More often than I would like to I encounter Homeowners frustrated with bad work done by contractors whose present themselves as professionals. They usually have a sad demeanor and a lost look. They think something is off, but they can't really put their finger on it. How come we end up with something so different than what we saw on Houzz?
Well, as a tile setter myself let's say it's a tiled shower stall project they had going on and they're suspicions about. Then they call another contractor to check it out and this is where I come in when I get the call.
The urge to make a face is contained by my subpar sense of etiquette as my eyes gaze upon such unbelievable work of art (not). The look of disbelief once on the Homeowner pales in comparison to the look I'm trying to hide. As someone whose they seek a solution/opinion from, I need to be thoughtful and try to alleviate the situation by restraining my impressions to a brief comment and jump to solutions right away. In regards to tiling the problem might aways be worse than it looks. In a bathroom tile installation project for example aesthetics it's only 50%, the other 50% it's its functionality, its ability to make water go down the drain only and preventing moisture from getting inside the walls.
It seems to me tile setting requires steady hands like no other trade and - here comes the catch - being clean.
This goes for every trade, really, but if you find yourself in a situation where you suspect something is off, pay attention to Cleanliness! I can't stress this enough. Good professionals will be mindful of your home as a whole, not just the area they're working on. If you want to spare yourself of further problems, don't double down and keep on betting on a loose horse. If you notice the contractor is not clean and organized, take action and cut your losses.
Let’s talk tile floors for a moment, here. Tile floors provide that clean, beautiful, natural feel for any room. They’re popular choices for kitchens and bathrooms because they protect the floors from water damage, keep the floors from becoming slippery, and there are plenty of stunning options available for every taste and style. But tile itself is only a portion of the luxury that awaits your new floors.
What is Radiant Flooring
Radiant floors are on everybody’s remodel wish list lately. Radiant heating, in the case of bathroom flooring, is a layer of heating beneath the floor that amplifies the heat from a heating source and distributes it across an entire floor. Examples of these systems can be found from NuHeat and from Schluter. As a result of this wonderful heating system, your bathroom floor is as warm as summer beach sand every time you walk on it. In other words: no more frozen feet in the mornings!
Aside from being a treat every time you walk into your bathroom or kitchen, radiant heated floors have other benefits as well. For one, they’re warmer than normal flooring, therefore they help keep the floor dry as they help the water evaporate faster. Beyond that, radiant heated floors are also an eco-friendly approach to heating. According to energy.gov, “It is more efficient than baseboard heating and usually more efficient than forced-air heating because it eliminates duct losses. People with allergies often prefer radiant heat because it doesn’t distribute allergens like forced air systems can.”
The Difficulties of Radiant Flooring and Tile
There are numerous ways in which people use radiant heat in their home. It can be used in walls, floors, with carpet, and more. But by far, the most common way that radiant heating is used is underneath ceramic tile in the bathroom. Ceramic tile is a popular choice to use with radiant heating because it works well as a conductor for heat (meaning you save energy and have more heat) and actually stores some of the heat so it doesn’t require the heater to continuously run. It’s also a popular choice for the variety of styles, shapes, and aesthetics, as well as for its durability and ability to protect the system below. For the most efficiency and best payoff, ceramic tile is the best bet.
However, installing a radiant heating system in the floor and tiles on top of it isn’t a walk in the park for the Do It Yourself-er. There are numerous reasons why people shy away from taking this task on themselves. For one, there is a laundry list of steps to take to ensure that the system is installed correctly. Any misstep can result in an equally long list of problems, such as appliances and fixture sinking, uneven heating, and leaking, that will likely require replacing the entire floor and heating system. There are also specific products and instructions that need to be obtained, and some of those products like priming and mesh aren’t easily found at local hardware stores. Tile and radiant heated floors are a wonderful combination, but the installation is best left to professionals.
