Squaring and leveling bathroom tile is a skill you must learn when installing a ceramic tile floor. A problem that many novice bathroom renovators have when laying tile for the first time is uneven bathroom floor tiles. Creating beautiful professional-looking floor tiles is not that hard if you know the skills necessary to square and level your bathroom tiles.
Many beginner bath renovators are surprised to find that most bathroom walls are rarely perfectly square, so in order to compensate for this problem, you have to determine if your bathroom floor tile will need adjusting for a visually appealing fit. Finding the center of your bathroom floor and dry-laying your floor tiles will help to minimize squaring and leveling your bathroom tiles if you simply mark and follow layout lines you have chalked in on your bath floor.
Similarly, using a four-foot carpenter’s level on the edge of your ceramic tile will also ensure your tiles are straight and lined up properly and as a final measure, gently tapping high areas with a beater block and a rubber mallet will flatten any surface abnormalities for a professional-looking tiled bathroom floor.
“Summary: Squaring and levelling bathroom tile is a three step process. To begin squaring and levelling your bathroom tiles your first must square your tiles to the rest of your bathroom. Developing a grid, utilizing a carpenter’s level and tapping down uneven tiles with a beater block and rubber mallet will ensure a professional look when squaring and levelling bathroom tile in your lavatory.”
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The last thing you want to do is stub your toe or trip over raised tile when stepping out of your shower. Squaring and leveling your bathroom tiles will alleviate this concern. When laying out the tile on your bathroom floor it will be necessary to square and level your bathroom tiles to create a professional-looking and safe ceramic tile floor.
Perfectly square bathroom walls are a rarity in any home so here is a simple way to determine if your bathroom floor is at right-angles in order to visually square your tile layout with the rest of your bathroom. Find the center of your bathroom floor area by first finding the midpoint on opposite walls and snapping a chalk line across the room to form a perpendicular (cross hairlines) at the midpoint of your lavatory so the lines are at right angles to each other.
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From the center point measure out three feet on one line and four feet on the other perpendicular line and mark the points. Now connect the two points to form the third line of the triangle, if that third line measures five feet exactly then your bathroom floor is square. When squaring and leveling your bathroom tile you may need to adjust the lines until the third line measures five feet exactly. Unfortunately, if your bathroom walls are really out of whack you may need to cut your edge tiles to accommodate your bathroom’s skewed dimensions since you need to start tiling from the center of the room and work your way out towards the edges.
When squaring and leveling bathroom tiles, your next step to ensure straight tiles is to dry-lay your bathroom tiles in both directions along the chalk lines from the center of the room. You are laying down the ceramic tiles without the mortar but using the joint spacers in between the individual tiles so you can get a feel of how many tiles you will need and later create a grid to place your tiles in. Initially, you are forming a plus sign in the center of your bathroom with the tiles you have laid on the floor. Use a four-foot carpenter’s level on the edge of your ceramic tiles to make sure all the edges line up along the level.
When you are satisfied that your tiles are straight when squaring and leveling your bathroom tile, mark the floor beside the tiles at the juncture of each tile where the grout will be filled in between the tiles. Pick up your tiles and then using the marks on the floor, snap chalk lines in the center of the marks on your bathroom floor. Using the remaining center marks on the floor, continue snapping chalk lines along your bathroom floor to form a grid of chalk lines you will later use as a layout when setting your ceramic tiles.
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To continue squaring and leveling your bathroom tiles, spread thin-set inside the lines of your chalk layout and set in your floor tiles, inserting spacers between the tiles to ensure you will have enough room between the tiles for the grout.
Needless to say, some spots of thin-set mortar will be thicker than others and you will have to gently tap the tiles level. To rectify this problem take a two-by-four and wrap it with a piece of carpet or similar shock-absorbent material (lovingly called a beater block) and using a rubber mallet, which should be part of your tiling toolbox, gently tap the tile in place so it is flat and level with the other tiles.
And to ensure your bathroom floor tiles are straight, run your handy carpenter’s level along the edge of your bathroom tiles to straighten the joints. As you can see squaring and leveling bathroom tile is straight forward and doable by anyone. Don’t be intimidated by bathroom tiling projects because just like the professionals, once you know how, the sky is the limit. Happy tiling!