Installation Guide for Large Format Porcelain Tiles
Large porcelain slab tiles are growing more popular for their aesthetically pleasing appearance and other unique advantages. They are the best choice for all styles- traditional or contemporary. From easy cleaning to minimal grout line maintenance to their seamless and aesthetic appearance, there are many more reasons to consider larger format porcelain tiles!
As you know, installing tiles is a challenging job, but following the right steps and using the right tools and adhesive can make it super easy. Compared to standard tiles, large-format porcelain tiles have their own set of installation challenges and guidelines to avoid hurdles.
Here are a few things to learn and keep in mind for installing large-format porcelain tiles without any hassles.
Let’s start with the large-format tiles installation requirements to ensure a trouble-free installation process.
You need the right equipment to lay your large-format porcelain tiles for proper bonding and a beautiful appearance.
- Measuring tapes for standard measuring- room and tiles size.
- Laser line for making a proper layout.
- A right size trowel for bigger tiles.
- Cutting tools like a wet saw (for straight lines) and continuous rim grinder (for circle shape or line in the centre).
- Choose medium bed mortar made for large format tiles with greater dimensional thickness than the standard tiles.
- Tile spacer to create grout space equally between tiles.
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How To Install Large Format Porcelain Tiles?
Large-format porcelain tiles might seem challenging to install, but you’ll ultimately appreciate them for their beautifully aesthetical appearance and time-saving benefits. This guide will help you clear the pickle of laying these bigger tiles by explaining the process of installing large format tiles in depth.
So let’s begin with-
01. Prepare Your Surface
It is essential to check the surface's flatness to ensure high-quality and quicker installation. Large format tiles are heavier than the standard tiles, so they require a stronger substrate.
- For that, you need to verify your surface is structurally free of contaminants- oil, grease, dirt, or other chemicals.
- Any damaged or uneven surface should be repaired and levelled.
- Make sure to measure your surface from the high point with a straightedge. It will help you meet the flatness requirement before installing large-format porcelain tiles.
02. Choose The Tile Pattern And Draw the Layout
Planning layout is very important for any flooring and walls. It helps to determine tile pattern whether suits your project or not. Your tile pattern and laying will also influence the chance of lippage after installation.
- Begin with marking the centre point of the wall or floor.
- Place the laser line and snap a chalk line between the centre to the edges. Make sure they’re perfectly square.
- Next, lay out the rows along with the centre line and divide the room into smaller grids using the tiles spacers.
In this way, large-format porcelain tiles will be prevented from lippage or cracking after installation.
03. Pick The High-Quality Adhesive
Once you’ve made sure your flat substrate is ready and drawn the layout with caulk. Now, it is time for adhesive. It is important to choose the right and high-quality adhesive for durability and prevent lippage or cracking after installation of large format tiles.
We recommend using medium bed mortar to mix the cement well. This is designed for bigger, heavy tiles with one side greater than 15”. They form a thicker layer to support heavy large format tiles than regular adhesive. Mix only enough to be used in 30 minutes.
It is also essential to use the right size of the trowel to comb adhesive into standing riding by holding a 45-degree angle.
Tip:- Remove excess adhesive. Make sure not to spread the mixture over a larger area than you can finish in 15 minutes.
04. Cut The Tiles
Carefully measure your tiles to cut and mark with a pencil or chalk. Cut the tiles with a tile cutter; use a wet saw to cut straight lines and continuous grim rinder to make curved cuts.
Smoothed the sharp-cut edge with a carborundum stone.
05. Start Setting Tiles From The Centre
Now finally, it's time to install tiles on your surface.
- Begin from the centre of the room, one row at a time.
- Finish the first row before moving to the next.
Set tiles one at a time using a slight twisting motion. But before that, back-butter the large format tile for strong bonds. Use a tile spacer for equal joints between tiles(insert them between tiles).
Once the row is completely installed, use a rubber mallet or hammer to tap each tile in place for a good bond and level surface. Don’t forget to remove excess adhesive from the tiles with a putty knife or damp sponge.
06. Choose The Right Grout Joint Width
After installing large format porcelain tiles, you must wait 24 hours before grouting.
We recommended going for the right grout width based on the type of tiles and desired pattern. Remove the tile spacer and spread grout on the surface. Make sure it goes down between the spaces. Remove the excess grout immediately with the edge of the float.
- Wait for 20 minutes to set the grout slightly, then use a damp sponge to clean the grout from the surface for a smooth grout line.
- Let the grout dry until it becomes hard and haze from the tile surface.
- Lastly, polish them with a soft cloth.
Things To Avoid While Installing Large-Format Porcelain Tiles
Even though large-format porcelain tiles are favoured by homeowners; when it comes to installation, there are some hurdles you need to avoid. Here are some extra tips to keep in mind for a trouble-free installation process.
- Organise your equipment correctly and make sure you have the right kind of equipment.
- Always wear eye protection when cutting tiles to avoid the unnecessary accidents of getting chips in your eyes.
- Measure your room size and cut your tiles accordingly. You don’t want to make any error likely to the room entrance or against a wall.
- Avoid having thin cuts; they are difficult to cut and end up wasting the tiles.
- Don’t forget to buy 10-12 extra tiles as a buffer(in case of breaking, cracking or wastage during installation).
- Not ensuring a flat substrate can create an uneven and unsightly appearance and a tripping hazard. This is called a lippage.
- Always read specific instructions on packages of adhesive and grout.
- Back butter before laying your large format tiles against the floor.
- Don’t slide tiles from the place while installing large or heavy tiles.
- Don’t forget to remove excess grout from the tiles.
- After installing tiles, don’t walk on tiles for 24 hours until they are set.
- After applying grout, wait three days for heavy use.
Large format tiles are particularly impressive because they are easy to lay and require less maintenance. They are affordable and installed both indoors as well as outdoors.
Make sure to follow the above steps and seek guidelines from online tutorials for particle understanding. Always use branded tiles for premium quality and aesthetically pleasing for your home and office.
Read to know why branded tiles are better than local tiles: Branded Vs. Local Tiles: Which Is The Best Flooring Option?
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