Brand new tile floors can create a waterproof barrier in your home, while also creating a glossy, beautiful walking surface. Unfortunately, many avid DIY-ers make simple mistakes along the way that impact the quality of their results. Here are three tips to improve tile floor installation, and how to make adjustments to the process to improve the outcome.
1. Level The Floor Carefully Beforehand
Whether you rip out carpet, linoleum, hardwood, or an existing tile floor, there may be inconsistencies in the floor that could cause problems when laying tile. Peaks on the surface of the floor caused by improperly removed thin-set or nail heads can create pressure points under tile, contributing to cracking. Likewise, valleys in the flooring surface can create hollow points underneath the floor that can make cracks more likely.
Before you lay any tile flooring, carefully move through the space and level the entire surface. Try to remove any materials that stick up or don't create a flush, even surface. Consider taking a level or a straight edge to the floor as you prepare the area to spot points that are too high or low, and then filling them in with floor leveling compound beforehand.
2. Use A Waterproof Flooring Adhesive
To protect the subfloors in your home from any water damage, make sure to use a waterproof flooring adhesive. These adhesives are strong enough to attach tile to subfloors, but designed in a way that prevents them from allowing water to absorb into the compound, keeping moisture from penetrating and rotting subfloors. This aspect of flooring is particularly crucial if you live in a high-risk flood zone, or if you are installing tile in areas that would see heavy water use, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
3. Rent A Nice Tile Saw
Tile saws range in quality significantly, but all models are designed to spray water at the blade to keep the tool from overheating. However, some make it difficult to see where the blade is cutting, which can be problematic if you are trying to cut a straight line or avoid injury.
To make tilework a lot easier, consider renting a nice tile saw. Many tool rental companies have high-end saws you can rent on an hourly or daily basis, so you don't have to make a significant investment to improve the outcome of your tile job.
If you are thinking about changing the tilework in your home, consider working with a professional tile contractor before making any changes. Experts can carefully and efficiently remove old flooring or tile and apply new tile that lays flat and looks incredible, making it easier to enjoy a beautiful home.