Ceramic tiling can be a great way to add beauty, style and class to just about any room where the tile is considered appropriate. This can be places like the dining room, living room and bathrooms most especially. They are very durable and filled with character, but they can be a bit difficult to install the larger in size they are. That's why those considering doing this job need to know a few things.
Generally speaking, the less experience one has with installing ceramic tile, the smaller in overall dimensions the tile should be. That's because larger ceramic tile can be a bit more difficult to put down in such a manner that it does not crack when a heavy weight is placed on. That's also why -- if one is going to use 12 inch or larger tiles -- the underfloor needs to be extremely solid.
Underflooring is the surface below the tile layer and which will be supporting the ceramic tile after it has been put down. Heavy objects placed on the ceramic tile can flex the tile to the point where it can snap or break if the underlying surface is spongy or less than solid. If you are going to go with larger tiles such as those that are 18 to 20 inches square, pay close attention to the underlayment.
The first rule for putting down ceramic tiles is to make sure that the surface upon which the tiles will be installed is in the same plane. Sometimes, this is referred to as how flat the floor is, although the floor does not have to be perfectly level. What is more important, however, is that it be as smooth as possible. If there are any dips or depressions, it's a sure bet that the tile will crack eventually.
In order to avoid this, it's a good idea to find and use what builders call a precision straight edge. These are normally made of magnesium or aluminum and can be rented from most any large home improvement store. When they are placed on the surface of a concrete or wooden floor, they will immediately expose any rough surfaces or imperfections in the floor.
You can take a flashlight and place it down on the floor and aim the beam so that it shines in a parallel fashion to the floor and in the direction of the straight edge. You will immediately notice even the slightest of dips or depressions in the floor. You need to take care to fill in all these low spots with a commercially available floor leveling compound before getting started on laying down any tile.
As far as the tile itself goes, the work -- while somewhat involved -- can be carried off by someone who takes a few moments to study and practice just a bit before cutting and installing the tile itself. It is far more important to make sure that the floor underneath the tile is as flat as possible and on the same plane as the tile that will be going over it.
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Article Added on Saturday, February 6, 2010
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