Floor Tiling Instructions - How to Lay Floor Tiles

Learn how to tile a floor easily with the SuperSpreader, a notched trowel for DIY tiling to easily spread adhesive tiling glue. Floor tiling made easy.

The following instructions should be read in conjunction with the you tube clip provided on this site

Materials you will need:

  1. The SuperSpreader.
  2. A straight-edge. Anything will do, but it must be straight.  Your hardware store should be able to cut some chip board into suitable strips. The length depends on the size of your room. Three metres is a good guide.
  3. An electric drill.  You will need this for stirring the adhesive.
  4. A stirring paddle.  This will attach to your drill.
  5. A heavy duty Bucket.  Ideally this should have the capacity of 15-20 litres.
  6. A grout float.
  7. A tape measure.
  8. Two spacers for the straight-edge. These can be made of anything strong (e.g. Wood or aluminium). They should be cut accurately to exactly the width of your tile plus 3mm.  They both need to be exactly the same size.
  9. A sponge.  This will be used for cleaning the tiles after you have done the grouting.
  10. A 4” angle grinder with a diamond blade.  This will be used for cutting the tiles.
  11. Guillotine, this can be hired for when you need to make straight cuts.
  12. Safety Goggles.
  13. Tile Spacers
  14. A Gauging trowel

When tiling a room the first thing to do is to clean, scrape and sweep or vacuum the floor. The floor should then be primed. This will not only help to reduce dampness from rising but will trap in any excess dust.

If necessary the floor may need to be levelled using a self-levelling compound.

The room must now be set out for tiling.

Measure the width of the room and find the centre.   Do this at both ends of the room and flick a chalk line between the two marks.  This line now represents the centre of a tile or the tile joint depending on how well the tiles fit between the line and the wall. What we must bear in mind is that we must always try to make each cut larger than a half. (Sometimes this can’t be achieved)

The room that we are going to tile has a double glass sliding door, which becomes the furthest most point in the room.  We will make this point a full tile and the walls that run parallel to the door will have a cut tile.

By placing 2 tiles from the door, alongside our chalk line, with spacers between them we make a mark. We now have to square off of this mark using the 3 .4 .5 method (Pythagoras Theorem).  Do this on both sides of our centre line and flick a chalk line between the 2 marks. Now place a straight edge on our latest line (a straight edge can be obtained by going to your local hardware store and asking the assistant to rip a large craft wood board into 100mm strips).  Now working from the centre line (either from the joint or from the centre of the tile) using spacers to simulate joints lay tiles out dry (no adhesive) the whole width of the room.  What we have now is a row of tiles against a straightedge the whole width of the room.  These tiles will become our future cuts against the wall.  If we place a tile on edge against the wall it will represent the width of 2 joints (1 joint against the wall and 1 joint between the 2 tiles) now laid a tile on flat, on top of the tile against the straightedge and hard against the tile on edge against the wall.  Make a line the whole length of the bottom tile along the top tile

It’s now time to set our spreader to the size of the tile we are using.  Bend one of the pieces on the stitch cut at 90 degrees and then bend the other piece in the opposite direction.

Stretch the two sides, one on top of the other, until they reach the desired width and fasten with the two nuts and bolts provided.

The mixing of the tile adhesive is the next step. The adhesive manufacturers always provide a guide as to how much water is to be used to create a reasonable consistency. One of the most important aspects of using the spreader is that the adhesive MUST be pourable. By that I mean not runny but if the bucket is tipped slightly the adhesive will follow and gradually flow out. This is quite important to enable ease of use of the spreader.

While the adhesive is waiting for its second stir we have time to make our straight-edge spacers. Tape 2 pieces of timber together and lay them alongside a tile that has been spaced using a spacer off of another tile.  Mark the timber so that it represents the distance of 1 tile plus the joint.

Having done this cut the timbers so that you have 2 pieces of timber that are identical in length. These 2 timbers will now be your spacers for the straight-edges for the whole job.

We are now ready to tile.

Because the first row of tiles is cuts the spreader will not fold small enough to accommodate this therefore the system requires that the cut tile and the full tile be laid together. We do this by firstly spreading a bed of adhesive alongside the wall for about 4 or 5 tiles. Pick up the spreader and return to the beginning only this time place the spreader alongside the straight-edge and spread enough adhesive to lay the first tile. Lay the first full tile alongside the straightedge by holding the near edge against the straightedge and slowly letting the tile drop into position, with a modest pressure the tile is bedded. Next lay the first cut tile above the first full tile. The spreader must now be dragged at least another tile length to lay the number 2 tile and cut. This is repeated until you reach the end of the first adhesive spread. Now move the spreader to the outside position once more, paying attention to make sure that the wing next to the wall is clean, and spread the adhesive for another 4 or so tiles and repeat the whole process until the row is complete.

Using the straight-edge spacers we have just made, set the straight-edges 1 tile and joint down from the tiles we have just laid. Don`t forget to chock the straight-edges with a suitable weight such as tiles that might be used later. The spreader is now placed at the beginning and a reasonable amount of adhesive is poured close to the mouth of the spreader. Using the gauging trowel spread the adhesive alongside the teeth and make sure the corners are filled.  Hold the corners firmly and drag the spreader alongside of the straight-edge.  Replenish the adhesive when it appears low or when vacancies occur.

When the floor tiling has been completed and allowed to set it is ready for grouting. The instructions on the grout packet will aid in the mixing .As with every part of tiling grouting poses no great problem. This is probably the best part of tiling because suddenly the whole project is completed.

Using an appropriate grouting tool spread and fills the joints in a diagonal motion. This will stop most pin-holes developing.  Try to remove most of the grout from the surface of the tiles.

With a damp to mildly wet sponge rub over the whole grouted floor, rinsing regularly.

Once the floor has dried it will appear smeary just like an automobile does during the polishing process. The same as an automobile, the floor is now ready to be buffed.

After buffing the job is complete and you can stand back and marvel at your handiwork.

It looks great, doesn’t it?

Tiling on the 45 degree or Diamond uses the same system as regular tiling .We still use the straight-edges and straight-edge spacers. The only difference is that this time we are positioned diagonally across the room. It is very handy to incorporate a border which can be adjusted in width to accommodate a full triangle at all ends of the room.

Work out the size of the border by firstly flicking a line though the centre of the room length wise and square a line off of that using the 3 4 5 method as before .

Place a straight-edge on that line and starting at the centre line place tiles out dry in a diamond fashion until the wall is reached .Now we can see how big our border must be.

Starting from the corner you must now spread adhesive freehand and lay the border and triangles etc. until you get to a suitable distance to start working with a straight-edge. If you measure from the corner to the edge of your work along a wall and then back along the other wall to the other edge you can ascertain whether or not you are running correctly. At this stage it is easy to adjust the tiles.

By now you will have realised that when placing down the straight-edges you must allow room for the spreader to pass alongside the wall between the straight-edge.