I have lay a large area of ceramic floor tiles.
The floor is reasonably flat (having covered it with 12mm ply and hundreds
of screws) and the tiles are quite large (45cm by 45cm). I dont believe they
are any particualr special type of tiles - reasonably cheap and came from
I had intended spread the adhesive and use an adhesive comb as with every
other tiling I have ever done. However, the kitchen fitter returned today
and recommended "dot and dab" by which I took him to mean "a splodge in each
corner and one in hte middle". He said that this was particualrly important
as the tiles were large and the flat is not perfectly flat (although its not
I would have thought that even with the floor not perfect, the more adhesive
supporting the tiles the better ? is this not the case ? any advise
You could argue about this I suppose. Let's put it this way, the gold
standard for laying
tiles IMO would be a solid bed. Dot and Dab would be used purely for the
application and adjustment. Were you to gauge the amount of adhesive in each
correctly and position the dot/dabs just right you could probably achieve
nearly solid coverage anyway, but that would take skill.
I would go with your adhesive comb approach if I were you, just to err on
the side of caution,
as long as you are happy that you can position the tiles correctly and also
get them all level
and at the same height using a spirit level/straightedge. I find getting
the level/tilt of a tile the
most difficult thing when dealing with a solid bed of adhesive/cement
I hate dot and dab because you always end up with a ricking tile somewhere.
I have done similar to this.
I assume floor is wooden suspended? That means you need a thickish bed
of flexible adhesive. I used an Ardurit one, since its made locally.
What ypui should do is lay a string across the middle of teh floor at
fished tile height, and one at right angles to it first, to checkl
general flatness. A large level is useful if you want a level as well as
A network of strings is good if yopu have covcerns over localised 'high
Adjust everything until you have a sensible - (4-6mm) bed thickness for
the cement. You can go deeper vt watch out for slumping. Thinner is a
recipe for cracking off. DAMHITK.
Buy a whisk for the cement, and mix it in bucketfuls at a time as thick
as you can. Especially if its not rapid set (most flexibles are not
IME). Slump is the greatest enemy.
Use a trowel and or plaster float to layer the stuff down thick, along
the string line and tamp down with a rubber hammer using trowel to clear
any excess. Beware of any air pockets, but it is allowed to score the
top to get some give when tamping. Use small level to get level.
Clean any cement of show face immediately with sponge and cold water.
Rinse and squeeeze sponge EVERY stroke and squeeze out. Its quicker than
trying to clean set cement off the tiles believe me. Dried tile cement
after slump, is the second worst enemy.
Work a whole line down the center to start, then using work out from
there. Finish edges with cut tiles as needed. never lay from walls to
Take frequent breaks, and if possible leave overnight if you need to
stand on one bit to lay another. I found watching/listening to test
matches ideal..as its totally boring work.
When its all done, grout up with (I use BAL) grout. use at least 5mm
spacing - I used 3 mm and it is not as nice as the bathroom..
Wghen grouring was off surplus with sponge water trick as well. Cleaning
dried grout is the third worst enemy.
When all dry, go over with limescale remover or bricak acid to lift any
dried grout thats left, and repeat the wahing process several tomes wih
a squeegee mop.
You will have a perfect floor for about 3 hours until SWMBO starts using
it. Then it will rapidly deteiorate to the usual ground in coffee
stains, bits of squashed fruit and cat excrement that any normal
household uses to protect the floor with ;-)
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