Home Owners’ Guide to Choosing New Tile
Intro – Benefits of Tile Flooring
So, you’re considering tile as your choice for the next home renovation? Not surprisingly, tile has become one of the most popular flooring mediums in modern home renovation and interior design. It is versatile, long-lasting, and easy to maintain. Naffco Flooring and Interiors has sold tile flooring to hundreds of customers over the years. We highly recommend it to anyone that needs a change in interior design inspiration. Whether you’re a new home owner, are looking to remodel, or even looking to prepare your home to sell, tile could be the right fit for you. But you have quite a few options – so let’s look at the main benefits of tile for your home.
Home value increases when you install new tile. New buyers prefer its modern visual appeal, and will be impressed by the polished look of your home. Most buyers and real estate agents will look elsewhere if they see dirty carpet or cheap laminate, because it automatically indicates that your home is not move-in ready. Take a look at other houses on the market. The ones that are staged properly showcase their unique floor patterns to potential buyers. They will have newly installed or recently restored to increase the overall home value before listing. If you’re in the market to sell, installing tile could be an easy process that reaps benefits for staging.
Most people admire tile floors because they are the most durable of all flooring options. Carpet has a tendency to shred, and hardwoods can suffer damage from impact or heavy foot traffic. Laminate is robust against chipping or scratching, but stains can be almost impossible to remove. But ceramics and porcelain are made to last the lifetime of your home. Typically the object dropped on tile is more easily broken that the surface itself. It withstands shoe scuffing, water, tracking in of outside dirt, and is generally stain-resistant.
Cleanliness is another big factor when choosing tile over other flooring options. Because tile is so durable, you don’t have to worry about constant maintenance for a fresh look. Made of hard material, tile is easy to sweep or mop, without the use of chemicals or heavy-duty cleaners. Darker or patterned tiles do not show stains like carpet does. This is why many kitchens feature ceramic or porcelain floors, because they are prone to spills. Plus, tile is naturally resistant to water damage and stains. Water will only affect your grout, which is an easy problem to fix.
Tile is one of the few flooring choices that is actually environmentally friendly, and there are several reasons for this. The surface is naturally hypoallergenic, an important factor for families with children or pets. Certain flooring types, such as carpet and some hardwood, are manufactured in processes that create volatile organic compounds. These micro air pollutants can diminish the quality of air you breathe in the household. But tile is fired in kilns that do not create any sort of VOC during processing. Plus, you will not have to use as many harsh chemicals for cleaning, which hurts both air quality and can be ingested through household use and contact.
While tile is widely popular for these reasons, some people opt for a different option for comfort or an easier installation process. Porcelain retains the temperature of any given room, making it colder than carpet on your feet. While tile conducts heat very well outside, it will also stay cold in an air-conditioned home even during summer. Some people find walking on tile uncomfortable. But, using placemats (which are easier to clean than carpet) or wearing slippers around the eliminates this discomfort.
The other common objection to tile is that the installation is both complex and expensive. Installing tile may appear possible with DIY methods, but it is recommended that you hire a professional. It is not nearly as expensive as buying all the tools and extra tile necessary to complete the project yourself. This makes the process easy and fast. You can have the benefits of a beautiful tile floor or wall on a budget. But, let’s compare tile to other flooring options so you can make an educated decision.
Tile vs Other Types of Flooring
As mentioned, tile is clean, long-lasting, environmentally friendly, and comes in a variety of colors, sizes, textures, and patterns. But if you’re shopping for multiple rooms of a house, or haven’t quite made your decision yet, it’s best to know the benefits and disadvantages of your major flooring types. The medium of floor you choose will significantly impact your interior design plans; it can determine the warmth of the room (both warmth of color tone and temperature) and the functionality within the space. You have many options, but we will only discuss the most popular flooring options here.
Carpet has long been the go-to for homeowners for their living and bedroom areas. It’s soft, warmer than other floors, and adds both color and texture to an otherwise plain living space. Carpet absorbs noise well, which helps in family rooms where the television and sound systems are typically centered. And if you have a “fixer upper,” carpet is the easiest installation for covering older floors. Carpet is an excellent choice for smaller homes and living spaces.
