Ceramic Tile Installation: DIY or Pro
Any area containing ceramic tiles is generally a showcase. These beautiful pieces have a long wear life and come in a wide variety of colors, patterns and shapes. Installation must be done properly for the work to look right and continue to wear well. Tiles that are not positioned correctly cannot be easily moved. If the base beneath the tiles is not completely flat, this can cause tiles to break. There are many details that must be attended to have a perfect ceramic tile display. These are a few reasons hiring a professional tile setter is recommended.
Ceramics are a long lasting product because they are clay that has been fire hardened. The temperatures at which these pieces are fired will make them durable. Unfortunately, ceramics are brittle. Edges can break off if they are handled incorrectly. When being used for flooring, the tiles must sit on a base the fully supports each tile. It must be correctly leveled before the tile setting begins.
Once tiles have been sited, the actual installation can begin. Ceramic tiles are laid in thin set. Spaces are used to leave gaps between the tiles where grout will later be added. Each line of tiles must be laid without deviation. This is one of the reasons professional tile setters are expensive. This step alone is one of the most difficult in the process.
After tiles have been laid down in a perfect pattern, the thin set must dry. It is best to scrape off any thin set that has gotten onto the tile faces. It will be highly visible if left in place and create an unsightly area in the tiled area. After drying, grout is applied. This is a relatively easy process and can be done quickly. Simply spread the grout across the tiles. Make sure each space between the tiles if completely filled. Wiping off excess grout on the tile facing is the final step in the process.