Tiles can be a great way to cement the look and feel of your home — whether it’s with a backsplash in your kitchen or bathroom or a cool tile floor underneath your feet. Subway tiles are a classic choice for use in kitchens and bathrooms and add a sleek, fresh look to the room. Porcelain tiles can be a good choice for areas of the house that see heavy use — they’re fired between 2200 and 2500 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes them very dense, heard-wearing and stain-resistant — perfect for entryways, outdoor spaces, or kitchens. Glass tile is often a popular choice for bathrooms, as it can easily wipe clean and many people prefer the cooler colors it can come in for bathroom paint schemes. If you want to add color to your home, looking at mosaic tile patterns might add a touch of whimsy, and vibrant shades.
Where’s One of the Best Places to Get Tile?
Shopping online for tile — whether you’re seeking glass tile, subway wall tile, or backsplash tile — is one of the best ways to find what you’re looking for. Online retailers offer a diverse selection that is unparalleled to anything you might find in stores. If you’re looking to just browse and get ideas, shopping online is the way to go.
You may also be able to find significant discounts on tile online and there are even online shops that specialize in discounted tile.
However, if you want to see and feel the tile you’re interested in purchasing before doing so, visiting a physical store might be a better option for you. And, often, returning tile (if you must do so) is easier when you purchase from a physical store as opposed to online.
What to Know Before Laying Tile
Installing tile yourself is possible, but here are a few things to know before you start, for the best results.
You want your “canvas” — that is, the surface you’re laying tile on — to be clean, as smooth as possible, and dry. Any obstructions should be cleared away, and you should make sure that the tile can fit underneath a door or behind appliances, if necessary before beginning.
Mark your layout and measurements carefully and place the tiles (without adhesive!) where you want them to go, so you can get idea of how they all fit and if you’ll need to cut any tiles to a custom size.
Now it’s time to apply the adhesive — don’t mix all of it, as you’ll need to use it within the next 30 minutes. Be careful to not apply too much either — you want an even quarter inch coating.
Once you’ve cut any tiles that need to be customized, it’s time to lay the tile, starting in the center of the room, and working in grids to the outer edges of the room. Once all the tile is laid, tap everything more firmly into place with a mallet to make sure they adhere well and are even.
Depending on the type of tile — glass tile, stone tile, etc., — and where you’re installing it, you may also need to use grout.
What are the Advantages of Installing Tile Yourself?
If you’re careful and precise, installing tile yourself can be significantly cheaper than asking a professional to come in and do it — and with the right preparation and attention to detail, your jobs might look very similar anyway. You’ll also have gained another handy skill — and if others need help installing tile in your neighborhood or friend group, you can perhaps barter with your newfound skills.
It’s also not a terribly difficult process and you’re likely to feel an immense sense of accomplishment after finishing the project.
Whether you’re going for glass tile installation in your bathroom or an ornate backsplash in the kitchen, tiles are a versatile, elegant, and often fun way to decorate your home.