How to Tile a Hallway
Tile is a low-maintenance, beautiful floor covering that can be used in any room of the house. A tile floor can be laid in many patterns and be made of many materials, any of which can enhance the decor of the home. When tiling a narrow area such as a hallway, the key is keeping the installation even and balanced with whole tiles used in the center.
Measure the hallway, width wise, and place a mark at the exact center of the hallway on the farthest end. You will be tiling from one end to the other, so mark the end farthest from where you want to end up.
Lay the tiles to be installed in a dry-layout in the hallway. (A dry-layout is when you put down the tiles without mortar to determine placement, cuts and grout joints.) Start the dry-layout with a full tile, with the tile's center laid directly on the center of the mark made on the floor. Lay the next tiles evenly out to each side. This will provide a balanced installation.
Mark the tiles to be cut on the sides of the hallway with a straight edge and pencil. Cut the tiles on a tile saw and return them to the dry-layout to double-check placement, pattern, fit and grout joints.
Spread a small amount of thin set over the floor with the trowel. Rake the thin set with the teeth side of the trowel until the ridges are uniform in height. Press the tiles into the thin set in the same pattern determined by the dry-layout, twisting the tiles slightly into place to ensure a good bond with the substrate.
Allow the thin set to cure for 24 hours, and then grout the floor tiles by packing the joints with grout using a grout float.
Wipe up the excess grout with a damp sponge, taking care not to over wet or "wash" the grout, as this could lead to a reduction in grout color. Allow the grout to dry for an additional 24 hours.
- When laying the tiles on the diagonal, place the tip of the first tile laid directly on the mark you made in the far, center of the hallway. Spread the tiles out evenly from this point; this technique will visually widen the hallway by drawing your eye out to the sides of the room, following the tile lines.
Sarabeth Asaff has worked in and has written about the home improvement industry since 1995. She has written numerous articles on art, interior design and home improvements, specializing in kitchen and bathroom design. A member in good standing with the National Kitchen and Bath Association, Asaff has working knowledge of all areas of home design.
- dark hall image by CraterValley Photo from Fotolia.com