> >

Mosaic tiles

Cost: Difficulty:


Cold to stand on, but durable and water-resistant. They are available in sheets in numerous colours, patterns and shapes and made of natural clay, decorated on one side with coloured glaze. The surfaces are normally glazed, but are not as highly polished as wall tiles, while others are matt or have an unglazed finish. Unglazed tiles must be sealed with the correct proprietary sealant (recommended by the manufacturer) once laid.

Once you have decided on the tile, note the length and width of the sheet and measure the room carefully. Measure its length and divide it by the length of one sheet. Round up the number of sheets to the next whole number. Now measure the width of the room and divide that by the width of the sheet, round up the number of sheets to the nearest whole number. Multiply the two whole numbers together. This will give the number of sheets required to tile the room. Try our Floor Tile Calculator page to give you a rough guide to the number required.

It is always wise to buy an extra sheet to keep as a spare in case of accidental damage in the future.

Laying the tiles

Use a waterproof, floor tile adhesive which allows slight flexibility when set. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and using a notched or plain trowel, as directed, to spread the adhesive on the floor to cover a manageable area for laying a sheet of tiles. Press the sheet into the desired position. It is very important to lay the first sheet correctly, as its position will determine the position of all the other tiles in the room.

Use a batten nailed to the floor to give a straight edge to guide the positioning of the tiles. Remember to use spacers between the sheets to match the spacing between the individual tiles. These areas will be grouted when the floor is complete and must be equally spaced for neat, accurate results.

Use a spirit level to check the horizontal level and a straight edge to continually check the position of the sheets on the floor. Continue across the room and work towards the door. Leave for as long as possible (24 hours) before removing the battens and using individual tiles around the border. If a sheet needs to be laid around an object, discard individual tiles as close to the structure as possible.

Fit the sheet and cut and replace any pieces required, remembering to use spacers around the individual tiles. Leave the floor to set for 24 hours. Remove the spacers and use warm water to peel off the facing of the sheets. The floor is now ready for grouting.

Waterproof floor grout is available in a variety of colours, but the standard colours are white, grey or brown. If you are unsure of the colour to use, mix pigments of colours with dry powdered grout and attempt to match the colour before adding the water. However most floor tiles are grouted with a mortar mix. Use a plastic scraper or a rubber-bladed squeegee to push the grout between the gaps in the tiles. Make sure all the spaces are evenly filled and then wipe the grout off the tile surface before it dries.

Use a blunt edge of a stick or tool carefully, to smooth the surface of the grout in the gaps - but do not ‘dig down’ into the grout. Remove any excess grout before it dries. Allow the floor to dry completely before polishing the surface of the tiles with a dry cloth.

Related Pages

Need help or supplies?

Further help required?

Our forum is the perfect place to ask questions and get help. Join us, post your question/comment now!