Once the selection of the tiles is made from the wide variety available, it would be time for tile installation. Though an inexperience person can install the tiles as well but one should follow general guidelines to ensure that the finish is such that you expect. Understanding the basics of installing tiles on various different surface types is important. Since there are different guidelines for different type of surfaces, it is important to understand the surface types before going to the installation procedures.
It is not recommended to install tiles over all kinds of wood surfaces, although tiles can be installed on some of them. For example, laying the tiles on a plywood surface is not recommended as plywood tends to experience unwanted results once exposed to moisture.
One could even installed two layers of thick, exterior-quality plywood while doing tile installation. This layer should have a maximum spacing of 16” on the center over the floor joists. Waterproofing membrane over the surface of the plywood is also an option.
Before installing tiles on the concrete slabs, it is very important that the slabs are thoroughly cleaned of the concrete substrates. Mop the cement slab with clean water and let it dry. To help tiles stick better on the slab, you could use an acid based solution to roughen the concrete based solution.
Linoleum or Vinyl
These types of surfaces are best avoided for tile installation. In case there is no choice but to install tiles on these surfaces, extra caution must be exercised. For example, if the linoleum of vinyl flooring contains asbestos, you must have experts test it before removing it.
If the flooring does not contain asbestos, you could proceed with the tile installation on vinyl and linoleum surfaces but with extra caution. It is advisable to sand or scarify the surface to allow materials like thin set mortar to bond into it.
Tile Backer Boards
There is a different procedure to be followed for placing ceramic tiles over bathroom tiles. One must secure the backed boards with 1-1/4” roofing nails resistant to corrosion. The backer boards for ceramic tiles could potentially increase the height of the new floor. It would require transition strips or height-lowering thresholds where tiles meet the surface. The doors too might need a trim as the height of the floor could increase. Without fail you should always apply waterproofing membrane when installing ceramic tiles over backer board surfaces for damp areas like bathtub and shower wall facings.
The installation of tiles does not seem to be a very complicated and difficult task but understanding the type of surface and the guidelines of installing the tiles on these surfaces should be well understood to ensure that you get the desired results.