Laying tile on your floor is always a great way to protect against moisture while adding beauty and detail to your space. Tile installation creates a visually appealing and durable surface that’s easy to clean and attractive. Tiling over and around various objects is a common task that you should be familiar with. Here are the eleven things that you should know about tiling over other objects and materials.
- 1 Tiling over aqua defense, some helpful tips:
- 2 Tiling countertops over plywood, some helpful tips:
- 3 Tiling over asphalt floor, some helpful tips:
- 4 Tiling over backer board, some helpful tips:
- 5 Tiling over bitumen, some helpful tips:
- 6 Tiling over control joints, some helpful tips:
- 7 Tiling over exposed aggregate, some helpful tips:
- 8 Tiling over floorboards, some helpful tips:
- 9 Tiling over glass, some helpful tips:
- 10 Tiling over a marble floor, some helpful tips:
- 10.1 ● Step 1: Clean the marble floor
- 10.2 ● Step 2: Scarifying the marble floor
- 10.3 ● Step 3: Dry run the tiles
- 10.4 ● Step 4: Cut the tiles
- 10.5 ● Step 5: Mix the thin-set mortar
- 10.6 ● Step 6: Apply the mortar
- 10.7 ● Step 7: Place the tiles
- 10.8 ● Step 8: Place the spacers
- 10.9 ● Step 9: Apply the grout
- 10.10 ● Step 10: Remove excess grout
- 11 Tiling over a metal firebox or fireplace, some helpful tips:
Tiling over aqua defense, some helpful tips:
In general, when tiling over aqua defense, first prepare the surface and apply a primer. Once dry, use the aqua defense and apply the thin-set mortar. Once this is dry, you can start to lay tiles and finish with grouting.
Use the following steps to tile over aqua defense:
- Step 1. Prepare the surface: You have to prepare the surface to remove any dust, dirt, and moisture from the floor.
- Step 2. Apply the primer: Once done with the preparation, apply a suitable waterproof primer to the surface.
- Step 3. Apply aqua defense: Apply aqua defense to the surface after applying the primer.
- Step 4. Use the thin-set mortar: After applying aqua defense, apply the thin-set mortar to the surface.
- Step 5. Install the tiles: You have to install the tiles with the help of a suitable waterproof adhesive.
- Step 6. Apply the grout: The last step is to apply the grout and let it dry.
Tiling countertops over plywood, some helpful tips:
I recommend adding a backer board when tiling countertops over plywood. Always try to use waterproof or marine plywood in wet or moisture environments. If you have an L-shaped countertop, start to lay tile from the corner. If you have a U-shaped countertop, start from the most visible corner.
Use the following steps to tile a countertop over plywood with adding a backer board:
- Step 1. Prepare the surface: First, remove any dust, dirt, and moisture from the floor.
- Step 2. Apply the thin-set: Make some thin-set and apply it to the plywood
- Step 3. Add the backer board: Lay the backer board on the thin-set covered plywood. Use some backer board screws to mount it firmly.
- Step 4. Tape the joints: First, fill the joints with some thin-set. And use some alkali-resistant backer board tape to tape the field joints.
- Step 5. Dry run: Dry run the tiles. If you have an L-shaped countertop, start to lay tile from the corner. If you have a U-shaped countertop, start from the most visible corner. Ensure that you use an equal grout joint width. If you have challenging areas like pipes, make a paper mold. If you are going to use an apron, attach a temporary one.
- Step 6. Cut the tiles: Cut the tiles with a tile cutter or angle grinder. If you have a lot to cut, use an electric wet saw. You can also rent them.
- Step 7. Prepare the thin-set: Prepare the thin-set accordingly to the specification. It should have a mashed potato type of consistency. I recommend wetting the backer board before applying the thin-set. You can use a damp sponge for this.
- Step 8. Apply the thin-set: Apply the thin-set to the backer board. Ensure that it has a uniform thickness. If you have a large countertop, you may have to do this in stages, as you need to lay the tiles before it dries.
- Step 9. Lay the tiles: After applying the thin-set, it is time to lay the tiles. Ensure that the tiles are level. You can use a rubber mallet to tap the tiles slightly if a tile is too high. Low tiles you can lift and add some thin-set.
- Step 10. Apply the grout: The last step is to apply the grout.
