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Laying Tiles – Prepping the Existing Floor

Tiling remains one of the most popular and versatile flooring solutions for residential and commercial properties alike. Floor tiles are strong, resilient, hard wearing and come in almost any colour and pattern you can think of – providing some essential aspects of your interior home or office design. If you feel confident in your home handyman skills then chances you will want to tackle the tile flooring project yourself. If not, then simply call in the professionals and save yourself the hassle. Laying tiles tends to make a bit of a mess with all the cutting and mixing of glues etc. so don’t get on the wrong side of the Mrs and get someone to do the clean-up once the tiles are in place. If you have recently moved to a new place and don’t really have time to look for good local cleaners, it is a good idea to check with the people who did your house removal. Companies like Removals 24/7 London for instance offer a comprehensive service which can include professional move in, move out and tenancy cleaning.

Preparing the floor for tiles

The exact method and steps involved in preparing a flooring surface for laying of tiles depends on the type and condition of the flooring itself.

  • Concrete

Floor tilesWhen about to lay tiles on concrete base floor, first you need to make sure the floor or slab is even. Use a level to determine that and make the necessary corrections. Wait for the concrete to cure properly (dry). Next the concrete surface needs to be sanitised – sweep the concrete thoroughly, using industrial grade vacuum cleaner is also a good option. Wash the concrete slab with suitable detergent diluted in water, wait for it to dry and if necessary sweep again. Last step here is most important – concrete surface needs to be primed using acrylic primer. Dilute primer and apply strictly as per manufacturer’s instructions. Then you are ready to do some tile laying.

  • Timber

If about to lay tiles over timber base floor, then some preparation is required in this case as well. First and foremost timbers needs to be strengthened to bear the load of new tiles. For beefing up the timber floor use 12-15mm thick exterior grade plywood fixed with countersunk 25mm wood screws with 4mm gauge at 300mm intervals ­– we got that last bit from our professional handyman friends as you can tell. It is recommended for the screws to be 2.5x the depth of the plywood itself. When drilling in the screws don’t penetrate any floorboards (timbers), also make sure joints of plywood do not run parallel to timber joints.

  • Vinyl

Vinyl can still be found in many homes, when laying tiles over vinyl you don’t have to bother with removing the vinyl base but lay the new tiles right over it – quick and easy. In this day and age, industrial chemistry guys have been kind enough to provide people with tile-on-tile primer products. All you have to do is give old vinyl tiles a decent coat of primer and Bob’s your uncle.

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