What do you use for the sub-level? A guide to basement flooring

August 25, 2017

What do you use for the sub-level? A guide to basement flooring

Flooring usually goes by some rules but when it comes to basement flooring, most of those rules are thrown out of the windows. The reason for this is that basements usually are subject to completely new environmental threats. Even in spaces were weather isn’t an enemy, at least not in the usually way, basements can produce a rather moist environment where certain floors don’t prosper.

So what should be done in this situation? That’s what we’re here to help you with, as we will go over the fundamentals of basement flooring so that you have a better idea of what you should use for your own instance for example. Of course, each individual might have unique circumstances which would make the entire operation more complex for them. For example if you have a basement heating oil tank, you might have to consider other flooring options simply because of the potential leaking and whatnot. Although the best course of action in such a scenario would be to call some oil tank experts and maybe tway lifting to help you get it out so you can enjoy your basement properly.

What is the grade and what does it mean to be below or above it?

You might be confused if you talk to a constructor and they start talking about below grade or above grade materials. They are not referring to material quality and they aren’t suggestion that you should invest in cheaper or more expensive supplies. They are simply stating whether or not the material in question is designed for below or above ground level.
The former category isn’t safe from water vapors and similar threats whereas the latter, above ground level category can withstand such dangers.

Understanding the necessities of basement flooring

When you’re talking about below grade materials for your basement you have to abide by a different rule set if you’re going to get a long lasting job done. It’s important to keep these things in mind when proceeding with the flooring of your basement or otherwise you will most likely have to revisit it in the not so distant future.

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Look for the hardest materials

The hardest materials prosper best in environments such as the basement. Tile will always outperform carpeting for the basement, but there are also other options out there such as concrete. It also depends on what your design or style plan may suggest, so that it’s not just efficient but also in tune with everything else in the basement.

What happens when there’s a flood?

Flooding is one of the permanent concerns that you will face regarding your basement, regardless of your flooring option. Yes, flooring helps one way or another but it won’t stop actual flooding from happening in the eventuality of there being one. When it comes to flooring, ceramics are great because they dry out in the eventuality of a flood.

You ca also go for a laminate or wood approach but this implies a while other cause and effect. It is possible to install laminate flooring in the basement with the help of a foam underlayment, so if you really aren’t a fan of tiles or plain concrete, you can do that too.

Flooring your basement remains a tricky job simply because of how many things you have to keep in mind at the same time. However, it is far from impossible to pull off. It is however very important that you do it right the first time so you don’t have to come back and revisit the project every so often.

PEI Scale Ceramic and Porcelain

May 22, 2011

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Sometimes it becomes very difficult to choose among the different types of tiles one can use at home, offices and other places. PEI Scale was established with the view to resolve these kinds of confusions and help people make a wise decision. The ratings, undoubtedly, prove beneficial for the consumers to decide as to which type of tile goes well with which kind of floor or wall surface.

Porcelain Enamel Institute, an organization concerned with the betterment of the porcelain industry since 1930, set up the PEI Scale to provide certain common and universally accepted yardsticks. These give appraisal of different types of tiles and their use, thereby, acting as a valuable guide for the consumers. The PEI Ratings are popularly resorted to while deciding upon which variety of tile is best suitable to meet their requirements. It gives a clear picture of the hardness of specific varieties of tiles and help in zeroing down to a particular type. Although ratings are given for both ceramics and porcelain tiles, people tend to focus more on the former at the expense of ignoring the latter which are equally important. However, it is advisable to pay attention to both while determining the right type of tile if one wants to get value for money.

The PEI Scale works by bringing to fore the resistance and endurance level of an enameled surface which gives a fairly clear idea about the kind of foot traffic it can survive as well as how durable it is. Once assigned, these are extremely helpful in taking decisions regarding their suitability in a given context of use. PEI Scale divides the various types of tiles under five different categories which are decided keeping numerous factors in mind.

ceramic bathroom tiles, stainless steel tiles, mosaic tiles, Glass Tile, Metal Tile, Tile Trims, Ceramic tile, Shower Tile, stone, Porcelain, marble, Granite

If on one hand tiles falling under class 0 are deemed unfit for flooring purposes; then on the other hand, there is class 1 that implies that the tiles categorized under them are suitable to be used for commercial and residential walls. Additionally, the tiles under class 1 are shown to be tolerant towards bare foot traffic. Similarly, class 2 can bear the burden of what has been called soft soled traffic and can comfortably be used for bath and wall floor, making them ideal for use in homes.

Class 3 tiles stands out from those mentioned so far as these find favor with both light commercial floors and all types of residential floors. Class 4 tiles are in a different league altogether as these are considered competent for catering to light industrial, institutional, and medium commercial areas. Tiles falling under the class 5 have been declared to be highly durable and resistant to extra heavy traffic. Furthermore, these are also hailed as chemically more resistant and tolerant towards dirt that is inimical to its quality.

Although PEI Scale can prove to be a useful aid in taking the crucial decision regarding the right type of tiles a person should purchase one must not bank on them exclusively. One must take into consideration other important factors like bond strength, glaze, hardness, shape, and dimension and water absorption, while taking a final decision.

Group I: Suitable only for residential bathrooms.
Group II: Suitable for general residential areas, except for kitchens, hallways or other heavy traffic areas.
Group III: Suitable for all residential and light commercial applications like offices and reception areas
Group IV: Suitable for any residential and moderate commercial applications.
Group V: Suitable for all residential and all commercial applications.

CLASS 0: Tiles technically unsuitable for floors.
CLASS 1: Residential and commercial wall and bare foot traffic.
CLASS 2: Wall and residential bath floor, and soft soled traffic.
CLASS 3: All residential floors and light commercial floors.
CLASS 4: Medium commercial, light industrial and institutional, moderate soiling.
CLASS 5: Extra heavy traffic, abrasive dirt, chemically more resistant.

Copyright © 2010 FlooringSupplyShop.com

Step by Step How to Install Tile

April 18, 2011

ceramic bathroom tiles, stainless steel tiles, mosaic tiles, Glass Tile, Metal Tile, Tile Trims, Ceramic tile, Shower Tile, Flooring Tile, Los Angeles Tile, stone, Porcelain, marble, Granite, install tile, Counter top tile, Bathroom Tile

Difficulty of Installation

When using the thinset method in residential areas, installing ceramic tile is rather simple. To put it in better perspective, it is easier to install than wood or vinyl sheet goods and slightly more difficult than vinyl tile.

Actually, the subfloor preparation, layout, and installation is very similar to that of vinyl tile.

The only major difference is grouting. With proper planning and a little common sense, practically anyone can install ceramic tile using the thinset method.

Steps of Installation

If you are installing a new underlayment, it’s recommended that you staple polyethylene plastic on top of the subfloor before you install the underlayment to ensure protection from water penetrating down to the subfloor.

Subfloor Preparation

This is the most important step in accomplishing
a satisfactory installation.

The subfloor must be structurally sound, rigid, smooth, flat, and free of curing compounds and waxy or oily films.

Floor Layout

In this step, the room is squared off and measured, and the chalk lines are snapped. Once the chalk lines are in place, the installer will verify the floor in both directions to balance the room.

Preparing the Tiles

Slight tone variations are to be expected from tile to tile. A good installer will prevent this from becoming a problem by mixing the tiles from several cartons before installation.

This blends the tiles together, and any shade variations add to the character of the floor.

Spreading the Thinset

Using the chalk lines as a guide, the installer will begin applying the thinset in one section at a time.

He will spread one coat using the flat side of the trowel and then immediately come back with a second coat, using the notched side of the trowel.

Laying the Tiles

The tiles are then placed one at a time in the thinset by twisting and pressing while allowing appropriate spacing for the grout.

A straight edge or spacers may be used to align the tile.

Grouting

The installer will generally begin grouting the following day. It is important to allow the thinset enough time to set up before applying the grout.

The grout is applied over one small section at a time and is spread by means of a rubber float or a squeegee.

Pulling the grout firmly over the surface will both push the grout into the joints and clean off most of the excess grout.

Then the tile is rinsed using a damp sponge. Very little water is applied.

After approximately ten minutes the surface of the tile is cleaned again with a damp sponge (even drier this time), or on some shiny tiles, just buff with a dry towel.

Step 1. – Use the grouting float diagonally across the tiles at an angle to prevent dragging grout from joints.

Step 2. – Clean float in clear water. Change water in pails often to keep clean.

