10 Best Tile Flooring Ideas
Laying terracotta tiles.
Larger and heavier than ceramic tiles, terracotta tiles need a thicker adhesive bed, especially if the tiles are handmade and vary in thickness, or if they have bowed during manufacture. The method described here can be used for other types of tile such as quarry or slate, the thick adhesive bed being used to absorb any difference in tile thickness. Although a sand-and-cement mix can be used for many heavy tiles, it is not really suitable for terracotta tiles. Because they are very porous, they may react with the cement to cause efflorescence when the soluble salts come to the surface as a white stain.
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Click on Photos for Next 10 Best Tile Flooring Ideas Gallery ImagesUse a thick-bed adhesive, which can be applied at any thickness from 5mm to 2.5cm (X to lin). Thick-bed adhesive can happily be used on an uneven floor base and dries very quickly, in some cases enabling tiling and grouting to be carried out in the same day. Very uneven surfaces, however, should be prepared as described on pages 152153.
The principles for marking out and laying the tiles are much the same as for laying ceramic tiles ( 162163). You start in the furthest corner, having located the centre point and adjusted it, and having marked up a grid which will help to keep you straight. Mix up the tile adhesive according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Some types of thick-bed adhesive are simply poured onto the floor and spread out to an even level with an appropriate type of spreader, and then the tiles are laid straight onto it. Other types of adhesive require the back of the tile to be buttered with adhesive as well always follow the manufacturer’s directions. Handmade tiles may vary slightly in size and thickness, so apply more adhesive to the backs of the thinner tiles and allow a wide gap, approx. 12mm (Min), between the tiles; any variations in size will be taken up within the joints. It is important to keep an eye on the marked-out grid to ensure the tiles are laid square and to keep checking the tiles are level with spirit level and straight edge. Once the cert area of the floor is finished, fill in the borlay all the whole tiles you can bet cutting your border and corner tiles.
The easiest way to cut terracotta tiles is w an angle grinder fitted with a stone-cutti wheel. Cut a groove into the tile to r thirds of the tile’s depth and then snap it two. The cutter will, if required, cut or gn through the whole thickness of the t useful for cutting awkward shapes out o tile to go round pipes and other obstrucdo.
Old, handmade tiles look very effective in this k'rtch. They can be very tricky to lay, however, compared to machine-made tiles. Remember that the joints betwee handmade tiles must vary in width in order to allow ft slight variations in tile size, and bear in mind that handmade tiles can vary in thickness too.
Rectangular quarry tiles have been laid in a staggered pattern like bricks in this high-ceilinged, cool white sitting room. Great care must be taken to avoid letting the tiles go out of line. These particular tiles are richly variegated which creates decorative interest on the floor without the need for any major planning effort.
1 Spread adhesive over approx. 1sq m (1sq yd) to a depth specified by the manufacturer, using a notched trowel.
2 Some adhesives require the back of the tile to be buttered' as well, to make both contact surfaces tacky.
3 Using a spirit level, check regularly that the tiles you have laid are level, and certainly after each grid box.
4 It may be possible to cut some tiles with a jig but most will need the power of an angle grinder.
5 Terracotta tiles will need to be sealed with a coat of boiled linseed oil before they are grouted.
6 Grout the joints of porous tiles with a pointing trowel fill the joints and avoid spilling grout on the surface.
7 Push grout well down into all the joints – to support the edges fully. Use a metal pipe to create a concave finish.
8 Apply wax with a cloth after a secondary coat of sealer, and when dry, polish it off with a rotary floor machine.