A small entryway is a good beginning tile project because it requires a straightforward application of basic skills. Plus, an entryway is the first impression guests have of your home, so you want it looking fresh and sharp. This project will take you about 30 to 45 minutes per square yard to prepare the floor and set tile. If you have no prior experience with tiling, you'll learn a lot of valuable skills in this project. Let us walk you through the steps in our instructions below.
Examine the entryway slab for high spots, depressions, cracks, and other defects. Work in sections with a 4-foot level and mark the defects. Fill depressions, level high spots, and roughen slick surfaces.
Bandage each crack in the slab with an isolation membrane. Apply the adhesive with a roller, let it cure (follow the manufacturer's directions), and cover the adhesive with the membrane.
Dry-lay tiles to test your layout, keeping small cut tiles to a minimum. Then use a chalk line to snap a reference and as many layout lines as the pattern needs. Starting at the first row of field tile near the door, trowel on thinset in a smooth and even manner.
Set field tile first on the layout lines. You will do edge tile last. Insert spacers in-between each tile as you go and check the sections with a straightedge to make certain they're straight. If they're not, adjust as needed before thinset dries. Clean excess mortar from the joints with a utility knife as you go.
When the mortar under the field tiles is dry, it's time to lay the edge tile. Mark and cut the tile as needed. Round the cut edges with a masonry stone to give them a finished appearance that blends into the full tile. Spread mortar and lay tile, using spacers as you go. When you're finished laying the edges,clean the joints and caulk the joint at the wall. Use your finger to smooth the caulk as it dries.
Let the edge tiles cure before you grout. Force grout into the joint with a grout float, let it set slightly, then scrape the excess off the surface. Be sure to use the tool suggested by the manufacturer so as to not scratch the new tile. Clean the grout from the surface, and wipe off the haze with rags. Let dry.
If the threshold didn't require installation before the tile, install it now. Cut the threshold to fit the doorway, if necessary, and install it with fasteners recommended by the manufacturer.
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