The most difficult challenges for the do-it-yourself homeowner and would-be tiler are mortaring spacing, and grouting porcelain or ceramic tile.
So the thought of laying ceramic tile like laminate or vinyl flooring—that is, connecting from tile to tile rather than down to the substrate—is enticing.
While this is a fantastic concept, how does it operate in practice?
What exactly is a Floating Tile Floor?
A floating floor, whether made of wood, laminate, or ceramic, is one that is not fastened to the subfloor; individual sections are attached laterally to themselves.
Does this imply a less structurally stable floor? Absolutely not. Floating flooring has been put in millions of houses and has shown to be quite effective. The only distinction is that, until recently, they were mostly limited to laminate flooring.
The reason behind this is that ceramic and porcelain tiles do not have a convenient method to connect the sides. It’s one thing to make laminate flooring with click-and-lock sides, but ceramic and porcelain will not click and lock.
Tiling for the Do-It-Yourselfer: A Difficult Task
Tile experts are used to managing tile mortar; it is something they do on a daily basis. A homeowner who has never worked with the material before may find it challenging to deal with.
Unless you purchase pre-mixed tile mortar, it might be difficult to get the desired consistency. Applying tile mortar on a cement backer board or another subfloor might be difficult. Notched trowels are designed to control the flow of mortar to the backer, but an untrained hand might apply the mortar too thin or too thick.
Is the answer to go slowly? No, not always. You don’t have all day for this: if you wait too long, the tile mortar will solidify. There is also the issue of appropriately spacing the tiles. The inexperienced tiler has two options: employ plastic spacers, which slow down the tiling process, or “eyeball it,” which is risky given their lack of knowledge. If you lay the tiles too close together, the tile grout will have nowhere to travel; if you set the tiles too far apart, the grout will split.
These are all valid reasons why homeowners who are unsure about the procedure should seek expert assistance, but floating tile flooring promise to eliminate many of these issues.
Van Conners of Kwik-Set Laminate Flooring
Tile correctly portrays floating tile as a product that is “professionally placed by the ‘Laminate Flooring Installers.'”
When you think about it in these terms, floating tile flooring takes on new meaning. Despite the fact that it is genuine tile, this is more of a task for the laminate flooring men than the tilers. For example, floating tile is exclusively useful for flooring and has no other uses. Tub surrounds, shower pans, and walls are all still tasks for traditional, mortared tile.
The Tray at the Bottom
The floating tile is connected by plastic base trays. Each manufacturer has a somewhat different approach, but the plastic tray is firmly bonded to the tile and clicks into the neighboring tile’s base tray.
There is no need to eyeball or use plastic spacers since the trays automatically space the tiles. Floors with floating tiles are properly aligned.
Grout is put between the tiles after installation, and since it is acrylic-based, it does not need to be sealed.
Floating tile flooring is particularly appealing to novice tilers. What could be simpler than snapping tiles together?
There is no mortaring.
There are no issues with spacing.
The plastic tray serves as a foundation for each tile.
There is no need to wait for the mortar to dry.