Tile Flooring

How to install your new floor

Tile flooring can be an excellent choice for some homeowners. It adds value to the house, is easy to maintain and looks attractive. With all the colors and styles available, there is a type of tile flooring for every personal style.

Where to Start

Start by finding a floor tile that you like, and make sure that the tiles are specifically made for flooring. Wall and floor tiles may look similar, but wall tiles are thicker and more durable. You will also have a choice of tile materials: ceramic, slate, marble or granite. Some options are more expensive than others, so the type of tile you choose is really dependent upon how much money you can afford to spend. There are some ceramic tile options that resemble marble or slate but are significantly cheaper and more practical.

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Before laying your tiles, you will first need to remove the old flooring material and ensure that your floor can hold a tile floor. The subfloor must be strong because tiles can be heavy, and the subfloor should be less than one inch thick. Anything more than that can cause the tiles to crack. You may also need to shore up the subfloor with nails to stop any flexibility or "bouncing" in the floor. And if the floor is damaged or uneven, you need to use an underlayment to fix this and to ensure that the tiles lie flat. Also, if you have a concrete floor, you need to repair any cracks or holes and sand down any uneven places in the floor.

Some homeowners worry about using tile flooring because they already have linoleum and do not want to go through the hassles of pulling up the old flooring. You can actually lay down new tile on top of linoleum, but you must first clean the floor and add an underlayment between it and the tiles.

Now You're Rolling

Once you begin laying your new tile floor, start by deciding on a pattern and laying the tiles down on the floor in the position you like. This will ensure that you have the correct number of tiles and the right sizes or shapes. One of the biggest mistakes people make is estimating the amount of tiles they need and running out halfway through the project. You may also want to buy extra tiles in case you make a mistake or some of the tiles break.

Installing a tile floor can be quite simple as long as you follow these tips.

By Jennifer Eblin

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