How to lay interior stone or porcelain floor tiles

Find out how to lay interior stone or porcelain floor tiles

  1. The most important thing to check before you start to install the floor tiles is to establish a firm, level and weight bearing surface.
  2. Use a self-levelling compound to achieve a flat level surface if required. Leave this to dry for 24 hours.
  3. Next, our installers often use an uncoupling membrane called Ditramat. There are other brands available. This is stuck to the floor using flexible tile adhesive.  An uncoupling membrane can be a great help where a new floor needs to bridge 2 areas where there is break in the screed, such as where an extension has been added to a building.  We also use it over wooden floors before tiling.  We only use it on concrete floors where there is a wet underfloor heating system.  The use of an uncoupling membrane will ensure any movement in the sub floor will not cause the floor tiles to crack.
  4. If using an uncoupling membrane, wait for this to dry before tiling starts. 24 hours.
  5. Before you begin laying floor tiles, look at the size and shape of the tiles. Some products are sold in project packs that must be laid in a specific pattern to achieve the right look.  To make sure this is achievable it is very important to plan the best position in the room to start laying the floor from. If the centre of the room is your start point, then calculate and mark the centre point before you start.
  6. Mix flexible tile adhesive. It dries quickly so mix small usable quantities at a time. Apply a solid layer to the floor and then comb using a notched trowel.  This will create a key for the floor tiles to stick to.
  7. Slide and twist the tiles into place over the ridged adhesive ensuring you achieve full coverage of adhesive to the rear of the tile. Test your method before you set forth on the whole job. Lift your first tile to ensure full contact has been made with the adhesive.  Adjust your method, or consistency of adhesive if necessary to achieve full contact between each tile and adhesive.
  8. After every 2-4 tiles, gently tamp tiles into place by using a piece of wood laid across the tiles and gently tamp the wood with a rubber hammer to achieve the correct level. Check this with your spirit level, in both directions.
  9. Use spacers as you go to ensure even spacing of tiles.
  10. The finished surface will need to be left to harden for 24 hours.
  11. Use a suitable colour matched grout to fill the spaces between the tiles. Mix the grout according to manufacturer’s instructions, and spread using a grout float.  Leave for a few minutes.
  12. Begin to wipe the floor surface with a barely damp sponge to remove residue
  13. Buff with a barely damp cloth.
  14. Apply grout sealer after 3 days. This will protect the colour of the grout from spills and staining.

If you require any further guidance, call Stoneworld on 01844 279274.  We’re always happy to help.