DIY Tiling? Start in the Middle of the Floor

While it may sound counterintuitive to start tiling a floor in the middle of the room, there is a good reason for doing it.

“Doing your own tiling is kind of fun, but try to remember that before you tackle any type of home renovation you must do the research first. If you jump in, all gung-ho because you found some marvelous tile, but don’t measure first, you may find yourself in a real bind mid-project,” said Champion Tile & Marble owner/operator, Dean Dupre. “The little details of any project are just as, if not more so, important than buying the tiles. So, measure twice, lay it once and you’ll be a happy camper.”

Many DIY aficionados head out the door first thing to buy tile, but forget to purchase all the tools they need to do the job the right way the first time. Make a list. This cannot be emphasized enough. Lists get any eager homeowner out of a tough spot when they start a job on their own and discover they might not have everything they need. If it is written down, it gets purchased, and the job is bound to be done right.

“The thing about tiling jobs is that they hold many surprises and need more tools than one might suspect,” added Dupre. “Do not cheap out on the tools. That old axiom about getting what you paid for is true. Buy cheap and you end up having issues and likely replacing them, which is not too budget friendly.” In other words, take the time to do the preparation work before starting a project.

  • What tools are needed for a DIY tiling job?
  • Durable, accurate tape measure
  • Goggles for eye protection
  • Float to apply grouting
  • Trowel for adhesive application
  • Sturdy file to reshape tiles
  • Tile cutters
  • Spacers
  • Clean up supplies (sponge) to remove overflow adhesive/grout
  • Correct grouting for the job’s location and buy enough to complete the work
  • Right glue/adhesive for the job and buy enough to complete the work

Most home handymen do not understand the need to start in the middle of the floor. They figure starting in a corner makes sense. “Not so. Houses rarely have completely straight walls. If the tiles are aligned with the walls, the result may look out of line and very unprofessional. Work from the center of the room out and cut, trim and file tiles as you proceed. It’s a much neater job,” added Dupre. “Just make certain to buy more tiles than you might need, just in case.”

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