Installing tile on your balcony is a simple project that even a beginner can easily complete. Tiles are versatile and durable, which means they will last for as long as your home does. Additionally, tiles work well for balconies, because they provide a waterproof finish that will guard against moisture. This is especially important if you are tiling an outdoor balcony. Tile your balcony to enhance the look and value of your home.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Measuring tape
- Chalk line
- Thinset mortar
- Notched trowel
- Tile spacers
- Wax crayon
- Wet tile saw
- Rubber float
- Damp cloth
Measure the length and width of the balcony, using a tape measure. Multiply these two numbers for the total area to cover.
Snap a chalk line across the width of the balcony, using a T-square to ensure that it is perfectly perpendicular to the wall. Snap an intersecting chalk line across the length of the balcony. Use the T-square to ensure this line is perpendicular to the wall and the first line. The intersection of these two lines will serve as a guide when you lay your first tile.
Mix as much thinset mortar as you can use within a half-hour, so it does not become dry and brittle. Use the smooth edge of the notched trowel to spread an even layer of thinset, using the intersecting chalk lines as a guide.
Go over the spread mortar with the notched edge of the trowel. This will create grooves in the mortar, which will help the tiles adhere to the balcony with suction.
Lay the first tile, using the intersecting chalk lines as a guide. Apply even pressure over the entire surface and use a slight wiggle to help remove air bubbles in the mortar.
Place plastic tile spacers on all sides of the tile. Continue spreading mortar and laying tiles and spacers until you come to the edge of the balcony, where you might need to cut a tile to fit.
Mark the tile where you want to cut it, using a wax crayon and straight edge. Turn on the wet tile saw and slowly feed the tile into the rotating blade. Follow the mark you've made until the tile comes apart.
Spread mortar and place the remaining cut tiles. Allow the mortar to set according to the instructions on the package. A typical curing time is 12 to 36 hours.
Mix the grout according to the instructions. Use the rubber float to spread the grout into the grooves between the tiles. Wipe away any excess grout from the tiles with a damp cloth. Allow the grout to set.
Tips and warnings
- Buy 10 per cent more tiles than you need. This will account for any damage to the tiles during shipping, cutting or installation.
- Keep foot traffic off the newly tiled surface for at least a week to prevent any shifting.
- Always wear protective gloves and goggles when operating a tile saw.
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