Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Fun Begins

After days of straight prep work for tiling, Eric and I were thrilled to start actually laying some tile last weekend.  I worked as the mortar spreader (because I had to stay seated), while Eric worked on cutting tile.  We started by creating a "T" using our pre-laid chalk lines.

Some items of note- mortar is specific to the type of tile that is being laid.  We used a flexbond mortar made for porcelain tile.  You should also try to use a mortar color that is similar to your grout color.  In our case, we are using a light grey grout so grey mortar is just fine.

We spread mortar per tile rather than doing a big portion of the floor because we do not want to have to worry about the mortar drying out.  It is imperative that you take your time and be very precise while laying this initial "T"of tile because if you screw this up, everything else will be off.   We also set our first tile and then pulled it back up to make sure that our mortar was the correct consistency and that coverage was good on the back of the tile.

It is really helpful to use a straight edge just to confirm that everything is perfect.  Also helpful are these leveling clips (seen below).  You place the clips while the mortar is still wet on all four sides of the tile and then insert wedges between the tiles.  It ensures that you tiles are all the same height and it keeps tiles from floating around too much.  People routinely ask us how we get our tiles laid in such perfect lines; well, these leveling wedges are the key.  We also use "stars" to space out our 1/8" grout lines.

Here is our "T" just about completed.  It went down in about an hour because we had very few cuts to make.

To make cuts, we used a wet tile saw fitted with a diamond impregnated blade.  On rounded corners, a diamond impregnated drill bit is essential.

So, after two days of work, we about had the floor done.  The hardest part becomes not stepping on tiles that have just been laid.

Tonight we plan to finish the floor!  I cannot wait to get this done and start grouting.  Plus, our new cabinets and counter top should be ready soon.

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