How To Level A Floor Before Tiling – Guide
Are you planning on installing a new tiled floor? If so then it is important to make it flat as possible. Tiled floors look lovely. On the other hand a sloppy job can end up looking terrible, and creating a lot more work for you. Not to mention the cost involved will more than double if you end up having to redo it.
Firstly you need to make sure your floor can take the weight of tiles that will lay on it. Concrete floors are more likely to be sturdy, which make them ideal. However, you should still check to see if it is level. We recommend a self-leveling concrete to get a perfect level floor.
Before starting your floor levelling project, it is important that you have the proper tools, materials and techniques available. Ensure you have the following before starting this project:
- Floor leveling compound
- A Four-foot level Nylon String
- A Trowel
- A Drill and Mixing bucket
- A Five-gallon bucket
Identify the high and low spots by using a level. Mark out any low spots using a pencil by drawing wide circles around them.
Mix up some floor leveler in the bucket (according to the levelling compound instructions). Usually this involves a bucket being filled with two inches of water. You then pour in enough levelling compound to cover it. You then mix the compound with the water until you have a consistent texture. The levelling compound instruction will tell you the water to powder ratio. Remember that your climate can change how well your levelling compound mixes. You may have to make adjustments.
Keep adding levelling compound and water until you have a full gallon mixture. The mixture should have the consistency of the thin soup.
Pour your mixed levelling compound batch over low spots that you marked earlier. Always work your way out from the corner, furthest from the door. Give it time to settle and level out before pouring more. Use your trowel to flatten any spots in which the leveler does not flatten itself.
Fill in the remaining low spots whilst backing out the room as you go. Let it set for at least 24 hours. You are then ready for your next step, which is tiling the floor.
Tiling Your Perfectly Flat Floor
Floor levelling compounds are fast curing. This means you need to work quickly before it dries. Some can even be walked on within 3 hours. However, it is recommended you leave you new floor for at least 24 hours to be sure the coating has cured sufficiently.
Before installing tiles, check the surface of your floor carefully to ensure that it is perfectly smooth and free from defects. Things to look out for is irregularities, water damage, or weak joists.
Once you are happy with your flat smooth surface, you are then ready to tile it. Make sure you know exactly where the tiles will go before applying adhesive. Sometime it is a good idea to do a dry run where you place the tiles on the floor with a spacer, before actually installing them.