Archive for the 'Tile Work' Category

30
Jan
10

I found this article on tiling. You may find it interesting.

For professional-looking results, experts say plan, take your time

BY GILEAN WATTS
TIMES & TRANSCRIPT STAFF

Timeless, elegant and incredibly easy to clean, tiles can add that extra bit of colour and sheen to complement any decor.

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RON WARD/TIMES & TRANSCRIPT
This is a multi purpose backsplash with border that can be used in bathrooms and kitchens.
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RON WARD/TIMES & TRANSCRIPT
Glass tiles are a stylish option for a kitchen or bathroom backsplash. They can be used on their own, or to punctuate ceramic or porcelain tile.
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RON WARD/TIMES & TRANSCRIPT
The shading of these 8-inch by 12-inch neutral tiles provides the visual interest.

While professional installation is ideal, more and more homeowners are opting to express their inner handyman and save a bit of money by taking the do-it-yourself approach.

But before you strap on your tool belt, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to installing your own tiles.

“Patience is everything,” says Franca DiDomenico, owner of Dominion Tile on High Street. “Anybody can do it, but they’ve got to be prepared.”

Before even stepping foot in a tile store, Franca suggests do-it-yourself renovators scope out home decor magazines and websites to get an idea of the colours and styles available for the job, be it a tub surround, kitchen floor or a fireplace hearth.

“A lot of customers show me what they want in magazines and then I find a matching or similar style in my showroom,” she says. “I always find that really helpful.”

Once a taste or style has been established, homeowners can visit local showrooms, which often have interesting and unique displays that offer inspiration to undecided decorators.

In terms of quality, Italian and Spanish-made tiles are considered the best, says Franca, which is why she carries tiles imported from only those countries in her showroom.

“When in comes to Italian and Spanish tiles, the quality and calibre is controlled,” she says. “Eighty to 85 per cent of tile factories in Italy are making porcelain tiles, which are considered the most durable.”

Along with a variety of colours and designs, tiles come in a selection of materials. The most common form of tile is ceramic. While ceramic tiles are one of the more inexpensive types, they aren’t the sturdiest, so Franca suggests using a porcelain tile for areas that are prone to a lot of wear.

“Porcelain is dense so, compared to regular ceramic tile, it’s heavier and stronger,” she says. “It won’t break as easily as ceramic.”

Porcelain tiles are also best for damp areas, such as a steam shower, as porcelain is baked to a higher temperature and has a lower level of absorption.

To achieve a more delicate look, Franca suggests implementing glass tiles into any tile arrangement.

Glass tiles aren’t as sturdy as porcelain or ceramic tiles, so reserve glass for areas that don’t face daily touching or pressure, such as a kitchen backsplash.

“Backsplash glass is very big, particularly when done in little rows incorporated with other tiles,” she says. “It gives it a nice look but, by only doing the rows, it saves a lot of money because a lot of people can’t afford a lot of the glass tiling.”

The most popular colours for tiles are neutrals, such as beige and taupe, as they complement any room’s style and match most paint colours and wallpaper patterns. However, that doesn’t mean homeowners can’t experiment with trends.

“Greys are coming back in terms of trends,” Franca says. “Especially silvery greys, and they come in a variety of shades of grey, so you can use them with a lot of colours. Some of the grey tiles you can even do with a grey room.”

Once the tiles have been purchased, make sure you have all the required tools at hand.

Do-it-yourself tilers should have a proper tile cutter or wet saw, nippers, mortar, grout, spacers and glue, along with safety equipment such as goggles and gloves. Many tile suppliers have all the appropriate equipment on hand to rent or purchase if you don’t have them at home.

Before you start laying tile, check the surface you intend to cover for dents and holes, as any uneven surface can prevent the tile from adhering properly, says Gina Spataro of Primo Tile on Collishaw Street.

“The subfloor or any type of underlayment needs to be perfect,” she says. “The area needs to be level and there should be no cracks.”

Gina recommends cleaning the surface thoroughly before applying the mortar or adhesive, as any grime or excess paint chips can also keep tiles from adhering.

After prepping the surface, mix the mortar with water in a bucket until it becomes a paste. Always follow the directions on the mortar, Gina says, as too much or too little water can ruin your tiling job.

“The biggest problem that people come to us with is that the grout doesn’t look proper,” she says. “You need to make sure you mix the adhesive and grout properly or else it can be too watery or too dry. Either way if it’s not mixed properly your tile can end up cracking or your grout can crack.”

While regular tile mortar works on most surfaces, Gina suggests checking with your tile dealer before purchasing an adhesive. Certain adhesives are best suited for larger floors, and a certain type of adhesive is required for areas with in-floor heating.

Once the mortar has been mixed and applied to the surface, the tiles should be placed immediately, or else the mortar will dry. Tile spacers can be used to keep tiles from touching.

Allow the tiled surface to dry for up to 24 hours before applying grout, which fills the cracks between the individual tiles.

Lastly, seal the grout with a proper sealant. This is imperative to keeping your tiles and grout looking clean, Gina says, and it helps protect the tiled surface from moisture and mildew.

Gina says the most important piece of advice she gives to customers is to take their time and follow the instructions to a ‘T’.

“The biggest mistake a lot of people make is they cut corners,” she says. “They don’t mix the adhesive properly or they try to stretch the adhesive as far as they can so they use half the amount of mortar.

“That’s when they should really call in a professional.”

29
Jan
10

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