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The floors of a house are usually among the last renovations carried out, but this doesn’t mean they should be neglected. In fact, floor-coverings greatly influence the style, comfort and maintenance of a home. Moreover, they offer unlimited interior decoration possibilities, be it wooden floors, parquet tile floors, laminated floors or ceramic tiles. You will see in this DVD a wide variety of floors for all of the rooms in your house, from bathrooms to the basement. We will show how to install these different floors so you can do the job yourself and obtain professional results. Among other things, you will learn how to install a leveled sub-floor, how to install hardwood floors, laminate floors, ceramic, slate tiles and more…
Artaud Communications presents: So You’re Renovating! Flooring. Hardwood floors, laminate flooring and ceramic tiles.
Before undertaking any floor renovations, make sure the surface you want to work on is straight and level. In some old houses, the floor joists may have become crooked over time. In this case, the only solution for a perfectly level floor would be to cover it with plywood sheets. Any other type of home renovation is pointless if the floors are crooked.
If you have to remove wooden or plywood floors because of some other important renovation work, you might have to use an electric reciprocating saw or electrical chain saw to cut the floor along the walls. This situation will present itself if new divisions have been built on top of the old floor. Over unheated areas like a garage or a crawlspace, it is better to put up an auto-adhesive membrane base on the floor before installing the floor-covering; the membrane will eliminate any air drafts or humidity sources, especially if you choose to install a wooden floor. To make sure the floor is level, set a level string from one end of the room to the other, starting from the highest point. Using a level, set up wood wedges as points of reference. Cut large quantities of plywood wedges of various sizes. Use 1/8-inch-thick aspenite pieces and felt paper to adjust the floor height as precisely as possible. Find the right size wedges and nail them through the floor, directly in the floor joists. Leave a 16-inch space, center to center, between the wedges. Once the right size wedges are nailed along the chalk line, move the line 16 inches forward. Proceed in the same way for the rest of the room. (pause) Install a ¾-inch-thick plywood sheet and screw it right into the wedges. Ideally, the screws should be long enough to go through the wedges and lodge themselves into the subfloor joists. Always start by installing complete plywood sheets and finish the job with leftover pieces. The plywood sheets must be supported by the wedges, especially along the joints.
Hardwood floors have become the latest trend in floor coverings. For a start, they are natural, noble and extremely beautiful. They are also low maintenance and health-wise since they do not promote dust. Finally, they are remarkably durable. When you choose to purchase hardwood floors, you are actually investing in a product that will increase the resale value of your home.
A few years ago, factory-varnished hardwood floors made their appearance on the market. The advantages brought forth by this kind of flooring are numerous, particularly if you’re doing the renovation work yourself. First of all, because the varnish is dried in ultraviolet ovens, the manufacturers can now apply many coats of varnish in a reduced amount of time. Factory-applied varnish is extremely hard-wearing. It also spares you unpleasant finishing work such as sandblasting, which causes a lot of dust, and varnish applications that bring about strong odors and require drying time. You can walk over factory-varnished hardwood floors as soon as the installation is complete. Still, be mindful of quality standards when you choose factory-varnished hardwood floors: not all of them are up-market products. If you choose high quality hardwood floors, you will protect yourself from premature wearing and discoloration due to low-range materials. To secure your investment, choose a renowned, responsible manufacturer.
