Installing Floor Tile Is Not a Job for Amateurs

Tile installation is not a job for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of time and attention to detail.

“If you’ve been reading home decorating magazines lately, you’ll notice that ceramic floor tile is becoming a super choice for just about any room in the house. Additionally, a lot of homeowners feel this is a dandy do-it-yourself (DIY) project. Well, yes and no. DIY works well if you have done your homework and understand the issues involved in laying tile; and if you lay tile over an existing lino floor, well, that’s a whole other ball of wax,” cautioned Dean Dupre who runs Champion Tile, a Clearwater Flooring, Tampa Flooring, and tile installation company.

Generally speaking, a great number of homeowners have no problems laying tile and that can save a lot of bucks. It also saves a huge chunk of time to lay tile right over lino and it also adds an extra layer of insulation. Warning: if there is a wooden subfloor under the lino, the lino will need to be stripped off completely before installing tile. “This is due to the fact that if you don’t do that, you could get the newly laid tile cracking and buckling because of the flexibility of the subfloor. If you lino is on concrete, no problem, lay the tile over it,” suggested Dupre.

If DIY is the flavor of the day, then before installing tile take everything out of the room; e.g., if it’s the bathroom, take out the toilet, remove any existing trim on the flooring edges (think edge stripping and baseboards) and clean the floor thoroughly. “Note: do not sand older lino because a lot of it has asbestos particles in it. You do not want to be breathing that stuff in,” warned Dupre.

Next, use only the best sealant to block moisture from spots where it tends to happen and then lay out your tiles first and make sure there are enough for the job. “Ventilate the working area because the adhesive will knock you right over with the smell, not to mention the fumes are toxic and flammable. Don’t smoke while laying tile,” Dupre suggested. Do all the cutouts for places like the toilet and bathtub first, as it saves time and frustration later. Also make sure the grouting is quality and that it is worked between the tiles with a grout float. The finishing touch is silicone caulking for those pipes and fixtures.

“If this sounds like a lot of work that you don’t want to be doing on your day off, then it might be time to call an expert and have it done professionally. Installing floor tile is not a job for amateurs despite what some of the DIY magazines may suggest,” observed Dupre who runs Champion Tile, a Clearwater Flooring, Tampa Flooring, and tile installation company.

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