A Complete Guide to Laying Floor Tiles
Choosing your floor tile
is the first step, your next step is thinking about how you want the tiles to be installed. From herringbone to linear, there are lots of different patterns to consider and it can really change the final appearance of a room.
Visually and aesthetically, the way your floor tiles are laid is key. It can help to zone different areas as well as add some character and interest to a room. Each tile formation comes with its own installation techniques and methods, which need to be considered when making your choice.
We’ve put together a guide on how to install different floor tile formations, focusing on the most popular options: Brick Bond, Large Format and Herringbone.
How to lay brick bond floor tiles
Brick bond is one of the most recognisable and most common ways of laying floor tiles
. Visually, it’s a great way of adding a little bit of dimension to the space and works particularly well with long wood-effect floor tiles.
Brick bond is also one of the easiest and straight forward ways of tiling a floor. Depending on the manufacturer’s instructions, most will dictate that they should be laid in a 70/30 or 60/40 split, never 50/50 overlay, which you would most typically see on a metro style wall tile layout.
· The first step as with any tiling is to measure your space accurately to figure out how many tiles you will need.
Top tip: Don’t forget to always add 10% more to allow for wastage and breakages!
· It is always recommended to dry lay the tiles first to ensure that you have an equal cut either side of the room and so you can plan how they are going to fit.
· Make sure that the tiles line up with the centre of where the previous two tiles join, as even if it is slightly off-centre, the further into the project you are the more off-centre and skewed they would become. To do this, mark the exact centre of the floor before you start and then on each axis use a chalk line to square off the room precisely.
· Cut the room into sections to make it easier and more manageable to keep an eye on whether or not the brick bond pattern is falling out of place.
· Once one row has been completed, make sure that the next row is positioned correctly, making sure to keep to the same split of either 60/40 or 70/30.
How to install herringbone floor tiles
Popular for its sophisticated and stylish look, herringbone has been on trend for decades, even centuries! It’s perfect for hallways but also for living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms. In more recent years, homeowners have become more experimental with herringbone, using different sizes or angling them slightly to create truly unique flooring.
We’re going to take a look at how to install a "normal" herringbone floor using tiles:
· Firstly, before you start cutting any tiles, find the centre mark of the herringbone pattern if you’re working with a square room. If the room has lots of walls or different sections, try and break it up into smaller areas and find the centre of each section, making sure the pattern will still line up.
· If your room isn’t square, it is worth opting for a border tile (using the same tile) and laying it in a linear format around the room, this will help to "square off" the room. This will make the herringbone pattern a lot easier to follow.
· Once you have found the centre, pre-cut the first selection of tiles and lay them at a 45-degree angle, the tip of the tile should match the centre line.
Top tip: It is best to dry fit all of the tiles before committing to sticking them down, then you can be sure you’ve not gone wrong with the pattern!
· Always work in small sections when working with herringbone, this is so that you can keep an eye on the centre line and make sure everything is joining up correctly.
· When going around a corner, line up the centre of the room again, ensuring that the pattern is still flowing and not going off-centre.
How to lay large format floor tiles
· Firstly, measure the width and length of the tile including the spacer.
· Check the boxes of tiles for the calibre and shade before mixing any boxes to ensure you are going to create a good blend of colour and pattern.
· Inspect each tile for damage or excessive bowing, which can happen with larger/ longer tiles.
· Find the directional arrow for orientation and mark out the first tile and begin the adhesive process.
· For large format floor tiles, we advise using a flexible tile adhesive which can withstand the movement from foot traffic, any type of flexible adhesive will suit.
· Ensure that the back of the tile is covered (or "buttered") with adhesive before fixing as this will allow full coverage.
· Once placed onto the floor, tap down on the tile with a rubber mallet to ensure that full coverage and contact with the adhesive is made. Occasionally lift a tile to check for coverage, any visible trowel lines will indicate a lack of contact.
· It’s strongly recommended to use a tile levelling system with any large format tiles to make the job easier and to create an overall better finish, as this will result in all tiles being level.
· When removing the levelling system, always go with the grout line when knocking the clips out, this will avoid chips to the tile.