Selecting the Right Tile for your Home Project

Tiling Bathroom Floor Yourself

Breathe some life into an old vinyl or linoleum bathroom floor by switching to tile floors. Tile is easy to clean and provides a fresh look. When you purchase premium tile flooring and install the floors yourself you will not only save money but you’ll also get to enjoy a beautiful looking tile floor. If you choose to install the tile flooring yourself rather than professionally having it done there are steps to take to make sure you have everything you need to finish the project in one weekend.

Selecting Tile

There’s more to keep in mind than the color and price when choosing the right materials for tile floors. Since the bathroom is a wet environment, you’ll want a tile that is not porous. Ceramic tiles that are porous (this may be called impervious) will absorb humidity and water, which could cause one to easily slip.

Light-colored tile, for example, may become stained if makeup, dyed mouthwash and other materials spill and are not cleaned up. Stone tile is easy to care for and constructed to last, but the material can be slippery when it gets wet. Before finalizing your tile decision, evaluate the price, material, feel, availability and measure of porousness.

What You’ll Need

Supplies you’ll need to lay your own tile floors include the following:

  • Backer board – To provide an even base for the tile
  • Screws and adhesive – To install the backer board
  • Gauge stick – To help you plot out where the tile will go
  • Guide batten – To ensure even installation
  • Spirit level – To check the guide batten is level
  • Tile cutter or tile jig – To cut tiles
  • Felt tipped marker – To mark tiles prior to cutting
  • Sander – To sand rough edges after tiling

You can purchase all of these supplies at a local hardware store.

Tile Flooring Installation Tips

Before installing, take the time to plot out where you will lay the tile. Newcomers to tile flooring often start installing the tile at one edge of the bathroom floor, then work across the floor horizontally to the other edge. While this first seems a logical approach, it often leads to small slivers of tile on the other end or awkward cuts of tile around the sink, vanity or toilet. A better approach is to consider the bathroom’s focal point and frame this in tile. For example, perhaps the bathroom features en elegant claw foot tub or a modern glass shower. Lay tile in front of the tub or shower, and then expand in both directions until you meet the edge of the room. Ideally — albeit unlikely — you will be able to lay complete tiles all the way across. If you do need to cut tile, aim for cutting tile in half or thirds. This will be easier to do and look cleaner.

Another important step some may not consider is that your floor needs to be absolutely clean before you begin. If you try to apply tile flooring to a dirty floor, the material will not adhere well and you’ll just be setting yourself up for unnecessary future repairs.

Of course, every tile project begins with the right tile for your taste and budget. If this project seems too big to handle, contact the professionals at Contract Carpet One to select the right tile for your needs.

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