How to Install Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tiles, kiln-fired clay items, have now become a popular flooring option, due to its features such as durability and ability to resist fading, staining, scratches, and other chemical and thermal reactions. Installing ceramic tile is a skilled combination of art and science. It can be easily installed by anyone with the help of appropriate tools and installation brochures provided by manufacturers. Among the basic tools required for installing ceramic tiles are tape measure, hammer, chalk line, fiber glass tape, rubber gloves, tile nippers, dust mask, safety glasses, tile cutter, and marking pencil.

Though installation of ceramic tile is not a complicated task, it does involve some detailed steps such as preparing tile surface, laying out the wall, applying adhesive or mortar, setting tile, and caulking. Ceramic tile can be installed on any surface such as drywall, plaster, cement block, and even in existing ceramic tile. The surface for the tiles should be flat, smooth, and free of dust and debris. Additionally, if there is any loose paint or crack on the surface, it should be scraped off and patched with some water-proof substance.

Laying out the wall is perhaps the most important step in the installation process. It includes determining the level line, planning starting point, and checking whether any irregularity has been caused by fixtures like kitchen cabinets and tubs. The next step is to evenly apply ceramic wall adhesive on the surface using a notch trowel. Pro-mastic and pro-flex platinum are the most commonly used adhesives for ceramic tiles.

After having applied the adhesives, carefully place the tiles one by one on the surface. Equipments such as tile spacers can be used to give adequate space between the tiles. Sometimes, for fixing tiles on the edges cutting may be required. A masonry drill can be used for the cutting purposes. For making curved cuts, micro cutter or wet saw can be used.

Before allowing the tiles to settle, they should be leveled using a hammer. When tiles are settled, fill in the gap between the tiles with grout. Seal all grout joint to avoid grout porosity. The final step in ceramic tile installation process is caulking. This is primarily done to prevent water from seeping into bathtub edges or corners of the wall.

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