Go with a Pro
When in doubt, it’s best to go with a pro. This is especially true for tricky, detailed projects like radiant floor heating coupled with tile. While it might be above budget for your renovation project, or might bring it close, it’s a lot cheaper to hire a professional who’s going to do it right the first time. The cost of ripping up your new flooring when something goes wrong and needing to get the supplies to do it all over again can over double your project cost. If you’re gifting yourself the luxury of a heated tile floor in your bathroom or kitchen, you deserve to give yourself the luxury of making the installation process somebody else’s responsibility. Life’s a lot easier when you go with a pro!
Tile is easy, right? It seems pretty straightforward, anyway. It’s placing squares on the ground or the walls. How hard can it be?
Tile installation can be easy to do yourself. However, flooring and wall tiling are a major project and no matter how easy they may seem, there are dozens of steps that you may be overlooking. When it comes to tile, there are vital steps to take before laying the tile itself. This is called prep work.
Prep work for tile installation is important for a few reasons, each step holding its own independent value. For example, after you tear up the old flooring and are going to later place down a tile floor, it’s wise to sand and level the subflooring so that you get an even tile placement with no protrusions. Some would say that’s pretty important, no? But beyond that, the most important step in tile preparation is waterproofing. Waterproofing is vital for a number of reasons. Here are a few:
Despite these important and beneficial reasons to waterproof, some people still frequently ask, “is it necessary?”. Technically, no. But neither is paint on your walls or furniture in your home. Are those things important? Yes. Often times, it’s even a requirement per law – and for good reason.
Moisture can destroy homes. It’s part of what makes hurricanes so devastating. The water itself is only part of the problem. What it leaves behind in its tracks is often what results in the destruction of homes, vehicles, and buildings. Moisture is a breeding ground for mold, mildew, and bacteria, as well as promotes rot, rust, and breakage. Porous materials like stone and wood absorb water which causes deformities in floors, foundations, structures, and more. When the water eventually evaporates, it leaves behind a slew of problems like cracks, voids, and crumbling structures. But – you don’t need a hurricane for these horrors to become a reality.
Waterproofing is an obvious and easy way to prevent these problems completely. While waterproofing won’t save your home in a hurricane, it’ll stop your house from looking like it went through one after a small leak becomes a massive structural problem because you or an underqualified handyman decided to skip the waterproofing step.
So, how do you actually prevent these problems and make a floor or wall waterproof when you’re going to tile it? The solution is simple. There are a few different ways, but the best way by far is to use a waterproof membrane such as RedGard or Hydro Ban. It’s important to choose a membrane that is rated for the area that you intend to use it on. Areas that frequently experience a large amount of water on their surface, such as a shower area, will require a different membrane than that of an area that typically stays pretty dry. In most places, building codes will require waterproofing wherever there’s a shower. This is an obvious necessity. Furthermore, some materials in a certain waterproofing membrane may not be suitable for your specific needs. For example, frequently using heavy duty cleaners and disinfectants may not be compatible with some membranes, as the chemical compounds can react and leave holes for water to seep through.
Waterproofing isn’t expensive. However, it can save you massive amounts of money – even in the short-run. The costs for repairs of a leak or mold problem are exponentially higher than what it costs to grab a tub of waterproofing membrane, and it doesn’t take much time to add a layer of it under where you intend to lay tile. In this case, taking the extra step is wise. Your kitchen, bathroom, foyer, walls, floors, and whatever else you decide to tile will be thankful for it – and so will your property value.
3x6 Marble Carrara provided by The Builder Depot
Nobody escapes 2018 without knowing about Pinterest or considering their next DIY project. Whether you’re a serial DIYer or just trying to save money on your remodel, there’s merit behind considering a professional when it comes to kitchen backsplash installation. So, if you think you might want to do it yourself – read on!
Our kitchens are valuable parts of our home, both literally and figuratively. We spend a lot of time in our kitchens. They become centerpieces of our home. It’s where we cook our favorite meals, where we feed our families, where we sit down to do homework, and where we entertain our favorite people. Memories are made in the kitchen. That’s also why a beautiful kitchen is a great selling feature in the real estate world. A home with a beautiful, functional kitchen will sell itself. Therefore, it’s important that our kitchen space be somewhere that embodies clean design, functional space, and an aesthetic that resonates with us and our families.
