Syntra tiling

Do you want to install your tiles yourself?

I plan to lay the tiles myself in my kitchen, bathroom or toilet soon, but don't know how to start yet

We are happy to help you on your way with the 13-step plan below, prepared by Belgian champion tiler 2017, Tom Verstaen

Video: bonding ceramic tiles to screeds

1) Start with a good surface

  • A floating screed (possibly installed yourself and reinforced with the Staenis grid)
  • Existing tiling
    • Sweep and dust off the top layer by vacuuming
    • Thoroughly degrease existing tile floor
knee protection

2) Prime the substrate

  • Place a transparent porosity-controlling primer on a floating screed
    • As a result, the tile adhesive will remain workable for longer once applied to the floating screed.
  • Place a transparent adhesion-enhancing primer on an existing tile floor
    • This ensures the bonding bridge between the existing tile work and the tile adhesive
  • Do not use primer in an outdoor application (patio)
    • The primer will partially make the surface waterproof, which can cause problems afterwards.

3) Decide where the first tile will go

  • It is very important to determine in advance where the first tile is to be placed and in which direction it will be placed.
  • Check the size of the tiles on the walls. Keep these cut tiles larger than 50% as this has a better visual appearance.

4) Prepare the tile adhesive

  • For this you use a tub and a mixer.
  • Pour the correct amount of water, measured with a measuring cup, according to the indication on the tile adhesive bag, into the tub.
  • For most applications you will need an S1 tile adhesive. This is of high quality and ensures easy installation. Always consult the manufacturer's technical data sheet.
  • Mix the mixture for a few minutes, wait for another few minutes and mix the mixture a second time.
Tile adhesive mixer

5) Cutting a tile

  • Use a tile cutter to cut one straight line.
  • Use an angle grinder with a specific diamond blade to adjust the tile in different directions.
Saw blade

6) Glue the substrate

A 12 mm adhesive trowel ensures an adhesive height of 3 mm and a consumption of 6 kg/m²

  • Pick up a quantity of tile adhesive with a trowel
  • Rub and scrape the adhesive over the screed with the flat side of the trowel. This greatly improves adhesion.
  • Add more tile adhesive to the substrate
  • Hold the trowel at 45 degrees and make straight grooves for the adhesive.
tile trowel

7) Glue the tile

  • Pick up a quantity of tile adhesive with a trowel
  • Rub and scrape the adhesive over the tile with the flat side of the trowel. This greatly improves adhesion.
  • If necessary, also place adhesive grooves on the tile, parallel to those on the substrate. This enables you to gain extra height.

8) Placing tiles

  • Place the levelling or levelling clips under the previous tiles
  • Place the tile with 1 edge against the other tile and let the tile fall from +-10 cm height. This removes most of the air between the substrate and tile and ensures a fuller bond.
  • First push the tile down manually, this to the same height as the previous tiles. Follow the flatness of the substrate.
  • Place a 3 mm tile spacer between the 2 tiles. By relying on the tile spacer instead of the thickness of the clips, you ensure that the tiles are much easier to lay. This is because the tile spacers always remain clean and do not cause different joint widths, whereas clips do.
tile spacers

9) Install levelling or levelling system

  • Place the levelling or levelling wedges through the clips. With the high side of the wedge on the last placed tile.
  • Try working without clamping pliers first. The pliers only serve to perfectly smooth the last 1 mm. You can work away the first difference in height, between the tiles, by pushing the tile itself.
  • When the tiling is finished, it is best to place clips back under the last tiles, so that you can still use the levelling or levelling system the next day.
Levelling System

10) Remove Clips and Skewers

  • Kick or knock the clips sideways.
  • Try to crack off the entire plastic of the clips. If this is not successful, you can cut it out or scratch it with a tool of your choice.

11) Add

  • Make sure the joints are clean over the entire surface area.
  • Make the entire surface dust-free by wiping with soapy water.
  • Push the grout into the joints using a grout trowel.
  • Clean up with a sponge
  • Try to grout small areas first. After this you can always make and place more grout.
joint set

12) Install skirting boards

  • Use tile adhesive or, if necessary, silicone.
  • Push the skirting board against the wall and take another tile to push it square using the flatness of the floor.
  • Place 2 tile spacers under the plinth and position the plinth nicely over the underlying tile
  • Fill the raised joint with grout, the top with acrylic silicone and the bottom with sanitary silicone.

13) Finishing

  • Remove the remaining dust layer from the tiles with soapless water. Repeat this until the tiles are clean.
  • Use soap in the water for cleaning only after 1 week.
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