Step 3. – Go back over grout holding float at a 90 degree angle.

Step 4. – Use damp (not wet) sponge to clean grout off tile surface. Clean sponge and keep repeating until section is clean. NOTE: Always use clean cool water.

Step 5.- Buff film off tile with a soft towel after grout dries to the touch.

Step 6. – Keep people off newly grouted floor for about 12-24 hours.

INSTALLATION METHODS

It is important for you and your customers to understand that the installation of ceramic tile is not a one-day job, like most carpet and vinyl installations.

Scheduling a time for the installation becomes much easier when everyone involved knows how long the job will take.

A. Estimated Timetable

The following guide is an approximate time table for completion of a job.

50 sq. ft. and under One Day
51-175 sq. ft Two Days
76-350 sq. ft Three Days
351-500 sq. ft Four Days
each additional 200 sq. ft Add one day

The installation of tile takes longer because the installer must wait 10-14 hours before grouting. If he tries to rush it, he will break the bond between the tile and mortar.

The moisture from the mortar may also wick into the grout, causing discoloration.

B. Substrate

Preparing a good substrate is the most important step to insure a beautiful installation. There are six general requirements.

1. New concrete subfloors must be left to cure 28 days before tiling.

2. All floor and wall substrates must be rigid.
Excessive movement in the substrate may crack or loosen the tile and grout.

3. All substrates, particularly floors, must be structurally sound. Rotting or deteriorating subfloors must be corrected prior to installing
ceramic tile.

4. All substrates should be flat. The ceramic tile will contour to minor subfloor irregularities.

5. Any oil or wax on the substrate needs to be removed to assure strong adhesion.

6. The substrate must be free of curing compounds.

C. Suitable Subfloors

All subfloors that are structurally sound and free of excessive movement are suitable for tiling over.

They include:
1. Concrete
2. Terrazzo or natural stone
3. Fiber cement boards
4. Cement backer boards
5. Non-cushioned vinyl and linoleum
(Properly prepared)
6. Properly supported 1-1/4” plywood

D. Unsuitable Subfloors

These subfloors are not suitable because they tend to flex, expand and contract, or warp.

Any excessive movement will loosen the tile and pop the grout.

These subfloors must be replaced or covered with a suitable underlayment.

1. Perimeter installed or heavily cushioned vinyl and linoleum

2. Composite woods

    a. Particle board

    b. Flake board

    c. Chipboard

    d. OSB (Orient Strand Brand)

    e. Luan

    f. Strip wood

E. Selecting the Right Installation Method

Caution: Poorly prepared substrates and the use of improper setting materials are the cause of practically all major installation failures.

Certain types of substrates and job conditions require special treatment. These treatments are neither expensive, time consuming, nor complicated.

To ignore or deviate from them would be the equivalent of playing Russian roulette.

Installation materials described

• Floor set mortar is a promotionally priced thinset packaged in 50 lb. bags, in gray and white colors. It should be used only over clean, solid, unsealed concrete that is fully

• Fortified Thinset mortar is a special formula of thinset mortar enhanced by pre-blended latex additives to ensure the proper mixture for ceramic installations over concrete. This product comes in 50 lb. bags and covers approximately 50-65 sq. ft. per bag.

• Multi-Set is a specially formulated premium thinset that has a flexible acrylic additive. The acrylic gives the mortar flexibility and additional bonding strength. The flexibility is required when going over substrates that may experience minor movement. The additional adhesion is needed when setting tile over hard-to-bond surfaces, such as plywood and terazzo floors. Multi-Set is packaged in 50 lb. bags in gray and white colors. (When installing tile over a plywood substrate, we always recommend installing cement backer-board first for a more secure installation).

Coverage per bag is approximately 50 to 60 square feet per bag, depending on trowel size.

F. Special Preparation Requirements

• Wood subfloors – must be covered with one of the following overlays for additional support.

1. A cement backer board

2. 1-1/4”-inch plywood – acceptable when using MULTISET 917 Thinset.

3. Wire mesh and mortar system (mud job) – minimum thickness of 1-1/2” (mud only)

Note: We recommend the cement backer board. It is much easier and less costly to install than the wire mesh and mortar coat. It is also much more stable over plywood base floors.

• Non-porous – subfloors include sealed concrete, terrazzo, or any other non-absorptive surface. For extra bonding strength and a more successful installation, use Multi-Set Thinset.

• Vinyl over subfloors – require the use of a cement backer board and Multi-Set. Interflex or perimeter glued floors must be removed.

• Although the moisture in wet areas will not affect the tile itself, it will effect certain substrates. If drywall or plywood are used in wet areas, they will eventually buckle or deteriorate, causing the tile to fall off. To prevent this we recommend a cement backer board as a substrate. It was developed for wet areas.

• When going over floors, the backer board is adhered first with thinset and secured with nails or screws recommended by the manufacturer. It is necessary to cover the floor joints. The joints will be filled as the installer spreads the mortar and tapes with fiberglass mesh.

• Important: Nail or screw cement backer board using 1-1/4”-long (minimum) galvanized (to prevent rusting) ring-shanked nails or screws. Space fasteners every 6” on center.

Step 1 Apply Multi-Set Thinset to a fully adhered and structurally stable base floor with a 1/4” x 1/4” notched trowel.

Step 2 Cut panels by scoring and snapping like drywall. Use carbide tipped scoring tool.

Step 3 Place panels over thinset while it is wet. Stagger end joints and fasten on all marks for screws and on and between marks for nails.

Step 4 Fill joints with Multi-Set and cover all joints with Cement board Tape.

Step 5 Apply Multi-Set with 1/4” x 1/4” notched trowel to set tile

• Note: Thinset mortar must be given 12 to 24 hours to set up before grouting.

G. Substrate Repairs

• Stress cracks – Tile should never be installed directly over cracks.

Stress cracks are generally caused by seasonal movement and will continue to open and close. If the tile is installed over a crack, it will also crack as the substrate moves.

A crack suppression membrane (C-Cure Curelastic 949) may be used to bridge the stress crack.

• All minor cracks must be filled with thinset mortar prior to continuing with the installation. Back filling with the flat side of the trowel during the spreading process is the simplest way of correcting minor cracks.

• Irregular Substrates – Very few substrates are perfectly flat, level, or plumb. Generally, the installer will have to touch up the surface before and during tiling.

• Minor high and low spots are smoothed easily with thinset in very little time and at no extra cost.

• Deep depressions over 1/4” sometimes may be patched with a mixture of thinset and a latex additive. Additional floor preparation cost may apply.

• If the substrate’s surface is marked with mounds larger than 1/4”, get your manager involved so that he can consult with your tile contractor for pricing.

• Note: Ceramic tile will contour to the existing floor condition in the same way vinyl and carpet do. Do not over-promise floor corrections to your customers who are buying ceramic tile. Remember, ceramic tile does not level a customer’s floor.

H. Cement Backer Boards

• The cement backer board is an all-purpose underlayment that was originally developed for use on walls. It is a lightweight portable cement slab that requires no curing time and is used extensively in wet areas because it is not affected by moisture. It is also used to cover wood subfloors. Its strength and rigidity reduce the movement inherent in wood. Therefore, it helps protect the tile from damage.

• The backer board sheets look and handle like gypsum board. They are 1/4” or 1/2” thick and come in 4’ x 4’ or 3’ x 5’ panels. They are produced using reinforced fiber to prevent breakage or crumbling when handled. The backer boards also require no special skills to install. They score and snap as easily as gypsum board.

• When going over floors, the backer board is adhered first with thinset and secured with nails or screws recommended by the manufacturer. It is necessary to cover the floor joints.

The joints will be filled as the installer spreads the mortar and tapes with fiberglass mesh.

• Important: Nail or screw cement backer board using 1-1/4”-long (minimum) galvanized (to prevent rusting) ring-shanked nails or screws. Space fasteners every 6” on center.

Step 1. – Apply Thinset to a fully adhered and structurally stable base floor with a 1/4” x 1/4” notched trowel.

Step 2. – Cut panels by scoring and snapping like drywall. Use carbide tipped scoring tool.

Step 3. – Place panels over thinset while it is wet. Stagger end joints and fasten on all marks for screws and on and between marks for nails.

Step 4. – Fill joints with Thinset and cover all joints with Durock Tape.

Step 5. – Apply Thinset with 1/4” x 1/4” notched trowel to set tile.

• Note: Thinset mortar must be given 12 to 24 hours to set up before grouting.