Tiling over asphalt floor, some helpful tips:
For tiling over an asphalt floor, I recommend preparing the floor first a flooring grade asphalt substrate. Prime the floor and apply the adhesive. Cut and install the tiles, and lastly, apply the grout.
In general, tiling over asphalt floors consist of these steps:
- Step 1. Prepare the floor: First, prepare the floor with a flooring grade asphalt substrate.
- Step 2. Apply the primer: Once the floor is prepared, apply a primer such as Ultra Tile Fix Pro Primer neat.
- Step 3. Dry run: Dry run the tiles. Always ensure that you have even grout joints. You can make a paper mold for challenging locations.
- Step 4. Cut the tiles: When the adhesive is applied, cut the tiles according to the measurement of the asphalt floor.
- Step 5. Apply the adhesive: After priming, apply a suitable adhesive.
- Step 6. Install the tiles: Lay down the tiles in the desired arrangement.
- Step 7. Apply the grout: Finally, you have to apply the grout and let it dry.
Tiling over backer board, some helpful tips:
In general, for tiling over most backer boards, there is no primer needed. Ensure that the screws are level with the back board. Fill any joints with some thin-set. And use some alkali-resistant backer board tape to tape the field joints. I recommend wetting the backer board with a damp sponge before applying the thin-set and lay tile.
Remark: Always check with the backer board manufacturer if a primer is needed. Some backer board manufacturers recommend it.
Tiling over bitumen, some helpful tips:
In general, tiling over bitumen or asphalt needs proper preparation. Most adhesives do not bond properly to bitumen directly. This can cause your tiles to crack over time. I would recommend using an uncoupling mat. It can be laid over the bitumen or asphalt without using adhesive. Another option is to use a suitable primer.
In general, tiling over bitumen or asphalt includes these steps:
● Step 1: Prepare the floor
In order for the tiling process to be most effective, substrates must be stable and non-deformable. This means that the surface should not contain any cracks and have already completed the curing period for hygrometric shrinkage. The area must be free from dust, oil, grease, moisture, and any loose or flaking material for the adhesive to bond. Do not underestimate this step, as almost all products such as levelers and adhesives do not bond properly with bitumen. And can cause the tiles to lift or crack over time.
● Step 2: Prime the floor or use an uncoupling mat
Prime the floor using an Eco Primer. Pour the primer from the can onto the substrate. This creates a thin and uniform film. Use a sponge or a roller to apply it in lines in the same direction. Apply a second coat crisscrossing the path of the first.
If you choose to use an uncoupling mat, just cut it into the shape you need. Use some mesh joint tape to connect to parts together. This should ensure a good seal that protects it from moisture getting through. There is no need to use any adhesive. The uncoupling mat can be laid directly on the bitumen or asphalt.
● Step 3: Clean the floor
If you used primer, let it dry. Then remove any traces of dirt using a suitable vacuum cleaner.
● Step 4: Cut the tiles
After cleaning the floor, dry test the tiles. Starting from the center of your room, dry lay a row of tiles in the 4 directions up to the walls. This creates an idea of what you want. Make sure you include tile spacers so that the grout joints will be even. If only a thin piece of tile is left at a certain wall, move your center tile slightly. This should help to get a more even gap at the different edges of the room. Use a paper mold for challenging locations like a pipe. Cut the tiles with a tile cutter or an angle grinder. If you have a lot of tiles to cut, you can also use a wet saw.
● Step 5. Lay the tiles
When the tiles are cut, use a suitable adhesive such as BAL adhesives to lay the tiles.
● Step 6: Apply the grout
Apply the grout and let it dry completely before cleaning the finished surface.
Tiling over control joints, some helpful tips:
In general, it is not advised to tile over a control joint. A control joint is added to cope with movements in the substrate. If you lay tile on top of the control joint, there is a high chance that at a certain time, the tiles will crack. If you really want to lay tile over it, I recommend using an uncoupling mat like Ditra.
Tiling over exposed aggregate, some helpful tips:
In general, for tiling over exposed aggregate, first, smooth out the concrete. Pressure wash the exposed aggregate to get rid of any loose stones. I recommend using some self-leveling concrete or a membrane before lay tile on it. Only when the exposed aggregate itself is almost level can you apply the thin-set directly.
