floor tiles, wall tiles, ceramic tiles, quarry tiles and so on. The grout needs to get into the joints and to fill them thoroughly. 1. Depending on the width of the grout lines, either sanded or un-sanded grout is chosen. If the spaces between the tiles are bigger than 1/8", sanded grout is used. Sanded grout actually contains sand particles that help make the grout joint stronger. On the other hand, for smaller spaces, un-sanded grout is used. 2. One of the major factors in grouting wall and floor tiles involves laying the tiles in the first place. If enough wide joints are not allowed between the tiles the grout will not get to the bottom of the joint. This makes it very weak and will soon allow water to enter. For wall tiles we recommend joints of 2 to 3mm and for floor tiles, it can be 5mm. 3. When laying the tiles it is also important that the adhesive is not allowed to squeeze up too far into the joint as it’s almost impossible to chip it out later and if the adhesive is too high it can affect the grout finish and the finish of the tiling. 4. Mixing the grout is also very important. The finished grout should be a creamy consistency much like thick custard. If there are any lumps they can block a joint and stop mixed grout filling the joint properly. If the grouting work is in a bathroom or kitchen area, the grout must include a waterproofing agent. Normally white cement with or without any color is used as grout. Color of grout depends on the color of the tiles. 5. Once the grout is mixed simply a dollop is troweled onto the floor. The grout is applied at a 45-degree angle to the grout lines. Using a grout float or a slightly damp sponge, the grout is pushed round the joints making sure they are full. It is recommended to work in 3’ x 3' areas to ensure the uniform coverage of all the grout lines.

6. After dried out of the waste grout on the tiles, a clean damp sponge is used to wipe over the tile and the joint to clean off the surplus. The grout should be hard enough to require a fairly strong rubbing action. If it is not hard enough, the sponge will "drag" the grout out of the joints. 7. After the grout has cured for a week, silicone grout sealer may be applied with a small paintbrush to help prevent grout discoloration.

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