If you consider yourself a true DIY-er, or something of a handyman, you may have considered tackling your own porcelain tile flooring installation. Carrying out your own installation can save you money versus having your new floor professionally installed. However, it requires careful planning and preparation. If you make mistakes while completing your porcelain tile floor, you could end up needing to spend more time (and money!) to fix your errors. With planning and the proper tools, you can enjoy the sense of accomplishment that comes with laying your own porcelain floor tile.
Here are some tips and tricks to use when installing your own porcelain tile floor.
Be sure to prep your subfloor
If you fail to check and prep your subfloor, you risk having to start all over again if you find a problem down the line. Make sure your subfloor is level, and if not, use a patch to make necessary adjustments. Use backer boards if you’re not planning to install your porcelain floor tile over a level cement floor. It’s a good idea to order more backer boards than you estimate you’ll need (even an additional 10%) so that you don’t run out.
Mix your tiles
If you have multiple boxes of porcelain floor tile, take the tiles out of the different boxes and mix them together randomly. This prevents any slight color changes between the batches of tile from creating an obvious color shift in your porcelain tile floor.
Lay out the porcelain tiles
Before you use any adhesive, practice laying out your porcelain floor tile in your desired pattern. Start at the center of your room and lay the tiles in a line toward the wall, leaving small spaces between each tile. Cover one quadrant of the room at a time. Carrying out this step helps you to ensure you have the proper amount of tile to complete the job. You’ll also be able to make any modifications necessary to your tile, such as cutting a tile to fit around a bathroom fixture.
Smooth your mix
If you want your thin-set or grout to come out extra smooth, allow it to sit for 10 minutes after mixing. This helps any dry sections to absorb water. Then, mix it a final time before applying. Your final product should have a peanut-butter-like consistency.
Back-butter your tiles
Back-buttering a tile means taking your trowel and applying your thin-set directly to the back of your porcelain floor tile (you know, like you’re buttering a piece of toast!). This is useful in situations where you 1) are in a corner and can’t apply thin-set to your floor with your trowel, 2) need to make the tile sit a little higher than others, or 3) you’re using a larger tile, such as 12×12 or larger.
Save extra porcelain tiles
When you’ve finished laying your porcelain tile floor, be sure to save any leftover tiles! Pack them up, and mark the box with the name of the room you tiled (if you have tile in other rooms of your home, you’ll want to differentiate). Down the line, if you should ever need to replace a tile, you won’t have to worry about finding perfectly matching porcelain floor tile.
If you’re planning to install your own porcelain tile floors, use these tips to help you create a beautiful floor you’ll be proud of!
Are you planning to install your own porcelain tile floor? If you’re shopping for porcelain tile, the experts at JC Floors Plus can help you find the right tile for you. With lots of styles to choose from, you won’t go wrong! You can visit us at either of our two Florida showroom locations, or call us at: