Installing ceramic tile floors is not as hard as it looks. With a little knowledge and an easy step-by-step guide on how to do it, you can already be tiling your way to your dream floor. Here are some basic ceramic tiling tips you can chew on when you plan on installing ceramic tile floors at your home.
Before you tile, identify first your existing tile floor. There are three main types of subfloors you might encounter: Vinyl, plywood, and concrete floors. Installing ceramic tile flooring directly to your vinyl or linoleum subfloor surfaces is greatly discouraged. One, it may contain asbestos fibers; and two, vinyl flooring is not a solid as good ol’ concrete flooring. When installing ceramic tile on vinyl, experts would recommend rough-sanding, or scarifying, the vinyl floor surface first so your tiling mortar has good grip to set on.
If your subfloor is plywood, be sure that the wood is at least 1 and 1/8 inches thick and is supported by an equally strong underlayment. Otherwise, your ceramic tiles will dislodge easily, or worse, break and need replacing. Concrete floors are the most ideal subfloor surface to work with. But before you can start installing ceramic tile flooring over it, it must be cleaned thoroughly. For dust and other debris, sweep and then mop your concrete subfloor surface, and allow it to dry completely. Smooth concrete surfaces must be rough sanded just like vinyl floors to allow the tiling mortar some grip.
After you’ve made the estimates for the floor space that needs to be tiled, window-shop for your ceramic tiles. Ceramic floor tiles come in a variety of prices, shapes, textures and styles. Pick a tile type that’s within your price range and ask to see it in what a palette of colors. The most common ceramic tile size is one square foot. But ceramic tiles may come in a wide array of sizes; from one inch, to two feet.
Prices can vary according to tile type. Natural stone tiles made from granite or slate may sell for two dollars per square foot. Glazed ceramic tiles run from a dollar to twenty dollars per square foot, while unglazed quarry tiles may average around $ 2 per square foot.
Remember: When installing ceramic bathroom tiles, use ceramic tiles with a slightly rough textured surface. This is so you won’t encounter accidents on a floor that’s always wet. Smooth glazed ceramic tiles, especially, are ideal for kitchen or back porch flooring. But you shouldn’t use them bathroom floors, as they can be treacherous when wet.
Having the right tools for the job is a must. You can buy most of the tools and materials you’ll need at you neighborhood hardware store, or home center. For equipment that might over your budget like tile cutters, try asking your local home center or tool rental yard if they have the tools you need for rental. Basic ceramic tiling tools include A pair of safety glasses, heavy leather gloves, tile spacers, notched trowel, a handheld tile cutter, and a pair of tile nippers. Have some sandpaper handy for smoothing out cut edges. Sponges and clean dry rags will come in handy for cleaning and wiping off excess mortar material and grout lining from your newly-finished ceramic tiling floor.
Consult a professional if you are hesitant over how to start installing ceramic tile on your floor. From choosing the right tiles and color, to tearing out existing ceramic tile floors without damaging the subfloor, to installing ceramic tile that will last you a lifetime, a home improvement professional will be able to help you with information, at the very least, or assist you when you start installing ceramic tile.
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