How to Install an Underfloor Heating Mat Part 4 How to Install an Underfloor Heating Mat Part 4
Now that you have begun spreading thinset mortar over your underfloor heating mat, it is time to start laying tiles and finish the job. It's been a lot of work, but you are almost there. So, let's get started.
Step 1 - Begin Laying Tile
Begin laying tiles in the middle of the room. Create an intersection in the center of the room with a chalk line for reference (be careful not to splatter the thinset you have already placed) Make sure the lines are straight and completely perpendicular (90 degree angle) to each other. Place your first tile at one of the corners where the lines intersect. Firmly press the tiles into the thinset mortar, but don't apply too much pressure or you could displace the thinset and damage the heating mat wiring.
Step 2 - Continue with First Row of Tiles
Continue spreading thinset and placing tiles outward from the center tile. Place tiles until you can no longer place a full tile piece due to walls or other obstructions. Use a level to ensure the tops of the tiles are level with each other. Also, don't forget to use tile spacers to ensure even gaps between the tiles. Use a rubber mallet to gently tap tiles down if needed. If a tile is too low, gently remove and then reset it.
Step 3 - Lay First Cross Section Row of Tiles
After you have completed the initial row of tiles, go back to your center tile and begin spreading thinset above or below the center tile and laying tiles perpendicular to it. After you reach a wall, go to the other side of the center tile and do the same. Again, use your level and tile spacer.
Step 4 - Continue Laying Full Sized Tiles
You should now have a tile pattern that looks like a cross or a big 'T'. Continue laying tiles in all directions until you can no longer lay full sized tiles.
Step 5 - Cut and Place Smaller Tile Pieces
Lay a loose tile piece over the last full sized tile in a row and up against the wall. Use a nail or knife to score or mark the loose tile. This is where you will need to cut the loose tile piece so that it will fit in the gap between the last full sized piece of tile and the wall. Cut the tile with a tile saw or grinder. Do this for all border tiles. Spread thinset and place border tiles along walls, cabinets, doorways or other places they are needed.
Step 6 - Allow Thinset Mortar to Dry
Allow at least 24 hours for the tiles to completely dry before grouting.
Step 7 - Mix Tile Grout
Follow the instructions on the bag of tile grout and mix thoroughly.
Step 8 - Apply Grout to Gaps in Tiles
Use a rubber grout float to apply grout in the gaps at a 45 degree angle. Make sure the grout is applied evenly between the tiles.
Step 9 - Sponge Away Excess Grout
Use a wet sponge to wipe away excess grout that may have spilled onto the face of the tiles. Do this frequently to prevent the grout from drying on the tiles.
Step 10 - Clean the Floor
Sweep and mop the floor. You are now ready to call the electrician and have him connect the heating system to an existing circuit or install a new circuit in your home's main breaker box.