Tile Flooring for the Do-It-Yourself Home Renovators

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tile flooringWhen you set out to update the look of your home, there are many areas that you can consider for a fresh new look. One way could be to change the paint colour, or the window coverings. While both are very easy, and relatively inexpensive, they don't carry the same impact as changing your flooring. Some might shy away from a DIY flooring project, thinking that it is too advanced for their skills, or that it could be too time consuming or messy. While that is entirely possible, read on to find out just how easy it can be to tile your floors with natural stone tiles, and do it with relative ease.
First you will have to make sure you have all the supplies you need. In order to tile with natural stone you will need:
  • Thin set, either pre-mixed or powder that you can mix yourself. (pre-mixed is easier);
  • A tile saw and sand paper;
  • A trowel (quarter inch is standard) and grout float;
  • Grout and grout colouring if desired;
  • Tape measure, pencil and wax pen for marking cuts;
  • Sponge, bucket of water, dry lint-free towel, latex or rubber gloves;
  • Tile spacers in the size of grout line you desire between your tiles;and
  • Most importantly of course, your tiles.
Next, you should lay out your tiles for a dry run, making sure that you have all the tile you will need. This will also ensure you have all your cuts made ahead of time. After you have all your tiles ready, you should wipe down the sub-floor with a damp sponge to ensure there isn't any dust or debris that could hamper the setting of the thin set.
Now you are ready to start spreading your thin set. To do this, take some on your trowel, and spread it evenly in a quarter moon pattern until you have an area that has an even amount of thin set to get started with your tiles. Lay a row of tiles, placing spacers between each and along the wall. Press down on the tiles firmly and check for set by trying to lift the tile slightly. If it comes up easily it either doesn't have enough thinset, or it wasn't pounded down enough. Once you have laid out all of your tiles, it will be time to clean up any thinset that may have gotten on the top of the tiles. You can do this by wiping it off with a damp sponge, and them drying with a lint free towel. You also want to make sure at this time that your grout lines are free of thinset as well. Leaving thin set showing in your grout lines can interfere with the look of your grout.
Once your tiles are clean, you are ready for grout. You can press the grout in with your hands, wearing latex gloves. Ensure that the grout is pressed firmly and completely within the lines. After this is done you will take your grout float and use it in a squeegee fashion and clean the remaining grout off the tiles as you make sure all the lines are completely full.
Once this is all complete, it is time to wipe the remaining grout off the tiles. You do this using a damp sponge, in a circular motion. Dry the tiles afterwards with a lint free towel, and make sure all grout is cleaned up. Your tiles will set and dry over a 24 hour period, and all that is left to do is enjoy the beauty you have brought to your home.