I. Sound Reduction Systems Many multi-level buildings today require that a sound barrier be applied to the subfloor prior to tiling. This is particularly true with condominiums. You should always ask the customer to check the condominium association’s by-laws on sound reduction. Some customers may not be aware of these by-laws and risk having to replace a new job.

Four common sound reduction systems

1. With a combination of cement backer boards and mat, the mat is adhered to the subfloor and the cement backer board is adhered to the mat.

2. A mortar type system containing sound deadening materials is floated on the subfloor and left to cure overnight. Once cured, it serves as a base to spread your thinset

3. Cork is a thin, high density cork that is specially treated for use with ceramics. Although many contractors use it, because of its flexibility, the cork presents a higher risk for improper adhesion than the other systems.

4. Perlag Sound Reduction uses a mortar additive and does not raise the height of the installation as other sound reduction systems do.

Note: When using any sound reduction system, make sure the material you select has been tested and approved, and make sure you follow the manufacturer’s installation procedures.

J. Adhesives

There are two types of adhesives recommended for installing residential tiles: organic mastics and thinset mortars.

• Organic mastics are pastes similar to floor covering adhesives.

• Type I mastic is used for wet areas such as bath walls and countertops.

• Type II mastic is used on dry walls.

• Thinset mortar is a combination of sand and portland cement that is mixed with either water or latex. Thinset mortar is routinely used on floors when installing tile and concrete backer board.

• Note: Thinset mortar must be given 12 to 24 hours to set up before grouting

K. Grouts

Grout is a cement-based powder that is mixed with water to fill in the joints between the tiles. There are two basic types of grouts: unsanded and sanded.

• Unsanded grouts are used for wall tiles.

• Sanded grouts are used for floor tiles where the joints are 1/8” and larger.

• On wider joints, it is necessary that a sanded grout be used. The sand prevents the grout from shrinking and cracking during the drying process.

• Grouts come in a variety of colors with the standard size floor grout bag being 25 lbs.

• Grout joints in floor tiles should rarely be smaller than 3/16” because tiles vary slightly in size. The installer will not be able to keep a straight line if the grout is too narrow.

• The standard size grout joint for walls is 1/16″ wide

• Although all of our grouts are very dense and denser grouts resist staining, there is no such thing as a stain-proof grout. Do not oversell the product.

• Grouts in general are dense, polymer latex enhanced, and have a flexible formula. This customized mixture is clearly the best sanded grout available today.

L. Sealers

Sealers are used to protect some unglazed tiles from absorbing stains. There are several types of sealers; two of them are discussed below.

• Penetrating sealers are absorbed into the tile forming a stain-resistant shield just below the surface. Some penetrating sealers will darken or change the appearance of the tile. Resealing every 12-18 months is required with most penetrating sealers.

• Surface sealers are coated on the top of the tile forming a non-porous, stain-resistant barrier. The surface sealer will add a slight sheen. Resealing every 6-12 months is required with most surface sealers.

• Some unglazed tiles must be sealed with a penetrating sealer prior to grouting. This is particularly important when a dark-colored grout is being used with a light-colored tile. Naturally, this is to prevent the grout from staining the tile.

• Highly absorptive tiles such as handmade Mexican tiles need to be constantly sealed with either a penetrating, surface, or a permanent epoxy type finish. The permanent epoxy type finish is the best for this purpose,

• Note: None of the unglazed products in our line require a sealer, nor would they accept one. The porosity is so low that sealers would virtually peel off. They only require the damp mopping also used with glazed ceramic tile.

M. Floor Trim

The trim pieces serve two purposes. First, the beveled edge conceals the factory edge, thereby finishing off the job. Second, they protect the exposed edge of the tile from chipping. An example

of an area that requires a trim piece would be one where the tile meets a wood floor at a doorway. In this case some people use a marble threshold or vinyl cap.

• One of the most common types of trim used for residential floors is a marble threshold.

• Thresholds are used in doorways when making a transition from ceramic to another type of floor. Marble thresholds are common at bathroom doors.

• Bullnose (finished edge tile) is not produced by all manufacturers. When confronted with this situation, one of the following alternatives can be used:

Cut-tile base – The installer will cut the tile base from the field tile being used on the job. The tile’s factory edge, which is generally beveled, is always the exposed side.

Vinyl caps – These are vinyl trim pieces that come in a variety of colors made specifically for ceramic tile. They slip right over the exposed edge of the tile to give it a finished look.

Note: The vinyl caps may be used in many ways, including: To cap off the top of a cut-tile base. To cap off the edge of a floor tile next to carpet, wood and lower floor coverings like vinyl and vinyl tile

Large Vinyl Cap Use Large Vinyl Cap when installing ceramic tile over a wood subfloor or when using a cement backer board underlayment. It can be installed straight, on angles or used to contour to a free form.

Small Vinyl Cap Use Small Vinyl Cap when installing ceramic tile over concrete or on a wall as a baseboard. It can be installed straight, on angles, or used to contour to a free form.

Vinyl Stair Cap Use Nosing/Stair Vinyl Cap when a finished edge at step down or open stair is required. It may be used on both concrete and wood subfloors

Vinyl Reducer Use Reducer Vinyl Cap when a wider trim or more gradual reduction is needed. It can be used straight or on angles. It may be used with or without a cement backer board underlayment.

ESTIMATING

In this section we are going to cover the procedures for estimating the material needs and installation costs. Although some of the terminology and job requirements may be new to you, estimating for ceramic tile is no more difficult than for wood or vinyl. The key factors in figuring a job’s needs are the same, no matter what product you are installing. They are:

• taking proper measurements

• determining material and labor needs

• applying the costs

A. Facts About Estimating

1. Ceramic Tile is always ordered in full cartons.

When the square footage of the job is determined,

the salesperson must round it off to the next full

carton.

2. The square foot coverage per carton will vary from product to product. Once the tile is selected, the salesperson will refer to the specification area on the front of the board indicating square foot coverage per carton.

3. It is necessary to increase the square footage of a job in order to compensate for breakage and tile cuts. Add 10% for waste laying tile on a straight line pattern. Add 13% waste when laying a pattern on diagonal installation. This percentage is mandatory on each job.

4. After a job is complete, it is customary to leave the customer with several pieces of tile to assure a perfect match in the event future repairs are needed.

5. The trim pieces such as vinyl cap are ordered by the piece. Each vinyl piece comes 4 l/f.

6. Normal floor prep such as minor patching is considered part of the job and is not billed as an extra charge.

7. Other leveling of a floor is a chargeable labor item. Your installation contractor may need to see the job conditions prior to establishing the customer’s cost.

8. Most ceramic installers do not carry the tools necessary to stretch carpet. If the ceramic meets carpet in an area, the re stretch will be done by a carpet installer. This is called carpet finishing.

ESTIMATING DATA SHEET

A. Square Footage Formulations

Multiply the length by width to calculate the square footage (S/F) of area.

2. Add 10% for waste laying tile on a straight line pattern. Add 13% waste when laying a pattern on diagonal installation.

3. Divide net S/F by S/F in box to determine the full and partial number of cartons.

4. Round off to the next full box for exact number of full cartons required.

5. Multiply the number of full cartons by S/F per box to determine the total S/F.

Example: Facts: Area is 20’ long and 15’ wide. Tile is packed 16.0 S/F to a carton.

Answers:

1. 20’ x 15’ = 300 S/F of area.

2. 300 S/F x 1.10 = 330 S/F.

3. 330 divided by 16.0 S/F = 20.63 cartons.

4. Round off 20.63 cartons to 21 total cartons.

5. 21 cartons x 16.0 S/F = 336.0 total S/F.

B. Cut-tile Base Formulation

Length of wall divided by 2 = number of S/F

Example: 1 piece per standard 3 foot door.

C. Marble Thresholds Formulation

Measure linear feet of doorway and calculate in 3’-intervals. Each threshold comes 3’ (36”).

Note: Installer will take the larger size (36”) and cut to fit.

D. Measuring for Door Clearance Formulation

Door should clear height of two tiles. Lay one tile on top of another.

Example: Ceramic over concrete 1/2”, ceramic over wood 1”.

