Measure Twice, Cut Once

When getting ready for a home renovation project that involves cutting tile, be cautious. Measure twice, cut once.

Always start a home renovation project with a budget, but be smart about it. “If you’re on a tight budget, measure the space you are redoing to determine how many square feet you need,” says Dean Dupre, owner of Champion Tile and Marble, Clearwater, Fla. “There is no point in buying tile you love at $6.00 per square foot and then finding out you can’t afford to do the whole room in question.”

Additionally, tiling jobs do not just involve the tile alone. They typically require sealer, grouting and perhaps special tools for a particular type of tile and/or contrasting tiles to create a different look.

“Some people get so gung-ho about their renovation project that they don’t take time to slow down and carefully figure out what they need and do the measuring more than once. While that might sound like a gigantic pain, measuring twice and cutting once saves money, time and frustration,” says Dupre. Always have a list detailing precisely what is needed to do the job from start to finish. Tile is not the only item needed to redo a bathroom floor.

Do the research before doing the job. Know what kinds of tile are needed for the look that is both desired and professional. For instance, there are two types of tiling needed for remodeling the bathroom: trim and field tile. Field tile comprises the actual job itself – the area being tiled – such as a bathroom wall or shower. It is the largest part of a project. To cover a large area, opt to use the most common sized tile of 12 inches by 12 inches.

“To figure out how much field tile you need, carefully measure the large area of your project, then figure out the square footage. Add in a couple more feet for those just in case moments,” suggests Dupre.

It is usually wise to factor in at least a 20 percent overage when working with tile. That does not just apply to mistakes, but also avoids running out of tile, finding out it is discontinued or on perpetually on back order, or discovering that the extra tile needed is a different lot number or shade.
Renovators usually buy trim tile for several reasons, as border or accent trim. Though one can do the job without trim, it does make the result look far more professional. Accent trim is great for the field tile layout, as a contrast or complimentary accenting, and border trim completes the finished project.

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