The next step is to choose the type of floor that will best suit your needs. There are many kinds of wood essences you can choose from depending on your taste and the use you will make of the floor. The most popular essences are oak, cherry and maple. Red oak comes in a wide range of shades, from soft pink to dark reddish brown. Its grain is opened and has coarse, porous zones. Oak is legendary for its toughness, durability and appearance. This wood is highly valued for its use in furniture and floor construction. The Canadian wild cherry, or yellow birch, also comes in a variety of colors, from creamy white to delicate yellow. Although it is slightly softer than other types of wood, the cherry grain is not unlike that of the Canadian maple. This wood is strong, thick and hard. It makes an excellent choice for furniture and floors alike. The reputation of cherry wood is firmly established, even throughout Europe. For its part, the Canadian maple is ivory white with a light touch of reddish brown. Also used in furniture and floor designs, maple is one of the hardest woods in North America. It conserves its natural beauty and quality for many years. And that’s not all…. Each essence is graded according to the color of the floorboards. There are classification norms for grading hardwood floors, but these may vary from one manufacturer to the other. It is thus essential to choose a manufacturer who is strict when it comes to wood grading. The Select & Best grade refers to wood favored for its pale and uniform color. Only small knots are accepted and color variations are reduced to a minimum. Select & Best the most reputed and sought-after wood grade there is. Then, there is the Provincial grade for wood whose color ranges from pale to dark. This grade groups together a pleasant blend of natural wood colors. It also welcomes wholesome knots. In third place, the Rustique grade admits all color variations as well as all types of knots. The Rustique is less expensive since the boards are darker and the grading is not as rigorous.
Here, we chose to install the floorboards in a 22, 5-degree angle. Before starting on the installation, check the humidity level of the subfloor. The humidity level of the subfloor should not exceed the humidity level of your floor by more than 4 %. For example, if your floor has a 7% humidity level, your subfloor should not exceed 11% otherwise moisture transfer could occur. To determine a 22,5-degree angle, proceed as follows. Trace a diagonal line between two points of equal distance, preferably 24 inches from a 90-degree corner in the room. You can also trace a 22,5-degree angle by using the corner of a plywood sheet as seen here. Installing the boards in a 22,5-degree angle will make the room look larger. Locate the center of the diagonal line, and extend it between this point and the 90-degree corner on a distance of 24 inches. Now, draw a line between this new location and one of the first two points. Locate the center of this new line. The line that passes through this new point and returns to the 90-degree corner is a 22,5-degree angle.
Snap a 22,5-degree chalk line across the room. Attach a furring strip on the floor in perfect alignment with the chalk line. Adjust the furring this way. It must follow the chalk line. Set down a first strip of felt paper along the wooden furring. Open three packs of floorboards in advance. Try to use the longest boards in the first row to get the straightest line possible. Set the starter row with its groove facing the furring strip. The first board must be absolutely straight, for it will influence the whole installation; the units must perfectly fit into each other. As soon as possible, use a pneumatic nailer gun and 5cm staples. Nail down the floorboard starter row against the furring strip. Carefully align and tighten each unit. Again, the starter row must be perfectly straight; otherwise the other boards will be crooked. Lay down 6 or 7 rows of units in front of you to blend the lengths and shades together. Shift back the outer edge of each row at least 6 inches from the previous row, and find the most attractive design.
Start the second row, and all subsequent rows, with the previous line’s last floorboard when its length allows it. Remember to offset each floorboards at least 6 inches from the floorboards of the previous row. Tighten the joints of the grooves and extremities. Randomly nail down the strip in 45-degree angles every 10 to 12 inches. Secure all units smaller than 12 inches with at least two staples. To limit wood waste when cutting, spread out boards of different lengths in a corner. Use a workbench miter saw to make the cuts. Progress row after row. Carefully hammer in the floorboards for a tight fit. Nail them down every 10 to 12 inches with the nail gun. Once the sixth row is secured, remove the wooden furring. Install a second strip of felt paper. Insert wood wedges into the groove of the floorboard starter row. Proceed in the same manner for the whole length of the first row. You will now be able to continue the installation in the other direction. This is especially useful when several people are working in the room at the same time. Wood should never be stored outside or in moisture-high areas. If the wood is intended for a new house or a new room, the walls should be dry, and the doors and windows should already be installed. Make hardwood floors the last addition. The room should also benefit from a 40% to 50% humidity level and a minimum temperature of 16 Celsius degrees at least five days before work begins. Let the floorboards lay flat in their original packaging until you are ready for the installation. At the outer edges glue the boards directly onto the subfloor with a wood adhesive.