Note: Inform customers so that they may have the door cut prior to installation

E. Steps and Risers (Combined) Formulation

Multiply the width of steps x number of steps = linear feet

Example: 3 feet in width, 3 steps = 9 linear feet

F. Cement Backer Board & Seam Tape Formulation

Area S/F divided by 15 S/F or 16 S/F = number of sheets

Note: Sheet size is 3’ x 5’ x 1/2” = 15 S/F or 4’ x 4’ x 1/4” = 16 S/F

Use 1 bag of Multi-Set Thinset to adhere approximately 4 sheets of cement backer to plywood subfloor.

Use 1 roll of cement backer seam tape for 50 linear feet of cement backer board.

G. Thinset

1 bag of thinset will cover approximately 50 to 65 square feet of ceramic tile or cement backer board.

Example: 100 S/F ceramic tile installation, 2 bags needed.

Example 2: 100 S/F ceramic tile and cement backer board installation, 4 bags needed.

H. Grout

Check our Flooring Calculator

Coverage’s of grout will vary by size of tile. The coverage for a 25 lb. bag of either sanded or unsanded grout is:

Tile Size- Sanded Approx. Grout – Coverage Per Bag Tile Size- Unsanded Approx. Grout – Coverage Per Bag
2” x 2” 125 sq. ft. 4-1/4” x 4-1/4” 250 sq. ft.
4” x 8” (quarry) 50 sq. ft. 6” x 6” 300 sq. ft
6” x 6” (quarry) 55 sq. ft. 8” x 10 ” 525 sq. ft
8” x 8” (quarry) 60 sq. ft.
6” x 6” 65 sq. ft.
8” x 8” 80 sq. ft.
10” x 10” 90 sq. ft.
12” x 12” (Mexican) 30 sq. ft.
12” x 12” 125 sq. ft
13” x 13” 130 sq. ft
13” x 20” 170 sq. ft
16” x 16” 170 sq. ft
17” x 17” 190 sq. ft
18” x 18” 225 sq. ft

J. Floor/Wall Adhesive 1 – 3-1/2 gallon pail of adhesive will cover approximately 130 sq. ft. of ceramic tile.

For more information visit our web site at www.flooringsupplyshop.com

Important Links about our Ceramic Tiles

Step by Step Tile InstallationCeramic Tile Flooring Care and MaintenanceCeramic Installation Guidelines

Ceramic Tiles are Different from Porcelain Tiles

February 7, 2011

ceramic bathroom tiles, stainless steel tiles, mosaic tiles, Glass Tile, Metal Tile, Tile Trims, Ceramic tile, Shower Tile, Flooring Tile, Los Angeles Tile, stone, Porcelain, marble, Granite, install tile, Counter top tile, Bathroom Tile

Amongst the numerous flooring options available, tiles are probably the most preferred choice of homeowners. Tiles are versatile flooring options that suit preferences and budget of almost every homeowner. The availability of a myriad of choices such as ceramic, cork, laminate, and slate tile flooring sometimes make it difficult for homeowners to make the right pick. Homeowners often get confuse between ceramic and porcelain tiles, which are somewhat similar to each other but not same.

Ceramic and porcelain tiles differ from one another right from their manufacturing process as well as the material used for fabricating them. Ceramic tiles are made using mixture of both red and white clay, which lend them a typical terracotta color. The ceramic tiles can however be layered with colors; as a result of which these are available in an array of attractive colors. However, in case the tiles chip or wear down, then the upper colored layer gets damaged and the original terracotta color gets exposed.

In contrast, the porcelain tiles are made using porcelain clays that are fired at a very high temperature, much higher than ceramic tiles. As a result, the porcelain tiles are much harder and denser in comparison to ceramic tiles. Additionally, the porcelain tiles are smoother in texture and are also not as porous as ceramic tiles. Since the entire depth of the porcelain tile is colored; hence, even if the tiles chip or wear down, the color will never wear off. In terms of durability and permeability, porcelain tiles score over ceramic tiles as the former are more resistant to moisture than the latter.

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On the basis of wear and tear resistance, porcelain tiles are more resistant to scratches and cracks as these are denser and less porous than ceramic tiles. Since ceramic tiles are more vulnerable and chip & wear down easily; hence these are generally preferred indoors. These can however be used outdoors, but only the frost-proof and unglazed tiles, which also have a low absorption rating. The ceramic tiles are easy to maintain, resistant to chemicals, fire and stains, and are also less expensive than the porcelain tiles.

Better resistance to moisture, wear and tear, along with low absorption rating make porcelain tiles suitable for outdoors as well as indoors. Porcelain tiles are highly durable & strong, and can easily withstand high foot traffic. These tiles are almost impervious as these are less porous tiles with water absorption rate of less than 0.5%. Owing to this, these are generally used outdoors, especially for pool decks and sidewalks. Moreover, porcelain tiles are frost-resistant, making them ideal for cold weather.

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Although both, ceramic tiles and porcelain tiles, are popular among homeowners as these add to the beauty and elegance of any place; these differ in terms of durability, hardness, and wear & tear resistance. Hence, depending upon your requirements, you need to choose wisely between the two. Furthermore, you can even take help of the PEI ratings to adjudge the suitability of tiles for particular uses.

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Marble Floors Good or Bad

November 14, 2010

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Of the numerous flooring options available, a lot of people are opting for Marble flooring for their homes. Marble flooring is not only durable but also adds to the visual appeal of the house. Hence, while considering to build or to renovate your house, you can consider Marble as the flooring option, that will give a whole new look to the place. Marble flooring is probably the best long term investment in home surfaces, which increases the overall value of your asset.

Marble flooring is also popular due to its availability in various styles, colors, designs and patterns; which can easily be coordinated to match any kind of home decor. Moreover, the smooth, shiny, glossy Marble is naturally available, which makes it a green flooring option. It is easy to install and if done properly, it has minimal chances of breaking. Marble is a poor conductor of heat which helps in keeping the house cool and comfortable, especially in areas with warm climate.

Attractive and exclusive, the beautiful natural stone is available in different varieties. The veining, which is also referred to as ‘Marbleized’, are small lines of color that give the stone its unique look. These stones are available in ‘gloss surface’ which makes it shiny and reflective. In contrast, if you want a dull surface, you can use Marbles which have undergone the tumbled process. ‘Tumbling’ is a process that distresses and ages the stone to make it look dull and buffed. One can even choose the honed Marble which has a flat, matte or satin finish. The honed Marble has a lower risk of etching, where due to everyday foot traffic the initial polish of the surface is removed.

In contrast to the giant slabs available earlier, Marble nowadays is available in tiles which are easy to handle and install. One can also use Marble to make mosaics and interesting patterns that increase the visual outlook of the place. The biggest advantage of Marble flooring is that it provides a durable and long lasting surface which never needs replacing.

However, Marble though, is not the most preferred choice for flooring amongst homeowners as it can be quite expensive. However, with its numerous benefits, the demand for Marble flooring is increasing every day.

It may also require occasional re-sealing, depending upon the foot traffic, and also polishing and buffing, in case it gets dull. Marble requires proper maintenance and cleaning. One must be careful not to use the cleaning agents which contain chlorine or are acidic as it can harm its sheen.

Marble is available in unique shades with sophisticated sheen. It is durable and easy to install that blends beautifully with every kind of decor. Moreover, this smooth and polished surface provides an elegant feel to the place. Hence, if you are looking for a great flooring option for your home, which not only is durable but beautiful as well, choose Marble flooring; since it offers a timeless visual appeal and a grand look.

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How to Install Glass Tiles

October 4, 2010

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Among the numerous tiles available, homeowners are increasingly choosing glass tiles that add a unique look to their homes. Glass tiles are available in an assortment of colors, sizes, designs, shapes and styles that can easily blend with the decor of any room. In case you are thinking about installing glass tiles, you can choose amongst the various options, such as clear glass, frosted and bubble glass tile. Any of these glass tile options can easily spruce up any room in your home.

Choosing amongst these unique and beautiful tiling options is a daunting task, but once you have made the selection, it is time for installation. Installing glass tiles is not that difficult for experienced DIY enthusiasts; however, amateur DIY enthusiasts may need to be little careful while performing the task. If you are planning to install glass tiles, foremost, ensure that you have all the necessary tools and equipment needed to complete the task.

For installation, first, you need to prepare the substrate; ensure that the surface on which the tiles need to be installed is smooth, flat and without any cracks. The substrate should also be dry as well as perfectly clean so as to effectively apply the adhesive. Next, you need to apply is the thin-set; generally white, acrylic modified thin-set mortar is recommended by experts. It is usually available in pre-mix form, and is thus easy to use. Make sure not to use mastic adhesives, as these tend to become yellow with passing time.

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For applying the thin-set, you can use the notched side of a 3/16″ V-notch trowel, which is easily available in the market. Hold the tool at an angle of 45° to the substrate for applying the adhesive. Make sure that the thin-set is thick enough to provide a strong grip, but not too thick as it may result in uneven surface, along with irregular spots and shrinkage. In case there are any ridges, you can smoother them with the long flat edge of the trowel, while taking precaution not to remove any thin-set.

Once the thin-set is appropriately applied, its time to install the glass tiles. You can cut the tiles into small pieces as these are easy to install. You can either use a mosaic glass cutter with blades shaped like small wheels or use a wet saw. After getting the desired size, ensure that the tile’s mesh side is clean, dry and free of any dust or debris. Be careful to install the tiles with its mesh side facing the contact surface. To ensure a tight, even bonding with the thin-set, use a wooden block held against the tile sheets and tap on it lightly. Make sure to remove any excess adhesive from the edges. Leave the tiles undisturbed during the curing time, as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.

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After this, you can grout the joints with the help of rubber grout float, for increased performance and longevity of the glass tiles. It is advised to choose white colored un-sanded grout with a latex additive for fine finish; however, you may also choose other colors for added effect. Last but not the least, add an anti-microbial and mildew inhibitors that will protect the tiles against mold and mildew menace.

Following these simple steps, you can efficiently install the beautiful glass tiles in your home, adding to its aesthetic appeal.

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Creating custom bathroom designs using standard tiles

July 21, 2010

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Tiles are one of the most widely used home décor materials. Tiles are renowned for their high durability, and the aesthetic appeal provided by them to a room. It is due to these reasons that tiles are ideal for different areas of the house, such as the kitchen and the bathroom. Tiles can ideally be used as tabletops, flooring or a simple wall design. Although tiles can be used on different area, they are generally used to enhance the décor and the effectiveness of the bathroom.

You can easily find tiles made up of different materials; however, ceramic and porcelain are ideal for bathrooms. This is so, since ceramic and porcelain generally do not absorb water, thereby minimizing the chances of dirt settlement and mold. Furthermore, these tiles are easy to maintain and do not require regular cleaning.

Apart from the durability and maintenance aspect, the other major reason for the popularity of tiles is the wide range of colors and designs available. While selecting tiles for your bathroom you should decide on the size of the tiles, as well as the décor that you want. However, if you want a solid colored bathroom then size would not play such a major role.

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In case you plan to tile a small bathroom area then it is important to select light colored tiles. Light colors will reflect the available light in the bathroom, thereby making it look larger than it actually is. Furthermore, light colors will also give your bathroom an airy look, thereby making it a lot more comfortable. Along with the colors you should keep in mind that the designs on the tiles should not be too large. Tiles with extensive designs generally do not suit small bathroom areas.

In case you are looking for appealing shades in your bathroom then a mosaic tile design would be an ideal option. For example, you can use a mix of blue and white tiles, with blue tiles forming the lower portion of the walls and the white ones covering the rest. There are various complex mosaic designs available in the market for you to select from, as per your preference.

As far as the floor of the bathroom is considered you can either use the same designs as that on the walls, or you can opt for a completely new pattern. Generally, different designs on the wall and the floor help in balancing the colors of fixtures, in case they are different in color. If you are planning to install radiant heating system beneath the flooring you can go in for warm colored tiles. This will create a comfortable environment inside the bathroom, especially during the winters.

Tiles can be selected on the basis of their color, size, designs as well as material that they are made up of. In order to custom design your bathroom you can either use your imagination, or can take the help of a professional decorator. Whichever option you opt for, you can be sure that tiles are going to last for a long duration and will enhance the visuals of your bathroom.

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Get your facts right before tiling the floor

June 12, 2010

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Tiles offer durability and are a cost effective option for flooring; with minimal maintenance requirements, tiles can enhance the entire outlook of the room. In case you are planning to install floor tiles to upgrade your home, you must be aware of certain facts before you start working on it.

These are available in different shapes, sizes, colors and varieties, such as glass, terracotta, brick, cement, porcelain, terrazzo and quarry tiles. Among the various types, stone and ceramic tiles are generally preferred more for the floors. Ceramic tiles are available in glazed as well as unglazed options in different varieties of color. Further, the tiles are classified in four groups from I to IV depending upon durability. Group IV tiles are most durable, strong and sturdy withstanding more pressure and hence preferred for heavy traffic floors, such as patios and drive ways. Therefore, selecting the right kind of tile for flooring would depend upon the area such as kitchen, hallway, bathroom, basement or patio.

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The most important thing you must have, before installing tiles for making the floor, is a proper layout, in order to execute the installation properly. For a correct assessment, measure the dimensions of the flooring area and divide it by coverage area of the tile; this will provide an estimate on how many tiles you would require for tiling your floor. It is advisable to re-evaluate your calculations, in order to avoid any inconvenience while doing the job.

Always get a few extra tiles to make for the loss, if any, during installation. Moreover, this also helps you in having matching tiles in case you need to replace it in future, because finding matching tile pattern can be difficult. Planning, patience and labor are the key ingredients that will help you cruise through this task effectively.

You should also be aware of the fact that installing a tile floor is a tedious process which may take days or weeks to complete the job. For a small bathroom floor, it may take two or three days, however installing tiles on the floor of your living room may stretch beyond a week. The time frame also depends upon your skill. Moreover, choosing the material, estimating the cost and finally purchasing the supplies consumes few days initially.

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Before starting off with the tiling process, it is essential to lay out the sub floor. Sub flooring forms an integral part of the whole tiling process; hence make sure that you have strong sub flooring to prevent the grout from cracking. In addition, you must select the right type of grout depending upon the type of the tile. There are primarily three types of grout, namely epoxy, furan resin and Portland-cement based grouts. Among these, though epoxy is more expensive, it is highly water resistant and spreads out easily. In case of moist areas, you can use cement fiber-board for under flooring.

Once the sub floor stabilizes, it is time to lay out tiles. To hold the tiles in place make use of thinset and leave the tiles overnight. All this information will help you make all the necessary arrangements beforehand and have the perfectly tiled floor for your house.

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Experiment with a wide variety of flooring options

May 22, 2010

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Flooring is an integral part of any home, which enhances its visual appeal. The entire outlook of a room can be changed based on the kind of flooring used in it. There are different types of flooring options available nowadays; and you can select the one you feel, would look the best for your room.

While choosing the right kind of flooring, there are various factors that you have to take into consideration. The flooring you choose should blend easily with the interiors of your room. In case the room has less lighting or have dark colored interiors then you may select light colored polished floor as such a surface would reflect more light. Though light colored floors get dirty

Further, you must choose flooring which is comfortable for everyone in the house. For example, the highly glossy floors can be slippery and in case you have children who run around the house then there is danger of them slipping and sustaining injuries. Areas where plenty of water is used, you must choose the flooring that provides a better grip.

The most important factor when it comes to choosing the right kind of flooring is your budget. Some very important aspects\ that you must take into consideration while estimating the budget for your flooring are its type, installation, transportation and labor costs.

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There are various flooring options available for you, such as tiles, marble, granite and hardwood flooring. Among the available options, tiles are preferred by many, since these are available in a wide variety of shapes, colors and sizes, along with being affordable. These are easy to install with minimal maintenance requirements. Tiles are available in different varieties, including vinyl, ceramic, vitrified, porcelain, glass and metal tiles. Another popular option is the hardwood flooring which is aesthetically pleasing and gives a warm-cozy look to the place. The hardwood flooring blends easily with every kind of decor; whether your room has a traditional outlook or has been designed in stylish manner, wooden flooring goes best with all sorts of interiors.

Other flooring options that you can consider include laminate flooring, carpet flooring and resilient flooring which encompasses cork, vinyl, rubber and linoleum. You can also opt for the stone flooring which offers a natural ambiance to your home. A popular stone flooring option is marble, which has gained immense popularity over the years and are available in different varieties. In case the budget is not an issue, then you should consider purchasing Greek, Italian or Spanish marble. However, marble floor requires a high degree of maintenance since it needs to be polished regularly to retain its luster and has a tendency to develop cracks. In contrast, another popular stone flooring option is granite; it is easy to maintain, though a little expensive than marble. You can use a combination of granite and marble for beautiful flooring patterns.