Now, take your kitchen backsplash. When comparing it to the floor tiling, the counter tops, the cabinets, the sink, and all the ins and outs of a new kitchen remodel, it might not seem like a forefront task. But the kitchen backsplash is a focal feature of every kitchen. It even serves the practical purpose of protecting the wall! Even just re-doing your kitchen’s backsplash can make it seem like you made major remodeling changes to the entire kitchen. It’s powerful! It’s where the eyes are drawn when you walk into a kitchen. The problem with a backsplash is simply that: it’s a focus.
With something that eyes will hone in on in a room, it’s important that the feature be as flawless as possible. This is tough when trying to DIY it. Tiles can slide, especially if the temperature isn’t right, and are tough to get straight and even. It may even be tough to pick the right products. Grout aside, there are a ton of materials to choose from for a kitchen backsplash and you need to make sure that what you have your eye on will work for your kitchen and what you use it for. The last thing you want is to have to be replacing tiles in a month or so!
A professional has the advantage of knowing their way around tiles and walls of all different materials, sizes, shapes, and conditions. They’re not going to show up at your home with the wrong grout or forget a tool at the store. They’re going to help you choose tile that fits your needs, your style, and your budget. They know the latest trends, which are always changing, and their experience allows them to visualize what will fit your kitchen’s style and what won't. You’ll be able to rest assured that your brand-new backsplash is installed straight, even, and has no flaws that your mother in law will see when she visits. Everybody wins!
Better yet, a professional’s work is guaranteed and insured. If you accidentally cause damage while doing a home improvement task yourself, the only person liable for the repairs is yourself. And if you make a mistake, that’s your pocket the mistake comes out of. Hiring a professional guarantees that the work will be done as you planned it to be and at the price you agreed upon. While DIY might seem cheaper, you never know what hidden costs are just around the corner.
However, the biggest benefit of hiring a professional to install your kitchen backsplash is that of your peace of mind. Home remodels, no matter how big or small, are renowned for the amount of stress they cause. Wanting to spruce things up around your home is a noble goal, and one that many home owners dive into without realizing what it entails. These things are stressful. They require intricate shopping lists, learning a new skill, and correcting a lot of mistakes. You don’t need any of that if you go with a professional. Your professional help will be able to work with you from the design stages to the cleaning up stages, and you won’t have to stress about any of it.
Doing home improvement tasks yourself always seems like a good idea. All over the internet you can find videos on “how to replace a kitchen floor” or “how to install cabinets”. There’s a video or guide for anything. It’s great to learn and to be interested in expanding your skills. But when your money, your time, and a room as valuable and important to your day-to-day life as your kitchen is at stake, it’s best to go with somebody who best knows what they’re doing. If you’re considering re-doing your kitchen backsplash, consider calling a professional to help you get the job done!
Keywords: DIY backsplash kitchen remodel
This week I have come across more penny tiles than I can count. Mostly I have done as a accent border across a shower walls but these last couple of days I have been installing them on floors. My biggest challenge was to make them look seamless between sheets of what it felt like thousands of pennies. But besides that, cutting was a real treat too, If a wet saw used and the brady brunch of tiles get wet, in 5 seconds they all fall apart, piece by piece. At that moment I wondered if it would be feasible to install one by one... Ever wonder how to turn thousands into millions? Yup, I have. Nah, I guess that's out of the question. The straight cutter steps up to the plate and is up to the task if we pair it with the infamous nipper, which turned out to be the best way to do it. I have placed some blue tape across before scoring straight cuts to prevent chips as I was chipping away. It kind of worked.
But then again, how to make seamless transitions? First and most important rule: Keep it square. Make sure you have a perfect 90 degrees angle with the two chalk lines you draw. But the trick thing is that these pennies in a mesh are too flexible, they feel more like some type of fabric which expands and contracts, it's almost impossible to keep them straight. I guess it might be a good option to draw a bunch of perpendicular lines on the floor and go by them, these sheets are not trust worthy.