But, we see many people who replace carpet because of the high maintenance required. Carpet holds dirt, dust, pet dander, and other air pollutants longer than any other floor. It is not a good choice for people with frequent allergies, or who have many pets. It wears over time, but is harder to replace than tile. It just depends on the amount of time you can spend everyday on upkeep.
Hardwood outranks carpet when it comes to maintenance and aesthetics. Commonly used in bedrooms and family rooms, solid wood flooring stands the test of time. It provides warmth and a vintage appeal to the interior, especially if you use distressed or reclaimed wood. In recent years, the movement to use reclaimed wood has spread across the country as upcycling becomes both chic and encouraged by professional designers. Though some believe hardwood is the most beautiful of all flooring options, it does not hold up to moisture well. Natural wood shrinks and expands in high humidity, which can deteriorate the overall appearance as time goes on. It is also easy to dent, which is whereas tile is durable and long-lasting.
While hardwood is beautiful, it can be expensive. A cost-effective alternative to wood is laminate, a part synthetic, part recycled wood material. It’s made to look like natural wood but made more cheaply. The easy installation attracts many do-it-yourself homeowners, but there are downsides. Because laminate is a cheaper alternative, it is not as durable as tile. It scratches, sometimes unsticks from its adhesive, and cannot be refinished. So, if your laminate starts to deteriorate, you have no choice but to replace it. Older homes often rip out their laminate after a few years, because it does not withstand abrasion or wear from everyday use as well as other materials. While you may get the look of wood, it does not compare to the longevity of use. Tile, however does give you the benefit of long-lasting use, while offering the visual appeal of a hardwood.
Next in synthetic flooring is vinyl, a completely synthetic material which can look like wood or tile. Vinyl is water-resistant, unlike laminate flooring. It is also easy to install, typically glued directly onto the subfloor. You see vinyl in many homes with simple geometric patterns on the floor. It’s popular for kitchens and occasionally bathrooms. But, as the cheapest flooring option available, it’s quality does not match that of tile. Water can seep between the vinyl and subfloor, creating mildew that is expensive to clean (not to mention a health hazard in kitchen spaces). The main benefit to vinyl is the easy installation, but it can cost homeowners in the end.
Tile is hardest to install, but is more visually appealing than laminate or vinyl, and more durable than hardwood. When you buy tile, you get quality over price, getting you money’s worth in longevity. Tile is difficult to repair but easily replaced, and rarely broken. You have many options when it comes to the style of tile, which is what we will explore in the next section.
Types of Tile
Choosing tile over the alternatives then allows you to explore the many different styles, textures, colors, and surface qualities within a tile group. There are four main types of tile, each with their own unique benefits and uses. Ceramics are traditional, and fit within a reasonable budget. Porcelain, though more expensive, lasts longer and gives floors an elegant visual appeal. You also have glass and stone tiles, which are most common in bathrooms and kitchen backsplashes. Depending on your personal tastes, budget, and overall decor theme, you will have plenty of options to find the tile that’s right for you.
Ceramics are the most popular tile on the market. These pieces are made of clay, and have been used in both practical and artistic home design for centuries. Similar to terracotta and saltillo, Ceramic clay is heated and cooled in processing to make it sturdy. Ceramics gained their popularity because they are pleasing to the eye, but do not distract from the main furniture pieces and spacial design of an open concept room. They are also the most cost-effective. You can buy glazed or unglazed ceramics, which come in glossy, matte, or semi-gloss varieties.
Porcelain is a type of ceramic that is refined in the processing to create a glossy finish. It’s made with up to 50% feldspar (a dust material that helps it bond during processing), and can be glazed or unglazed as well. The feldspar acts to lower the temperature of the porcelain as it is fired in the kiln, which is how the clean finish is produced. Because of this specified craftsmanship in creating porcelain, it’s more expensive than normal ceramics. But the money is well worth spent; porcelain ceramics last longer and are more aesthetically pleasing in home decor.
For home accents, some people like to use glass tile. Glass is commonly used in kitchen and bathroom backsplash. The many colors and shapes are useful for designers to create intricate patterns on walls. Shaping glass is easier to do than with other tile mediums, so you can choose unique accent patterns. The only downside to using glass is the installation. Glass breaks easily, and the time required to install such small pieces can be both tedious and expensive when you hire a professional. However, many homeowners believe the extra effort to be well worth the investment. Glass is rather uncommon, so to have a home that features it is rare and unusual. It can also add value to the home in the years to come.
