The most important part of any floor tile installation is a strong floor underlayment. This can be achieved in many ways.
If this installation has to be done over an existing floor, the floor as well as the subfloor needs to be at least 1-1/8″ thick in order to provide good support.
An existing flooring of vinyl or linoleum should be removed or else, it can be covered with a proper underlayment. The surface of glossy tiles should be roughened up. In case the existing tile is level & in good condition, the new tiles can be installed on top.
It is best to remove the flooring & install another underlayment in case it’s damaged beyond repair.
Older resilient flooring generally contains asbestos fibers. This should be removed safely by a professional contractor before doing any floor tile installation.
Concrete backerboard is generally used as a standard material for underlayment in floor tile installation. This is because concrete backerboard is solid concrete core faced on both sides by fiberglass, makes it ideal for both bathroom as well as kitchen installations.
Ceramic tiles are durable and look attractive in bathroom and kitchen. Floor tile installation requires preparation.
In case you chose ceramic, marble or granite tiles, you need to have materials and tools ready before you begin.
For a concrete floor, it is best to repair any holes or cracks before doing any floor tile installation. The high spots can be removed by using an abrasive on a belt or a disc sander. Minor bumps should be removed with a chisel which is driven by a sledge hammer.
For linoleum flooring, underlayment can be placed on top of it.
Before doing any floor tile installation, it is important to clean the floor thoroughly. The surface on which tiles are to be installed should be smooth and not having any dirt, grease or wax.
Underlayment has to be sealed with a waterproof membrane in case it is in a moisture prone area.
For best visual appeal, it is best to center the floor tiles. Now dry fit these floor tiles down the width and length of your room. Equal spacing has to be left for the grout joints. Once the floor tiles are laid down this way, it becomes easier to get an idea of any adjustments which are to be made before doing the final floor tile installation.
Next step is to spread the adhesive. This can be done with the notched edge of the trowel. Comb out this adhesive in beaded ridges. The space between these ridges should be as bare as possible. Sometimes plastic spacers can be inserted between these floor tiles. This helps to maintain straight grout lines. But these have to be removed after floor tile installation before they firmly set themselves in the adhesive.
Remember that a few adhesives emit toxic and sometimes even flammable fumes. Hence it is very important to have good ventilation while doing floor tile installation. So you need to refer to the product label & follow the safety precautions listed there.