But the worst thing in my opinion is that you can't tell for sure if they're seamless until you grout. It's very frustrating because you tweak here and there paying really close attention to the joints, making sure they all have the same distance and still after you grout you can tell where one starts and the other ends.
The only thing I would advise is this: If you like this tile, you fell in love with the design and you think it's going to look great on your floor, get really good quality well manufactured tile and - of course it goes without saying but I'm going to say it anyway - get really good experienced tile installers to do it because you can be sure of one thing it really bothers me when I don't get a good quality result and I will strive my best to be happy with it.
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Everybody wants a beautiful home without footing the price of a beautiful home. Does this sound familiar to you? If you’re a home owner, I’m willing to bet it does! We all want to feel comfortable and refreshed in our own homes, and the best way to do that is by having a home that is decorated and designed to resonate with those who live in it. But redecorating or remodeling costs a fortune. So, we’re all wondering what changes we can make that will pack the biggest punch without spending an equally large sum. What’s the secret?
There is a secret. It’s tile. Tile is mainly used in bathrooms and kitchen because the furniture is (mostly) stationary, thus there’s not much risk of scratching or chipping. But there are other reasons, too, aside from tile’s water and mess resilience: it’s absolutely gorgeous.
Tile is a simple way to create a massive impact on the aesthetics of your home, primarily your bathroom. Oftentimes, our bathrooms are an afterthought when we’re considering how we want our home to look and making those changes. But the bathroom is a massive part of our lives. So massive, in fact, that in an average lifetime, men will spend a whopping 855.8 days (or two years and 125 days) in there, and women will spend slightly less at 770.8 days.
So, we’re practically completing an associates degree in our bathrooms. It’s worth it to have it be a place of beauty and comfort then, right? Sure, “beautiful” is not the first word I think of when I think “bathroom”. And it’s not a word that comes to mind for anybody until they’re visiting a bathroom that truly is beautiful.
The best bathrooms I’ve visited had a few characteristics that stood out. The first was space. Sinks with a lot of countertops, especially those with dual sinks, and a big mirror are the obvious thing. Then, the features stand out. There should be ample space to store things on hooks and in drawers, good lighting, and of course, a fancy bathtub separate from the shower is a massive plus, too. But for many families, obtaining that ideal is simply not feasible. The average cost of a full bathroom remodel is upwards of $18,000. Money isn’t the only concern, either, as many bathrooms simply can’t accommodate the ideal.
It’s not bad news if you have a small bathroom, or don’t have over $10,000 to spend on a bathroom remodel. With tile, you can still get a gorgeous bathroom that is a pleasure to spend 855.8 days in (just… not all at once, okay?). Tile floor stands up to the rigors of daily bathroom use better than that of laminate and wood because tile isn’t as porous and has a coating that makes it impenetrable by moisture, stains, and puddles. It’s a flooring and wall covering that is easy to care for, clean, and will protect your bathroom.
There are nearly unlimited options for tile styles, making it a great option for a custom bathroom. But choosing tile isn’t so simple, which is what turns a lot of homeowners away from installing it on their own. Tile installation is best left to a professional anyway, as getting the grooves straight is imperative to tile that accents as opposed to tile that distracts. Plus, a professional tile installer has been around a time or two and knows the best tile type for your specific needs, and may even be an asset in helping with the design process. A tile installer knows how to take your bathroom from drab to beautiful with just a simple material. Of course, with home renovation, DIY is always an option. You should evaluate the pros and cons of going the DIY route, as well as see what’s required for the task, so you can decide if a professional is right for you.
Even if you decide to go with professional tile installation, the cost of sprucing up your bathroom with beautiful tile is miniscule compared to that of a full remodel. The cost of having a tile job done on your bathroom varies greatly from bathroom to bathroom depending on a number of factors, so it’s best to call for an estimate to see if it’s within your budget. But even still, you’re getting a great bathroom at a fraction of the cost!