For an impeccable cut between two rooms or for the making of a border, install a guide. Adjust the guide according to the width of the circular saw. Keep the guide firmly in place. Make all the necessary cuts around the room. You can complete the installation by putting up baseboards that will conceal the ½-inch expansion gap.
FACTORY-VARNISHED PARQUET TILING Another well-known floor-covering option is wood parquet tile. The new fabrication techniques used in hardwood varnishes were also applied to parquet tiles, allowing us to enjoy the best mosaic parquet tiling ever. The tiles comprise of laths that are tongue-and-grooved on all sides and held together by a backside metal strip. Parquet tiles are also coated with the best type of varnish there is: urethane acrylic and aluminum oxide. When it is dried in ultraviolet ovens, factory-finished urethane acrylic produces a clear, extremely durable surface. Parquet tiles are available in three wood essences: red oak, cherry and maple. If you’re looking for other decorative options, you might want to take a look at factory-dyed parquet tiles. The factory-dyeing process produces uniform colors. You can choose between Montana or Sahara colors for cherry woods, and Auburn, Bordeaux, Sierra, Rich or Coffee for oak essences. These new and innovative colors are very popular.
Installing parquet tiling is very simple. Just glue the tiles onto the floor and there you are! Only use the parquet adhesive recommended by the manufacturer. Experts employ many different techniques to install parquet tiling. We will show you a simple and easy way to install the tiles that will give you great results. Snap a chalk line 12,5 inches from the wall. This corresponds to the size of one tile plus ½-inch expansion space. The ½-inch gap between the wall and the floor is essential for the wood to expand. The adhesive must be applied in temperatures of at least 21 Celsius degrees. Keep the emulsions away from extreme cold. Use the appropriate kind of trowel to spread the right amount of adhesive on the surface. Set the first tile in a 90-degree corner. Press on the tile to promote adherence. Continue applying the tiles on the adhesive by fitting them one into the other. Do not slide the tiles in, but make sure the grooves are tightly secured in both directions. The grooves and tongues must be free from dust or other debris which could spoil the installation. To measure the size of the perimeter tiles, put a tile atop the one seated closest to the wall, and a third tile atop those two. Trace your cutting line, again leaving a ½-inch gap between the wall and the floor to allow the wood to expand. Parquet tiles can be installed over plywood, particle boards, oriented particle boards, and even over existing wood floors; however, all surfaces should be flat, dry, clean and have high-adherence to the subfloor. If need be, sand uneven joints in the plywood. Hardwood floors were not designed for moisture-high areas such as bathrooms. Provided the room is not too humid, parquet tiles can be used in the basement. Cover the floor with a weatherproof membrane and a subfloor before installing the tiles. Immediately after the installation, clean the parquet with the type of wood cleaner recommended by the manufacturer. Never use soap or wax on the parquet. Wipe the floor clean with a wet sponge mop, but never pour water directly over it.
Laminate floors What is interesting about the new generation of floor-coverings, is the fact that they are « floating ». You can lay them on top of almost any kind of surface, including concrete and ceramic tiles. Laminated floors are very thin, thus eliminating important irregularities or unevenness between rooms when they are installed over existing floor-covering. Laminate flooring benefit from two new properties: first, all the panel edges are factory-coated with an ultra-durable sealant. This means increased resistance to liquid damages, an important quality since laminate flooring is partly made out of recycled, high-density compressed wood fibers which are vulnerable to water. With this new sealing system, laminate flooring is more resistant than ever. Good laminate floors will resist cigarette burns, animal’s claws, high heels and UV rays.
