Installing tile in your kitchen or bathroom is no small task and we urge you to employ a licensed home improvement contractor to handle the work for you. If you opt to go the DIY route, however, here are some tips to keep in mind when installing ceramic or porcelain tile flooring.
Tile is similar to hardwood flooring, in that once you install it, it should last you a lifetime – that is, so long as you don’t change your mind and decide to install some other type of flooring, and barring that it was installed properly to begin with.
Perhaps the biggest concern when installing tile is the formation of cracks in the floor tiles or grout lines after installation. Other than from an aesthetic perspective, this can lead to many issues in your home. Below, we are going to highlight some great floor tiling tips to help you avoid these issues and make sure your tile is installed properly – whether by you or a licensed contractor.
Plan Properly and Lay Out Your Tiles
The biggest tip we can give you is to plan properly for your tile installation. There are many steps to this, including picking the right material, knowing how you want the finished product to look, making sure your space and tiles are measured properly (measure two or three times to be certain), and so on.
Be sure to get your tile and lay them out. This lets you envision the final product, and at the same time look for imperfections and warping in your tiles before you install them. Also, take the time to consider any patterns you are planning and lay them out as well.
If you are going to have awkward sized tiles, try to keep them away from the main sight lines of your doorways. If possible, put them under cabinets, where you plan on putting dressers or vanities, and so forth. Out of sight, out of mind.
Make Sure You Are Using the Right Tile
Tile comes in grades and if you use the wrong grade of tile for your floor versus your walls (or even ceiling), you can run into some issues. For example, a grade 3 tile is thinner than other grades and if you use it on a floor (versus a wall), it can crack under the weight of furniture and everyday use.
If you are tiling a floor, go with a tile grade of 1 or 2 and you should not have a problem.
Make Sure You Have a Flat and Level Subfloor
This is pivotal. Without this, your install will be a failure. Make sure there are no cracks or uneven spots in your subfloor. Along the same lines, make sure that the surface is clean of debris and grease or oily spots. Using a cement backer board as your subfloor is a great way to ensure a level floor and clean slate.
Clean Grout Lines Before It’s Too Late
When sponging your grout, try to get your grout lines looking right before the grout fully dries. If you wait, getting out those little imperfections will be a lot tougher.
Leave Time for Grout to Dry and Tile to Set
Finally, always leave your project enough time to dry and set. With grout, make sure it dries the recommended amount of time prior to applying sealer. With tile, make sure to leave yourself 48 to 72 hours before you walk on your flooring, otherwise you can ruin all of the hard work you or your home improvement contractor put into laying your new tile flooring!
Consult a Licensed and Insured Home Contractor
It goes without saying that you care about your home – if not, you would not waste the effort and money installing new tile. But we can’t all be experts, and because of that, we highly urge you to hire a tiling professional to tile your bathroom, kitchen or home. A home contractor will make sure the tile installation is performed properly and lasts you a lifetime. It may be cheaper to go the DIY tiling route, but why take the risk of botching the job or having something go wrong during the tiling project?
If you live in the North Georgia or Gainesville, Georgia area and are planning a kitchen or bathroom tile installation, give Tracy Tesmer Design/Remodeling a call – we’ll be glad to give you a consultation or referral!