Let’s take a look at the materials needed for laying the tiles and some of the most common methods, especially for floor covering.
Sooner or later the time comes when the coverings of one or more rooms in the house, especially the floors, become too worn or completely inadequate with the furniture, to the point that it becomes necessary to replace them.
One of the cheaper alternatives to a full renovation in this case is to use tile paint ; Indeed, applying a coat of paint on old coatings takes less time, but above all a lower expense than replacing them.
In this case the result can certainly be acceptable, but it is a less lasting solution, moreover it is not always applicable and sooner or later the time comes anyway to replace the tiles .
Another option to save on renovation costs is to do the work yourself, in do-it-yourself mode, but you have to follow very specific procedures depending on the floor laying schemes you intend to carry out. So let’s see in detail how to lay the tiles and with which techniques.
First of all it is important to start with the materials needed to perform the work, paying particular attention to the choice of tiles.
Their aesthetics must accord with personal tastes and the type of environment in which they will be placed; in fact there are tiles that look like parquet and others that look like marble or even stone. The most important aspect to evaluate, however, remains that of abrasion resistance.
Regardless of their type, in fact, each type of tile belongs to a specific resistance class; there are five classes and are numerically indicated starting from class 1, which is the least resistant of all, up to class 5, which is the most resistant.
Usually the tiles belonging to classes 1 and 2 are mainly used to cover the walls, since they are not subjected to foot traffic, while those of classes 3, 4 and 5 are floor tiles . Those of classes 3 and 4, in this case, are suitable for bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms and terraces, while those of class 5 are good for garage and outdoor floors.
Other important materials for tilingthey are the adhesives and the grout for the joints; as regards the glues, it is important to choose them based on the type of environment where the tiles will be laid.
In fact, depending on the case, an adhesive resistant to high temperatures or humidity may be required; the same goes for the grout for joints, which in addition to having anti-mold properties must be compatible with the type of adhesive used.
For this reason it is advisable to buy both products of the same brand, being careful to respect the safety indications and the instructions for use on the packaging. The complete list of materials also includes floor leveler, grout, silicone, primer, sealant and cement remover.
The list of tools, on the other hand, is longer and includes several spatulas, one of which is rubber and one notched, cross spacers, a roller, a tile cutter and a pliers for tiles, a pliers for holes and profiles for tiles. , a bucket and a mixer drill, the trowel, the mason’s cord and a folding rule, a trowel, a sponge, a rubber hammer, a rubber scraper and a tile scraper, the silicone gun, the rubber to clean the joints, sponge and cloth to clean.
Preparation of the substrate
After removing the old tiles, the substrate must be cleaned carefully, completely eliminating the residues of the old adhesive, after which the dust, dirt and grease must be removed.
Once cleaned, the subfloor should be leveled where needed using the leveling compound, which must be allowed to dry completely before correcting with grout and spreading the primer layer. In the case of kitchen and bathroom floors, a layer of waterproofing must also be applied.
The preparation of the substrate is an operation that can take several days, therefore, but it is not always necessary to carry out it; in fact, if the circumstances allow it, it is possible to lay the tiles directly on the old ones, simply using glue.
Tile laying patterns
Before laying the tiles it is advisable to choose the pattern to follow, which can be diagonal or parallel to the edge of the walls; usually rectangular tiles are always laid so as to be parallel to the edges, while square ones can also be arranged diagonally.
The diagonal laying technique is much more demanding, however, and if it is not performed in a workmanlike manner, it is easy to make mistakes, with the risk of compromising the entire work and the purchased material.
If you are a beginner in the field of DIY it is advisable to adopt the parallel laying technique instead, which is much easier to perform.
The parallel laying method consists in tracing a line of tiles that crosses the entire room starting from the center of one wall up to the center of the opposite one, so that it can be used as a reference for laying subsequent tile lines.
To correctly orient this first line of tiles you can use the mason’s cord, stretching it from one wall to the other along the direction to follow. With this method, the cut tiles will be found at the edges and will attract less attention, especially if covered with furniture or other furnishings.
To align the tiles correctly, cross spacers must be used, thanks to which it will also be possible to maintain uniformity in the thickness of the joints; the tile cutter and the pliers, on the other hand, will be used to shape the tiles to be placed at the edges.
Once the adhesive has set and the tiles are firmly attached to the bottom, the spacers can be removed and the joints filled with mortar which, as previously mentioned, must have the same characteristics as the adhesive. If the latter is elastic, for example, then the mortar must also be elastic.
The joints between the tiles and the skirting board, on the other hand, must be closed with the silicone sealant applied with the special gun, taking care to remove the excesses; once the work is finished, the tiles can be cleaned with a sponge and detergent.