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Home & Lifestyle

Mr. Handyman of Wheaton-Hinsdale offers tips for tile installation

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Suburban Life Magazine

Installing tile in a kitchen, foyer, or bathroom is a popular DIY project.  A tile floor is stylish, durable, and easy to maintain.  While there are many steps involved, it’s not too difficult for homeowners who have the time to invest in the process.

Before laying tile, the old flooring must be removed, and the subfloor needs to be properly prepared.  Check the tiles you’ve purchased to ensure that minor color differences aren’t too obvious, and that they don’t create a pattern in the floor that you’re not happy with.

Floor tiles should be laid out with the first tile centered in the middle of the floor.  Additional tiles can be laid out in the desired pattern from that point.  If you’re creating a basketweave or other type of pattern, sketch out your plan on graph paper ahead of time.

Spread mortar in 3x3 foot areas before the tiles are placed.  Once laid, the tiles should be lightly pressed and twisted into the mortar so they set correctly.  Use spacers around the edges of each tile to ensure a uniform width between tiles. 

Tiles must be trimmed as you get close to cabinetry, doorways, and walls.  A tile cutter can be rented to cut numerous or thick tiles.  Tile nippers will help create curved cuts.  Once all tiles are laid, the mortar needs 24 hours to set before grouting.

If you have well water, purchase distilled water to mix the grout.  Apply grout into the joints between tiles, and remove the excess.  Let dry for 30 minutes, then wipe grout lines with a damp sponge.  Use a grout haze remover to clean the tile.  Avoid heavy traffic on the floor for 72 hours  to let the grout set completely.  After 3-4 weeks, the grout can be sealed.  For more information about tile installation, or to have Mr. Handyman install the tile for you, please contact:

Mr. Handyman of Wheaton-Hinsdale

245 W. Roosevelt Road #69

West Chicago, IL

Phone:  630-318-6882

www.mrhandyman.com