Let the floorboards lay flat in their original packaging at least two days so they can adjust to the temperature and humidity of the room. Installation conditions should benefit from a minimum temperature of 18 degrees Celsius and a 50% to 60% humidity level. For a professional finish, you will need an installation kit. Necessary products include subfloor, glue, cleaning products and moldings. Before starting up on your project, measure the width of the last floorboard row. It should not be less than 2 inches wide. Otherwise, the floorboard starter row should be cut lengthwise. Use a polyethylene foam underlayment to thermally insulate the room, act as a moisture barrier and silencer for the floors. The foam will also help hide small imperfections in the subfloor. The joints of the underlayment must be aligned with that of the floorboards. As is the case with any wood product, wood floors expand and contract. You should thus leave a 5/16-inch expansion space between the floorboards and the walls, or any other obstruction such as heating pipes and doorframes. Use space wedges specifically designed for this purpose. Fit the first three floorboard rows together, tongues in grooves, without applying any adhesive. Verify the wall alignment. To take exact measures for the last floorboard, swivel it 180 degrees past and set it next to the row, tongue on tongue. Leave an 5/16- inch space at the edge of the boards. Use a workbench miter saw to make the cuts. Insert spacers all around the floor. You can also cut the boards using a circular saw or a jigsaw for peculiar cuts.
When the first three rows have been temporarily set, snap a chalk line from one end of the third row to the other, and make sure the floorboards are aligned. Once you are certain the wall is straight, apply the adhesive. If the wall is not straight, adjust the spacers so that the floorboard starter row is perfectly straight
The glue must be applied on top of the tongue, on the board on the floor. Apply the glue uniformly on the tongue, lengthwise and widthwise. The glue should cover the whole length and width of the inferior groove of the board. You can tighten the boards together lengthwise with a lever specifically designed for this purpose. Laminated floors are « floating », which means they must not be glued on, nailed in, or fixed to the subfloor in any way. Only the tongues and grooves are glued together. There also are several types of strip wood floors that don’t even require glue. Clean the excess glue with a dampened cloth.
To adjust the floorboards, never directly hit the tongues with a hammer, but instead use an adjustment block. Make sure the tongue of the board is correctly inserted into the block groove. Once the joints are really tight, use straps to fasten the floorboards together.
Tie the metal plate to the edge of the board adjacent to the wall. Remove the lever and put it into place. Position the suction-grip and fix it by lowering the lever. Tighten the boards until the joints are completely tight. Avoid over-tightening the boards. Position other units every 24 inches. When the first three rows are secured, put down the next floorboard row and move the suction-grips to the center of the new row. Repeat this step for each subsequent row by moving the suction-grip every two or three rows. If glue squirts out from a joint, let it dry for 45 minutes, then remove the excess with a plastic spatula. Clean the joint with a dampened cloth. At the start of every new row, set in the rest of the previous row’s last floorboard. However, the outer edge of each row must be shifted back at least 16 inches from the previous row. This way, you will have less material loss and your floor will look very nice. Progress following these steps, row after row, and measure the exact width of the last row. To do so, measure for the trim floorboard by putting a board atop the one seated closest to the wall, and a third board atop those two, tongue facing the wall, again leaving a small gap to allow the boards to expand and contract. Trace your cutting line. Carefully adjust the last floorboard row with the lever or straps. Wait 24 hours before walking on the floor. You can complete the installation by putting up baseboards that will conceal the expansion gap. Over the threshold between two rooms, install the appropriate type of molding for an impeccable, polished look.
As mentioned before, laminated floors can be installed directly over concrete as long as a polyethylene underlayment is used beforehand. This makes it an ideal floor-covering for basements. Its high resistance quality is perfect for playrooms.
