Directions on the Installation of Ceramic Tile for Elevator Flooring
There are two problems with laying tile on an elevator floor. First, tile will not bond to the materials used in elevator floors. The second problem is that elevators move, and tile needs a stable surface. The solution is to create as stable a surface as possible and one that tile will readily adhere to. You need to remove any carpet or padded surface on the floor of the elevator before beginning.
Cut metal lath with tin snips to fit the floor of the elevator and screw it firmly to the floor. Space the screws 6 to 8 inches apart, and make sure to keep the lath tight to the floor. Let the screws mash the lath down so the screw heads don't interfere with a flat surface.
Mix thin-set mortar following manufacturer's instructions, except use latex instead of water. Spread the thin-set with the flat side of the trowel, forcing it into the lath. Pull the flat side of the trowel back across the lath, creating a flat, smooth surface. Let the mortar dry for 24 hours before proceeding.
Mix additional thin-set with latex and spread a section along the back of the elevator floor. Use the notched side of the trowel to comb ridges into the mortar to accept the tile. Set whole tiles against the back wall of the elevator, and continue laying rows to cover about half the floor. Measure and make cuts to fit in against the side walls. Continue in this fashion to complete the floor. Allow the mortar to set another 24 hours.
Mix grout following manufacturer's instructions, but once again use latex instead of water. Spread the grout with the grout pad, making sure the joints are full. Pull excess grout from the tile using the edge of the pad. Using a damp sponge, wash the grout from the surface and smooth the grout in the joints. As soon as the floor is grouted, go back over it with more clean water. Continue in this fashion until the water rinses clean.
- Mix the thin-set and grout slightly looser than you otherwise would. The latex will create a harder and slightly more flexible mortar and grout, but it will stiffen up much quicker.
- Grout and wash in small sections. The latex will dry quicker and harder than grout mixed with water.
Darryl Brooks is a writer living in Atlanta, Georgia. His experiences include 16 years installing tile, 30 years working in information technology, eight years as a writer, six years as a photographer, 15 years as a competitive runner and 15 years in a travel agency.
- Tile image by Laima Penekaite from Fotolia.com