Beautiful Ceramic Tile Work is possible For the Beginner

Anyone with a little care and patience can install beautiful ceramic or glass tile work. You will find that with a little care in layout of the tile, choosing the right color mixtures and sizes of your tile and then carefully installing the tile can lead to work that you will be proud to show off to your friends and you can save large amounts of cash as an extra bonus.

TOOLS AND MATERIALS REQUIRED — Paper pad, pen, measuring recording, 2″ level, chalk line, tile cutter machine (you may rent one every day essentially rental stores or buy an inexpensive tile manufacture one for less than $25), sponges, bucket for clean water, bucket for mixing grout, grout, pre-mix tile adhesive, latex (rubber) gloves and a cloth or sponge drift or two and a water bucket.

LAYOUT — Start with a small project. Perhaps a counter tops or backsplash in the kitchen or perhaps a sink backsplash in the bathroom. Using a pad and pen draw the surface you are going to apply tile to and measuring each dimension of the work. A typical area draw will show all dimensions from wall to wall, floor to threshold for whatever surface where you are going to install tile. Keep your measurements accurate. Tile is expensive so limit your waste.

COUNTER TOPS — The counter tops must be very stable and solid. A double layer of ¾ plywood or ceramic tile concrete floor backer board and a layer of ¾” plywood is a minimum. Concrete floor backer board is available under different trade names but is very generated for ceramic tile. Make sure it is secured properly. Cutting can be done with a power saw and carbide blade but causes a great deal of dust so cut it outside and use safety glasses and a dust mask. Backer board in sink areas is recommended.

For this example, we’re going to install tile on a kitchen counter tops. When we measure the counter tops area, we find it is 2′-0″ (24″) deep or wide and 10′-0″ (120″) long. A little mathematics tells us we have 20 sq feet (SF) of surface to work with. (2’x10’=20′). Now we pick out our tile. The most common kitchen counter tops ceramic tile size is 4 1/4″ x 4 ¼” but you might use any size tile you would like. Tile comes in 12″ x 12″, 1″ x1″ (mosaic), 6″ x 6″, 8″ x8″ and even larger tiles are available. Some countertops are done in broken tile pieces to manufacture a really different design of your. Off to the store we go. You will find dozens of sizes and colors to choose from essentially tile stores, and large retail home stores. Making this choice can occasionally be the hardest part of this job. Pick the tile you like and get 20SF plus 2SF extra for special cuts. If you have chosen a stock tile, you can always return and get a few more pieces to finish. If you have chosen a close-out or special sale tile, get plenty (perhaps 30SF) as there may not be any left when you go back. Purchase all of those other supplies at this time. The merchant can help you figure out the amount of adhesive and grout you need but all packages have estimated sq video footage of coverage with them.

INSTALLATION — Begin by dry laying the tile on the counter tops. Place full pieces at the front edge and accommodating the trunk of the counter. If you discover you have a really small piece at the back, say ½” wide, try spreading out the tile a little to increase the grout joint width to take up this space. You do not want to try and install these tiny waste tile. Do the same for the length of the top. If you discover you have approximately a ½ tile or more in the rear of the top that’s great. It is the least seen the main counter tops. Once you set your toaster, blender, bread box and can opener on the counter, the trunk edge almost is gone. Using your 2′ level as a straightedge, make a pen line from front to back and sq to the front edge of the counter. If you have a 2′ mounting sq it is now time to use it. Just place one leg contrary to the front of the counter and the other leg will be sq. Make sure the trim along the front edge of the counter is nailed securely and is level with the the top of tile. Front trims are usually wood but counter edge tiles are available if you like that look. Purchase enough lineal video footage of edge tile to go end to end of the counter top. If you work with edge tile, these will be the first pieces installed. Edge pieces come in 6″, 8″ and custom program plans but is not recommended to try and line them up with the counter tops tiles. Beginning with a ½ tile, install the edge tiles from end to the other. A support ledger should be installed under the bottom leg of the tile as a temporary support prior to the adhesive dries. Spread some adhesive along side the pen mark you generated for the sq line. Spread just a little at first unless you get accustomed to the time it takes to install the tile and the setting time for the adhesive. You don’t want to try and remove dried adhesive. As you place the tile, twist the tile slightly to reassure you have full contact with the adhesive below.

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