If you are in the process of a kitchen home improvement project, you can keep your renovation budget low by doing the labor yourself. Some more complex projects will require professional installers, but if you want to completely transform your kitchen with a beautiful new tile floor, follow these 10 steps and get the process done on your own over a weekend with little to no help.
Step #1: Remove Old Flooring
Remove your old flooring. If the flooring is adhered to your concrete base floor with adhesive, use gloves and a face mask and apply a decent amount of adhesive remover. Give the remover time to set in and use a scraper to remove all of the glue. Once the area is cleared, give the concrete time to dry before starting the new flooring installation process.
Step #2: Set Out Tiles to Grid Out Space
Lay out the tiles on the concrete flooring once the floor is dry to grid out the space and to verify that you have enough tiles to cover the entire area. When you are creating your grid, you can also determine what cuts will need to be made to achieve the pattern design you have chosen. Be sure to use spacers when you are creating your grid so that your spacing is accurate. Make sure that you have extra tiles and scrap pieces just in case a tile breaks or needs to be replaced later down the line.
Step #3: Preparing Thinset
Start by mixing thinset mortar into a peanut butter-like consistency. You will probably need two gallons of thinset, but make sure you only mix as much of the mortar as you can apply in an hour because the mortar will dry. It is best to mix half of the thinset, apply, and then mix the remainder once the first backer board is installed.
Step #4: Applying the Thinset on the Linoleum or Concrete
Use a trowel and scoop a good amount of thinset to apply on your linoleum or your concrete. Hold the trowel at a 45 degree angle, with the notched side down, and smooth the mortar over the floor in an area big enough to cover the size of your first piece of backer board. Once you complete step #5, you will repeat this process for every piece of backer board your have.
Step #5: Installing the Backer Board
Now, slowly set the backer board down on the wet thinset so that you can make any modification before the mortar dries. Once the board is flat on the thinset, follow the guide lines on the board and screw the board into the flooring. Repeat step #4 and step #5 until all of your backer board is covering the entire area you will be tiling.
Step #6: Lay Out Two Rows of Tiles
Now, lay the first row of tiles, with spacers, over the backer board. After you have your first row laid in the pattern you have chosen, lay a second row perpendicular with the spacers. After these rows are laid out and cuts have been made with the appropriate saw, you can begin the installation process of the tiles.
Step #7: Apply the Thinset
Mix another batch of thinset in the same consistency as the prior batch. Remove the first row of tiles and spread mixed thinset with the same notched trowel at a 45 degree angle.
Step #8: Laying the Tiles
Now that the thinset has been applied, lay down tiles carefully and insert the spacers after each tile has been laid. Complete laying the entire first row of tile and make any necessary adjustments while the thinset is still wet.
Step #9: Clean Tiles While Wet
Cleaning the tile once the thinset has dried can be extremely difficult. Because of this, you should take a wet rag and clean the thinset off as you are working. After you clean the first row, repeat step #7 and #8 with each row until all of the tiles have been laid.
Step #10: Grouting the Flooring
Remove all of the spacers. You will then fill this area in with grouting. Following the instruction to mix your grout, use a trowel, and pack the substance into the space and scrape the excess off.
Install your new tile floor all by your lonesome and save money on the renovation. With all of the right supplies and a little motivation, you can completely transform your kitchen and take pride in the floor that you installed without any help from the professionals.