Tiling over floorboards, some helpful tips:
In general, I would not advise tiling directly on floorboards. Add a layer of plywood or backer boards. This will significantly improve the strength of the floor and minimize any movement from the floorboards. The movement of floorboards can lead to tiles creaking over time.
Tiling over glass, some helpful tips:
In general, laying tile over glass is not a big problem. The key is to prime the glass correctly. You can use a special primer that is designed for glass. This primer will etch into the glass and greatly improves the bonding of the adhesive. You can also prime the glass by roughening it using medium-grade sandpaper. Be careful with an electric sander to not break the glass.
Tiling over glass consists of these steps:
- Step 1: Clean the glass: Clean the glass. Remove any dirt, dust, and moisture.
- Step 2: Apply the primer: Apply a suitable primer for glass. Or use medium-grade sandpaper to roughen the glass.
- Step 3: Cut the tiles: After priming, dry lay the tiles, and cut them.
- Step 4: Install the tiles: Lay the tiles with the help of a strong adhesive such as ARDEX reaction resin tile adhesive.
- Step 5: Apply the grout: When done with the tile installation, apply the grout and let it dry.
Tiling over a marble floor, some helpful tips:
In general, tiling over a marble floor is fine as long as it is in good shape. Check that the floor is bounded correctly to the substrate and structurally ok. The weight of the floor increases considerably with the additional tile. To improve the adhesive bonding, I recommend scarifying the surface of the marble to remove any sealer or contaminants.
Tiling over a marble floor consists of the following steps:
● Step 1: Clean the marble floor
It would be best if you clean dust and debris from the marble floor.
● Step 2: Scarifying the marble floor
To improve the bonding of the adhesive, I recommend scarifying the marble floor. This will grind up the the top layer of the marble by chipping and cutting into it. You can rent a scarifier for this.
● Step 3: Dry run the tiles
Before tiling, you should begin with a dry run. Lay the tiles and spacers to your desired layout. This will help you determine the width of the grout lines and where to start tiling. You can use a paper mold for challenging areas.
● Step 4: Cut the tiles
Cut the tiles using a tile cutter or angle grinder. If you have a lot of tiles to cut, you can rent a water saw.
● Step 5: Mix the thin-set mortar
For tile installation, you have to use a mixed thin-set mortar. Pour a complete bag of the dry mixture into a large bucket and add enough water to make the dry mixture wet and combine. Continue mixing until the texture becomes a creamy consistency. Then let the mortar set for approximately 10 minutes to make it tacky.
● Step 6: Apply the mortar
When the mortar is ready, you can start working on one part of the floor. Spread the mixture on a 2’x2′ area of the floor, and use a notched trowel to get an even layer of mortar. To prevent the mortar from drying before the tiles are positioned correctly, it is best to work in small sections.
● Step 7: Place the tiles
Proceed with the process of tile installation.
● Step 8: Place the spacers
To maintain an equal distance between the tiles, use chalk to mark and then place the spacers. Once spacers are inserted, allow the tiles to dry for a few days and then apply the grout.
● Step 9: Apply the grout
You have to select a grout that matches the color of your tile. Use a rubber trowel at an angle to fill and spread the grout.
● Step 10: Remove excess grout
After spreading it out, remove all excess grout with a damp sponge. You may have to do this two or three times to remove it all. In this process, be careful not to remove the fixed material.
Tiling over a metal firebox or fireplace, some helpful tips:
Tiling directly over a metal fireplace or firebox is not recommended. The tile and the metal have a different expansion rate and would crack quickly. I would recommend using a backer board or cement board between the metal and the tiles. Attach the backer board to the metal using screws, and give it room to expand.
Tiling over a metal firebox or fireplace consists of the following steps:
- Step 1: Attach the backer board: To start tiling over a metal firebox, you have to add the backer or cement board over the studs. Use metal screws to attach it to the metal. But give it room to both expand. So no super tight connection. If possible, you can only attach one side of the backer board firmly so that it can expand easily.
- Step 2: Apply the mastic: You have to apply mastic over the backer board. Ensure that the adhesive you use can cope with the high temperatures.
- Step 3: Place the tiles: After applying the mastic, install the tiles on the backer board. If needed, you can use a metal edge along the edges of the tiles.