I want to replace the flooring in my kitchen and bathroom with ceramic tile. Is this an easy "do-it-yourself" job or should I just pay a professional?
Michelle from Rockford, IL
my husband and I are 1st time home owners, well we got the house from his father after he passed. The house was in horrable shape, and my husband having never done anything like that before put down tile in the bathroom first, and when he saw how easy it was did the kitchen too. The only thing was we didn't have any way to cut the tile, but we bought it from Lowes and they will cut their tile for free as long as you have the tile marked. Have fun.
It's back breaking work and very precise. How long can you last on your hands and knees? Think about it.
There is a reason there is a 4 year apprenticeship for Tile Setters. Layout is not that simple, if you start in the center you could have 1" cuts on every wall. Every room is laid out differently. Then you have the mortar mix has to be Perfect. Subfloor has to be perfect also or you will get deflextion in the floor causing the tile and grout to crack. spacing is also per tiles not with spacers. No tile is exactly the same size and you need to have a trained eye for small adjustments to keep your corners on and your tile running straight.
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By Dennis Fitter
<P>Installing ceramic tile might seem a daunting task but it really is well within the grasp of most people. The only steps involved are layout, setting, and grouting.
<P>In case you haven't noticed, the walls in most houses are not built perfectly square to one another, so layout tries to find the best line for your floor tiles to follow. You will be looking to minimize the amount of visible evidence of floor tiles being out of square to any of the walls in a room. This may or may not involve skewing the plane of rows and files of tile. Lay out a row and file or two, keeping the gap between tile at a quarter inch. Doing this will help you see the work that lies ahead when you will be using real, live adhesive, plus you will be able find if it is possible to arrive at a uniform gap between tile which will avoid tile cuts to make a fit. The gap can be as little as one eighth of an inch and as much as one half of an inch. Once this dry run is sure, draw a pencil line along the edge of one complete row and one complete file of tiles.