Laying your concrete basement floor with ceramic tiles is an excellent way to enhance both the beauty and lifespan of your concrete basement floor. The early application of tiles as floor finish was not as successful as it is today because older style tiles broke too easily.
With new technology, the durability and appearance of tiles have tremendously been improved, making the use of tiles a favorable option to various flooring repairs. Follow these steps to lay tile on your concrete basement floor.
Step 1 – Inspect Your Basement Floor for Damages
Inspect your basement floor for cracks, rough surfaces, leaks, and any flooring anomalies before installing ceramic tiles. The damages must be repaired first. Uneven surfaces need to be thoroughly leveled.
Step 2 – Cleaning the Concrete Flooring
Remove dusts and debris with a vacuum cleaner and a broom. Remove stubborn dust and dirt with a mop soaked in a solution of bleach and water. Mop the entire floor area of your basement, as any dirt or dust is a potential hazard to the success of your tiling job. After mopping, allow your concrete basement floor to completely dry.
Step 3 – Preparing the Tiles to Be Installed
Decide on the pattern to be installed and dry-set it. Cut the tiles to the desired size with a nipper, then mark the room flooring to make quadrant divisions with horizontal and vertical lines once the tiles have dry-set. It will be the guide to ensure that the tile application will fit the area of the flooring. Remove the tile pieces and be ready to apply the thinset mortar.
Step 4 – Applying the Thinset Mortar
Read the product instructions on the label. Different manufacturers have different ways to mix their thinset, so make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instruction to the letter. Work with one quadrant at a time, applying the thinset mortar. Put this mixture onto the concrete flooring using the flat side of a trowel.
Step 5 – Setting Down the Ceramic Tiles
The ceramic tiles should now be positioned into the mortar. Securely tap the ceramic tile in its rightful location with a rubber mallet. Spacers should be used to act as a barrier for the grout. Finish filling the concrete flooring area and leave the mortar to fully dry.
Step 6 – Applying the Grout and Drying the Area
Per the manufacturer’s instructions, the grout should be mixed thoroughly as needed. Remove the spacers between the tiles and wipe grout into the space. Allow it to settle and remove excess grout with a soft cloth. The grout should then be allowed to cure, which can take up to 48 hours. The tiled concrete flooring can now be walked on.
All it took was sex steps to tile your concrete basement floor. It’s time to enjoy your handiwork!
The Spruce / Ana Cadena
Floor coverings need a solid base for installation. But if the base is not solid, some compensation can be found with the floor covering itself. Laminate flooring, engineered wood, and even solid hardwood are moderately flexible. As the house expands and contracts, the flooring does too. Luxury vinyl plank and tile, along with sheet vinyl flooring, are all supremely flexible floor coverings.
Ceramic and porcelain tile, by contrast, do not compensate. Tile cannot bend, flex, or shift. Complicating matters, the material that fills tile seams, tile grout, cannot flex or shift. More than almost any other type of floor covering, tile needs a rock-solid base.
If you attach the tile to concrete, you need to take special precautions by uncoupling the tile from the concrete. Rather than using cement boards (CBUs), the favored method is to use an uncoupling membrane. Schluter Ditra and Redgard Uncoupling Mat are two popular brands of tiling membranes that lessen the chance of concrete events becoming tile events.
Installing Tile Directly on Concrete
Ceramic and porcelain tile are so frequently installed at or above grade level on a cement board underlayment or directly on plywood that it almost seems novel to install tile directly on concrete. Yet this application does make sense, since concrete is heavy, solid, and is typically thought of as an unbending, uncompromising material. Far denser than plywood and weighing in at a hefty 75 pounds per square foot (at a six-inch depth), concrete is heavy. Not only that, concrete and tile are both mineral-based materials, so it seems natural that the two would be a perfect match.
But that only describes concrete in its perfect, unchanged state. Concrete responds poorly to foundation shifts. Groundwater pushing up from below can crack it. Tree roots routinely burrow under concrete slabs, then lift and crack them. The best mode of thought is to assume that your concrete will crack at some point in its lifespan.
The safest way to approach questionable concrete is not to cover it over with CBUs but to fix the concrete. Cracks and gaps can be filled with Portland cement-based fillers. Tile cannot be attached directly to painted concrete, as the thin-set will not adhere well to the paint. Painted concrete can be made porous with sandblasting or other hard abrasive actions.
