How to Lay a Porcelain Tile Kitchen Floor – DIY
DIY porcelain tile flooring is a great way to spruce up your new contemporary kitchen. It may seem hard to do-it-yourself, but it's actually a pretty easy task. Porcelain tile flooring is very durable, so you can be sure that it will last a long time. But, the durability of your porcelain tile floor will also depend on the way you lay it during your DIY kitchen restoration project. No worries, we've provided a step-by-step guide that will walk you through this DIY tiling task. Note that some steps are a little difficult, so don’t hesitate to ask for expert assistance, if needed.
Step 1: Pull Up the Old Tile Floor
Before laying the tile floor over an old floor, make sure to remove all baseboard moldings. Remove the moldings with extra care then set it aside where it's safe. Have some large trash bins prepared so that you can easily dump any old floor tiles. Be careful when pulling up each piece because you don't really know what’s underneath the old tile floor. If you find evidence of asbestos, call your environment authorities for the safe and proper disposal of it. For easier and faster ripping of tile, you can buy or rent a roofing shovel. This shovel has serrated teeth and built-in fulcrum which makes your DIY tile task more manageable. Make sure that the surface is completely free of debris. Fill in any holes.
Step 2: Prep the Floor
Make sure to mark the floor where the kitchen cabinets and island will be. You can use a chalk for marking. This way, you’ll know where to avoid putting the floor tile. You can even use cardboard templates instead of marking with chalk.
Step 3: Chalk the Tile Grid on the Floor
Before you start to lay out the new tile floor, create a floor grid using a chalk line. Lay tiles side by side and measure them with grout joints to determine the square size for the grid. Start along the longest wall. Then, make a mark the size of your tile square. Make the first chalk line the length of the first wall and mark the square from the back wall with a chalk line. After that, mark your grid points, making sure that the grid lines line up correctly across the entire floor. Doing all this makes it easier to start laying down the floor tiles.
Step 4: Lay the Porcelain Tile
After step three, apply a thin layer of thin-set mortar using the notches in the 1/4 x 3/8" trowel to set the thickness. Make sure that the consistency of mortar is the same as mayonnaise. When putting the mortar, make sure to avoid covering the grid lines. Put a thin layer of mortar on each back of the tile and then lay the tile following the grid lines. When placing the tile, make sure to apply equal pressure with both hands. Remember that all tiles should be on the same level, square to each other and the grout lines should be even. Clean any excess gook using a damp towel or sponge.
Step 5: Cut the Floor Tiles
Use another tile or wet saw when cutting tiles to fit corners. When cutting tile using wet saw, make sure to cut it slowly. Do not put too much pressure on the saw to avoid breaking the tile. To fit small pieces of tile along a wall or in a corner, apply the thin-set to the back of the small tile pieces.
Step 6: Grout the Floor Tiles
When you’re done laying the entire tile floor, wait for about 24 hours before you start grouting. Grout is essential in any tiling task, including do-it-yourself tiling. There are many different colors of grout. So, be sure to choose a color that compliments your tile. Stir the grout mixture and make sure that its consistency is the same as mayonnaise. Make sure to use float for this job. Hold it at a 45-degree angle and then start spreading the grout across the tile. The float will then force the grout into the seams. After spreading the grout, let it set for a few minutes and then go back over it with a sponge. Don’t be too rough with the sponge as it may pull out the grout from the seams. Let the grout dry over night. The next day, you can walk on your new kitchen tile floor and enjoy your DIY porcelain kitchen tiles.