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Expert Tips on Ceramic Tile Installation

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photo by Remodel This House

There may be a number of problems you’ll come across when laying ceramic tile for the first time. It’s important to learn how to properly install a ceramic tile to avoid added expense and hassles in the future. Plus, a properly installed ceramic tile floor can last many years without cracks, maintaining a beautiful look for your home or business.

Follow these tips from experts on proper ceramic tile installation:

  1. Check the Tile Grades
    Ceramic tiles are graded from 1 to 3. Tile grades 1 and 2 are best for floors or walls, but because of its thinness, tile grade 3 is strictly for walls only.
  2. Start with the Right Substrate
    Your ceramic tile can last longer if you set it in thinset mortar over a cement board. This cement board should have also been set on 3/4” plywood. If these are not properly laid out, the tiles can crack. You can also add polymer to the thinset mortar to increase the strength and bond.
  3. Taping the Cement Board
    It’s important to tape the cement board seams to ensure proper installation. To do so, place an alkali-resistant fiberglass mesh tape in thinset over all the seams. Using a trowel, push tape into thinset and then spread more thinset over the tape, including screw depressions. Read the thinset’s manufacturer’s directions to make sure you allow it enough time to cure.
  4. Give It Time
    This is probably an obvious tip, but most DIYers fail to give their ceramic time enough time before walking on it. It’s best to wait anywhere from 2-3 days. Otherwise, you may risk the tile cracking or moving. If you are hiring a contractor to do the job, make sure he lets you know when you can walk on the tile.
  5. Cracks May Not Be the Problem
    If you’ve followed these steps and other tile tips to ensure that you’re properly installing your ceramic tile, but they still seem to crack, then maybe the cracks are not your problem. The root of your problem may be a weak foundation. Check if your home is built on weak or expansive soil. Weak soil makes the foundation uneven, which can easily cause cracks in tile flooring. Expansive soil easily absorbs water, which can increase its volume, causing foundations and floors to crack.

Need more expert tips? Check us out on Facebook or Twitter. You’re also just a phone call away from our design experts who would love to help you. Call today at 626-572-2866.

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Tile Design Tips for Those on a Budget

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photo by houzz.com

A beautiful-looking tile design doesn’t have to be expensive. You can easily create an elegant tile layout whether you are going for a traditional or contemporary motif without going over your budget.

These days, that may seem like wishful thinking, but you can definitely achieve your dream tile flooring and stay within budget using these helpful tips:

  1. Pick the right tile for your home and budget. Tile comes in several different types, which include porcelain, ceramic and stone. Often, ceramic is the most inexpensive of the three, with stone usually priced the highest. Porcelain tiles are often priced mid-range but they are the most durable.
  2. Know where to place your tile. Porcelain and stone are great for both indoor and outdoor settings, but ceramic, which is made out of red clay, should only be used indoors because of its fragility.
  3. Mix and match without breaking the bank. For style tips, you can create an upscale look just by mixing inexpensive tiles with dashes of expensive tiles. You can also experiment with elegant tile layouts like herringbone and using inexpensive tiles to create that luxurious effect.
  4. Use some tricks of the trade. One of the key ways to ensure your tile flooring lasts you for years to come, apply grout that has a mildew inhibitor that will keep mildew away and requires little maintenance.
  5. Mix and match your backsplash too. For kitchen tile backsplashes, you can also do the same tip as mentioned earlier – mix expensive tiles with inexpensive tiles.
  6. Make your kitchen backsplash your own unique design. Use costly tiles for a decorative border around cheaper tiles, use expensive tiles in diagonal layouts or inserted between cheaper tiles.

With some creativity and helpful advice, you can definitely make a tile layout fit your style and budget. For more great tile design and layout tips, contact us or visit our Pinterest and Facebook pages.