By far the most elegant tile is that which is made from natural stone. Marble, granite, limestone, and slate are the most durable tiles you can purchase. They all go great in kitchens and bathrooms, areas where water resistance is key. Marble is considered the most beautiful, because of its natural etchings and patterns from. It is porous, meaning that water can seep through if not sealed properly. You can choose from different finishes, going for a natural, honed or polished look. Each of the types of stone look best with a particular type of finishing, so ask a professional for help and advice when you start shopping.
Marble is the most expensive type of stone, and should only be used for main living spaces. The veins and varying surface texture of granite makes it look similar, but more coarse than marble. It’s great for kitchens because it is highly resistant to water and regular wear. Limestone is more fragile and can stain, but homeowners particularly like its earth tones and smooth texture. Limestone is native to Florida, and can be treated to withstand mild foot traffic. People choose slate because it is dense and durable. Slate primarily comes in dark colors dark. It’s excellent for kitchens and areas of high foot traffic.
Bathroom Tile vs. Kitchen Tile
As mentioned before, tile can be implemented in almost any room. You can use marble tile in home entrances or for interior decoration, have ceramics in living room spaces, or use a honed natural stone for outdoor spaces. However, people primarily use tile for bathrooms and kitchens. These areas need a water-resistant, long lasting medium to prevent damage and deterioration. Kitchens especially receive the most foot traffic of any other room, so using tile will ensure you have floors that are easy to clean on a daily basis. But, certain tiles are better suited for specific purposed. For example, a limestone would not do well for kitchens because they are easily ruined by acids (such as vinegar, citrus juice, and even some kitchen cleaners). While marble is perfect for countertops, it can be expensive for bathroom floors. Therefore you would want a ceramic type for that application. Let’s explore some of the factors that come into designing the right kitchen and bathroom with tile.
When remodeling a new home soon after purchase, the areas that usually receive the most focus are kitchens and bathrooms, because of their importance in everyday life. Kitchens should be functional, while bathrooms should be relaxing. Both should be aesthetically pleasing when you walk in. This should be accomplished with different concepts, however. Interior designers suggest that kitchens should have warm and rich tones, complemented with wooden cabinets and sleek appliances. In this way you create a positive space for cooking and time with family. Contrary to popular belief, darker tiles can add depth to a smaller kitchen space, making it appear larger than it actually is. Having a spacious kitchen also adds to the overall functionality of a kitchen. Bathrooms, however, should be bright and clean, using porcelain and glass tiles. You don’t typically use these mediums anywhere else in the house except for decor purposes.
Today, backsplash has become a popular topic in the home improvement business. “Backsplash” is the protective layering behind your sink or stove that protects the wall from spills. While this has a practical application, the aesthetics of backsplash allow designers to add a touch of color to an otherwise plain wall. So many people use glass tiles for this because they’re easy to clean with a wet rag and soap. You can use decorative glass that hides stains better than a white tile. Some people take their backsplash patterns across the entire trim on the wall, especially between cabinets and countertops. Bathroom backsplash can be used to create a themed space or compliment appliances. Backsplash also looks great under window frames. Using smaller glass tiles and colorful porcelain makes your backsplash more than a stain deterrent.
Remodeling kitchens and bathrooms often involves more than floor restoration. You may want to use tile for showers, not just floors. Glass tiles are more decorative than practical, which is by no means any less important. The visual appeal will make you happier with your remodel. Besides, the main point of renovation is to make your home more valuable to you. Enjoying the patterns and experimenting with new ideas is part of the process! Tile will make your bathroom brighter, as it reflects light well. Stone and darker ceramics will make your kitchen warm and welcoming to guests. The more you learn about different mediums of tile, the more possibilities you can explore. An experienced designer can tell you why certain tiles are preferred for their water resistance and durability versus visual appeal. But ultimately it will depend on what tile you develop a preference for.