While you can install tile directly on concrete, problems erupt when the concrete cracks or shifts. All of the movement in concrete is transferred to the tile. Cracks in concrete immediately become cracks in the tile. If you were to remove a cracked tile from concrete, undoubtedly you would see the same crack pattern below.
Installing on a Cement Board
If the concrete floor exhibits cracks, gaps, holes, or other imperfections, does it make sense to put down an entire underlayment of cement board, such as HardieBacker or Durock, instead of repairing each imperfection piecemeal?
Durock, HardieBacker, and WonderBoard are all cement backer boards and are 100-percent inorganic materials that will not rot, shrink, or decompose. Laying cement board on good concrete would be unnecessary and redundant: a cement product on a cement product. Yet veteran tile installers have differing opinions, with some saying that this can be done, especially if floor level needs to be raised significantly. In this type of application, attaching a CBU to the concrete is preferable to floating an entire floor’s worth of mortar bed.
Most tile professionals agree that attaching a CBU to a concrete floor would be more trouble than it is worth. If anything, it would be difficult to screw the CBU into the concrete, especially with the middle layer of thin-set.
In short, installing cement board between concrete and tile is possible. But generally it is not worth the effort and it may even result in a poor tile installation. Most importantly, the cement board is not considered to be an effective uncoupling material. While you may gain some benefits from using cement board as an uncoupling surface, a true uncoupling membrane’s benefits far exceed this.
Installing on Uncoupling Membrane
Schluter’s Ditra and Redgard Uncoupling Mat are brands of polyethylene membranes with a grid of squares or circles embossed in the face. These are often used as waterproofing elements for building shower pans. Widely installed by tile professionals, their true value for concrete bases is as an uncoupling material.
An uncoupling material does just that: it uncouples one thing from another. In this case, it unlocks tile from its subfloor. Acting as a buffer layer, it is flexible and does not mimic the actions of the concrete. Because subfloors can move and crack, they transmit the same to the tile above. Uncoupling material breaks this chain of transmission.
Uncoupling membranes are invaluable if you anticipate any movement or cracking from the concrete floor. Generally, it is well worth the cost and the time to purchase and install an uncoupling membrane.
Uncoupling membranes are not perfect, though. When the concrete dramatically tilts or cracks, no membrane can uncouple the two surfaces enough to prevent tile damage from happening.
Ordinary concrete is fine for your average backyard patio, but to create a rich, inviting outdoor patio space, installing tile is the best way to go. There is a huge selection of tile styles and colors for you to choose from, and the greatest benefit of using tiles is that they can be laid directly on top of preexisting concrete.
Once you’ve gone through all your options and found a tile style that suits you, these instructions will help you plan out your project and install the pieces without overlooking important details.
Laying floor tile over concrete is not a technically demanding job. It can be physically strenuous and messy, but it is a home improvement project that will allow you to cut labor costs by doing it yourself.
Step 1 – Preparing the Concrete
Before you begin to lay the tile over your concrete slab, make sure the concrete is properly prepared. Mix up a bucket of TSP (tri-sodium phosphate) solution. TSP is a high-strength cleaner, which is useful for removing dirt, grease, and oil from your existing surface. Scrub the floor with a brush and TSP, and allow it to dry thoroughly. Then examine the floor and see if there are any cracks or pits that need to be fixed before you lay the tile.
Keep in mind, any uneven areas will allow the tile to rock back and forth, even after installation. If the tile isn’t completely flat, it will probably crack somewhere down the road. Take the time now to use the concrete patch or leveler to ensure you have a flat surface with no defects.
Step 2 – Seal the Concrete
Once your repairs have dried, seal the concrete. True, using a sealant is an extra step in the process, and you don’t really need to do it, but in the long run, it will be time well spent. Applying a sealant will prevent moisture from settling under your tiles and will allow your mortar to stick tightly.
Step 3 – Plan Your Layout in Advance
As you get ready to begin laying the tile, you will need to decide ahead of time where you want your configuration to begin and end. This is important because you will most likely have to cut pieces at the end to make them fit. It is usually best if these cut pieces are in inconspicuous places, such as against the home. Plan your starting point accordingly to ensure that you can hide the cut pieces as well as possible. It is best to mark your starting point on the concrete floor and snap a chalk line the entire length of the room. You can use this line as a reference point to make sure that your first row is square and even.
