Tips on Preparing the Floor for Installing Wood Floor Tiles

You will probably agree with the fact that the floors are the first parts of any house that need to be taken into consideration when doing a home improvement project. Installing wood floor tiles is the task that can be successfully handled by most do-it-yourself handymen with no difficulty. The main tip to a professional tile installation is the preparation of the floor to this responsible procedure. Remember that even the slightest problem with the sub-floor can affect the result of the project, so prepare everything carefully beforehand. Thus, cracked concrete or uneven floors can make the tile crack or break only in a few months after use (everything depends on traffic).

So, the next tips on preparing the floor to the installation of wood floor tiles will be of greta help to you.

1 Have everything removed from the area you are going to cover with tiles.

2 Remove the trim and base boards from the room. You can apply a carpenter's pry bar to have them pried away from the wall easily. The nails have to be pulled out. It is also recommended to count the exact number of these nails to install them again in the end of the project.

3 Check up the state of the wood floor. All exposed nails should be countersunk with a hammer and a good nail set.

4 If the wood flooring squeaks as anyone walks on it, it has to be screwed down. To fasten the wood floor to the joist below you can apply 1 3/4-inch screws. Ensure that the screw's top is flush or slightly sets below the wood surface.

5 Run a two by four lumber piece over the wood floor. You should ensure that the lumber has no bowing and is completely straight. Look for possible areas with not level flooring. Mark the floor with letter "L" for low spots and letter "H" for high spots.

6 Now high spots have to be sanded down with a belt sander and eighty-grit sandpaper. Check the floor every time you work. Now it's time to have any sawdust swept up before going to the next step.

7 3/8-inch concrete backer board has to be now screwed down to the wood floor with the screws. They usually come with the backer board as the latter needs to be secured with something to the wood floor. Ensure that the backer board joints are kept tight when you're installing the boards. Each row of backer board has to be staggered so that there are no lining up end joints in two adjacent rows. For this reason it is better to begin the next row with a half sheet. Now the backer boards should be cut to fit outside. For this task you can use a circular saw that has an abrasive blade. It is usually specially made for concrete boards.

8 The thinset mortar has to be spread into the joints between the backer board sheets. The strip of fiberglass mesh should be laid over every joint that is cut to the necessary length. A thin layer of thinset mortar has to be spread over the fiberglass mesh. And the thinset should be spread over the joint when you are feathering the joint's edges.

9 Now Step 8 has to be repeated for all the joints. The mortar has to dry well for a definite period of time that is usually indicated in the instructions from the manufacturer. Now you can start installing wood floor tiles in your room.

There are some other tips and warnings for you to consider. It's highly recommended to put on thick knee pads before starting working on knees. Safety glasses should be also present on your face, especially when you cut backer boards.