Installing a ceramic tile floor is a wonderful way to improve the appearance--and the value--of your home. But in order to reap the full benefit, it must be installed properly. With the right knowledge, that process isn't as hard as you might think. If you would like to learn more about paving your home with ceramic tile, read on.
Apply a grout-release agent.
There's nothing that complicated about a ceramic floor: tiles are laid down and then sealed in place using a cement-based substance known as grout. Unfortunately, working with grout can be a messy business. Not only that, but if excess grout isn't removed from the surface of your tiles in time, it will permanently mar the appearance of your floor.
This is where grout-release agent comes in. This chemical liquid is specially designed to limit the bonding that takes place between the surface of your tiles and the grout. As a result, you will have a larger window of time in which to remove grout before it permanently bonds with your tiles.
Grout-release agent is commonly applied with a paint roller--preferably one with a long handle, to allow you to reach tiles on the far side of the room. Once applied, the grout-release agent must be allowed to dry for at least 1 hour. Resist the urge to over-apply the solution; if allowed to pool up between the tiles, grout-release agent will inhibit your grout from bonding where you want it to.
Be a perfectionist about your grout's consistency.
When it comes to determining the longevity of a ceramic tile floor, the quality and consistency of your grout is the single most important factor. Adding too much water during the mixing process will yield a thin grout--one that will be more likely to crack and crumble as time goes on. Too little water, on the other hand, and your grout will be either too thick to spread properly or too dry to form a long-lasting bond.
The ideal grout should be somewhere in between these two extremes. More specifically, it should be moist yet still firm enough to pick up and handle. Likewise, it should be malleable enough that it can be easily spread using your cement spatula.
If your grout is thin and liquid enough to be poured, you've added too much water. This can be corrected by incorporating additional dry grout until you've achieved the desired consistency. But beware--this fix only works if you catch the problem in time. If the grout has been sitting for more than a few minutes, you're probably better off whipping up a fresh batch.
For more information, contact Asphalt Industries LLC or a similar company.