Step 4 – Mixing Mortar
After you have decided where you want to begin, you must mix and put down a layer of mortar. Keep in mind that different varieties of mortar work best with different types of tiling so you should make sure your selections are compatible. Once you’ve chosen a mortar, follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer and begin to mix the mortar. Don’t mix too far in advance, as it will begin to set on you before you can use it.
Step 5 – Applying Mortar
Begin spreading the mortar over a small area using a trowel. As a tip, a grooved trowel will work the best for this kind of a job.
Never spread out more than what you can cover with three or four tiles at a time. If you run into trouble and have to stop or slow down but you’ve got a huge area of mortar already spread, it may start to set up before you can get the tile down. Just do a little at a time, and you will save yourself a potentially huge headache.
Step 6 – Installing the Tiles
Lay the tiles into the mortar, and using the spacers, make sure you are running even with the chalk line. As you move on to the subsequent rows, use the spacers to keep your pattern square. Once a tile is set, try to avoid touching it again. As soon as you make a small adjustment to one, you will find that you need to adjust them all. It is far more efficient to get it right the first time and not have to touch it again.
Wash the tiles off with a damp rag as you go. If you leave clumps of mortar to dry on the surface of the tile, it will make cleaning them later much more difficult. As you get to the end of the room, make sure your cut pieces fit properly, and then leave the mortar to dry as specified by the manufacturer’s instructions.
Step 7 – Grouting the Tile
The next step is to grout the tile. Mix the grout as specified on the package, and begin liberally spreading it over the tile using the grout float. Use the float to make sure there are no low spots. Then use a damp rag to wipe any excess grout from the face of the tile. Once the grout has had time to set, repeat the process. Don’t worry at this point if the tile appears a little cloudy.
Step 8 – Clea ning Up
Once the grout is completely dry, take a wet rag and wash the surface of the entire floor. As the floor dries, you will probably notice a haze forming over the tile. Allow it to dry completely, and then go back over it with a slightly damp rag. This should polish the haze right off.
Once you have polished the remaining grout and mortar residue off of the floor and are confident that the grout has fully cured, use the grout sealer to prevent stains and mildew from taking hold in the future.
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Cement tile is a type of tile which is made from cement, as the name implies. These tiles are very durable and sturdy, being especially well-suited to high traffic areas, and they come in a range of patterns and colors. Cement tile tends to be about twice as heavy as ceramic tile, and it is less subject to breakage and chipping. Morocco, Portugal, and Latin America are especially famous for their brightly-colored cement tile designs.
More properly, these tiles are actually made from concrete, a mixture of the binding agent known as cement and some type of aggregate. In basic cement tile products, the cement is blended with a pigment while it is being mixed, so that the resulting tiles are colored. These tiles often have dark, earthy colors, a result of the natural dark gray of the cement blending with the pigment. They can be glazed for a glossy finish or left matte, and they are typically sealed to resist moisture and staining.
It is also possible to find encaustic cement tiles, which are made by creating a pattern from several different colors. Encaustic tiles are brightly colored and very bold, with meandering designs which often have a heavy floral or geometric influence. Many encaustic tiles are designed to interlock to create a repeating pattern. This method of cement tile production was developed in the 1800s, and the persistence of bright colors in tiles dating back to this period would suggest that encaustic tiles are a good choice for people who want very durable flooring.
Like other types of tile, cement tile is designed to be laid on a hard, flat surface and then grouted. The tiles and grout can be sealed after installation to prevent the seepage of water, grease, and other spills, keeping the floor in good condition. In some cases, cement tile is laid over a heated floor, with the floor conducting and slowly releasing radiant heat to keep the structure warm.
Home supply stores usually carry or can order cement tile, and some people like to make it at home, mixing their own pigments and building molds for their tiles. Home made tiles can also be made with inclusions which are pressed into the tiles as they set. It is also possible to order tile through specialty companies which import cement tile from traditional centers of production in Morocco, Portugal, Italy, and Latin American nations.
Special cutting tools are required to trim cement tile, because it is quite hard. Some hardware stores rent out tile cutting equipment so that people do not have to purchase it for tile installation, and it is also possible to use the services of a professional flooring company, for people who do not feel up to installing their own tile.
Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.
Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.
You have to clean the surface of the concrete before anything else. Clean with a washer that is at least 4,000 psi careful to follow manufacturer’s instructions to avoid damaging the concrete with the pressurized spray.
Using a small cold chisel or flat-head screwdriver dig out rubble in large cracks and chips. Loosen dirt and debris in small cracks using a wire brush. Sweep the area or use a wet/dry vacuum to remove all remaining debris.
Using a masonry trowel fill all small cracks and chips making the surface smooth. You should allow the patching compound to cure according the manufacturer’s directions.
Should there be damage at the front edge of the step, clean it as follows. Place a board in front and secure it in place with bricks or concrete blocks. Wet the damaged area and fill it with patching compound. Using a masonry trowel smooth the patch and then allow it to cure thoroughly.
Spread a layer of isolation membrane over the concrete using a notched trowel. You should smooth the surface of the membrane using the flat edge of a trowel. Making sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions, allow the membrane to cure.
When tiling a stairway with landing the sequence is important. Your main goal is to install the tile in a manner that the least possible cut edges are visible from the main viewing position. If you are tiling the sides as well, start there first. Start by extending horizontal lines from the top of the stair treads back to the house on the sides of the steps. Use a 4 ft level.
Prepare a batch of thinset mortar with latex bonding adhesive and trowel it onto the sides of the steps, trying to retain visibility of the layout lines. Because the top steps are likely more visible than the bottom step, start on top and work your way down.
Begin setting tiles into the thinset mortar on the sides of the steps. Start at the top and work your way downward. Try to lay out tile so the vertical gaps between tiles align. Use spacers if you need to.
Wrap a 2 x 4 in old carpet and drag it back and forth across the tile surfaces to set them evenly. Avoid getting too aggressive as you dont want to loosen all of the thinset mortar.
Measure the widith of a riser, making account for the thickness of the tiles you have laid on the sides. Calculate the centerpoint and mark it clearly with chalk or a high visibility marker.
You will then dry lay the tiles on the stair risers. As the location of the tops of the riser tiles affects the positioning of the tread and landing tiles, you will acheive the most accurate layout if the riser tiles are laid first. Vertically stack the tiles against the riser, note that in some cases you will only need one tile to reach from tread to tread. Add spacers. Trace the location of the tread across the back of the top tile to mark it for cutting.
Tile a concrete patio for a decorative touch to your outdoor space.
By Jeanne Huber
Handmade clay tiles or stone tiles with naturally split surfaces look great in a garden setting. But accommodating the size variation requires a slightly different installation process than you’d use for the factory-made tiles that are more common indoors. This project originally appeared in Walks, Walls & Patio Floors by Jeanne Huber, published in 2008 by Sunset Books. The patio features handmade saltillo tiles, which are popular where winters are warm. They are too porous to survive a freezing winter. The procedure also applies to stone tile with slightly irregular dimensions. These saltillos were glazed at the factory. If you are using unglazed saltillos or porous stone, apply a sealer before you install them to prevent mortar stains.
Sort the tiles before you begin. Set aside warped pieces with a slight hump in the center until you have mortar prepared and can spread a little, like frosting, to make the backs flat. If thickness varies significantly, sort out the thicker pieces and include at least one in each section you set so that the paving turns out even.
Before tiling a concrete slab, be sure it is stable. Deep cracks are likely to show up in your tiled surface, even if you patch first. Run a straightedge along the surface and knock down any protrusions with a hammer and chisel or a grinder. Patch large holes, clean the concrete, let it dry, then paint the surface with concrete bonding adhesive.
Lay out the project. Check the slab to make sure corners are square. If not, draw two lines at a 90-degree angle to each other and make all your measurements from them. Do a test run by placing tiles to make a section about 3 feet square. Space them to allow grout lines of a width you want. Measure the width of the tiles plus one extra grout line. This is the size of the squares in which the tiles should be laid. Using a tape measure and chalk line, mark lines in both directions to produce a grid of squares.
Trowel on the mortar. Mix a batch of latex-reinforced mortar so it is just stiff enough to cling for a second or two to a trowel held vertically. Using a notched trowel of the size recommended by the tile dealer, spread the mortar inside one of the squares. First spread a thick layer using the flat side of the trowel. Then use the notched side to comb the mortar. Don’t scrape down to the concrete.
