FLOOR TILE - Depending upon the age of your bathroom, you might have small mosaic tile, tile squares, or linoleum. Regardless, if you choose to tile your floor, you're in for a little work with a great reward at the end.
While you can do tiling yourself with the proper tools and some level of skill, it's a job you might want give a little thought to before grabbing for the crowbar. I say this for a number of reasons and will list some of them. First, you will probably have to remove the old floor. You'll have to remove the toilet since you tile under the toilet, not around it. Please, never tile around your toilet! Second, you will need special tools to cut your tile. Sometimes you can get by with just a tile cutter. If this is the case, you can rent one or buy an economical one at your local home center. However, if you require more advanced cuts, you'll be using a wet saw. If you're still feeling feisty enough to do it, you can obtain the wet saw in the same fashion as your tile cutter. There are some really important things to know in tiling your floor so let's talk about them now.
Your ceramic tile floor will only be as good as the sub-floor under it. If you have a weak or squeaky sub-floor, you will have problems with your tile job down the road.
Your sub-floor must be sound and be the proper thickness. Generally, an additional layer of sub-floor will have to be added. This might be a layer of plywood (not luan) or cement board properly secured to the existing sub-floor. Consult the place you buy your tile from, giving them the thickness of the existing sub-floor. Most sub-floors are 3/4" but don't assume. Let them offer suggestions based on the thickness of your floor and the tile you choose.
Use a quality mastic for the job. Some mastics have limitations on the size of tile. Be sure the mastic indicates it can handle the size tile you're using. Don't rush the job. Allow every stage of your job to dry thoroughly before proceeding to the next stage.
So you've decided to tile and you want to know size and pattern. It's a matter or taste with some conditions. A diagonal pattern where the tiles are set on a 45 degree angle to the room provides a great look. It also hides the long grout lines when looking down the floor. Using this pattern allows you to put a larger tile in a smaller room. You can install a 12x12" tile in a powder room that measures 3'x8' and it will look great. Do the same tile parallel to the walls and the look is much less dramatic.
Buy some tiles and lay them out in your bathroom to see how they look. Experiment a little with different sizes and styles. In most cases, you can always return them for a refund. Tile is like paint chips. You need to see the tile in the lighting it's going to be installed in.
Not all tiles are the standard square type. New styles of mosaic tile are available that don't reflect the 1960s. Tile manufacturers also make tiles that accept accent pieces. They're precut to accept the piece so you don't have to do the work. You can also purchase matching cove tile for up the wall or you can finish it off in wood moulding.
Tiles come in different hardness. Some tiles cut very easily with a tile cutter while some tiles require a wet saw and will crack if trying to score and snap the tile.
If you choose to replace your floor with a new tile floor, you'll be rewarded with years of beauty and durability. Something to consider when doing that face lift.
Always wear safety glasses since small chips of ceramic tile can fly into your eye when cutting or snapping. These little pieces seem to have a radar when flying through the air and mange to land directly in the center of the eye.
If you're making a very difficult cut and are worried about the accuracy of your measurements, cut a piece of cardboard as a template. When you're satisfied with the template fit, then trace it onto the actual tile. Better to waste cardboard.
Unless you have additional help when grouting, you may want to mix up small batches and do sections if the room is large. Additives can cause a grout to harden faster and this makes it more difficult to remove excess grout on the face of the tile.
Grout doesn't like excess water. Although the temptation is there to use more water when wiping your tiles, multiple passes with a damp sponge is better than one pass with a very wet one.
At Home is presented to you as a source of information. Never attempt any project you are not comfortable with and consult your local building department for any remodeling projects you choose to undertake. If you hire a contractor, consult your State Division of Consumer Affairs and be sure to obtain a Certificate of Insurance before the job is started.
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