How are floors laid?
A new period floor laid over existing tiles:
In this example, the existing floor was drab and made the hallway darker than it needed to be. It also wasn't laid particularly well in the first place. To tile over an existing tiled floor it is important that the floor is solid, no obvious signs of damp and appears securely fixed to the substrate beneath it.
1. After the floor is thoroughly cleaned and allowed to dry, a slurry coat of neat primer and leveller powder is mixed to form a thick liquid/paste and applied over the whole floor with a sponge, cloth or roller. This coat provides an excellent key for the layer of levelling compound that will be put over the top.
2. A flexible, fibre reinforced levelling compound is now applied all over the surface of the floor. All doorways and holes need to be blocked of course, in order to stop the liquid levelling compound from escaping. This leveller is superb and provides a super smooth, flat surface to tile on to. Drying takes a few hours depending on ambient temperature. The leveller we supply will go from 3mm to 75mm in one pour.
3. Once the leveller has dried, primer is diluted at a ratio of between 1:3 and 1:5. This is then applied and allowed to dry. Once this has dried, the tiler will spend a considerable amount of time measuring and planning where the tiles will fall to determine the exact starting point for the tiling. This will often result in lots of lines marked out on the floor for the tiler to use as a guide.
4. The main pattern is laid first, making sure all lines remain straight and all angles around the room are accuarate and true. As this is fiddly work, especially with intricate designs, this can take quite some time to tile.
5. Here you can see the main pattern now laid.
6. After the main pattern, the border is laid around the edges, again, keeping all lines straight and all angles correct.
7. In this photo, you can see the border is now completed as well as the plain White "fill". It is the fill that is cut down around the edges accordingly. The width of the fill is unique to each job. It will be wider or narrower to accomodate the pattern and border and therefore will enable the pattern to finish at the right points. This is usually supplied by us in 6" tiles allowing the tiler to cut them to suit.
8. Once the tiling is finished, the floor is thoroughly cleaned and dried before a coat of sealer is applied all over the tiles. This sealer is an impregnating sealer which soaks into the tiles, filling the pores and helps to protect the tiles from staining. Once this sealer has dried, the floor is grouted using a cement Grey grout. The grouted floor is allowed to dry and is thoroughly cleaned again. Once the grouted and cleaned floor is dry, a second coat of sealer is applied all over the floor. It is at this stage that the tiler will do the finishing jobs such as fitting threshold trims in doorways, shaving the bottoms of doors so they do not foul the new floor and rehanging the doors as well as completing mat wells and cleaning up.
We hope this has given you an insight into how these floors are laid. This of course is based on an existing tiled floor being tiled over, most of the stages are the same if you have a concrete or timber floor, it is just the preparation before tiling commences that will be different.