Should you install tile yourself? Installing tile in Westchester and Stamford.

By
Contractor with Floor Coverings International Westchester NY & Stamford CT WC19920-H07 HIC619252
http://actvra.in/47s

Should you install tile yourself? Tile is the one flooring surface that so many do-it-yourselfers think they can install themselves (or they have a friend who can do it). And, tile is also the one surface, moreso than any other surface, where I see such a wide spectrum of skills and some VERY messed up tile jobs, so this is a big watch-out.

brick porcelain tile

 

Because tile is so labor expensive, it is the most expensive surface to install. And, because it’s more expensive, it’s one of the areas customers try to save on, especially these days. Sometimes these jobs are done by do-it-yourselfers, sometimes by handymen, sometimes by people who are handy. Regardless, this can sometimes lead to major issues, and personally I think it’s best to have a professional tile installer help you.

 

By far, the biggest issue is the one area inexperienced installers don’t see or don’t know about and that is floor prep. Your tile is only as good as the subfloor and the prep underneath it! If you haven’t done this correctly, it doesn’t matter how much you’ve saved on your labor or how good your tile laying skills are, or how great a deal you got on those tiles as they will surely crack.

What sorts of issues can happen?

  • Most common issue is cracking. And, this happens often – usually not right away, but sometimes 1-2 yrs later; sometimes 5-10 yrs later. Most common reasons for this are because someone installed on top of plywood or a wood surface and/or because floor is uneven. Floor prep and leveling is super important. If you don’t do it, you’ll be sorry. I can’t even tell you how many jobs we have seen where the tile is cracked, and it’s obvious to me why it’s happened – no floor prep. This is even more important in Northeast and mid-Atlantic areas where homes are older and tend be less level.

 

  • Uneven tile laying – you should always use spacers. I have seen many sloppy jobs – tile and grout lines uneven. I also see lots of sloppy cuts around the edges and the trim and missing transitions. It’s quite sad. Looks terrible no matter how nice the tile is.

 

  • Improper lay out and spacing. My installers measure and center. So whether it’s a floor or a bathroom wall or backsplash, we measure to see how the tile will lay out. We center it in the room so you don’t have ½ pieces on one side of the room or your design or border hitting the electrical outlets.

 

  • Grout lines that are too large – Ugh. Every time I see large grout lines, my nose starts to cringe as this looks so dated. But, so often, this is just done by someone inexperienced and not up-to-date on the trends. Thinner grout lines look nicer, last longer and are easier to clean and maintain. 

 

  • Wrong or no trim pieces. When finishing off tile, especially in a bathroom, you need to have bullnose or wallnose pieces for smooth transition to the wall. Otherwise, it just looks unfinished and it’s obvious that it was done by an amateur. 

I could go on about other issues, but I think this is enough for now. If you’re considering installing tile flooring in your bathroom or adding a tile floor in your kitchen, please consider calling a professional. If you are in Westchester, NY or Fairfield, CT counties, please free to give us a call at Floor Coverings International 914-937-2950. We also have branches in most other parts of the US and Canada.

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Debbie Gartner - Westchester Hardwood Flooring

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Debbie Gartner, "The Flooring Girl" and owner of Floor Coverings International Westchester NY

 

Angie's List Super Service Award winners for 4 years in a row.

 

You can download our free flooring guide.  Or, visit our flooring selector - 2,000 options.  We install hardwood flooring, carpet and runners, tile floors and backsplashes.  We also refinish hardwood floors.

 

Call us for a free estimate 914-937-2950.

"We bring the store to your door."

If you enjoyed what you are are reading, feel free to subscribe to blog to my blog.

WC19920-H07, HIC619252

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Re-Bloggged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Mark Woodward 09/03/2010 08:23 AM
  2. Jeanean and David Gendron 09/03/2010 10:57 AM
  3. Chris Smith 07/16/2011 12:23 PM
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Topic:
Home Improvement
Location:
New York Westchester County White Plains White Plains Home Improvement
Groups:
Addicted to Active Rain
Connecticut Professionals
Keller Williams 'Rainers
Westchester Real Estate Network (WREN)
Tags:
tile installation
porcelain tile
ceramic tile
westchester
stamford
doityourself tile installation

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Rainmaker
1,166,544
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

I need to go to that university!  And I remember you lived in DC and Arlington.  You never stopped by, you never called?  Sheesh...

September 04, 2010 07:05 AM
Rainmaker
1,488,701
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - Westchester hardwood flooring
Floor Coverings International Westchester NY & Stamford CT

LOL - Well, you didn't send me flowers, so what was a girl to do?

Oh, and yes, I would attend some of those - they have them each week.  I have a hunch the first one (which I missed) is really basic but I learned some good tips from each of the others. 

September 04, 2010 07:11 AM
Rainmaker
554,948
Chris Smith
South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta
Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage

Great article Debbie, I have re-blogged this in conjunction with a more recent blog of yours for continuity.

July 16, 2011 12:25 PM
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Peter Pfann @ 1 Percent Realty Victoria, and Pay-Less For Victoria Real Estate Results!
Talk To Peter 250-213-9490 www.pay-lessrealty.com
1 PERCENT REALTY, Victoria BC www.1percentrealtyvictoria.com

Hi Debbie,

We could have used your help a few weeks ago, "before" we tiled about 1,500 sqft in our basement rental suite.....we love your posts, you are always flooring us with your knowledge about floors.

July 16, 2011 02:16 PM
Rainmaker
1,488,701
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - Westchester hardwood flooring
Floor Coverings International Westchester NY & Stamford CT

Chris - Oh wow, thx so much.  I really appreciate that.

Peter & Linda - Next time call me before..I may be able to find someone in your area to help you.  And, thank you for the kind words.  That means so much to me.

July 16, 2011 05:03 PM
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Rainmaker
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Debbie Gartner

The Flooring Girl - Westchester hardwood flooring
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Additional Information

Author Bio: My name is Debbie Gartner, and I'm known as "The Flooring Girl." I own my own flooring store that serves Westchester NY and Fairfield CT counties. We install hardwood flooring, carpet, tile flooring, laminate, bamboo and cork flooring. We also refinish hardwood floors. We are a shop at home flooring store. You can call us at 914-937-2950 to schedule a free flooring consultation


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