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Home Contractors

Ceramic Tile Flooring Installation

Before beginning the work of installing the ceramic tile floor, assess the work area. What one is looking for is asbestos. If the work area was built during the 1970’s or earlier, the chances of asbestos being present is very high. Asbestos was used extensively in the construction trade until the late 1970’s. Asbestos is the chief cause of a form of lung cancer known as mesothelioma. When disturbed, its fibers get into the air which is breathed. Precautions need to be taken to insure one does not breathe those fibers.
Next, the foundation on which the ceramic tile is going to be put on needs to be assessed. There are certain foundations which are not suitable for ceramic tile flooring installation. They are cushioned vinyl flooring, any kind of particle boards, plywood, OSB (Oriented Strand Board), tongue and groove planking and hardwood floors. Concrete is a suitable foundation for ceramic tile flooring installation.
If the bathroom is in a foundation home, plywood may be the sub flooring and one will have no choice but to install the tile flooring on it. If that is the case, then the choice is to put a membrane between the ceramic tile and the plywood which will decrease the likelihood of moisture getting into the plywood.
After that membrane is applied and dried, use a latex thinset bonding material applied between the dried membrane and the tile.
Assuming it is the bathroom which is to be re-floored with the ceramic tile flooring, in addition to the above flooring which need to be treated, the trim molding, the toilet, and the toilet gasket will need removal. Remember to shut off the water before toilet removal and the wax gasket will need to be replaced. Installation of the toilet bowl is the reverse of removal.
They will add to the height of the floor, so any door thresholds will have to be removed and replaced later. The bathroom door may need to be trimmed to clear the new height of the floor.
If you are going to be covering vinyl flooring, have a piece of the vinyl flooring tested for asbestos. If it does not contain asbestos, it is recommended the vinyl is sanded to make the latex modified thinset bond easier to the vinyl. If the vinyl is asbestos refer to the pamphlet provided by the EPA titled “Asbestos in Your Home”.
Installing them directly to concrete, will require application of thinset and placing the ceramic tile on it. Assuming there is no paint or other treatment on the surface of the concrete. If the concrete floor does have paint on the surface, that will need to be removed or the surface roughed so the thinset will bond to the paint. If the floor surface is not perfectly level, you will need to use a concrete mix to level the work area before beginning to lay the ceramic tile flooring. If concrete was needed to level the surface, you will need to allow the concrete to cure 24 hours before applying the thinset.
Thinset dries pretty quickly, so once you begin to lay the ceramic tile you have to stay with it through to the end of the job or the thinset. Plan ahead and don’t mix so much thinset that it dries in the bucket before you use it.
The three most common floor surfaces one may want to cover with a ceramic tile are concrete, plywood and vinyl. The latter two are not recommended to be used as foundations for ceramic tile flooring installation, but can be used with proper steps taken to insure the thinset will bond the ceramic tile to the floor. One needs to remember about the dangers of asbestos in older homes. Other than that, the job is fairly straight forward.…