Ask anyone who has tried to tile their kitchen on their own about the experience and you will find it is more challenging than most assumed. In short, kitchen tiling is an art. Pay close attention to the tiling tricks of the trade detailed below and your kitchen will look amazing once the tiling project is complete.
Tips for Laying Tile: Grout can be Used for More Than Filler
There is a common misconception that grout is solely used as a tile seam filler. However, grout can also be used to improve tile aesthetics. The contrast of tiles that are light in color with dark grout creates a much more visually striking look. Alternatively, if the grout is the same as the color of the surrounding tile, it will not be visible. Even if you add grout that is slightly lighter or darker than the surrounding tiling, it will prove eye-catching.
The Tile Layout Should Be Symmetrical
The eyes are naturally drawn to symmetrical things. Studies show symmetry is pleasing not only to the eyes but also to the brain. If your tile layout is not perfectly symmetrical, it will prove less visually pleasing. Each tile you add to your kitchen should be the same size or nearly the same size. The bottom line is it is a mistake to add half-size tiles on one side and full-size tiles on the other. Opt for visual uniformity throughout the entirety of the tiling and it will look that much better.
Implement the Right Underlayment
Tile will only prove as good as the substrate beneath it. Subfloors that flex or are unstable in another manner will move the tile in due time. This is precisely why it is better to add cement board before installing bathroom tile flooring. Cement boards, typically three feet in width and five feet in length create a solid base that the tile rests upon.
Use High-quality Tiles Even if They are More Expensive
Resist the temptation to buy clearance tile. Such bargain-basement tile is typically made poorly and much too thin. The last thing you want is for your tile to crack. Cracked tile is challenging to remove and replace. Instead, buy your tile from an established and reputable tile provider.
The Right Tile Installation Technique
How your tile is installed is of the utmost importance. The nuances of the installation technique matter a great deal. Rely on an expert to install on your behalf or at the very least, check out the tile manufacturer’s website for tile specifications along with ASTM/ANSMI standards for testing that regulate tile strength.
Minimize the use of Cut Tiles
Though some tiles might have to be cut to complete the job, cutting should be avoided when possible. Several cut tiles that are smaller than the rest of the tiles added to your kitchen will compromise the visual uniformity. The moral of the story is to use as many full tiles as possible.
Carefully Prepare the Surface
Failing to properly prepare the surface is a common tiling mistake. The surface should be completely level, void of deficiencies of any sort, and contain no debris or dents. If any obstacles such as plaster or screws are extending outward from the surface, that space should be fully leveled with a leveling product. The next step is to sand this surface to ensure adhesives can properly bond and eliminate all dirt, grease, dust, and other particles.
Take Your Time When Grouting
Rushing through the tiling process is a mistake. A rush job might end up delaying the job and costing you even more money down the line after problems arise. Grouting must be performed slowly and carefully. Grout float should be used to guarantee the grout is spread evenly and the spaces between tiles are properly filled with grout. Furthermore, the adhesive should be completely set before grouting. Otherwise, there is a chance the moisture will be sealed in, ultimately compromising integrity.
- Installing tile is more challenging than most people assume
- Even a subtlety of tile installation has the potential to compromise the project
- When in doubt, lean on the professionals rather than attempting DIY tiling
Advantage Contracting is on Your Side
Our kitchen remodeling specialists are here to bring out the best in your kitchen. If you are thinking about re-tiling your kitchen or completely remodeling it, reach out to us for assistance or at the bare minimum, adhere to the best tiling tips detailed above. You can contact our team by dialing (973) 696-0333.