Installation of Ceramic Tile
Ceramic tile can be installed in almost any house and by anyone. Ceramic tile is resilient, nearly waterproof and adds beauty to any room. The do it yourself homeowners can install tile and grout relatively easily and in most cases a room can be completed in two days. The cost of having a professional come and install the tile can vary depending on what region of the United States one lives in. A home owner can save more than half the cost by completing the installation their self. In most cases two days spent in preparation, laying tile, grouting, and clean up can add thousands of dollars to the value of a home. It is important to keep in mind a few simple instructions when preparing to install tile so that the job goes smoothly.
First it is important to consider the type of sub-floor that exists in the home to determine the preparation process. If ones home has a concrete or terrazzo foundation then the preparation is quite easy, simply remove the existing decorative flooring. Whether it is carpet and padding, vinyl, or wood a simple removal of this type of flooring and a good cleaning will complete the preparation process. During the removal of the carpet it is important to also remove the tack-less strips that run along the edges of the floor and hold the carpet in place. However, if ones home has a pier and beam foundation there could be a number of steps to complete prior to the tile installation. If the home is a pier and beam it is important to determine the thickness of the sub-flooring many newer pier and beam homes have ¾ inch plywood and although, this is fine for carpet or vinyl flooring it is insufficient for tile, as the movement or give in the floor will crack the grout and may loosen the bond of the tile to the floor. A sub-floor thickness of 1 to 1.5 inches is recommended for a tile floor. Older pier and beam homes normally have a ½ inch tongue and groove sub-floor with a ½ inch tongue and groove top floor laid in an offset pattern so that the seams of the floor do not line up with the seams of the sub-floor. As a rule of thumb any home build prior to 1970 with a pier and beam foundation will have a 1 inch floor. Any home that has less than a 1 inch sub-floor will require adding an additional layer of sub-flooring before the tile can be installed. Durock cement board is the recommended for most applications. This consideration should also be taken if the tile is being installed on the second floor of a home. Once the determination of the sub-flooring complete one can make a list of materials that will be needed to complete the job. 1.
Pry Bar - to pull molding as needed.
Hammer - to remove the nails from the moldings and to remove the nails left from the tack-less. 3.
Pliers - used to remove nails.
Drill – to mix mortar.
Mortar mixing attachment for drill.
Tile spacers - these come in various sizes, the size determines the grout line sizes. 10.
Pencil - to mark tiles that may need to be cut.
Buckets - a minimum of two, four would be preferred.
Grout sponge - to clean up extra grout around tiles.
Rubber tile float - used to apply grout.
A trowel - used to apply mortar.
Tile saw - these come in a variety of sizes and prices ranging from below $100.00 to thousands of dollars, the size of the job should be used to determine the kind of saw needed. 16.
Thin-set mortar – this comes in a variety of formulas, designed for different applications. Grey mortar is used for concrete or terrazzo floors while white mortar is used for walls and wood flooring applications due to its polymer additive and water resistant properties. It should be noted that the more expensive mortars do not necessarily indicate that they work any better that the less expensive ones. The application should be used to determine the kind of mortar to be used. 17.
Grout – these come in two types sanded...
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