Home Improvement Expert Danny Lipford


How to Install a Floating Tile Floor

Find out how to install a do-it-yourself, click together, floating tile floor with that requires no adhesive or grout and can be used in kitchens, bathrooms, or other rooms. Watch this video to find out more. ...More

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How to Install a Floating Tile Floor


Watch this video to see how to install Cliks floating tile floor from the Daltile Campisi collection, which require no adhesive or grout. Cliks tile have a porcelain tile surface with a polyurethane backing and can be installed on top of existing flooring.

To install a floating tile floor:

  1. Drain toilet.
  2. Turn off the water to the toilet and disconnect supply line.
  3. Unbolt and remove toilet.
  4. Click and lock the tile together, leaving a 5/16″ to 3/8″ gap between the tile and walls.
  5. Use a wet saw to cut partial tile to fit.
  6. Install self-adhesive rubber baseboard around the perimeter of the room to cover the expansion gap between tile floor and walls.
  7. Reattach toilet, using a new wax ring, and water supply line.

Cliks tiles are available at The Home Depot.

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Danny Lipford: But now you can get a locking floor that floats that’s actually porcelain. Now this is a product that we saw at the International Builders’ Show last year. And it just clicks right together like this and has some great things that they say about this product. But you always wonder, will it really work as well as they say in a real life situation? Allen found out this week. Allen demoed the product on a table at the trade show, so for his real world test, he’s chosen a vintage ’50s bathroom in need of a flooring update. And its owner, Melanie Petithory, is helping with the installation and product evaluation.

Like all floating floors, Cliks tile requires expansion gaps around the perimeter. So Allen is using some homemade spacers along the walls and tub. The manufacturer makes an installation kit that includes spacers and is sold separately.

Allen Lyle: So, boom! That’s our first tile. We’ve just laid one tile.

Melanie Petithory: Ta-da!

Allen Lyle: That easy.

Melanie Petithory: Hey, aren’t we good.

Allen Lyle: So we’re going to keep going. Now, this is what makes this product so nice, Melanie, is the fact that we’re not going to put mastic down.

Melanie Petithory: Okay.

Allen Lyle: We’re not putting, say if this were a wood subfloor, we’re not having to put a backer board down because this, it has that polyurethane base with these little nodules on it. It actually becomes these little miniature I-beams everywhere.

Melanie Petithory: Okay, so that’ll keep it level and won’t wiggle and waggle.

Danny Lipford: As each new piece is added, it’s simply clicked into place and tapped with a block to lock the joint tight. The marking of cuts is very similar to what you would do with ordinary ceramic, except the allowance for spacers. Cutting is exactly the same as traditional ceramic. You need a wet saw to cut through the porcelain and the polyurethane backing. Standing or kneeling on the tiles that are already laid seems to be the best way to tap in additional tiles. And in the middle of the room this part goes really quickly.

Where it begins to get tricky is as you near the opposite wall, there’s less room to swing the rubber mallet, so it’s a little more difficult to tap the pieces together. And each piece is a bit of a challenge. That installation kit we mentioned earlier is supposed to solve that problem, but since Allen doesn’t have that he has to do a little improvising. Now, what’s interesting to see here is how quickly Melanie is picking this up.

Allen Lyle: Score it down the line.

Melanie Petithory: Score it in a straight line.

­Allen Lyle:  No tilting. Straight down there, and that’s what I need to keep.

Danny Lipford: As someone who’s never laid tile before she’s really taking to it. Even handling the cuts on the wet saw.

Melanie Petithory: Am I good or am I good?

Danny Lipford: She’s also putting in the rubber cove molding that’ll cover the expansion joint around the edges. Finally, Allen can set the toilet and vanity back in place and finish up the project. But what do they think of it?

Melanie Petithory: Well, you know, the clicking is very good if you’re in a nice, out, open space. But when you get into an awkward corner or in an awkward situation there’s no flexibility in the ceramic.

Allen Lyle: You’re telling me this?

Melanie Petithory: Well?

Allen Lyle: I know it.

Melanie Petithory: Yeah. You found that out.

Allen Lyle: I found that out. You know, on the up side I got to tell you though, I love the product. It works well, it looks good.

Melanie Petithory: It looks grand!

Allen Lyle: But there were challenges.