Substrate Prior to tiling
New concrete Leave for 6 weeks.
Existing ceramic or vinyl tiles Check tiles are firmly adhered to the subfloor and are free of dirt and grease.
Wooden floors Check floors are stable, rigid and capable of supporting the additional load equired. There are a number of methods for tiling onto wooden floors, one of the most
common is to overlay existing timber floor with WPB or marine grade plywood at least 15mm thick, fully screwed down at 300mm centres, then seal the edges
and under edges of the board with BAL Bond SBR. Shower floors should be waterproofed by using BAL WP1 Tanking System and grouted with an epoxy grout.
Tongue & Groove floorboards You may tile direct without overlaying, providing. BAL Fastflex is used and that all boards are stable and are firmly screwed or screw nailed to the supporting joists at 300mm centres. Leave new
boards for 2 weeks prior to tiling. Prime with 2 coats of neat BAL Prime APD before tiling.
Floating chipboard or plywood floors Ensure that WPB, marine grade plywood or moisture resistant chipboard is used, then seal the edges and under edges of the board with BAL Bond SBR. If required, overlay with 15-18mm lywood. Use BAL Fastflex for tiling directly onto the plywood/chipboard.
All floors must be level and free of any movement when walked on.
Check the floor tolerances using a straight edge. Lay at various points around the floor. Ideally, there should be no more than a 3mm gap under a 2m straightedge. The maximum tolerance is 6mm. Uneven solid surfaces should be levelled with a levelling compound such as BAL Acrybase (except timber floors). Surfaces must be smooth, flat and free from any dirt or grease.
As a general rule, tiling should be set out from the centre of the floor. This means that there are two options:
1. either the centre of the tile in the centre of the floor, or
2. the centre joint between the two tiles positioned either side of the centre line.

A measuring gauge will help you plan the position of your tiles. To make a measuring gauge, take a length of timber and mark the width of your tiles including the spacers along it, remember floor tiles require at least a 3mm grout joint, so use the correct sized spacers. Use the measuring gauge to help you set out the position of your tiles horizontally. The measuring gauge will help you to avoid any small difficult cuts, which will spoil the appearance.

Check the squareness of the room. Mark a line along the centre of the room lengthways and widthways. Use your measuring gauge to view how the tiles will work out from the centre line paying particular
attention to how they will look from the doorway. The level of your floor will be raised when the tiles are down, so remove all fixtures and fittings if possible.

Mix the adhesive in accordance with the mixing and application instructions on the product packaging. Always use the recommended trowel, this will ensure you achieve the best coverage and that no voids are left under the tile. Hold your trowel at a 450 angle.

Apply the adhesive to form straight ribs. Apply an area of adhesive to cover several tiles but no more than you will be able
to tile within 20 minutes. If the adhesive forms a skin before you have managed to place a tile, take off the adhesive and replace with new. For small areas, if required, apply a thicker layer (max. 2mm) of adhesive where the floor dips.

Press the tiles firmly and evenly into the adhesive using a twisting action to ensure that the adhesive forms a strong bond to the back of the tile. Place a spacer (min. 3mm) between each tile to allow an even space for
the grout joint.

Check with a spirit level whilst you are tiling that the tile surface is flat. Lift an odd tile to check the coverage you are achieving is a solid bed of adhesive on the back of the tile. Clean off any adhesive, which has formed on the surface of the tile before it dries with a damp sponge and remove any surplus from the grout joints.

Floors should not be walked on for at least 24 hours when using a standard cementitious adhesive and 2-5 hours when using a rapid setting adhesive.

Floor tiles are more difficult to cut thanwall tiles. When you need to cut a tile, mark the front of the tile and score the glazed side of the tile to break the glaze using a tile scriber and a rule or a combination cutter, or use a thin rail or a platform cutter. Tile nippers can be used to cut corners or curves out of tiles. For really awkward cuts it is often best to make a template out of card to guide you when cutting your tile. Some stockists may offer a tile cutting service for awkward cuts.

If you have completed all the tiling and allowed the adhesive to dry out for the required time, you are ready to start grouting.

If you have chosen a cementitious grout, use a grout float to fill the joints. Remove excess grout from the tile surface with a grout float. Clean off the grout with a clean sponge working diagonally across the tiles.

When using an epoxy grout, use an Epoxy Hard Rubber Grout Float to fill the joints. Prior to cleaning off, emulsify the epoxy residue with a damp emulsifying pad and clean off with a damp sponge. To ensure there is no residue, clean again within 24 hours using an emulsifying pad and clean water or mild detergent.


A perimeter minimum joint width of 6mm x 6mm cross section should be filled with silicone sealant. On larger floor areas an intermediate movement joint will be required, check with the BAL Technical Advisory Service.