Preparation
For ceramic tiling over timber floors it is important to ensure that the floor is sound and able to take the weight of the ceramics. It is also advisable to lay the tiles on an underlay of cement sheeting. The thickness of the sheet should not be less than 7.5mm and should be laid smooth side down.
Screw the sheeting to the floor at approximately 300mm centres with 8 x 12mm galvanised steel, cadmium plated steel or brass countersunk wood screws. Around edges screw at 150mm centres. 30mm x 2.5mm galvanized flex sheet nails may be used, but centres must be halved (150mm or 75mm). Nail or screw from centre of sheet outwards.
Leave a small gap between each sheet and around the perimeter of the room.
Refer to the adhesive product label for the recommended surface preparation.

Setting Out
It is important to lay tiles so that they are square in relation to the doorway. This is especially important with odd shaped rooms.
Make a line on the floor at right angles to the doorway running from the centre of the door to the end of the room. Mark a second line at right angles across the first line in the centre of the room. Place a tile in one of the right angles formed at the centre. Now place a row of loose tiles along each line from the centre of the nearest full tile to each wall allowing for grouting space in between. Tiles will have to be cut to fit the spaces left. Adjust each row to give a cut tile as near as possible to a half tile. This will require new guide lines being drawn relative to the revised positioning of the central tile.

Fixing tiles
Mosaics
For mosaics start in the centre of the room at one of the right angles and using the recommended adhesive for the work spread adhesive and rib with spreader having 5mm notches.  Spread only one square metre at a time.
Place the mosaic sheet in position in the right angle and push it firmly into the ribs of adhesive making sure the whole area of tile is completely in contact with adhesive. Use a wide flat piece of wood to press mosaics into the adhesive spread. Ensure that joint widths between mosaic sheets are same as between the tiles on the sheet


Decorator and Quarry Tiles
Spread adhesive 6mm thick, then rib with notched spreader with 6mm notches. If tiles have uneven backs or are heavily ribbed it is necessary to butter the complete back of the tile with adhesive in addition to notching the floor with adhesive.
Start at a centre right angle and space tiles 6mm to 8mm apart depending on thickness of tile. Push tiles firmly into place, tap with block of wood to make sure they are in good contact with adhesive.
From time to time lift a freshly laid tile to check the adhesive contact. When the first square metre is finished scrape off any adhesive from around the tiles before applying adhesive to the next area.
Continue until the main area of the floor is completed then cut tiles to fit into the spaces at the edges of the room.
Tile out from centre line to edges keeping work straight and tile spacing even.
To cut tiles to fit against walls, place a tile upside down and over the space to be filled and mark 2 points to indicate where the tile is to be cut. Allow for spacing. Continue these marks around to the face of the tile and score a line across the surface with a tile cutter. Grip one end of the tile on the second scored line with a combination tile cutter nipper and squeeze handles to effect a clean break. Smooth the cut edge with a stone or file rubbing it along the edge, not across.
Butter the back of the tile with adhesive, place in position with the cut edge up against the wall and tap it firmly into place. Any excess adhesive on the face of the tiles should be removed with a damp cloth.

Tiling Tips

  • Dried adhesive film can be removed with warm, soapy water and fine steel wool. Leave for 24 hours for adhesive to set. Before walking on tiles or before grouting.
  • Work grout well into the spaces between tiles with rubber squeegee. Remove excess.
  • Only grout small areas at a time. Clean off with cloth and polish with a dry cloth.
  • To cut mosaic sheet put upside down in space to be filled. Mark line to be cut. Score face of tiles and nip off with cutter.
  • Make sure grout mixture is worked well into the gap between mosaics.