As many know, a professional tiler can and will make shortcuts to installing, prepping and finishing of a project. Through trial and error most professionals have come up with a system that includes shortcuts, easier plans of installation and some simple but basic ways to make the whole project flow much easier. As a do-it-yourself project person, knowing some of these time tested secrets can help you as well.
One of the biggest secrets to any tiling job is prepping the area before the whole project starts. One of the first things to check in any interior tiling project is to make sure the walls and floors are square. Also check to see if the edges are smooth and even. In all, this process will save you a lot of time and effort in trying to correct any issues such as this at a later part of the tiling installation
Many times in preparing surfaces such as walls and floors it sometimes comes to mind to replace boards and drywall etc. In areas that are only slightly out of line this can be corrected in other ways. Many times sagging floors can be corrected by using mortar instead of self-leveling compound. Walls with concave insets can be corrected with the same affect. By using thin-set to correct this problem you can many times level out the wall to allow for a flat surface. In walls that are bowed out or convex, many times if this warping is not heavy it can be corrected by sanding or planning the wall. Both of these tricks are used often in the world of tiling and can be a major cost saving factor in any home tiling project.
Also in prepping walls and floors regardless of their material one should be sure that the surface is free of dust and dirt. Also if there is any type of filler or quick setting material being used one should make absolutely sure that the surface if flat. One should be sure to fill in any cracks as this too will bring problems once the bonding agent has settled in. Many times it is also recommended to look at the drying time and settling times recommended by the manufacturer on any filler, bonding agents etc. and be sure to check that there might be a primer involved in the process before starting. When checking these manufacture recommended times, be it looking in for Dallas Granite outlet or any other outlet online, one should read up or get personal information regarding the correct application.
Marking line parallels and layouts of your project on walls can be way to making sure your project goes smoothly. This marking of the walls helps ensure that your tiles will be properly laid out. This process will also ensure that there will not be any unsightly slivers or odd shaped cuts to the tiles at the corners and edges. Establishing this whole process can also be done by going from the center of the wall or floor in order to obtain an overall format. This noted format will end on all sides being equal and in most cases will give you less cutting and less problems in the long run.
Many times novice floor tilers find themselves boxed into a corner when installing tiles. Starting your project from a center, or field, of the project and work outwards to the perimeter of the noted area. This process will also work nicely when applying thin-set and working in all directions, giving your tiles a good level surface. If tiling more than just your floors, like walls and counter tops, one should do these projects first so that working on the floors can be done after while waiting for your other tiles to set
Another secret revolves around common sense. It has to do with grouting your tiles. When doing this part of the project be sure to use clean water and a thick sponge to clean up, making sure you do so thoroughly. When caulking a surface as a back splash or where two different tile surfaces come together, one should use latex caulk that is matched in color to the grout being used.
One secret is with obtaining the proper tools to complete a project. These tools can vary from a simple set of hand held nippers to a large wet saw to cut your tiles and set them in place. Some of the noted tools involved in a tile project are somewhat costly. Budgeting a project can be a tricky matter but when it comes to items like wet saws and large tools. It is best to look into the factor of renting these tolls and sticking with a budget that works best.
There are many times that home remodelers tile over existing tile. This can be tricky if the house has settled or has shifted over time. If a project should be a means to being tiled over one should look at the fact of how straight and undamaged the old tile is. There are specific bonding agents for installing tile over tile so looking in on your Dallas Granite tile outlet or any other outlet to find the specific types is recommended in this case. Also in this kind of project one will have to score the old tile with a tile scriber. This is done to make the bonding agent adhere better. In certain types of bonding agents for tile over tile there are costly alternatives to bonding agents that will not require any scoring but there are cost factors involved with this situation.
One last factor for tiling over tile is that the thickness of the new tile will be twice as deep. This can be a big problem when getting to the edge of a doorway or window. In all, the best remedy is to remove the old tiles and start new. The time consuming project of prepping the surface will far outweigh the issues that will pop up on a project when doing a tile over tile project. When looking for more information on this type of tile over tile project, be it looking in for Dallas Granite outlet or any other outlet, get the proper information for the proper application.
There are many other factors to obtaining secrets in tiling. One is to remove the baseboard before starting a project. Many times this is skipped by remodelers and can cause problems and unprofessional looks when done. Spacers are also an issue that many tile layers will skip. Skipping this process can and most likely will give an uneven affect when putting the finishing grout between the tiles. One can then figure out that some of the tiles are not put down square due in fact that someone either didn't mark the walls or put in the spacers. Also remember that no matter what tile or project you have, be sure to have at least 10% more tiles then you think you need. This is due in part to allow for breakage, mistaken cuts etc. Another added part of this over purchase is to make sure one will have tile in storage in case the tile is either discontinued or if damage occurs over their lifetime.
No matter what tile projects come about in your updating and installation, you too will find small secrets and shortcuts along the way. Keeping with time tested ways or accidental ways of working tile is something that will put your continual projects moving in the right direction. Like everything in life not all shortcuts are for the good, keep this and any other incidental glitches in mind in your continual effort to beautify any home, patio and office projects.
About the author: Tim Walker has spent fifteen years working with tiles.