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Do It Yourself - Tile Installation

Tile Installation Procedure
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  1. Decide the layout. Since all joints are equal in all directions, it is not necessary to orient the tiles to the incoming light. The tiles can be installed in a conventional tile pattern that brings all four corners together to a single point (photo 1a) or a staggered configuration (photo 1b). Measure the room's width and calculate the width of the last row of tiles. The last tile must be at least 2 inches wide. The result will be more attractive if you saw the whole tiles in both the first and last rows.
  2. If the floor is concrete lay out the foam underlayment with moisture barrier with the membrane flap extended out onto the sub floor. Initially, perform the installation with only one row of foam laid out. When it is time to lay the next row of foam, lay it over the extended plastic membrane flap and duct tape the foam sections together to form a moisture barrier. For wood sub floors, lay out the foamand butt the edges together, as needed. Do not overlap the edges. Tape the foam together with duct tape.


  3. Check all tiles. Make certain the tiles are in good condition before starting the installation. Saw to length and do a trial layout of the first two rows of tiles. Cut the tile with the decorative side up when using a hand saw or table saw and decorative side down when using a circular, jig or other type of power saw. This allows you to make sure the important first two rows are completely straight before you start. It will also show you how many spacers you will need and where to put them. Always leave ¼" minimum space between the flooring and the walls.

  4. Set out the rest of the tiles in the second row checking the fit and lay out of the installation. Make sure the installation is square before preceding.

  5. Begin gluing the first tile in the first row in the left hand corner of the starting area. Hold the first tile from the second row with the decorative side down. Apply 1/16" to 1/8" inch bead of glue in a smooth, continuous motion, to the upper lip of the groove on both the width and length of the tile. Use a dry cloth to remove excess glue.

  6. Gently push the tile into place and use 2-3 inch pieces of blue plastic tape to secure the seam. If the tiles will not push together, gently tap them into place with the tapping block. Remove the tape when the glue is set, in approximately 1 hour.

  7. Now glue the other side of the second tile in the first row, gently tap into place, and apply the blue tape across the seam. Continue in this manner until both rows are complete. When you install the last piece in the row, use the pull bar, carefully lever the joint together, and use the blue plastic tape. Allow the first two rows to set up (appx. 15-20 minutes) and then continue the installation, row after row. Remember to remove excess glue with a dry cloth.

  8. Often the last row of tiles will have to be cut narrower to fit the remaining space. The best method is to place the tiles to be cut on top of the tiles in the next to the last row. Very carefully align the edges, then take a scrap piece of tile (with tongue and groove) and trace the contour of the wall onto the tile to be cut. Saw the tile accordingly.

  9. Carefully fit the cut tiles into place using the pull bar. Add the spacers to hold the joint firmly in place and use the blue tape to hold. Remove the tape when the glue is set in approximately 1 hour.

  10. Transitions and other installation accessories are available from your local laminate floor dealer. These include trim track (universal metal track for installation of square nose, t-molding, step nosing, etc), wall to floor transitions, and stair and landing treatments. When installing a transition, ensure that the transition does not restrict expansion of the floor. Do not nail an in-floor transition directly to the sub floor - this will result in a "pinched" installation. To install an in-floor transition, glue or nail the trim track to the sub floor and then snap the transition into the track.
    Additional Information
  • To fit around pipes, measure and drill holes at least 1/2" larger than the diameter of the pipe to allow for movement. Saw at a 45 degree angle to the holes in the tile.

  • Always protect the floor by using felt protectors for chairs and other heavy furniture. When moving furniture, lift and move before setting on the floor.