Before putting down any type of floor-covering directly over concrete, cover the slabs with a polyethylene film and foam. Leave an 8-inch overlap on the polyethylene joints. Place the polyethylene foam parallel to the floorboards. Don’t let the foam joints overlap. Install the first floorboard row with the groove facing the wall. Use the spacers for the required gap between the wall and the floor. This type of floor is ideal if you want to completely and rapidly redesign a room. Floating wood floors are offered in a variety of patterns and colors. The easiest way to get a tight fit under the casing around doors is to cut it with a saw resting on the flip side of a board to gauge the correct depth. This way, it will be possible to slide the board under the frame for a nicer finish. Don’t forget to leave the expansion gap. Note that there are also strip wood floors already covered with a genuine natural wood finish. You have the choice to install laminated floors without any glue or nails, or any other type of fixture. They are part of a new generation of innovative floor-coverings and their popularity is ever-growing.
Note that laminated floors were not designed for moisture-high areas such as bathrooms or saunas. To clean the floor, simply dampen a sponge or use a vacuum and cleaning products recommended by the manufacturer. You can use a dampened cloth but never sluice down the floor with water.
To put down laminated floor in a hallway that opens off into different rooms, you will need stabilizing wedges such as these. The wedges will allow you to go from one room to the next until you can use the straps. Installing a laminated floor in a busy section of your home is a great idea since this kind of floor is reputed for its great durability. Small repairing jobs will require wood filler and solvent. Scrape off any damaged wood fibers and fill in the depression with a wood filler using a spatula. Let the filler dry, then remove the excess with the solvent. For bad joints, use caulk specifically designed for this purpose. Simply fill the joint with caulk, then smooth it out and clean the excess with a spatula
One of the problems most commonly encountered in basements is the high moisture factor. Moisture in the basement generally stems from the surrounding ground. Concrete is a porous material that lets moisture seep through. Thus, it is very important to seal off the concrete, especially the floor. The most popular techniques for this kind of project include installing a plastic film or applying urethane-based paint. However, we are once again proud to introduce a new material which surpasses all these solutions : self-adhesive elastomeric membrane.
The self-adhesive membrane will efficiently seal your basement floor and reduce the humidity level. Start by applying the appropriate interior primer using a paintbrush, then a roller. The surface must be clean and dry. For a new construction, make sure the concrete you are working on has sufficiently matured. The primer is dry when it is still somewhat sticky, but doesn’t soil easily. Install small pieces of membrane in the inside and outside corners, as shown. Cut and position the membrane on the surface you wish to cover by starting at the foot of the wall. Remove 4 inches of the protection sheet. Glue the membrane in place. Continue to remove the protection sheet and roll it up slowly using an appropriate accessory such as a cardboard mantle or a broomstick. Press the membrane with a small rubber roller for adherence. Leave an 3 inches lap joint between each one of the edges. Complete the installation with membrane strips along lateral walls. If you’re thinking about putting down carpet, you should use an undercushion layer to avoid seeing or feeling membrane overlaps. You can also install plywood sheets screwed unto the membrane if you wish to put down parquet tiles or floorboards.
