If you’re looking for reliable information on ceramic tile installation, you’ve
come to the smart place.
Your understanding of the basics of installation will increase your knowledge of
the process, and enhance your confidence in the installers or yourself if your are
doing the installation.
So let’s cover these basics.
The process begins with the preparation of the tile foundation, called the substrate.
Materials used as substrates include concrete, plywood, and drywall.
Then the substrate is cleaned.
Next, level the surface of the substrate and apply a waterproofing layer to it.
The next step is to create a layout plan.
This plan shows the dimensions of the room, will help determine the amount of ceramic
tile needed for the installation, and establish the pattern and orientation of the
Now a chalk line is laid down as a guide for the installation.
Next, a single row or column of tile is laid on the substrate without adhesive.
This provides a sense of how the tile will fit into the room.
Another row or column is then added perpendicular to the first, forming the shape
of a ‘T’, giving a starting point for the tile setting.
Once the correct layout has been determined, the next step is to apply the adhesive
mortar to the substrate.
After the tiled floor has been set into place and left to fully cure, usually 12
to 24 hours, the grout is applied.
And that is how your new ceramic tile floor will be installed.
Now, a few words on your responsibilities – the things you should
do before installation day, during and after.
Before installation day, remove all furniture and other objects from the area of
Some installers will move your furniture, but there may be an added charge.
Consider how your old floor covering will be taken up and disposed of.
Check with us bout the cost and method of disposal.
If you prefer to remove your present floor covering yourself, do it at least one
day prior to installation, to allow for cleanup and floor preparation.
If removing old carpet, remove the tack strips and pull the staples out of the floor
from the original pad.
Moldings and baseboards may need to be removed prior to installation.
We will be happy to discuss with you these services and the associated costs. We
will not be responsible for damage due to dry or brittle wood.
Painted baseboards, woodwork and paint may need retouching after the installation
is complete. This is your responsibility.
Your existing subfloor may need to be prepared to receive the ceramic tile, or a
new subfloor may be required.
If subfloor work is necessary, it should be done by qualified professionals.
When ceramic tile is installed, some doors may not clear the new floor and swing
Some installers will remove doors to install the tile, and re-hang them if possible.
They probably won’t shave or cut down doors to insure clearance.
Again, please check with us regarding our policy and costs.
You may need to arrange for a qualified carpenter to provide this service.
Make sure you’re clear about the clean up, if there are added costs to do
so, and ask about the plan for ceramic tile remnants.
On installation day, be at home and available. Because it’s difficult to estimate
the length of each job, some installers may not give you an exact time of arrival.
Keep children and pets out of the work area on installation day.
Prior to the completion of work, you should walk thru the job with the installer,
so you’re clear on final details and can discuss any issues at that time.
Lastly, establish good ventilation for up to 72 hours.
When it comes to your ceramic tile installation, we want you to be as smart and
well prepared as possible.
It will make installation day easier on you and your family, and provide your home
with beautiful, professionally installed ceramic tile for years to come.