Matching to your tub, toilet, and sink to tile will be the primary concern. It’s often more difficult to replace these items, unless you’re planning a complete remodel. If you have porcelain features already, go for something more colorful. A completely white bathroom will not only be bland, but impossible to clean. Experiment with earth tones or bright glass tiles to add contrast. The same goes for your kitchen design. Matching to counters and appliances requires some consideration. In general, stone and ceramics with warm tones look best in kitchens. But you can go bold with a multicolor ceramic pattern, or a rich slate that’s darker but more durable. Again, replacing your stove or sink will be more expensive, so plan with the details in mind. Will you want a light limestone tile in a busy kitchen with plain cabinetry? Learn about all your options before making the final decision for your kitchen or bathroom design.
Tile Design Ideas
Now that you know a little more about the types of tile available, you should envision how you want to lay and design your flooring or wall accents. Ceramics and stone are best for flooring, while porcelain and glass will suit a backsplash or shower design very well. You’ll want to work with your interior designer or a professional tile installation service to better understand the best approach to your renovation. But, first make your list of ideas to play with and experiment.
- Small glass tiles are great for intricate accents. You can use glass to make a mosaic feature on the wall. Many home decor creatives or potential buyers like to see the forethought of a design, rather than a generic square layout. Buy a mix of colors and sizes to add complexity, or use tiles that are painted to have unique surface designs. However, using small decorative tiles will be time intensive. Unless you like the idea of a DIY backsplash, research professional installation services in your area to find trusted companies who offer the best pricing.
- For a more sophisticated style, experiment with marble accents. The quality of marble is unequivocal. You have so many options for the type and finish of marble for different areas of the home. Carrara and calacatta marble is the traditional white marble that you see in archaic architecture. They differ in their vein patterns and warmth, but are both acceptable for dramatic entrances and bathroom design. Breccia is a darker type of marble, which is more commonplace for kitchen countertops. This type comes in brown, red, and earth tones. Any of these types can be polished, honed, or sanded (for a natural, rougher texture). People use sanded marble for rustic themes, which looks good paired with antique furniture or hardwoods.
- Tile is the best medium for unique geometric designs. Layer multi-colored square tiles for zigzag and checkered patterns. You can purchase decorative tiles in diamond, circle, hexagon, and abstract shapes for a bold pattern on the floor. Varying shapes and colors will make your flooring the visual center of a room, so you can experiment with open concepts and minimal furnishings to complement the intricate design. You can experiment with multiple shapes, on the same surface, or mix and match tile on floor and walls. For example, try placing square tiles on the flooring, then try a glass tile backsplash or diamond-shaped tile wall to contrast. This works well especially in bathrooms when you use neutral colors. Bold colors may work against you, as too much contrast will distract and overwhelm the overall visual appeal of the room.
- If you would rather have your furniture and decor the focal point, use dark-colored tile. It helps appliances pop in kitchens, and will showcase beautiful furniture. Darker tile helps create warmth in a space, while lighter tile elicits brightness. Living rooms look best with dark tile, because you can place patterned rugs on top for comfort. Dark tile will also hide stains and dirt. Breccia marble and ceramic tile comes in a variety of brown, gray, and brick-colored styles. And of course slate is almost always a dark variety. Slate is most popular for dark tiles because it is the most durable of the natural stones. Slate is practical and visually pleasing, but can be more pricy than ceramics. No matter what you chose however, the dark tiles will reflect less light, making the room feel cozy and look cleaner when you don’t have time to sweep.
Now that you have a solid foundation in the planning stages of your new tile flooring, it’s time to discuss budgeting. Some homeowners are deterred from using tile because it can be more expensive than the alternatives. But the quality and cost-savings from minimal maintenance is well worth the extra money spent. Would you rather spend upfront for a quality, easy-to-clean floor that won’t need continual repair, or spend over the course of years the same amount in restoring a hardwood or replacing carpet? The choice is easy, you just need to prepare your finances well in advance.
Tile fits almost any budget. Depending on the quality of tile you choose, the prices can range from $2 to $20 per square foot. Ceramics tend to be cheaper, but a high quality ceramic can be on the upper price range. Porcelain ceramics are more expensive, but you will likely need less of it, as porcelain is best suited for decoration and not complete flooring. If choosing a natural stone, expect to pay more for the quality. Marble is the most expensive, but all stones can be up to $60 per tile. This can add up quickly if you decide to use stone for a living area or kitchen floor. But you will have fewer repair costs when using stone versus ceramic, since it is less likely to chip.