Place and align the tiles. Fill the square with tiles, leaving gaps for grout lines. Set the tiles straight down into the mortar; don’t slide them or press down on them. Stand up and examine the tiles from several angles to be sure the grout lines are as consistent and straight as possible.
Bed the tiles and check adhesion. Place a block of wood or a piece of plywood across several tiles and gently tap it to seat the pieces evenly. Every so often, pick up a tile to make sure the mortar is sticking to at least three-quarters of the back surface. If it’s not, back-butter each tile with a thin layer of mortar before setting it in the troweled mortar.
Cut tiles to fit. At edges, you may need to trim some pieces. Cut tiles using a rented wet saw, or a grinder or circular saw equipped with a masonry cutting blade or a diamond blade. Some tiles are easier to cut with a snap cutter. Ask your tile dealer which cutting tool to use.
Grout and clean. Wait about 2 days for the mortar to harden. Mix a batch of latex-reinforced sanded grout just to the point that it does not pour readily. If joints are 3⁄8 inch or wider, apply the grout with a mortar bag and shape the joints with a brick tool or the rounded end of a trowel handle.
If joints are narrow, hold a laminated grout float nearly flat and push grout between the tiles in at least two directions. When the joints in an area are full, tilt the float up and use it to squeegee away most of the excess grout. Drag a wet towel over the area, then wipe lightly with a damp sponge, rinsed often. Once the grout starts to stiffen, use the sponge to shape the surface to a consistent depth. Allow the surface to dry until a white haze appears, then buff it away with a dry cloth. Mist the grout with water until damp and cover it with plastic for several days, making sure it stays damp.
New Ideas for Outdoor Living
New for 2009 is Patio & Stone, A Sunset Design Guide. This handsomely photographed book includes the latest ideas on design and materials, along with essential landscaping advice from industry professionals. Design an inviting patio with decorative features such as flagstone paths and stone walls. Discover a wealth of great landscaping materials, from natural stone to concrete pavers, brick and tile. Plus, you can see advanced views of the spaces you are planning with the 3D interactive design software that is included with the book.
Photo Credits: “Photos courtesy of Wayne Cable”
Editor’s Note: Excerpted by permission of Sunset Publishing Corporation from Walks, Walls & Patio Floors by Jeanne Huber and the editors of Sunset Books, published in 2008 by Sunset Books.
If you are installing ceramic tile over another surface, it is important to follow specific recommendations and steps to make sure there will be proper bonding. Ceramic tile over wood, tile, concrete, or vinyl should be installed by using appropriate products that will allow the right adhesion between surfaces. Always be sure the existing surface has been cleaned and leveled.
Installing Over Concrete
Installing ceramic tile over concrete requires repairing all cracks and voids in the concrete prior to the installation process. Cracks in the concrete eventually will lead to cracks in the tile because the concrete at the point of the crack won’t be able to support the tile. For cracks, less than 1/8 inch, use crack suppression products. If installing over larger cracks, you must consider removing the concrete section and pouring a new concrete slab.
If you are concerned about cracks, you may want to have an isolation system installed onto the slab to separate/detach the tile from the slab. This is a membrane that separates the tile from direct contact with the concrete, helping to provide support for any weaknesses in the concrete due to shrinkage or expansion.
It also is important to verify that there are no chemical products acting over the concrete surface. Some chemical products applied over the concrete surface can reduce the bonding capacity of the tile over the surface. To check the slab for the presence of such a coating, drip a few drops of water on its surface. If the water beads, it’s highly likely that a coating was applied.
Installing Over Wood
To install ceramic tile over wood, the wood surface must be structurally sound enough to support the weight of the tile. Chipboard, cushioned vinyl flooring, particle boards of any type, oriented strand board (OSB), interior-grade plywood, tongue and groove planking, and hardwood floors are unsuitable substrates for direct installation of ceramic tile. Tile is hard and will break or dislodge if the surface bends under the load, and many wood surfaces can expand or contract, negatively impacting their ability to stay level and support the weight. If you must install over such surfaces, it is best to install a backer board over the old surface and install the tile on the backer board.
