How to prepare a floor for tiling
Things to do before tiling your floor
From bathrooms to kitchens, hallways to living rooms, tiles are tailor made for protecting the floors in your home.
But before you start shifting all of your furniture out of the way to begin tiling there are a number of things you need to do before you can get started. Hopefully, our handy advice guide will help with getting your floor ready for tiling. Read on to find out more.
Measure your floors
Make sure to measure the floor before ordering your tiles. If you are struggling, then use our free tile calculator tool to work out the total number of tiles that you will require. And don’t forget to order tiles that are suitable for floors. You would be surprised how many people don’t! It’s also advisable to buy at least 10% more tiles when ordering in case any get damaged or broken when you are fitting them at home.
Check the state of your floors
Before tiling your floor, you need to make sure that the floor surface is suitable for tiling, there should be no movement in the floor so any floorboards that are loose or creaking must be secured to the joists to stop them from moving.
It is essential that any existing timber floor is stable, clean and in good condition. Floors should be sufficiently rigid and stable. When tiling on to wooden floors any unsupported movement in the floor can cause tiles to crack, and the floor should be able to support the additional weight without any deflection (bounce in the floor).
If tiling on to a concrete base then the surface should be level with no dips, if there are dips then we would recommend using a self-levelling compound to create a smooth and level surface. This preparation stage is vital as once tiled you will not be able to correct this easily. If you have any questions regarding the right preparation, then feel free to contact our Customer Services team using our web chat facility.
Should I use plywood or backer boards?
Traditionally you would tile directly on to plywood on your floors to provide you with a nice smooth surface on which to lay your tiles. Things have moved on and most people now prefer to use, backer boards such as Hardiebacker, Why? They are nice and rigid, give you consistent floor height and are especially suited as a tiling base. They can be used for tiling wet areas such as bathrooms, kitchens and showers as they are resistant to permanent water damage and does not need to be treated before tiling.
Bathrooms/Shower rooms (wet rooms)
Extra care and attention must be exercised when tiling domestic showers. It is recommended in a power shower or wet room area to waterproof (sometimes known as ‘tanking’) the walls and floor to ensure the room is fully waterproof.
What tools do I need to fit floor tiles?
Once you’ve measured up your space, prepared your surface, selected your tiles together with your adhesives and grouts, you then need to turn your attention to the tools you will need to complete your tiling project.
To help we’ve compiled our top essential floor tiling tools:
- Tile cutters
- Tile nippers (to nip small chunks out of your tiles)
- Tile spacers
- Levelling clips
- A bucket (and preferably a big one as tiling can be a messy business especially when mixing adhesives and grouts)
- Mixing paddle (for mixing grout and adhesive)
- Grout float (to press the grout in between your tiles)
- A trowel (to spread adhesives)
- Rubber mallet (for tapping tiles into place)
- Sealant (to seal your edges)
- And, last but by no means, end-of-work cleaning solution, clean up pads and a sponge to wipe away all the grout that’s still left on your tiles.
That’s it. All you need to do now is put the kettle on, make yourself a cup of tea and get ready to start tiling.
How to fit backer boards to your floor
If you would like to know more about fitting backer boards to your floor, make sure to watch our video below featuring hit YouTuber ‘Proper DIY’. Stuart Matthews, founder of ‘Proper DIY’, explains the benefits of using backer boards in wet areas in the home such as the bathroom.
Need more information?
If you have any questions regarding tiling in your home, then feel free to contact our Customer Services team using our web chat facility.
If you would like to know more about tiling in the home, then why not check out these related advice articles: