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DIY Tiling – Is it Worth it?
If you’re looking to replace an old, dull-looking floor, tile is a great choice. Not only is tile eco-friendly, durable and water-resistant, but best of all it’s available in a wide range of colors, shapes and sizes. While installing tile can be a do-it-yourself project, there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration, and without the proper experience you’ll end up spending more time and money that you need to.
Do you have any experience installing tiles? If the answer is no, you’re better off leaving the job to a professional tile installer. The difference between a well-installed tile floor and a poorly-installed tile floor is readily apparent, so don’t think you’ll be able to get away with a second-rate installation.
Difficulty of Installation
Before you install a tile floor you must make sure the subfloor is flat and smooth. Any bumps or gaps could weaken the tile and or/cause cracking and other issues to develop over time. If you find these problems you’ll either have to repair each area individually or install an entirely new subfloor. Additionally, the tiles around the edge of the floor and around other areas in your room will need to be cut specially to fit. This requires a tile saw and expert knowledge at measuring and cutting to precise sizes. You’ll also need to apply grout as well as a sealer so the grout doesn’t get stained. Further, you’ll need to know which type of mortar best suits your environment and materials.
Choosing the Right Tile
Before you do anything, select the tile you wish to install. Be sure this tile is suitable for floors and for your specific needs. For instance, if you’re planning on installing tiles outdoors and you live in an area like Jersey City, New Jersey – where it gets cold and rainy in the winter – you’ll need tile that can withstand the elements.
Doing It Yourself
If you’re not convinced you can tackle the task on your own, there are still a few things you can do to cut the price and the duration of the tile installation. For one, you do some preparatory work such as moving the furniture out of the way or into a different room. Additionally, you can try to remove the existing flooring if that’s what’s needed. While not the easiest of tasks, it’s much less complex than installing a new floor. If you’re successful, this can save you hundreds of dollars. However, if you're not sure what the existing floor is made of or if it even needs to be removed, you may want to leave it up to a professional just in case there is asbestos in it.
Hiring a Professional
Hiring a professional will save you time and possibly even money. A quality tile installation is much more valuable over time than a cheap, DIY one. In addition, a professional tile installer will clean up after himself, eliminating the need to hire a cleaning service. Before hiring a professional, be sure to get estimates and references, and discuss your expectations with him.