Installing kitchen floor tiles on your own can offer you the great satisfaction that you are building things in your home, giving it a personal touch. Creating an eye-catching result in your kitchen is not difficult if you have a plan. Finishing the task on your own can help you save your hard-earned money; however, all the benefits of installing kitchen floor tiles will be nothing unless you ensure a proper installation. Below are the tools and the steps you can follow on how to install kitchen floor tiles in a professional way and thus avoid common installation mistakes.
Step 1 – Preparation
The first step of the installation process requires you to ensure that the floor is level. If it’s not, you can use a leveling compound you can find at a hardware store. If there is older flooring, you need to remove it. For instance, you cannot install ceramic floor tiles on vinyl, because they will pop loose shortly afterwards.
Step 2 – Mix the Thin Set
For an average room you will need 2 gallons of thin set to create the mortar for the backer boards. Do not make more mortar than you can use within an hour, otherwise it might dry up.
Step 3 – Apply the Mortar
Take the trowel and start applying the mortar. Try to smooth the thin set as much as possible on the floor, holding the trowel at an angle of 45 degrees. Spread the mortar so that you cover the entire surface of the backer board. You should keep doing the same thing throughout the process. Once you cover the section of the floor, you want to place the backer boards on it. While the mortar is still wet make all the necessary adjustments and corrections.
Step 4 – Screw the Backer Boards
Once you have ensured that the backer boards are at the right place screw them in to the flooring. Repeat the process until you cover completely the floor and all backer boards are bolted on the floor.
Step 5 – Install the Tiles
This is a very important step of the project; use the spacers and lay the first row of the floor tiles on the floor and then a second row perpendicularly to the first one. It is recommended that you lay out the tiles before actually installing them, so that you know how many tiles you will need at the end. When you know where you will place the tiles, spread the mortar using the trowel and lay the tiles over it. Again, make all your adjustments while the mortar is wet. The spacers will help you determine the gap between the tiles.
It is important to clean excessive mortar when installing the tiles. It is not as easy to clean the tiles once the mortar dries up. Once you have installed the tiles you should use the grout to finish the flooring.