In times past, the only solution for a watertight bathroom was putting down concrete slabs under the ceramic tiles. Nowadays, you can opt for an self-adhesive membrane. This type of membrane will make the surface completely watertight before ceramic tiles or finishing materials of your choice are laid down. It is especially effective inside ceramic tile shower stalls. In the long run, joints between tiles may deteriorate and allow water to seep in. Water infiltration can make your support materials rot in no time. Applying a membrane will definitively eliminate this risk
Before putting down ceramic tiles, make sure your bathroom floor and walls are watertight by using a membrane and all-purpose membrane strips. First, apply a coat of interior primer on the walls and floor where you wish to put up ceramic tiles. Let the primer dry for an hour. In each corner, install a small all-purpose piece of membrane such as this one. This type of membrane offers long term protection against everyday water infiltration and water damages. Apply the all-purpose membrane strips on the joints in the walls and floor. To make sure the joints between two membrane edges are watertight, measure where they rejoin, knowing they are 3 feet wide. Glue the all-purpose strip on the joint and leave approximately 2 inches on each side of the joint. At the foot of the wall, let the all-purpose strip overlap on the one already on the joint for the wall/floor. Apply the all-purpose strip the same way on walls you wish to cover with ceramic tiles. Also apply the membrane around plumbing outlets. Cut and position the membrane on the surface, starting at the foot of the wall. Remove 4 inches of the protection sheet. Stick the membrane on. Continue to remove the protection sheet by rolling it up slowly with the appropriate accessory, a broomstick, a ruler, etc. Press down on the membrane with a small rubber roller to make it adhere to the surface. Glue the edges side by side with the all-purpose strip joints. Complete the all-purpose and basic membrane installations this way. For the membrane to adhere, surfaces must be clean and dry before the primer is applied. With membranes of this kind, your bathrooms, washrooms and shower stalls will be completely watertight. In time, the grout between ceramic tiles can begin to crumble, letting water seep in. Even if it’s very slight, water infiltration always ends up causing huge problems that can even affect the structural elements of your home. Pull a caulk joint around the membrane and other openings for a completely watertight finish. You are now ready to put up ceramic tiles. To successfully install ceramic tiles, you must carefully plan ahead. First, let’s see how to put up ceramic tiles on walls. Create your own wood guide, such as this one, to help you determine where each tile row will be placed. If the ceramic tiles are not perfectly square, build another guide according to the width of the tiles to determine their vertical position. Leave a ¼-inch space between the ground and the guide. Make a mark where each tile row will be. Draw horizontal reference lines with a level for each row. This will make it possible to visualize the whole project in advance and make sure the tiles harmonize with the different elements in the room such as windows, countertops, medicine cabinet, etc. If you need to cut one or two tile rows, place this row between the first and the third row, starting from the ground or from the ceiling. Use the guide to pinpoint the location of each tile on one of the horizontal reference lines. Then decide how the vertical rows will be put together. Now, draw the vertical reference lines.
Use latex altered mortar to glue the ceramic tiles on the wall. The mortar must be applied with a notched trowel whose « teeth » have the same width as the tiles themselves. Apply a small quantity of mortar on the wall. Start on the second row from the ground. Prepare individual tiles, spreading adhesive on the back. Press the tiles in place by rocking them a bit and lining them up with the reference lines. You can use finishing nails to temporarily keep the tiles in place. Make your way along each side in a pyramidal fashion, moving toward the ceiling. If necessary, use plastic spacers between the tiles. The first row off the ground will be the last one to be completed. To make holes for piping, use a drill with the proper bit size. If you need to cut a whole row of tiles, take the measures and cut all the tiles immediately. To cut ceramic tiles, use a « tile cutter ». You can rent this tool from your local retailer or a rental center. Use a small hydraulic diamond-edged saw for peculiar or curved cuts. Once all the tiles are set, let the mortar dry for 24 hours. You are now ready to apply the grout. Spread out the grout on the joints with a rubber spatula. Press the grout firmly and completely into the joints. Don’t apply mortar between dissimilar materials, and around penetrations in the tiled surface. Use silicone caulk instead; it will resist to expanding movements. Remove the excess mortar on the tile surface with a dampened sponge, and then with a clean cloth as you go along. Once the grout has dried, we recommend you use caulk to seal the joints around the tiled surface.
To install ceramic tiles on the floor, we strongly recommend you start by putting down concrete panels to work on. The membrane we showed you earlier is great for stopping water infiltration. However, concrete panels will help provide a solid base for ceramic tiles. Some people say that ceramic tiles have the resistance of the surface on which they are laid. In fact, if the floor allows any kind of flexibility, as is the case for a wooden floor, then the ceramic tiles may break under the weight of a person. Besides this important fact, installing tiles on the floor basically involves the same steps as for the walls.
