Installing tile in a kitchen or bathroom can be labor intensive, but it’s a fun and challenging DIY project that’s easy to learn and rewarding to complete. Trends in tile design change over time, and for 2018 the styles are leaning towards earthy colors, like terra cotta, and also towards more patterns, including Southwestern and geometric styles. Matte tiles are becoming popular, with the focus on the color, shape, and design as opposed to on the finish, contrasting nicely with metallic fixtures.
Even the standard subway tile can be used in new ways. Contrasting a white tile with a dark grout adds drama and sophistication. Choosing a unique layout pattern, like parquet or a vertical staggered placement offers a high-end custom look. For a more modern look, try black tiles with matching black grout; an added benefit of this color combination may be having to clean it less frequently.
Once you’ve chosen your favorite tiles, prep the wall or floor surface and decide the layout pattern. The prior flooring you removed may have damaged the sub floor or underlayment. Make sure it is good condition and is adequate for the new surface. Mix the thin-set, but before applying to the prepped surface, let it stand for 10-20 minutes so the dry chunks can absorb water before the final mixing.
Consider using a self-leveling compound under the tile for any uneven areas; it creates a smooth, flat base for the tile to sit on, nearly eliminating the chance for an uneven completed surface. Before applying the self-leveling compound, make sure there are absolutely no cracks in the surface. If you find some, fill them with caulk. Be sure to work fast, as the compound dries quickly. An added benefit of this product is that it allows for embedding in-floor heating cables or mats.
Remove baseboards and trim door jambs where placing tile. Cuts and measurements have more room for error with minor mistakes being less noticeable. The work will go faster and you’ll have fewer scraps of leftover tile. For more tile design ideas and installation tips, please contact:
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