In addition to the cost of the tile itself, you will also have to invest in a durable subflooring prior to installation. Plywood for subfloor is priced around $70 to $100 per square foot. For an average 120 square foot living space, the cost for supplies and installation services can be anywhere from $750 to $1100. Though it may seem like a high price for something you won’t see, a solid subfloor is essential. Without one, your flooring could be uneven, or have mold and mildew growing underneath your floor. You benefit from quality subfloors over the lifetime of your home. So talk to a professional installation service to receive a quote and advice before you talk about tile installation.
You must then account for installation costs of the tile itself. A good estimation is that on average, it will cost $5 to $15 per square foot of tile. Again, it depends on how much space you have to cover, the type of tile you’ve chosen, and how much work needs to be done to the subfloor. The difference between ceramic, porcelain, and stone installation is affected by the time it takes a professional to correctly cut and lay the tiles. Stone is much harder to cut, so corners and irregular spatial designs will cause more work for the installer. Ceramic and porcelain, because they are easier to cut and typically come in smaller sizes, will minimize work time.
You can shop for various manufacturers to find the best prices and quality comparisons. Dal Tile, and their line of Esta Villa Wall Tile is on upper price range (between $15 to $25 per tile). Festiva, a similar brand, is similar in price range and quality. They have the widest selection of solid colors to experiment and design. Novara by Mohawk Industries is lower priced than either, but the selection is slightly limited. But a professional can help you while you shop to find the correct tile for your home. Compare pricing, design, color options, and availability for each brand. Ideally you should set a maximum budget, then divide by your square footage. Then you can get an approximation on how much you should spend for each tile and subfloor area.
Tile installation is best handled by a professional or experienced renovator. It is the most difficult flooring to lay properly, and if you’re not careful you can have grout end up on the surface or have uneven placement. However there are do-it-yourself methods for the experienced home decorator. The project requires specialized tools and some extra equipment, which you can find in your local home improvement store. Let’s take a look at the process involved when installing completely new tile onto a subfloor.
To prepare tile, you need a tape measure, level, sponge, grout float, grout spreader, and tile saw. You will be measuring out and cutting the tile to fit the room, applying grout, and then using adhesive to lay the tile in the right pattern. You will also need silicon caulk and sealant to protect your tiles. A scraper comes in handy if the grout gets messy or ends up on your tile where it shouldn’t. Cleaning cloths come in handy, as go safety goggles and gloves for personal protection.
Installing tile is a multi-step process, with ample time spent in preparation of the subflooring. First, you must locate center of the room and create a reference line. This will help you spread the mortar across the room, starting at the reference line and working towards the walls. You use a trowel to create evenly spaced lines on the mortar, which helps later on in the tile application. Once the mortar is spread, you can begin laying the tile at the crossing of the reference lines (don’t start at the walls). Leave room for grout in between each tile, and remove excess mortar as you go. The mortar will take at least 24 hours to dry, so let it rest overnight once you are done.
The next day you can put grout in the spaces between tiles, using the grout manufacturer’s instructions. This is a lengthy process on its own, so plan ahead for another day’s project. More people have trouble with the grout application because it takes such precise tools and skill to lay it without ruining the tile surface. This doesn’t mean it can’t be done with practice, but if this is your first time with tile flooring, it may be best to let a professional do the mortar and grout application.
Installation costs can be equivocal to the cost of tile itself. While it may seem like an expense rather than investment, the time savings and quality guarantee make hiring a professional worthwhile. Tile replacement is a better project for do-it-yourself flooring. If you make a mistake on one tile, it’s much easier to fix or replace than redoing your entire floor. Tile isn’t too expensive, but you don’t want to take your chances in case something goes wrong. Plus, a professional service will save you time as you move onto planning the next home remodel.
When you shop Naffco’s selection of tile flooring, don’t worry how you will handle installation. We have a team of experienced flooring specialists who will walk you through the process, and ensure that you get your money’s worth in the quality results. Our team will make tile installation a stress-free experience, at a cost-savings you wouldn’t expect.
How to Protect Your Tile Floors
Now that you have a newly installed floor, it’s good to know some general guidelines for maintaining it. If taken care of properly, you won’t have to replace tile like you would carpet, vinyl, or linoleum. Nor will you have the warping problems that hardwood has. Cleaning tile is relatively simple, but you may not know what sort of chemicals to use, if any, and how to prevent chips and cracks. We’ve outlined the best practices for maintaining your new tile, in a way that will help it last the lifetime of your home.
