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How To Prepare A Floor for Tiling

This guide tells you How To Prepare A Floor for Tiling. DId you know that surface preparation is vital when it comes a Tiling, especially if you want to achieve a professional finish. Infact most jobs in general require adapquate preparation.

The correct preparation can be the difference between doing a job that lasts for years , or a job that will only last for a short amount of time. With this in mind, following this floor preparation guide, it will set you on the correct path to achieve both a professional finish, and a job that lasts.

Materials Required


Level for floor preparation

PVA Primer for Floor

PVA for how to prepare a floor for tiling guide

Self Levelling Latex

how to prepare a floor for tiling latex

Latex Spiked Roller

how to prepare a floor for tiling latex

How To Prepare A Floor for Tiling. Step by Step

Step 1. Remove the Old Sub floor

Remove all the old flooring until you get back to the original sub floor.

If your original sub floor is made from screed (concrete), then follow instructions for Step 2 (Screed), Step 3 (Screed) etc.

If your sub floor is made from wood, then follow instructions for Step 2 (Wood), Step 3 (Wood) etc.

Step 2 (Screed): Survey the Floor

Using a level, lay it on the floor in various directions to see if the screed is flat.

If the level doesn’t rock, and there are no dips in the floor visible against the level, your floor is flat and ready for Step 4 (Screed).

If the level does rock, and there are dips in the floor visible against the straight edge, you will need to latax the floor. This will give you a flat floor to lay the tiles on, putting you on the correct path for a professional finish.

Step 3 (Screed): Latexing

Check the floor is dry, then Sweep the floor so it is free from dust. Apply the latex primer. Do this with a paint roller, make sure you cover all the areas where you will be latexing with the primer.

Using a whisk mix the latex, start at the back of the room so you furthest from the door and working towards it. (So you don’t get stuck in the room). Pour the latex onto the floor and spread using a spiked latex roller.

Mix the next bag of latex. pour it next to the first mix you have already spread, using the spiked roller spread the second mix, ensuring to spread into the first mix so they marry together.

Repeat this process until all the floor has a latex covering.

Make sure you do all the latex in one go. Do not do half one day and half the next day because the latex will not marry together.

Once all the latex is down simply leave to dry.

Step 4 (Screed): Primer

Apply primer to your floor, either the screed or the latex. You are now ready to tile.

how to prepare a floor for tiling

Step 2 (Wood): Ply and Matting

If you have traditional wooden floor boards, lay 18mm ply on top of this.

Cut the ply to fit the room, then screw it down every 150mm. It’s a good idea to draw lines on the ply. Draw the lines 150mm apart.

Draw the lines going the length of the room, then draw the lines going the width of the room. Now screw the ply down at each point where the lines cross.


If your wooden floor is the modern tongue and grooved chip board, apply ditra matting. Or an equivalent product.

Apply the ditra matting (or product equivalent) using a stanley knife, simply cut the matting to shape of the room.

Take the matting out of the room, remembering where each piece you have cut goes. Numbering each piece of matting is a good idea to help you remember.

Apply a PVA primer to the wood with a sponge or roller, then leave to dry.

Mix up some flexible tile adhesive.

Using a 5mm notched trowel serrate the floor. Hold the trowel at a 45 degree angle when serrating the floor. Only cover the area of your first piece of pre cut matting with the tile adhesive.

Now lay the matting in the adhesive pushing any air bubbles out as you go. Go over the matting pushing it firmly down to ensure it sticks well.

You may find that the matting will curl back up in the corner. This is becuase the matting comes on a roll and wants to naturally curl back up. If you experience this problem, put some weight on the edges to hold it down, all the time being carful to push out any air bubbles that may be under the matting.

Repeat this process until you have stuck down all your pre cut pieces of matting, and all the floor you are wanting to tile is covered with the matting.

Now your sub floor is prepared properly. you can commence tiling

There you have it. You now know how to prepare a floor for tiling. Refer to our floor tiling guide to get a professional finish with your tiling.


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Posted on 25th May 2021 at 11:02 am

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