There are many types of tiles that can be used for a floor – this can range from vinyl to ceramic tiles. The type of tile and tile material will be determined by the location and use of the area concerned.
Ceramic and quarry tiles are much heavier than other types of floor covering. A concrete floor can quite adequately support these tiles, however a timber floor must be strengthened first to enable it to support the weight of the cement and tiles. An existing timber floor can be strengthened by overlaying high grade thick plywood. The grade of plywood will be capable of withstanding the moisture levels present in the tile adhesive. The plywood is then laid in the same manner as hardboard, but they plywood panels are attached with screws (as opposed to nails) at twelve inch intervals. Exterior grade plywood can usually be fairly expensive, and that may mean that an alternative form of flooring should be used for that area, such as cork or vinyl.
Concrete floors are the best surfaces for tiling, and these must be thoroughly cleaned with household detergent in warm water. The floor must also be levelled with the assistance of a spirit level where required. Ceramic tiles can be laid on old quarry and vinyl tiles, but only on condition that these are stuck down adequately and that no gaps or lifts are present. A primer must be used to prepare vinyl before tiling on it.
In order to find the number of tile packs required to tile the required area, the width and the length of the room must be measured. The two numbers must then be multiplied with each other, and this will give the total squared area. If obstructions such as a fireplace or a bay window are present, then these areas have to be measured separately and subtracted from the total area. Packs of tiles normally have indicators to show the total area one pack can cover, as well as the tile dimensions. The total area to be tiled must then be divided by the pack area. It is advised that an additional pack is purchased to correct mistakes and for future repairs.