My first experience laying floor tiles. (Part Two)
I would recommend spending time to work out how you are going to start laying your tiles, try and think of the best way to do it with the minimum of cuts.
Floor Tile Adhesive
Now it was time to mix the adhesive, I was tiling directly onto a level concrete surface. I used BAL Supercover Rapidset, which I mixed in a BAL Bucket with a Twisted Mixer. The Twisted Mixer was a massive help, it attaches to a standard drill and takes all the work out of mixing the adhesive, available in all our stores.
The BAL bucket also has measurements on the side so you know how much water to add and then you just pour in the powder. I mixed the adhesive in small batches as it does go off fast, only mix enough for you to work with or it starts to go stiff and is hard to spread. I scooped out the adhesive using a bucket trowel onto the concrete and then used a ridged floor tile trowel to spread it out ensuring I had even coverage. I then carefully placed the tiles and pushed them down into the adhesive. I used 2 mm tile spacers to keep an even gap between each tile.
As I was laying the tiles in a brick-bond pattern I would measure and mark in the middle of a tile so I could line it up with the grout line of the previous row.
Now I was in the swing of things I was able to proceed quite quickly, it’s like a really easy jigsaw puzzle. There was a lot of bending down; my back and knees certainly ached a lot after. It took me the majority of a weekend to finish laying the tiles, grouting would have to wait until the following weekend.
To prepare for the grouting I pulled out any spacers that were still left with a pair of pliers. I also gave the tiles a good clean removing any excess adhesive. I was using BAL MicroMax 2 Jasmine floor grout as this matched the colour of the tiles closest, we didn't want contrasting grout lines.
I mixed my grout in the BAL bucket with my bucket trowel; I judged it by eye to get the right consistency. I then blobbed it down on the gaps between the tiles and used a grout float to push it down and smooth it out. Once I had done an area I would use a wet sponge to wipe off any excess grout, the sponge does a lot of the work for you giving a nice neat finish.
It took me a couple of hours to do the whole floor and then several mops once it had dried to remove grout excess. I finished the floor by adding skirting board and was really pleased with the result. You can judge for yourself by looking at the pictures.
If you missed part one you can read it here.
Blog by Rich Palmer
Tileflair Marketing Assistant