Notch tile can save you a lot of money and is a do-it-yourself activity that anyone can do. MyFixItUpLife’s Mark Clement has placed a lot of tiles and provides his greatest recommendations for achieving the best results. While tile is aesthetically pleasing, it is extremely unforgiving: It cannot be sanded, caulked, or re-nailed. As a result, it’s best to get the task done correctly the first time.
1. Make It Level
In most remodelling applications, a floor leveller is used to flatten the floor rather than level it. If your floor has deep pocks or bellies (also known as “birdbaths”) that are more than a quarter-inch deep, mix up some floor leveller and pour it on. The key is to find the proper viscosity: It’s slightly more viscous than water, but not by much. It must be fluid enough to flow in order for gravity to pull it into a low spot. With a flat trowel, remove the edges.
2. Gather Your Resources
Kneepads are unsightly, almost always uncomfortable, and extremely hot. They’re also a hundred times better than crouching all day on your bare knees.
Drill: A cordless drill with 0-450 rpm in low gear turns at just about the proper pace to mix the mud without whipping it up.
Trowels: A Hyde Tools margin trowel is recommended. This $9 tool is invaluable for mixing tiny batches of material, scooping it from the bucket, and distributing it on the floor. Use a 3/8 x 3/8-inch notched trowel as well. Large-format tiles, for example, require a large format trowel. Screed a layer over the floor with a flat-edged trowel before combing it out. Comb the thin-set perpendicular to the tile length for plank tiles.
Saw: The only game in town is a high-quality wet-cutting tile saw. There is no such thing as one that does not spray water, so place it indoors where it can get wet and you can clean it up without damaging anything.
3. Don’t Laugh
The tile itself does not move, but the objects around it do. Basement floors, walls, and counters are prone to shifting. Use Red Gard, a waterproof crack isolation membrane. RedGard is a ‘bond-break,’ akin to placing rosin paper under a wood floor. The RedGard bends beneath the tile if the slab shifts. It is also waterproof, which helps to keep moisture and humidity from groundwater at bay. It’s also great for bathroom and wet service improvements. Simply roll on with a paint roller and allow it dry.
4. Layout Guidelines
With a few exceptions, the beginning row of tiles should have the same width as the last row—regardless of room size.
The larger the room, the more difficult this becomes. And the more criteria there are, such as notch tile around room elements, the more you’ll need to think about and plan ahead of time. Cast a line with a visible laser, then measure the rest of the space, make minor adjustments, and lastly snap the final layout line in chalk.
5. Thinset Blend
Thinset should be around the consistency of peanut butter. It should flow but still stand up when combed with a notch tile trowel. The rationale for testing for thickness is that tile is pressed into the thin set’s standing seam. The mud squishes behind the tile, which is what holds it to the floor. If you mix it too wet, you may have to replace a tile in the finished job. A paste-like consistency also allows you to “back-butter” a tile. Back-buttering is the process of applying a thin-set to the back of the tile and the floor to compensate for a tile that is set too low in comparison to its neighbours.
6. Final hacks
Things on wheels move more quickly. When possible, construct carts and roll supplies. They’re perfect for thin-set mixing.
Make a bridge to prevent yourself from tiling yourself into a corner. A carpenter’s waggon is at one end (lock the casters). On the other hand, there’s a bag of thin sets. When you run out of space, just stop the day by crossing the bridge out of the room and finishing the final tiles the next day. Visit Ken-teg-tegelwerken.be to find the best services for tile installation.