How to lay granite floor tiles

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Granite floor tiles are beautiful when installed correctly. Unlike regular tiles, granite floor tiles are expensive and more durable; however, if not installed correctly, they can become damaged if you attempt to remove them for resetting. By following a few simple steps, you can complete an aesthetically pleasing project with professional results. The amount of time necessary for installation will vary; however, a one-room job can be completed in as little as two days.

Measure the area to be tiled by multiplying the length by the width. This will give you the total square metres of surface area to be tiled.

Determine the amount of granite, grout and thinset. Granite tile comes in various sizes of squares, so, for the purpose of this example, we will use a 30 cm (12 inch) granite tile. Divide the total square metres of the floor by one piece of granite tile. For example, if your room in 9 square metres (100 square feet), then you will divide 9 by 0.9 m (30 cm tile is 0.9 sqare metres), so you will need 100 30 cm x 30 cm (12 inch x 12 inch) granite tiles to cover the floor. Check the charts on the side of the grout and thinset buckets. They will tell you how many square metres of coverage you can get out of one bucket of premixed material. Remember to add 15 per cent extra onto the final amount of tile to account for waste and breakage.

Lay out the chalk lines for reference. Determine the centre of the length of the floor and the centre for the width of the floor. Make a mark on each side of the length and width and snap a chalk line across the floor. The two lines will intersect in the centre of the floor, which is where you will start laying the granite tile.

Spread the thinset using the 6 mm (1/4 inch) notched trowel. Make sure you begin in the centre of the floor where the chalk lines intersect. There will be four quadrants surrounding the centre point made by the chalk lines. Begin in the bottom left quadrant and work your way from there. Once the first granite tile is squared to the layout line, set the next one in line. Space the tiles with the 1 cm (3/8 inch) tile spacers. Once you have four granite tiles laid in line, place the 1.2 m (4 foot) level on top of them and make sure they are level and straight. If not, then gently tap them with a rubber mallet. Continue laying tile and levelling until the entire floor is done. Once you have finished laying the large pieces of tile, cut the smaller pieces with a tile cutter and lay them into place. Allow the granite tile to set 24 hours before grouting.

Remove the 1 cm (3/8 inch) spacers and grout the joints. Mix the grout according to package directions. Using the grout float, spread the tile grout onto the granite tile and press the grout into the joints. Take enough grout from the bucket to work a 1.2 m (4 foot) area at one time. Keep the grout wiped from the surface of the granite using a wet, wrung-out sponge. Once you have grouted the entire floor, allow it to dry for 24 hours and then reclean the granite surface. There will be a white film on the face of the tile. Don't be alarmed, just wipe it clean.

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