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Before making a decision, sift through the various flooring options and wisely select the one which best suits your needs and budget, along with enhancing the look of your home.

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State of the art bathroom within your budget

May 14, 2010

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As with the other parts of your home, you would surely like your bathroom to be unique. Nowadays, most of the houses have state-of-the-art bathrooms which are a perfect blend of functionality and creativity. With just a little research & effort you could make your bathroom distinctive & attractive

A bathroom is the most personal space in your house and you would like it to be a reflection of your personal taste. In case you are constructing your home or renovating your bathroom, you should first consider the various options you have and work accordingly. You must research the market and see what all is available within your budget; thereafter you need to make a proper layout and plan your work accordingly. Before you actually start on planning the decor of your bathroom, you need to finalize the layout of pipes, sewer etc.

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To begin with, you must decide the color that will primarily dominate your bathroom space. In case the size of the bathroom is small, consider light color as it will make your bathroom look bigger than it actually is. You can also mix & match contrasting colors to add an artistic touch and make the bathroom look more appealing.

Once you have decided the color, the next thing you need to choose is the flooring and walls. There are many options that are available, such as tiles, marble and granite. Amongst the various options, tiles are generally preferred as these are affordable, durable and easy to install and maintain. Moreover, these are available in various colors, patterns and types, such as glass, metal and ceramic tiles. Furthermore, decide about the various other essential components of your bathroom, such as sink, shower, bathtub and more. All these are available in various shapes patterns and sizes; hence give some due deliberation before you purchase these. With little experimentation and patience, it is possible to have a beautiful bathroom.

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After all the basics have been taken care of, you can spruce up the bathroom interiors by using some dynamic bathroom accessories. Even if your bathroom is simple, you can make it lavish by adding style and grace with the help of light fixtures, vanities and accent. You can use contemporary light fixtures, such as ones with the steel body. Then according to the bathroom decor and color, select bathroom vanities such as shelves, shower seats and mirrors. To add the final touch to your bathroom, use accents to make your bathroom attractive. Use some beautiful paintings, houseplants, vases, potpourri, mats and other decorative items of your choice. All this will make your bathroom look grand and luxurious.

There are various companies offering such items, however, we provide durable and quality range of products, which is well within your budget so that you can have a splendid bathroom, without burning a hole in your pocket. Hence, a little planning and effort on your part, along with quality and affordable range offered by us; you will be proud owner of a state of the art bathroom.

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Tiling ideas for your bathroom

May 12, 2010

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Although you have the option of using a number of different types of materials in your bathroom; most people prefer to use ceramic tiles due to the various benefits these offer. Tiles can be conveniently placed and come in a variety of designs, colors shapes and sizes. Most people prefer ceramic tiles since they are highly durable, resistant to dampness and easy to clean. However, there are a number of other tiling options that you can avail in order to make your bathroom more attractive and aesthetically appealing.

In case you have used ceramic tiles of the same color in your bathroom you can create a contrasting border by using tiles of different colors. Such an integration of colors will significantly enhance the aesthetic appeal of your bathroom.

The grout is an important aspect of your bathroom, and selecting a contrasting grout color can enable you to create an attractive color combination in your bathroom. For example, if you have white tiles in your bathroom, you can select grout colors such as red, blue or green.

You can mix and match the size of tiles that you use in your bathroom. It is not necessary to use the traditional sized tiles; you can easily pick from a number of different options that are available in the market these days. Use your creativity in order to achieve a look that is as per your requirements.

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Another great tiling idea for your bathroom is to use metal tiles instead of ceramic. Metal tiles, although a bit costly, are in vogue when it comes to designing the bathrooms, and are being used widely. Metal tiles are generally used to integrate mosaic with stone tiles.

The color combination of the tiles is not meant only to enhance the looks of the bathroom but also to give a soothing sensation. Therefore, you should carefully select the colors of the tiles for the floor or the walls of your bathroom in order to have a comforting experience while taking a shower or lying in the tub.

The colors selected can also make your bathroom look large or small. Dark colored tiles generally reduce the perceived size of your bathroom, while on the other hand light colored tiles reflect light and make your bathroom area look more spacious.

Another idea to improve the aesthetics of your bathroom is to use multi-colored tiles in the shower area and in other parts of the bathroom. Or in case you want to use the same colored tiles in the entire bathroom you can arrange them differently in the shower area and the rest of the bathroom.

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These are just a few of the many innovative ideas that you can make use of, while tiling your bathroom. In order to make the right choice of tiles to select for your bathroom you should visit the website of reputed tile suppliers such as FlooringSupplyShop; here you will be able to shortlist and select tiles of colors and designs that best suit your specific taste.

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History of American tiles

April 21, 2010

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Tiles have been used by man for aesthetic purposes since a long time. Excavations have revealed that a number of civilizations in Babylon, Egypt, America and China used a variety of hardened clay to decorate walls, floors, pitchers and pots. Further, the discovery of natural pigments to color these tiles led to the development of colored and decorative tiles.

Apart from being used as a decorative item, the renaissance period saw the development of tiles into a canvas. During this period, a number of renowned artists painted their masterpiece on tiles. One of the main reasons for the popularity of tiles as a canvas was its high durability and the appealing background that it provided.

Fired clay tiles gained popularity in the United States during the late 19th century due to the widespread availability of the raw materials used to create them. Continuous development in tile manufacturing technology led to tiles being created through a systematic process by using roller kilns, higher firing temperatures and shorter firing cycles. Although this process has become outdated, the tiles created through this process are still in use around the United States.

Apart from the process of manufacturing tiles, the size of tiles have also undergone a tremendous change over the years. Earlier, standard sizes of either 4” x 4” or 8” x 8” were manufactured; with advancement in manufacturing technology, there is no limit to the size of tiles that can be manufactured. If the rate of technological advancement is anything to go by, we are sure to see a lot more changes in the size, shape, color and thickness of tiles.

Even the process of decorating tiles has undergone a significant change over the years. Earlier, glaze was applied on the surface of the tile using bell applicators; however, change in technology has facilitated tile decoration using flat silk screens, rotor or roller screens, laser screens and digital ink.

It was during the late 20th century that the trend of using porcelain tiles gained popularity. The main reason for the popularity of porcelain tiles was that they were ‘freeze thaw stable’ and had water absorption of less than 0.5%. These characteristics ensured that porcelain tiles could be used in any temperature and in any condition. Even NASA realized these characteristics and started using porcelain tiles on space shuttles to protect it during the re-entry procedure. Now, technological advancements have enabled tile manufacturers to create tiles that have the same surface color as the body color. This makes wear and tear marks almost non-existent on these tiles.

Tiles have been popular over the years due to their three main characteristics: they are hygienic, economical and green. Tiles are highly hygienic and are widely used in hospitals and educational communities due to this reason. Since tiles are highly durable and require little maintenance these prove to be highly cost effective in the long run. Finally, tiles can easily be recycled and are manufactured using natural materials, thereby reducing wastage and encouraging a ‘green’ change.

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Tiles are a great investment

April 14, 2010

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Since tiles offer a number of advantages over other materials they are widely used for home renovation purposes. Tiles are widely preferred since they are highly durable and require very little maintenance. Let us take a look at some of the reasons that make tiles the right investment option:

One of the major reasons for the popularity of tiles is that there is a wide range for you to select from. You will find various tiles such as granite, marble, vinyl, stone and ceramic that offer specific benefits. Stone tiles offer a timeless aesthetic appeal, and are highly durable as well. On the other hand, ceramic tiles offer a more contemporary look along with being a lot more affordable to replace. With such a wide range to choose from, you cab ensures that you are able to select one that best suits the specific theme of your house. Tiles are available in different colors and you can either, mix & match to create a mosaic effect, or you can create borders or dividing lines using different tiles. Moreover, you can also find tiles with patterns and designs that continue into the next tile piece.

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The best thing about tiles is that they are easy to clean and are resilient to dirt and water. Tiles have a smooth and shiny surface and any liquid that spills on it can be easily wiped off using a piece of cloth. This is in contrast to paint or wallpaper that absorbs moisture and results in staining. This further makes tiles more effective at high moisture areas such as the shower area.

Tiles are more resilient to chipping and other damages, thereby making them more durable than other flooring options. Since wood generally expands during the summers and contracts during the winters, it can pose a problem as a flooring option. Tiles are generally considered to be the strongest flooring material and are not prone to seasonal contraction and expansion, thereby making them an ideal flooring option for your house.