You don’t have to clean tile everyday, because it doesn’t retain dirt easily. Generally you can sweep floors or wipe down bathroom areas with a wet washcloth three times a week, and have perfectly clean tile. Spills can stain limestone and some softer or unpolished ceramics, so make sure if you witness one, you clean it up immediately.If you do see a stain, or have something stuck to the tile, use a non-acidic cleaner to gently rub it off. Acids will deteriorate the finish, and can cause efflorescence in natural stone. Efflorescence is the accumulation of salt on a surface, and wearing away of stone surfaces by acids can cause or accelerate this process. Use only mild cleaning solutions, especially those that derive from natural or plant-based substances. These are healthy for you and your tile floors.
Sealing tile is essential to its longevity. An effective tile sealant can be applied on your own, but consult with a professional to choose the right product for your particular tile. Stone, ceramic, and porcelain need different sealants. You need a sealant to deter water and oil stains, as well as for ease of maintenance. Sealing tile will also reduce the upkeep on grout, which can be the hardest part to clean on floors. You should seal your tile immediately after installation, and then reapplied every two to four years, depending on its usage. You can tell if tile is already sealed in a home by leaving a few drops of water on a tile. If it turns a darker color, it is not properly sealed and needs reapplication immediately.
Sealing can be an effective way to prevent chipping. However, you can take extra precautions to ensure your tile does not need replacement. Once a tile is broken, it is nearly impossible to repair. Make sure nothing is close to a surface edge, and use rugs wherever possible to provide cushion. You also need to protect grout from etching, which you can do by avoiding acidic cleaners and minimizing spills of acids like citrus juice, coffee, or vinegar.
Preventing stains on your tile is just as important as preventing chips and cracks. The best way to avoid stains is to not leave liquids uncovered or close to the edge of countertops and tables. But even the most organized people have accidents, and there’s a way to reduce their impact. As soon as the spill occurs, take a wet washcloth and mop it up as best you can. Then, use a mild soap to rub the spot clean. The best substance to use would be either dish soap, or castile soap and baking soda. Neither will cause efflorescence, but will remove as much of the stain as possible.
Furniture can cause scratches in the surface of tile, if it’s moved or bumped around frequently. The feet of your chairs and couches will slide and scuff. Over time this wears away at the sealant, and can permanently damage your tiles if not treated. An easy fix to this is to make furniture padding under the feet, using either felt or thick cloth underneath. When your furniture slides, it doesn’t damage the floor itself. You can buy felt with adhesive on one side to make these felt covers yourself. It’s a cheap and effective way to maintain tile appearance, especially as you rearrange furniture.
The most important part of tile cleaning is grout maintenance. Grout accounts for the most cleaning effort, because it is susceptible to mold and mildew damage. Some people recommend hydrogen peroxide or bleach as cleaner, but know that this can wear down your sealant more quickly. The safest cleaner to use is again castille soap and baking soda, but it will take more manual effort to remove stains or dirt from between tiles. But regular cleaning will reduce the time needed to do an effective cleaning.
Repairing Broken Tile
Naffco has worked with families and business for over ten years, and we’ve seen many clients with the same problem: how to replace a broken tile. Because you can buy individual tiles at a cheaper cost than having to replace the entire floor (like you would with hardwood or carpet), many people search for that easy fix. We’ve known so many clients looking for this solution, and want to help you. With this guide you can repair a single tile with minimal costs. You’ll need a few tools, and an understanding how to fill in grout. But, let’s learn about the process first:
Your first step to replacing a broken tile is to remove the grout. You’ll need a scraping tool, and a special type of scoring tool to chip away at the grout edges. Grout removal is easy to do yourself, but take patience. You don’t want to chip away at the surrounding tile, and have to replace it as well. So use precaution, and with steady hands carve away the grout, or pry it out if it is already loose. Make sure to use eye-protection, and gloves as the grout pieces may fly up during the process. Clean the gaps with a wet cloth once you’ve removed everything from the surrounding tiles. The tile will then start to come loose around broken edges, but will stay in place wherever the mortar is still strong.
