Tiling is a fun project to undertake, but it might seem more difficult than it actually is at first sight. Of course, you would need a fair amount of perfection to lay tiles the right way. Using a laser level can help you achieve such levels of accuracy. In this guide, we will show you how to use a laser level for tile.
But, before we get into tiling, we would like to start with some basics. We will shed light on 4 different types of laser levels and do brief profiles on each of those. Afterward, we will move on to main our discussion and break down the laser leveling process to lay tiles into a few easy stages.
4 Points You Must Know Before Using A Laser Level
Dot/Point Laser Level
A dot/point laser level projects dots and points on a surface. These laser levels would produce a single dot or multiple dots. In case of the latter scenario, the points would arrive perpendicular to each other.
These lasers are used to level something across a vertical or horizontal plane. You can buy one of these for as little as $20, while the most expensive ones could cost you $500.
Cross Line Laser Level
A cross line laser has the capacity to cast 180 degree laser beams vertically or horizontally. It could project light in both ways, and the beam it generates is usually brighter than those we see in other laser level variants.
However, cross line laser levels have a limited range. For instance, a DeWalt 12V Max Green Cross Line Laser can only project as far as 160 feet.
Rotary Laser Level
Rotary laser levels can project revolving points to cover a 360-degree surface. These laser levels are widely used in professional construction sites. Since rotary laser levels are mainly designed for outdoor work, you would have to use appropriate laser level detectors to get the best out of it.
Tile Laser Level
Tile lasers are specifically designed to work on tile, carpet, stone, or any other flooring endeavors. Tile lasers generate a highly visible laser line that can be easily seen on tiles and other flooring materials.
This eliminates the need for using string lines and chalks to ensure that all tiles fall in line as flat as a pancake.
5 Steps To Use A Laser Level
We will show you how to use a laser level for tile following seven simple steps. They are as follows:
Step 1. Floor Measuring
Begin with measuring the floor. Knowing the accurate measurement of the floor would help you determine how many tiles you would need to cover it entirely. Measure the width and length. If the floor is rectangular, you can calculate the area by multiplying the length and width.
If you can’t characterize the floor shape as rectangular, then divide the complete floor into smaller rectangles. Calculate their area and add them up. The exact value might be somewhat less or more than the actual area. But, it should give you a better idea regarding the required tiles count to finish the project.
Step 2. Floor Preparing
After working out the floor area, you would have to prepare the floor so that it becomes ready for fitting tiles. Get rid of any leftover mortar or sealants. If you notice any crack on the floor, seal it with pourable concrete patching compound.
Without treating your floor properly, the tiles would come off after a few days of installation.
Step 3. Mix Up Thinset Mortar
Take a five-gallon bucket, a drill, and a compatible paddle mixer. Pour water and mortar into the bucket. Make sure to follow the guidelines mentioned on the packaging of the mortar so that the mixture attains desirable concentration. Attach the mixing paddle to the drill, switch it on, and mix up the thin-set mortar.
Be mindful of the spilled mortar. Once it gets hardened, it becomes very difficult to take out. So, it would be best if you wash it away as soon as it falls on the floor. Keep a bucket of clean water and sponge nearby. Whenever any mixture falls out of the bucket, wipe it off the floor with the sponge and water.
Step 4. Alignment Tiles With A Tile Laser Level
Without proper alignment and positioning, the tiles would not sit evenly and would not stay in place for long. Here’s where the tile laser level comes in. Put the tile laser level at one corner of the room and turn it on. The laser level would cast lines across the room, and you would be able to check the position of the tiles between zero to ninety degrees.
Take an appropriate sized notched trowel and spread out the mortar with it. Take the level line as the reference and put the tiles on the layer of mortar. Apply sufficient pressure to it so that it gets duly embedded into the mortar. Continue placing tiles next to the other and maintain the level line as your reference point.
Step 5. Install Tiles Along The Wall Or Floor
Now that you have laid the tiles, you have to reshape the border tiles so that they fit along the wall. To do that, find out the distance between the wall and adjacent tiles, and mark all of them. While taking the measurements, disregard the grout line width. Next, you have to cut the tiles with a wet saw, or a scoring cutter. For angular cuts, a tile nipper would be better suited.
While placing tiles close to the wall, keep some space. Later, you can fill this void with baseboards, or vertical tiles that are around 4 inches in size.
Tips On How To Lay Tiles With Laser Level
- Try out various tiles patterns before installing it. See which patterns look better, and pick the most aesthetic arrangement.
- Do not pick glossy tiles for floor installation. These tiles tend to get slithery after getting wet.
- Always buy more tiles than your estimation. You would need backup in case you had miscalculated the surface area. Tiles could easily break while installing too.
- Mark the tiles nearest to the wall so that they are easy to cut.
- Put the laser level on a smooth surface.
- While working in a large area, move the laser forward as your work progresses.
Since you have made it this far, you should know how to use a laser level for tile installation. You don’t need to be much of a handyman to get hold of it. Even though using a laser level is an effortless task, it is very important to ensure a high-quality tiles fitting.