Laying tile on uneven floors in 4 easy steps

Laying tile

Uneven surfaces pose a threat to the laying of perfectly level floor tiles. Without proper preparation the result can be unsightly and even unsafe.

Follow these four steps and the threat of uneven floors can be combated for impressive results:

1. Prepare the surface

Before starting any work, the surface should be level, clean and dry. Any existing tiles or paint should be firmly adhered as loose elements can stop the adhesive from working properly.

Small holes should be filled with a filler suitable for the surface on which the tiles are being laid, such as webercem pyrapatch, which is suitable to fill gaps 25-100mm in depth.

Once the surface is ready, an even coating of weber PR360 should be applied with a soft brush or roller. This must then be left to completely dry before moving on to the next step – this takes at least an hour.

2. Floor leveller

Before tiling, the floor must then be made as level as possible, using a floor leveller like weberfloor flex. This will smooth out irregularities, including small holes and gaps which aren’t significant enough to have been filled beforehand.

weberfloor flex is a fibre-modified, cement-based levelling compound which offers extra flexibility for use on interior floor substrates.

5 litres of water needs to be mixed with every 25kg bag, and the leveller can be poured to a thickness of up to 50mm, depending on how much is needed to even out the surface. Use a trowel, spatula, or spiked roller to spread the leveller evenly. Trowel marks are not an issue and will disappear by themselves. If the floor has a movement or expansion joint, ensure these are replicated when applying a floor leveller.

The leveller must then be left to fully dry. weberfloor flex takes 1-2 hours before it can withstand light foot traffic.

3. Tiles

Once the levelling compound has fully dried, the correct cement-based powder adhesive for the job can be chosen. This should be at least 3mm thick, with joints at least 3mm wide for grouting and movement allowance.

Adhesive should only be applied to an area which can be tiled within 10 minutes at a time – about 1m². It can help to apply adhesive to the backs of large or stud-backed tiles as well, but ensure any excess is cleaned off of tile surfaces.

To apply adhesive evenly, a notched trowel should be used at a constant angle. Use a consistent amount of force when placing the tiles to keep them even, with a slight twisting action to make sure they’re firmly in place.

4. Finish

When all tiles have been placed evenly, and the adhesive has been allowed to set for 24 hours (2 hours for our rapid set adhesive), the finishing touches can be applied to the tiled floor.

First, fill the joints between tiles with weberjoint premium flexible tile grout. Mould and staining can be tough to remove, so we made sure weberjoint premium is water-resistant and has Mould Stop and PURE CLEAN anti-stain technologies, providing lasting protection from mould growth and staining. A rubber float should be used to apply the grout in small sections, and it should be removed from tile surfaces immediately afterwards.

This should then be allowed to become firm for 25-35 minutes. Then tiles should then be cleaned with a damp emulsifying pad used in a circular motion to loosen the grout residue. Once the grout is dry, the tiles can be polished with a clean, dry cloth.

Complete the job with weberjoint silicone, which is colour-matched with weberjoint premium to give the perfect finish. Apply it to movement joints around the edges to prevent water ingress.

Tile it!

Ready to stock up on the right products for the job? Find your nearest stockist here. If you have any questions about laying tiles or about our tiling products, feel free  to get in touch.

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