Next, you’ll begin to remove the tile pieces. You can use a drill to put small holes in the tile, which makes it easier to wiggle out of position. You can then use a hammer and small chisel to knock out tile pieces once they have holes drilled. Take caution as to not chip adjacent tiles. Clean the new crevice in your floor once everything is removed, creating a smooth surface for the new tile. The next step is to lay the mortar. It needs a clean surface to set, so make sure every chip and piece of grout is removed.
Laying the mortar in small lines is crucial to placing the new tile correctly. You can create small furrows with a knife or your scraping tool, horizontally. Your furrows need to be spaced about ¼ inch apart on the tile groove. You can also apply a very thin layer of mortar material onto the bottom of the new tile, for extra adhesion. Let your tile set for approximately three hours before you fill in the space with grout. Grout filling can become a messy process, so ask a professional for help if you don’t feel confident in a self-installation. Naffco Floors and Interiors specializes in grout repair and installation, and we are happy to help our clients learn the best practices for home repair projects.
Once you fill the tile spaces with grout, let it completely dry before using the space. Grout can take up to 24 hours to fully dry, so place a boundary around the workspace. If anyone steps on the unfinished tile, it could slide or create imperfections in the finish. But once it dries, you’re done! Again this is another benefit of tile. Though it should last a very long time, especially with sealant, if a piece does break you don’t have to replace the entire floor or wall. Tiles can be redone one piece at a time, unlike carpet or hardwood. Plus it is easy to match old with new tiles. Enjoy and take pride in completing your own home repair. Our call us to do it for you!
Conclusion – How to make your decision
Based on all that you’ve learned so far, you should be well-prepared to make the right decision on tile flooring and installation. You now know the benefits of each type of tile, how they compare to other flooring mediums, and the practical applications to installing and maintaining tile in the home. You can budget accordingly, and choose a tile medium that will best suit the room or rooms in which you plan to utilize tile. And you have a wider variety of design ideas to use to make your tile stand out among home interiors. Once you install your new tile, you can keep this guide for a refresher on maintenance and restoration. Remember that it’s easier to prevent damage than to repair it, so these tips are important to apply to your everyday routine as soon as you’ve installed your new tile.
The first step is to design a layout to meet your rooms’ decor style. If you’re going for a rustic look, use a dark stone tile, not bright white porcelain. However if you want something more modern, a polished porcelain or honed limestone would easily blend in. Keep in mind too that certain are better suited for certain applications. Decorative glass tiles are only used for backsplash, while slate is typically used for kitchen or outdoor flooring. You can of course make bolder moves, but a professional flooring company will advise to stick to the common trends because they are both efficient for installation and are better value for your home.
Deciding on type, size, and color of tile may seem like an endless process. There’s so much information to absorb, which you must organize and somehow make that right decision. It all comes down to what you think is right, and what inevitably sticks out to you as the most appealing medium for your home. While interior designers make their choices based on top trends, your home should be personalized. You don’t have to choose whatever is in the home improvement magazine if it doesn’t suit your style. The professionals you work with should steer you in the right direction based on your needs first. Take advice only when you know you need help. But most of you decision process should come from your instincts and personal preferences.
Setting your budget will inevitably help you narrow down choices into a handful of reasonable options. You may love the look of marble, but if you’re trying to redesign multiple rooms with new flooring, it may take away a huge chunk of your home improvement budget that you would rather spend on new appliances or renovations in other areas. Interior design is an investment. Your home will increase in value with the right improvements, but only if you have the budget to support your plans. Naffco Floors and Interiors wants to help our customers see the bigger picture – it isn’t just about one aspect. Your remodeling choices will affect things down the road you can’t quite see. All the details are important, so don’t focus all your efforts on finding the perfect flooring, when you could make overall improvements to your home that will matter more to you later.
Talk to an installation service and get an estimate for your top tile choices. Limit yourself to four or five selections, then go through the various benefits and pricings with your consultant. Its our job and pleasure at Naffco to help you make the right decision on tile design. We want you to have a quality tile that won’t limit you on your other home improvement ideas. We can inform you on all the top manufacturers to help you pick out the right brand. We will work with any budget to help our customers find a well-suited tile for their project, no matter how big or small. If you’re looking for a home improvement consultation, call your professional team at Naffco Floors and Interiors.
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