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You can also use certain types of tiles to create a non slip area in you shower. Mosaic tiles, natural stone tiles porcelain tiles and ceramic tiles are ideal for creating a non slip area, thereby enhancing the effectiveness of your shower area.

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Designing the various aspects of a house takes a lot of time and consideration. It is essential to select the right construction material and lights, among other things; however, one aspect of home designing that should be given the maximum consideration is the flooring. When it comes to flooring, tiles have become the preferred choice of many, due to the above-mentioned benefits as well as their cost effectiveness. These tiles enable to create the look of your house as you desire. It is for this reason that tiles are considered to be a great investment option over other materials, and are widely used by people for designing and renovating their homes.

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Tiling ideas for your bathroom

April 6, 2010

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Although you have the option of using a number of different types of materials in your bathroom; most people prefer to use ceramic tiles due to the various benefits these offer. Tiles can be conveniently placed and come in a variety of designs, colors,  shapes and sizes. Most people prefer ceramic tiles since they are highly durable, resistant to dampness,  and easy to clean. However, there are a number of other tiling options that you can utilize in order to make your bathroom more attractive and aesthetically appealing.

In case you have used ceramic tiles of the same color in your bathroom you can create a contrasting border by using tiles of different colors. Such an integration of colors will significantly enhance the aesthetic appeal of your bathroom.

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The grout is an important aspect of your bathroom, and selecting a contrasting grout color can enable you to create an attractive color combination.  For example, if you have white tiles in your bathroom, you can select grout colors such as red, blue or green.

You can mix and match the size of tiles that you use in your bathroom. It is not necessary to use the traditional sized tiles; you can easily pick from a number of different options that are available in the market these days. Use your creativity in order to achieve a look that is as per your requirements.

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Another great tiling idea for your bathroom is to use metal tiles instead of ceramic. Metal tiles, although a bit costly, are in vogue when it comes to designing the bathrooms, and are being used widely. Metal tiles are generally used to integrate mosaic with stone tiles.

The color combination of the tiles is not meant only to enhance the looks of the bathroom but also to give a soothing sensation. Therefore, you should carefully select the colors of the tiles for the floor or the walls of your bathroom in order to have a comforting experience while taking a shower or lying in the tub.

The colors selected can also make your bathroom look large or small. Dark colored tiles generally reduce the perceived size of your bathroom, while on the other hand light colored tiles reflect light and make your bathroom area look more spacious.

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Another idea to improve the aesthetics of your bathroom is to use multi-colored tiles in the shower area and in other parts of the bathroom. Or in case you want to use the same colored tiles in the entire bathroom you can arrange them differently in the shower area and the rest of the bathroom.

These are just a few of the many innovative ideas that you can make use of, while tiling your bathroom. In order to make the right choice of tiles to select for your bathroom you should visit the website of reputed tile suppliers such as FlooringSupplyShop; here you will be able to shortlist and select tiles of colors and designs that best suit your specific taste.

Designing with Tile by Flooring Supply Shop

Copyright © 2010 FlooringSupplyShop.com

Shower recessed shelves Make your bathroom glamorous!

February 25, 2010

bathroom accessories, Corners shelves, Towel Bars, Tooth Brush Holder

Have you ever tried to imagine the latent power of your bathroom?  Well, your bathroom can provide heavenly relaxation to your entire body and even help you completely recharge your batteries!  Bathroom accessories like shower recessed shelves lend a very organized look to your bathroom and will make you feel like a princess.

Shower recessed shelves are the perfect accessory for the modern day shower.  They provide you with a huge amount of space to store all your favorite shower materials like gels and soaps.  A stone shelf will also add a rustic charm to your shower and help you enjoy a spa like experience in your bathroom!

Along with these shelves, the ceramic bathroom tiles and mosaic tiles also bring in a lot of elegance to a bathroom.  The natural colors of these tiles allow them to blend perfectly with your bathroom interiors and create a mesmerizing appeal.  The modern day stainless steel tiles are also anti slip, ensuring complete safety for your family.  So light up those aroma candles and soak your body and mind in this heavenly experience right in your shower!

Flooring Supply Shop offers shower recessed shelves and other bathroom accessories. The website www.flooringsupplyshop.com offers complete information about the company.

Copyright © 2010 FlooringSupplyShop.com

Eco friendly flooring options

February 22, 2010

eco flooring, hardwood floors, stone, ceramic tile, glass tile

Using eco friendly products is not a luxury but an intelligent and helpful gesture to help save the planet. One of the most recent eco friendly products hitting the markets is flooring material. When building a new house everyone wants to settle for attractive floorings which are eye catching as well as affordable. The market is flooded with various eco friendly flooring options to suit all pockets and building green homes is profitable to the builder as well as affordable for the consumer.

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If you want to give your flooring a wood like effect then it is easily possible without cutting down trees. Bamboo is one such option which is growing in popularity as an eco friendly flooring product. Since it is a fast-growing grass and not a tree it can be re-harvested easily, is durable and moisture resistant. Cork flooring is another great option to give a wooden effect and is quite cheap. Another option gaining popularity is linoleum flooring which is a combination of wood flour, flax seed and sap. It is highly durable, can be recycled a number of times and has a long life span.

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Recycled glass tiles & recycled metal tiles are also great options for home flooring and are definitely eco friendly. People who can’t do without carpets have the option of using natural wool carpets which is 100% pure and not treated with chemicals and dyes that are harmful to the environment as well as the occupants. Natural wool is also quite long lasting and products which do not need to be replaced frequently are always eco friendly.

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Amongst all the eco friendly flooring options concrete flooring cannot be ruled out. Stone flooring is a perfect choice for many, since stones and tiles come in various attractive colors, are sturdy & durable, and easily replaceable or repairable. Moreover in kitchens and toilets where there can be a lot of water spillage, the most obvious choice would be stone flooring. People having dogs in the house can also opt for ceramic or glass tiles and stone flooring to prevent scratches and stains. Another great benefit of using stone flooring is that it absorbs heat during daytime and releases that heat after sunset, when it is required.

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Stones and tiles can easily be cleaned and polished with the help of EcoStone solutions which is a powerful stone and tile cleaner and helps to remove even the toughest of stains, grime and dirt and at the same time is environment friendly. There is also the EcoStone Solutions Kleen Stone Plus which comes with a handy sprayer and is very effective on all stone types, porcelain, clay products, granites etc. All EcoStone solutions are biodegradable, deodorize as they clean and are eco friendly & easy to use. Diamond stone polishing pads are also great for polishing stone, tiles. These are eco-friendly, reusable and easily washable. Since these products can be used on a daily basis, it becomes all the more easier to maintain eco friendly concrete floorings.

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Copyright © 2010 FlooringSupplyShop.com

Eco friendly flooring for your bathroom

February 15, 2010

Cleaning products, Environmentally friendly, stone solution sealers, ecostone, Earth-friendly Products,organic products, eco-friendly, natural products, environmental products

While setting up your new home or renovating your existing house into an eco friendly and green home, special attention should be given to the floorings, especially in the bathrooms. Flooring options for your bathroom should be water resistant, durable and long lasting. Costs may vary and some options may be a bit on the costlier side, but ultimately it proves to be beneficial and cost effective for the occupants as well as the environment in the long run.

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Linoleum is considered as an inexpensive and eco friendly flooring option for the bathrooms. Linoleum tiles (VCT) are scratch, water, and fire resistant, durable and long lasting. Linoleum is manufactured in vibrant and attractive colors and designs which can provide an artistic touch to your bathroom. Due to its high content of linseed oil, linoleum is anti-microbial in nature and fights bacteria naturally, giving you a clean, green and healthy bathroom. Linoleum grows tougher with age, and therefore you do not need to replace it for years.

Glass Ceramic tiles as a flooring solution for bathrooms are also advisable. These tiles are usually made from recycled products like discarded glass, bottles, jars etc, and its manufacturing process is also quite simple, and does not have any hazardous effects on the environment. Usually ceramic tiles do not get easily damaged by moisture and are long lasting. Moreover, these come in attractive designs, colors and shapes and give your bathroom an elegant look. Cleaning products like EcoStone tile cleaners are easy to use and effective in removing stubborn stains, which can be used regularly to maintain a sparkling clean bathroom.

