DIY Home Renovations and Home Improvements - Lets Do It

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Laying Exterior Vitrified Tiles – Kevin Farrell

Laying Exterior Vitrified Tiles – Kevin Farrell

Laying Exterior Vitrified Tiles – Kevin Farrell

Laying Exterior Vitrified Tiles – Kevin Farrell

Laying Exterior Vitrified Tiles – Kevin Farrell

Vitrified tiles are perfect for outdoor areas because they’re incredibly tough and scratch resistant. They’re also slip-resistant, although you can also get matching tiles for indoors with a smooth surface. They have extremely low porosity, so they can handle extremes in temperature (frosty nights followed by sunny mornings) without cracking. They’re also easy to clean with water.

Step 1: Prepare the slab. New concrete must be 6 to 8 weeks old before laying tiles or salts might rise up to discolour them. Old concrete must be thoroughly cleaned of oils and paints. Check with the experts at CTM for advice on the right adhesive for your job.

Step 2: Lay out tiles as a dry run to work out the pattern for laying. Kevin decided to centre his tiles along the wall, with an even-sized cut tile at each end. For the edge you can simply overlap the top tile, or use and edge-angle for a really stylish finish.

Step 3: Mix your glue and scoop it onto the floor for the first row, then spread it with a notched trowel. Use a straightedge to guide you as you lay the first row. Place each tile in position, wriggling it down to bed it firmly. Use spacers to obtain even gaps as you go, then cut the tiles at each end and lay them. Repeat the process row after row, using the straightedge to make sure the rows remain straight.

Step 4: Unusual angles can be cut with an angle grinder and diamond blade, allowing a gap for the grout line.

Step 5: Once your glue has set, mix your grout and force it into the gaps with a rubber squeegee – about 1 square metre at a time. Clean the tile surface with a moist sponge. When the grout has completely dried, wipe or lightly brush the tile surface. For a super-clean job, Kev’s mate Terry recommends mopping the tiles with a dash of white vinegar in a bucket of warm water. He must have learned that from his Grandma.

tip Kev’s Tip:
Don’t back yourself into a corner when you lay tiles, because you can’t walk on them for 24 hours.




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