How to Lay Tile in Your Laundry Room
Laying tile in your laundry room is not as hard as many think. If you can work on a jigsaw puzzle you can definitely lay tile in your laundry room. It might not be perfect but who cares when most of it will be covered up with a washer/dryer, racks and other things.
Materials and Procedures
We will assume you already have a bare floor. Working from the floor up, the first thing you will need is something to bond to the tile. Many instances hardibacker or durock is used. I have heard of people using cement board but we’ve used hardy backer with no problems. After you lay out the hardibacker the next thing you will need is thinset mortar. The mortar will fill in holes, help level and bond to your subfloor. Tape is then used over the seams and then the durock is screwed into the floor about 8 inches apart.
When it comes to drilling your screws, I would highly recommend using an impact drill. There are times when it’s almost impossible to sink your screw head below the hardy backer using a traditional drill. Backing the screw in and out will help but not always. With a impact drill, it makes it a lot easier to sink the screw.
Use your tape measure to help you find the center of the room. Measurements are made from left to right and top to bottom. The midpoint of these measurements is the center of the room.
I know a lot of people will use a square to help them from this point but we have found working from the midpoint out helps keep everything symmetrical.
I always take the tile and do a dry run. This helps me make a picture of how things will lay out, it will expose potential problems and it also helps me decide how many cuts I want to make. Sometimes, if I know that we only need to make cuts on one side of the room, I will run the tile from left to right if the wash/dry machines will cover the cuts.
Now it is time to lay down your tile permanently. YOu will need a notched trowel, stirring stick attached to a drill, bonding material and water. Mix up your bonding material, let it sit a few minutes and remix it. Then find your midpoint and lay down 4 tiles to all meet at the midpoint. It’s important not to mix up more than you need to use, because the rest will be a waste unless you plan on laying many tiles.
I prefer to allow 2 hours of time from the initial setting until I make a big run. Because I work for myself I can afford to do this. When I work for other people, they want it done yesterday, so we continue laying tile but we have to be really careful not to move the first set of tiles.
You will continue to lay your tile away from the midpoint on all sides until you reach the walls. This is where you will need a tile saw (home depot has great saws for cheap) to make your final cuts along the wall.
We allow our tile to set up for 24 hours before we grout the joints. You will mix your grout (make sure and get sanded grout) let it sit for a couple of minutes and then remix it one last time. Using a padded trowel you force the grout into the joints. After it starts to dry we like to moisten a sponge and start cleaning up the tiles and making the grout lines look clean. This process usually takes 2 or 3 times to finalize.
We allow the grout to set up for 48 hours before we seal the grout lines. Do not be afraid to pour the sealant along the grout lines instead of using that special tube you can purchase. Sealing the tiles will not hurt them and we make it a habit of sealing the entire floor.