Tile has been around for thousands of years, and modern materials provide hundreds of design options. Not only does tile afford the installer a lot of creativity in the finished look of the project, but as a flooring material it does not burn, fade or easily stain when properly installed. It resists wear and can feasibly last as long as the substrate that supports it. The following are a few tips to keep in mind for your next installation.
A visual reference can make it easier to design a room’s tile layout. Sketch a scale drawing of the living space on graph paper, including measurements, walls and any other obstacles. Tile is sold in square-foot quantities, and graphing the area can help determine the quantity needed. Also, it’s wise to order about 7-percent extra to account for waste pieces and to have a little left over in case repairs are required.
Not only do tile subfloors need to be perfectly flat, but also strong and rigid. Any give or flexibility in the subfloor can lead to cracks in the grouts joints. Jump on the flooring in several areas of the room. If there are any signs of movement, then the floor should be reinforced prior to laying tile.
For floor tile, check the room for square. Use the 3-4-5 rule to check that the corners form right angles. Measure and mark a point 4 feet from the center along one wall. Measure and mark a point 3 feet from the center on the intersecting wall. A diagonal line between the two points should measure 5 feet if the chalk lines are at 90 degrees. In large rooms you can double the ratio (i.e., 6-8-10). If the room is less than 1/8-in. out of square within 10 feet, it can usually be disguised within the layout. However, if one wall is significantly out of square, then lay out the floor so the tapered tiles will run along the least noticeable wall.
For floor tile, check for level and flatness. Checking for level is particularly important if you’ll be adding wall tile. Set a 4-ft. level on the edge of a long, straight 2×4 to read over a large area. Swivel the boards to find and dips or bumps. Minor depressions can be built up with building paper, but a liquid floor leveler may be required for bigger dips. Plywood subfloors with high spots can be belt-sanded.
For wall tile, make sure the walls are plumb. With out-of-plumb walls, the tiles will necessarily have to taper in width as they progress up the corners, which can be very noticeable and unsightly on a wall. It may even be necessary to remove the wallboard and shim the framing or install new studs to ensure plumb walls. See more info at air conditioning service near me