Tile & Stone Installation – A DIY Project?
Although it is possible to install your tile as a DIY project, we highly recommend hiring a professional installer to do the work.
Tile setting is a labor-intensive process. There are a number of specialized tools required to complete the installation and these tools can be expensive to rent or purchase and require a lot of skill to operate. Keep in mind, proper preparation of the subfloor is critical to a successful installation. It takes a certain level of experience to spot issues and to ensure that your surface is level and properly prepared for installation. Any damage that may exist in your subfloor will eventually cause damage to your tile, so a proper installation is key to the life if your new flooring.
As you think about adding a beautiful new tile or stone floor to your home, here are a few things to consider.
What rooms will you be installing tile in?
What is the family size and lifestyle?
- high ceilings and large rooms look more scale appropriate with large format tiles
- small rooms can look and feel bigger using large format tile
- wet or exterior areas should consider the COF (coefficient of friction) of the tile
- focal areas are great places for accent pieces and borders
Is there a door to the outside?
- dark colors and surface texture hide wear
- dark grout colors are easier to maintain
- large format tiles have less grout joints
What is the substrate the tile is being installed over?
- use walk-off mats, inside and out
- use rug runners or area rugs in high traffic areas
- plywood - cement backer board needed, and it may increase the height of your floor
- concrete - crack isolation products may be needed, possibly increasing installation costs
Speak with your retail sales associate about your installation and discuss any and all concerns you may have. Don't be afraid to ask questions before the installation begins. There are no wrong questions when it comes to your installation! Waiting to ask questions after the installation is complete can result in costly repairs and dissatisfaction.
Helpful installation guidelines
Helpful installation terms
- mix tile from 3 or more cartons to achieve a random installation
- 95% of the tile's back must have adhesive transfer
- pack the grout joints tight and full
- apply grout sealer to help reduct stains and protect the original color
- thinset adhesive is used for floor tile and wall tile inside and out
- mastic is used for wall tile or small floor tile (interior only) and is packaged ready-to-use
- a trowel is a measuring device and the notch size controls the amount of mortar applied
- grout is cement with pigment colors added
To learn more about tile and stone installation, please visit the Tile Council of North America