Laying tiles on a floor

Laying tiles on a floor

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The laying of a tiling, according to the conventional method, can be done at the same time as a concrete slab is poured on a floor. This is a terracotta tile with patterns.

Pour a slab

The laying of tiles on an old floor, in a room on one level during renovation works, generally requires the pouring of a slab with the double objective of having a flat and clean base for the new coating and level the floor. You can also pour a slab upstairs, provided that the structure of the house is able to support the load - you must therefore seek the advice of an architect.

Establish a plan

The terracotta tiles are directly installed here, as you pour the slab. As with all floor tiles, it is prudent to start by making a plan of apparatus: it makes it possible to calculate the quantity of tiles necessary and to determine the best arrangement, so as to balance the cuts. In your calculations, do not forget to take into account the width of the joints.

Tools & materials

• Angle grinder
Tiler bat
Mason rule
Tiler square
Spirit level
Trough to spoil -
Tile adhesive
Joint cement

What concrete?

For a slab like this, it is essential to rent a concrete mixer, unless the desired quantity of concrete is delivered by a specialized company. If you prepare it yourself, count about 4 parts of cement (CPA) for 4 parts of sand and 8 parts of gravel (fine particle size).

Irregular angles

As with all laying of tiles, regardless of the material, do not line up on the walls because the angles of the rooms are not always straight. A blank installation, to determine the laying axes, allows to note this type of defect and to leave a margin near the wall which will then be filled with mortar and hidden by the plinth, in order to avoid irregular or narrow cuts. If the room is itself irregularly shaped (trapezoid), you must choose a wall as a reference to trace, perpendicularly, the first axis. We generally retain the wall that integrates the door or the one where a bay opens.


Its quality and appearance depend directly on the soil used. The most beautiful terracotta tiles are made or molded by hand: it gives a warm and inimitable character to a floor, as part of a renovation or modern construction. Terracotta, by its thermal qualities and its comfort, is very suitable for an underfloor heating system. - It is preferable to mix the tiles of different packages to obtain a homogeneous shade: there are always slight differences in nuances between the series, due to the characteristics of the clay used. - The prior humidification of all the tiles prevents them from absorbing the mixing water of the mortar, which could weaken their adhesion. - Terracotta is not waterproof. However, you can apply a colorless water repellent - which slightly changes its shade and appearance. If you prefer a more traditional maintenance, use a vegetable wax emulsion.

Where to place the cups

When drawing the device plan, reject all the sections towards the two least visible adjacent walls; avoid in particular placing them on the wall which carries the bay and do not allow any cutting along the hearth of a chimney. In addition, note that the decorative patterns, as in this case the squares forming a frame for laying diagonally, must always be whole. This is why we surround them with a few rows of tiles.

Colored joints

We commonly find white or gray joint cement, and also colored mortars. However, you can also color white mortar with powdered or tube pigments - mixing them carefully to obtain a uniform color. In the case of terracotta like this, gray or white cement is perfectly suited. Know-how © La maison rustique - éditions Flammarion, 2005

Watch our video: How to lay tiled floors