How to Tile Your Kitchen: A Complete Guide to Tiling

March 14th 2014

Tiling your kitchen floor is an easy project that can give your kitchen a whole new look. With a new tile floor, your kitchen will be clean, updated and stylish. This project is one that you can usually accomplish in just one weekend, and is something you can take on even if you are new to do-it-yourself home projects.

What You’ll Need

Using the right tools will ensure that you get the job done right and will actually make this project easier. Before you start, make sure you have all these tools ready.

•   Tiles

•   Adhesive

•   Grout

•   Tile Cutter

•   Tiling Spacers

•   Grout Float

•   Trowel

•   Measuring Tape

•   Chalk Line

•   Sponge

All of these tools will make tilling your kitchen floor easy, and when you have them ready from the beginning of your project, there won’t be anything to stop you from finishing the job.

(To hire a tile cutter, please follow this link: www.hss.com/g/7411/Bench-Tile-Saws.html)

Step 1: Prepare the Floor

First, prepare the floor for tiling. If you need to, remove old tile or linoleum and then use a floor sander if you need to smooth the surface. Then, sweep the floor to remove any dust or dirt so that it won’t get trapped underneath or between the tiles.

Then, measure one side of your floor to find the centre and use the chalk line to snap a straight line from this point across the room. Do the same with an adjacent side of the floor. When you are done, your floor should be divided into four sections, with two lines that intersect in the centre of the floor.

Step 2: Plan Your Pattern

Now, plan the pattern you will use for the floor. If the pattern is intricate, you may want to make a sketch you can follow as you install the floor. It can also help to lay out the tiles to make sure they all fit together and make it easier to install them in the correct order.

If you need to, use a tile cutter to cut tiles to the right size. Use a damp rag to wipe all the tiles clean, even if you didn’t have to cut them. The idea is to remove dust and tile chips so they won’t stick to the adhesive and grout.

Step 3: Install the Tiles

The best way to install tiles is to start in the centre and work in one quadrant at a time. When you start in the centre, your pattern will look its best. Working in small sections gives you time to work with the adhesive before it dries.

Mix the adhesive according to the manufacturer’s directions. It should be thick but still spreadable. You will need to use a trowel with notches to spread the adhesive and leave grooves in it, so the tiles will adhere to the floor better. In general, the larger the tiles you are using, the larger the grooves in your trowel should be.

Scoop some of the adhesive onto the trowel and then spread it over the floor so that the bottom layer covers the floor and the top of the adhesive forms peaks where the trowel created notches.

Start adding the tiles to the floor, pushing them evenly and firmly into the adhesive. The adhesive should not push up between the tiles. If it does, you are using too much. Use tile spacers between each tile so that the space between all the tiles is even.

When you have finished tiling one quadrant, move on to the next one and continue the process until the entire floor is tiled.

Step 4: Spread the Grout

Let the adhesive dry as directed on the label. If it is still wet when you apply the grout, you will push the tiles out of place and make them crooked, which will ruin your tile job.

Remove the tile spacers from between the tiles. Mix the grout as instructed on the label and scoop some onto a grout float. Then, working in diagonal motions, spread the grout over the tile. You will need to do this in several directions to make sure the grout is completely worked into the spaces between the tiles.

As you do this, grout will get on the tiles. As soon as you finish one section of the floor, use a damp sponge to remove the extra grout and smooth it between the tiles.

If you are tiling a very large floor, it might be easier to tile one section, let the adhesive set and then add the grout before moving on to another section. This way you have space to work and move tools and tiles around.

Step 5: Allow the Grout to Dry Completely

It is very important that you allow the grout to dry completely before you start using your floor. When the floor is completely dry, it will be able to handle foot traffic and daily use of chairs and kitchen appliances.

Sweep the floor to remove any tile chips, or dried adhesive or grout. Then, keep the floor looking its best by sweeping and mopping it regularly.

Installing your own custom tile kitchen floor is a project that can change the look of your entire kitchen. Start with the right tools and follow these steps to create a beautiful floor that will last for years.

To hire the necessary tiling tools and equipment, please visit HSS Hire.

About the Author

Lauren King

Lauren works in our Ecommerce Team, with over 6 years of experience at HSS. She brings product knowledge and is able to give her advice on the right tool for the job no matter how big or small.

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