We all want gorgeous, inviting homes. Even if you’re not the host-type, there’s still no greater feeling than stepping into your home as you want it to be when you get home from a long day at work. Treat yourself and your home to something beautiful that will help with longevity in the long run, and get your bathroom some nice tile and a tile installer to lay it for you. Your 855.8 days will become that much more pleasant in your new, beautiful bathroom.
Keywords: Tile Installer, Certified Tile Installer, Tile installation, professional tile installer, DIY, CTEF
When I was much younger, I had a choleric uncle who seemingly sees all skills and craft as “that’s simple, we don’t need to call a professional to get this done”. Any maintenance or fixing work around the house that needs to get done, that needs nothing larger than a drill – he discards it as “simple”. I looked at him with the same fascination one shows a dinosaur – someone with extinct ideas. Why are statements a bad idea? Let’s consider what separates a professional tile installer from DIY tile installer.
What is tiling?
Tiling, according to the Mariam Webster dictionary website, is defined as “the action or work of one who tiles”. In my view, that is a rather simplistic way of defining something that is much more complex. Tiling is an engineering endeavor, an art and a science all wrapped into one. It is an engineering endeavor because it is a profession closely linked to the construction industry. Some of its tools are also used for other construction purposes. It is an art because it involves a sense of aesthetics that is often associated with the arts. And it is a precise science because the other definition of tiling is about “Euclidean space and geometric space”. Sorry about the weak joke, but tessellation is a concept used in tiling as well.
What is professional tiling?
It might sound like embellishments to some people, let me dive in. A professional tile installer doesn’t just “fix tiles”. Let’s take a look at some key points:
Why professional tiling?
At the end of the day, for anyone ordering a tile installation, the standard of the finish is what counts. The best option for any tiling project is to get a professional tile installer for the reasons below.
It can be really tempting to jump right into a tile installation project with the full confidence of my choleric uncle (he learned his lesson after a plumbing/tiling “fix” of the lower half of his shower stall sloughed off). It can easily backfire for the minutest of reasons.
We are a tile installation specialized company certified by a third party assessment of installer skills and knowledge recognized by the Tile Industry – the www.ceramictilefoundation.org Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF). Contact us for your next tile installation and let us help actualize your goal from concept to finish.
Keywords: Tile Installer, Certified Tile Installer, Tile installation, professional tile installer, DIY, CTEF
Tile installation might seem like a simple task that involves little to no complication, but in fact it is a challenging endeavor which ought to be left up to the experts. Davie Mac Tile is a company that has stood the test of time and irrespective of the problems which come our way, we always deliver top class work. There are indeed many clients which place their trust in unreliable companies and they end up regretting their decision at a later point in time. Yet those who have invested in us have been thoroughly impressed by all they have seen and experienced.
Here are some of the main reasons why working with a certified tile installer like ours is a great idea:
We have a distinct plan of action
As a certified tile installer, we know exactly what we are doing. At no point in time will clients find us plunging headlong into a task without having a distinct plan of action.
We get the job right the first time
Unlike many “Jack of all trades” tile installation companies which people encounter on a regular basis, we are a certified tile installer that never messes up a task. On the contrary we always do the job right on the very first attempt.
Excellent work force
To top it all we have an excellent work force which is made up of a diverse cross section of people. These employees are not merely knowledgeable but exceptionally practical.
We have excellent client reviews thus is owing to the fact that we always do the tile installation very swiftly. We have all the infrastructure and technology to the any tiling work done in a timely manner. Keeping up with the changing times is something we take very seriously and this is something our clients really appreciate.
These are simply some of the few reasons why clients that work with us are thoroughly impressed by all that we are able to do. We do not believe in making tall claims, on the contrary we pride ourselves on letting our work speak for itself. Those who have worked with us and availed of our services in the past have been very impressed by all that they have seen as well as witnessed. Working with a reliable brand involves such little trouble and that is why it is always a preferred option.
Tile Installer, guitar player, universe explorer.