The very first step in putting down ceramic tiles on the floor, is to find the center of the room. Draw a reference line from one side of the room to the other, then, starting from the center of that line, draw another perpendicular reference line. Make sure the two lines are really at a 90 degree angle by using a T-square or the 3, 4, 5 method. The ideal way to trace these lines is to snap a chalk line. Place the tiles on the ground, along the two lines so as to anticipate the dimensions of the border tiles. Redraw the line or both lines if need be, for proper sized border tiles and also to limit the number of tile cutting in general. One important success factor in ceramic tiles installation is a careful planning of the exact location of each tile.
Start by installing the tiles at the center of the room, where the two reference lines meet. Use a notched trowel to spread out the mortar. Put down the tiles by twisting them slightly and aligning them perfectly with the reference lines. Move sideways in a pyramidal fashion. If needed, use plastic spacers between the tiles. You can also use other types of spacers such as wood sticks to change the joint width and create a different design. Don’t work on more than one quadrant at once. If the mortar dries too quickly, simply remove it with the trowel and start over. For peculiar cuts, you can use a grinder with the proper blade. However, unlike the diamond-edged saw, it will make a lot of dust. You can also use tile nippers. For straight cuts, use a « snap cutter » such as this one. If you need to cut a whole row of tiles, take the measures and cut all the tiles immediately. Once all the tiles are set, let the mortar dry for 24 hours. Then, spread out the grout on the joints with a rubber spatula. Press the grout firmly and completely into the joints. Don’t apply mortar between dissimilar materials, and around penetrations in the tiled surface. Use silicone caulk instead; it will resist to expanding movements. Remove the excess mortar on the tile surface with a dampened sponge, and then with a clean cloth as you go along. Once the grout has dried, we recommend you use caulk to protect the joints.
Natural slate tiles are a noble material, as is wood. They harmonize perfectly with other natural materials such as wood, cork or brick and stone walls. However, putting up slate tiles is a more delicate job than conventional ceramic tiles. The main difference is that they cannot be cut with an ordinary snap cutter. You must absolutely use a diamond-edged saw. As you will see in the next « So You’re Renovating! » segment, you should use small battery-operated saws for this project which you can rent for a fair price at your local tool rent-it center. Also, you will have to apply a sealant over the slate tiles once they are installed.
Working with either natural slate tiles or traditional ceramic tiles means removing the shoe molding and cutting the doorframe this way. The easiest way to get a tight fit under the casing around doors is to cut it, as shown here, with a saw resting on a tile to gauge the correct depth. Use the flip side of the tile so as not to damage its good side. This way, you will be able to slide the tile under the doorframe for a professional, impeccable finish. Once again, be careful to plan ahead and visualize the precise arrangement of the natural slate tiles before permanently setting them down. As they are made out of natural stone, slate tiles absolutely require you to use a diamond-edged saw. Use a notched trowel to spread out the mortar. Gently twist the tiles into place. Let the mortar dry for at least 24 hours. Delicately clean the joints to remove all leftover particles. Then, spread out the grout with a rubber spatula. Press the grout firmly and completely into the joints. Remove the excess mortar on the tile surface with a dampened sponge, and then with a clean cloth as you go along. You must apply a water-based sealant on the tiles to protect them. Simply apply the sealant with a sponge and let it dry for 24 hours
To create an effect which is out of the ordinary, you can use a portable diamond-edged saw for inserting tiles into one another. Use a home-made wood guide such as this one for perfect cuts. Handle the tiles with great care as they are very fragile when they are not leaning against the mortar. Always prepare a larger quantity of tiles to replace the ones that may break. Once again, it is preferable to use high quality tiles for this type of work. Higher quality tiles will be less likely to split, improving your chances for a great looking end result. Let the mortar dry for at least 24 hours before applying the grout.
There you are! You just saw how install most type of flooring materials in your house. We hope this DVD will help you in your own renovations. Remember to choose high quality material. This might be a little more expensive but since you will save on the labor by doing the work yourself, the end result will be better, long lasting and overall less expansive.