Changing floor tiles in a bedroom, bathroom, or kitchen is one of the most common ways that people choose to update their homes. If you are installing ceramic, porcelain, or marble tiles, it is essential that the tiles are level and that the adjacent edges are uniform.
Trying to level each tile on an uneven subfloor can be a tough job. Save time and get a picture-perfect floor by using a tile leveling system that provides a smooth installation surface.
The coolest system to install is a self-leveling mortar that mixes on site. Whether you are laying tiles for floors or walls, the job must be done well. The tile leveling system requires a minimum level of DIY experience and some special tools.
What Tools and Materials You Need
Before you begin, it is imperative to consider the tools and materials you will need. If you are a beginner just starting out, remember that you won’t find these materials at your local home improvement store. You will have to search and go to a tile supply store to buy everything you need.
Here are the tools and supplies you’ll need to level your floors:
- Contractor’s line or chalk line
- Square notched trowel (Be sure to choose the correct size for the task at hand. In general, the flatter the tile, the more mortar you will need. The thinner it is, the smaller the size of the great trowel should be.)
How to Use a Tile Leveling System
The following guide gives you the necessary steps with special tips for using different variations. Here’s how to use a tile leveling system:
- Find dips and peaks. This simple tip will help you identify dips and peaks, whether the piece is 20×20 or 4×5. Ask a colleague to hold one end of the chalk line and stretch it across the room with both ends on the floor. Look for any variation in floor height. Move the chalk line across the room and mark the peaks and valleys you find with a contractor pencil.
- Determine the depth of the dips. Once you have identified the valleys, you will need to know their depth. You can do this by using your trowel and holding it next to the chalk line. If the valley is deeper than the trowel notch, you will need to use a larger notch. In most cases, you will need a 1/4 x 3/8” square notched trowel. When installing 12 x 12 in. Floor tile
- Remove dirt and debris. Use a brush to remove dirt, debris, or drywall compound from the floor. Then wipe the floor with a sponge to remove the dust.
- Mix the mortar. One could argue that mixing mortar is an art. If you want to have a solid bond and lasting results, you need to know how to get the right consistency. Read this guide to find out how to mix the mortar the right way and what tools you should use.
- Block the Dips. Use your trowel to spread the thin layer over the indentations marked on the floor. Throw it through the sub-floor, trying to leave uniform footprints. Use the square side of the trowel to remove excessive play.
- Grind peaks. Use a grinder to level the bumps on the ground surface. As a general rule, correct from the middle to the edges to ensure a consistent result.
- Complete filling. Wait at least 24 hours for the thin layer to dry. You can also use quick-drying mortar, although it is slightly more expensive. Recheck the floor to make sure it is even and level. If some dips are more in-depth than 1/8 inch, you need to repeat step five. If everything seems correct, you can proceed to the next stage of the project: installing the tiles.
The Benefits of Using a Tile Leveling System
Many people mistakenly believe that they can easily place level tiles without using a tile leveling system, only to find that it wasn’t as easy as they thought. Before deciding to continue a mosaic job without a mosaic leveling system, it pays to know the advantages of using a mosaic leveling system. These include:
- Slip Reduction: The primary purpose of using a tile leveling system is to prevent slipping, that is, when the edges of the tiles are out of alignment, and some are slightly raised.
- Safety: If the floor tiles are uneven, there is a risk of tripping. Therefore, the use of a tile leveling system is vital for safety reasons.
- Save Time: You may think that using a tile leveling system is a waste of time. However, the opposite is true. Using these systems will help you get the job done right the first time, reducing the need to remove the tiles after you put them in and start the job again.
- Save Money: As you are less likely to make mistakes using these systems, this can reduce waste and save you money.
- Flawless Finish: If you use a tile leveling system, the end result is a more professional finish than what you get without it.
Use the procedure outlined to level the tile floor and a sound tile leveling system for the best results. Make sure the floor is as flat as possible before installing the tiles. Adjust and adjust each tile by hand to reduce the risk of slipping. Raise the tiles and add a more thin layer if necessary, remove the mortar to push them down, etc. Then use the leveling system to secure and maintain a leak-free tile surface.