Tile: The Classic Timeless Flooring
Tile has been used for thousands of years as a durable and decorative covering for floors and walls. There are many places today where ancient and modern examples of decorative patterns and scenes in mosaic tile can be viewed that are simply stunning. While most of us may not be artistic enough to conceive of such elaborate tile work as this, tile is not at all difficult to work with and it is always beautiful when applied to floors and walls.
Most people think that tile is too expensive to use on a budget. This could not be further from the truth. Many very nice ceramic tiles can be purchased for less than $1 per square foot. It is far less expensive than carpet or wood floors and you can install it yourself if you wish, instead of having to pay for professionals to do the job.
Laying tile requires only a few simple tools and supplies. Many home improvement stores have free classes where you can learn to lay tile in about 1 hours, and they provide hands on training. At the same store you can purchase your tile and all of the tools and supplies you will need. Here are the things you will need:
- Adhesive to secure it to the floor
- Mortar mix or grout for the specific type of tile
- A mixing tool that attached to your drill like a drill bit
- A mortar spreading tool
- A tile cutter
- Spacers to keep your tile properly aligned
- A tile sponge
- Tile sealant
If the floor you wish to tile is level you will not need anything else. If it is not level, you will have to deal with that before applying tile. inch plywood can be screwed down over the entire floor in order to level it.
It is important to buy sufficient square feet of tile for the entire area at one time. This is because ceramic tile in particular is made in batches. If you have to go back later for additional tile, it may be from a different batch and the color may not be an exact match.
Not only do tiles come in a variety of sized, they also come in a variety of colors and materials. There are specific types of adhesives and mortars, for specific types of tile. Tiles come in glass, ceramic, marble, granite and other stone materials. Mortar comes in sanded and un-sanded versions. Glass and other tiles that can be scratched require un-sanded grout. There are also different adhesives for different tiles. The store where you purchase your supplies can help you to match the appropriate products to the tile. You will also have to choose a color for your mortar or grout. In some cases you can match the grout to the tile color and in others you may want to use a contrasting color. Mortar and grout usually comes in neutral colors, so if you choose a colorful tile you will not be using a matching mortar.
Laying tile is not complicated; it just takes a little time to get it aligned correctly. You need to start at one end of a room and make sure your tile ends at an exit. You cannot walk on it until the adhesive material sets, and you will need to leave the spacers in until it does. Usually 24 hours will insure that it is dry. The mortar you choose will come with directions for mixing and finishing.
If you wish to lay tile in patterns you will want to choose more than one color. The easiest way to figure out how much of each color you need is to lay it out in scale on a piece of graph paper with colored pencils or markers. This allows you to create your design, rearrange it and perfect it. It will also allow you to easily figure how many tiles of each color you need. Just be sure to get a few extras of each in case you damage one when cutting them.
The next time you need a new flooring surface, why not try tile? You can do it yourself, and it is easy to clean and maintain. When it is properly applied it is also waterproof.