If installing over an appropriate wood surface, sand the wood to make it smoother, and remember that the installation will work better over a subfloor at least 1-1/8 inches thick. If the tile is being installed in a bathroom, consider applying an isolation membrane over your wood subfloor to further protect against expansion and contraction.
Installing Over Existing Tile
Before installing ceramic tile over the existing tile you will need to roughen the existing ceramic tile surface to produce a better grip for the new ceramic tile. It is recommended to sand the floor using 80-grit sandpaper. After the tile has been sanded, clean and remove all particles and dust before applying a floor leveler product to fill in grout lines and level the surface completely for the new tile application. Use a thin-set product to install ceramic tile over existing tiles. This is a mixture of cement, fine-grain sand, and water that will adhere the new tile to the old. When it comes to mortar, latex or epoxy options are best for installing tile over tile. Also, consider that doors, cabinets, and other hardware might need to be reworked or replaced with new ones to compensate for the higher floor.
Installing Over Existing Vinyl
Installing ceramic tile over vinyl or linoleum surfaces can be more complicated than expected and probably should be avoided whenever possible. However, if you can’t remove the old surface or otherwise decide to install over it, lay a backer board with thin-set over the old surface to serve as your new subfloor material. It is important to use the thin-set recommended by the backer board manufacturer, make sure all loose adhesive is removed from the surface, and verify that a good bond to the substrate can be achieved. For cutback adhesive residue, verify that the thin-set manufacturer’s mortar is compatible.
Leveling a Subfloor
It’s not uncommon for subfloors to develop low spots or other imperfections over time, but before installing a new floor over one, it’s very important to address these issues and make certain the subfloor is level. Low spots can be filled in with a floor-patching mixture that then can be sanded once it has hardened.
Measuring Tile for Cutting
When actually laying the tile, measure out an area away from walls and other border areas where you can install full squares of tile. Once you have allowed this to set and can walk on it, measure the space you have along walls and other border areas, minus the grout line, and mark where tiles need to be cut to fill these odd spaces.
Installing a slate tile over a concrete base is a task that you can do on your own by following certain steps and tips. Slate is one of the most durable and long-lasting floor materials and requires little maintenance. It doesn’t allow dirt to show very much either. Concrete is an ideal subfloor for installing slate tiles. Preparation is the most important part of every do-it-yourself task and slate floor tile installation is no exception to that rule. The more time and attention to detail and workmanship you put into your slate flooring the more beautiful it will be.
Step 1 – Preparation
Before starting with the installation, you should remove all possible flooring and coverings. The older flooring will need to be removed and cleaned. Slate tiles can be installed over a wood floor or a cement floor, but in any case, the floor needs to be dry.
Step 2 – Level the Floor
Before starting you should check the concrete base to ensure that is level. You can use an 8-foot level to check it; in the case that the floor is not level, you can and should use a leveling compound that will make the concrete level. Make sure that the compound dries completely.
Step 3 – Use Thinset
Use the thinset over the concrete base and spread it evenly. You can use a trowel with notches that are proper for the size of the tiles you will be using.
Step 4 – Install the Tiles
Take the tiles and set them in the thinset. Make sure that you do not use more thinset than is necessary. Use the spacers to space the tiles evenly until you have covered the entire concrete base.
Step 5 – Use the Grout
Take the grouting bags and squeeze the grout into the lines between the tiles. Make sure that you do not leave any voids or gaps. Let the grout dry and cure for 2 to 3 days.
Step 6 – Use the Tile Sealer
Two to three days later use the tile sealer over the surface of the tiles. If you wish for a glossy result you should apply 2 to 4 coats of sealer. The sealer can prevent the slate tiles from staining. Keep in mind, though, that you should not use the sealer over waxed flooring because the sealer will not be effective. If the slate flooring is in a room with moisture, such as bathrooms or kitchens, you should also seal the gaps between the tiles and the walls. Always allow the sealer to dry properly.
One of the first things you need to do is to calculate how many tiles you will need. If you take the floor plan or sketch it, you will be able to calculate the exact amount. However, you should always order more, at about 5 to 10 percent more than the calculations, because some tiles might break, or you might make some mistakes and you will need to use more tiles than you would normally. When you buy the tiles, you can buy the other needed materials at the same time, so that you buy the proper ones for the slate tiles you are using. Preparation is key.
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