Having Hardwood flooring for a bathroom is also not a bad option. Bamboo is a good option when it comes to durability, water and moisture resistance and longevity. Bamboo flooring is quite affordable and a sustainable product that can be re harvested easily which makes it eco friendly. Apart from these benefits bamboo floorings are bacteria, mildew and mold resistant and prove to be the perfect option for a germ free bathroom. Bamboo flooring can easily be maintained by using products like “Hardwood floor cleaner’ which is a non-toxic, environment friendly, water based solution that helps to keep wooden flooring in a shiny new state.

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Cork is again considered as one of the most eco friendly flooring material and can easily be used for bathroom flooring since it is naturally water resistant. Moreover cork is derived from the bark of a tree which does not kill the tree, and can be harvested every nine years. Eucalyptus is also a fast growing hardwood and a sustainable product that can be used as an eco friendly flooring option.

Though a bit on the costlier side, stone is also another popular choice for bathroom flooring because of its durable and tough nature. Stones like limestone, slate are eco friendly in nature and are obviously water resistant. Nowadays textured stone is available which is perfect for bathroom flooring since it is non-slippery and safe. Moreover eco friendly stone floorings for bathrooms can easily be cleaned and maintained by using popular and effective EcoStone products. Chemical free and eco friendly diamond pads are available that help to polish limestone and other stone floorings to preserve their shine.

Cleaning products, Environmentally friendly, stone solution sealers, ecostone, Earth-friendly Products,organic products, eco-friendly, natural products, environmental products

Copyright © 2010 FlooringSupplyShop.com

Shower shelves: A Mediterranean escape!

February 2, 2010

bathroom accessories, Corners shelves, Towel Bars, Tooth Brush Holder

Do you want to enjoy a rejuvenating experience in your shower?  Well, now you can enjoy the rustic charm of the middle ages with the help of shower shelves! The shower shelves will add elegance to your bathroom and lend you a very fresh and rejuvenating experience. So, get ready to revel in a kaleidoscope of colors as the Sun rays filter through these shelves to create a beautiful pattern!

Travertine shower shelves not only lend a charming allure to your shower but also help you organize it in a proper manner! You can also use porcelain benches to bathe like a princess and enjoy a truly comfortable bath!  The stone towel bars and holders will also help you feel connected to  nature!

Along with shower shelves you can also employ electric floor heating to create a warm and comfortable atmosphere in your bathroom.  Sun Touch radiant floor heating is also one of the safest methods as it emits a very low electromagnetic force thus ensuring that you are protected from the harmful electromagnetic radiation!

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Flooring Supply Shop offers shower drains and various other plumbing materials. The website www.flooringsupplyshop.com offers complete information about the company.

Designing with Tile by Flooring Supply Shop

January 25, 2010

Ceramic and all other stone Tile Installation Patterns, Installation Schemes

In addition to the pattern check out the Flooring and Floor Heating Calculator to determine the number of Tiles, Thinset, Grout and SunTouch Heating System amounts required to complete your tiling and heating project.

The Estimator Calculator also has the option of returning the cost to heat your floor with our SunTouch heating mats.

Scheme 1 Scheme 2 Scheme 3 Scheme 4
Designing with tiles, Installation schemes, Tile Patterns Designing with tiles, Installation schemes, Tile Patterns Designing with tiles, Installation schemes, Tile Patterns Designing with tiles, Installation schemes, Tile Patterns
Size Coverage % Pieces per 100sq
3 x 6 100% 800
6.5 x 13 100% 171
8 x 16 100% 113
12 x 24 100% 50
Size Coverage % Pieces per 100sq
4 x 4 100% 900
6 x 6 100% 400
6.5 x 6.5 100% 341
8 x 8 100% 225
12 x 12 100% 100
Size Coverage % Pieces per 100sq
3 x 6 100% 800
6.5 x 13 100% 171
8 x 16 100% 113
12 x 24 100% 50
Size Coverage % Pieces per 100sq
4 x 4 50%-50% 900
6 x 6 50%-50% 400
8 x 8 50%-50% 225
12 x 12 50%-50% 100
16 x 16 50%-50% 57
20 x 20 50%-50% 36
Scheme 5 Circular Scheme 6 Scheme 7 Scheme 8
Designing with tiles, Installation schemes, Tile Patterns Designing with tiles, Installation schemes, Tile Patterns Designing with tiles, Installation schemes, Tile Patterns Designing with tiles, Installation schemes, Tile Patterns
Size Coverage % Pieces per 100sq
3 x 6 100% 800
6 x 12 100% 200
6.5 x 13 100% 171
8 x 16 100% 113
12 x 24 100% 50
Size Coverage % Pieces per 100sq
3 x 6 100% 800
6 x 12 100% 200
6.5 x 13 100% 171
8 x 16 100% 113
12 x 24 100% 50
Size Coverage % Pieces per 100sq
4 x 4 100% 900
6 x 6 100% 400
6.5 x 6.5 100% 341
8 x 8 100% 225
12 x 12 100% 100
Size Coverage % Pieces per 100sq
4 x 4 100% 900
6 x 6 100% 400
6.5 x 6.5 100% 341
8 x 8 100% 225
12 x 12 100% 100
Scheme 9 Scheme 10 Scheme 11 Hexagon Scheme 12
Designing with tiles, Installation schemes, Tile Patterns Designing with tiles, Installation schemes, Tile Patterns Designing with tiles, Installation schemes, Tile Patterns Designing with tiles, Installation schemes, Tile Patterns
Size Coverage % Pieces per 100sq
3 x 6 100% 800
6 x 12 100% 200
6.5 x 13 100% 171
8 x 16 100% 113
12 x 24 100% 50
Size Coverage % Pieces per 100sq
3 x 6 100% 800
6 x 12 100% 200
6.5 x 13 100% 171
8 x 16 100% 113
12 x 24 100% 50
Size Coverage % Pieces per 100sq
4 x 4 50%-50% 900
6 x 6 50%-50% 400
8 x 8 50%-50% 225
12 x 12 50%-50% 100
16 x 16 50%-50% 57
20 x 20 50%-50% 36
Size Coverage % Pieces per 100sq
4 x 4 50%-50% 900
6 x 6 50%-50% 400
8 x 8 50%-50% 225
12 x 12 50%-50% 100
16 x 16 50%-50% 57
20 x 20 50%-50% 36
Scheme 13 Scheme 14 Scheme 15 Scheme 16
Designing with tiles, Installation schemes, Tile Patterns Designing with tiles, Installation schemes, Tile Patterns Designing with tiles, Installation schemes, Tile Patterns Designing with tiles, Installation schemes, Tile Patterns
Size Coverage % Pieces per 100sq
6 x 12 67% 134
6 x 6 33% 132
Size Coverage % Pieces per 100sq
6 x 12 67% 67
6 x 6 33% 66
Size Coverage % Pieces per 100sq
12 x 12 50% 50
6 x 12 50% 100
Size Coverage % Pieces per 100sq
6 x 12 75% 150
6 x 6 25% 100
Scheme 17 Scheme 18 Scheme 19 Scheme 20
Designing with tiles, Installation schemes, Tile Patterns Designing with tiles, Installation schemes, Tile Patterns Designing with tiles, Installation schemes, Tile Patterns Designing with tiles, Installation schemes, Tile Patterns
Size Coverage % Pieces per 100sq
6 x 12 50% 100
6 x 6 50% 200
Size Coverage % Pieces per 100sq
6 x 12 89% 178
6 x 6 11% 45
Size Coverage % Pieces per 100sq
6 x 12 50% 100
6 x 6 50% 200
Size Coverage % Pieces per 100sq
6 x 12 80% 160
6 x 6 20% 80
Scheme 21 Scheme 22 Hexagon Scheme 23 Scheme 24
Designing with tiles, Installation schemes, Tile Patterns Designing with tiles, Installation schemes, Tile Patterns Designing with tiles, Installation schemes, Tile Patterns Designing with tiles, Installation schemes, Tile Patterns
Size Coverage % Pieces per 100sq
12 x 6 94% 100
6 x 6 6% 56
Size Coverage % Pieces per 100sq
12 x 12 94% 100
4 x 4 6% 56
Size Coverage % Pieces per 100sq
12 x 6 66% 132
6 x 6 34% 132
Size Coverage % Pieces per 100sq
12 x 6 70% 144
6 x 6 30% 144
Scheme 25 Scheme 26 Scheme 27 Scheme 28
Designing with tiles, Installation schemes, Tile Patterns
Size Coverage % Pieces per 100sq
12 x 12 80% 80
6 x 6 20% 80
Size Coverage % Pieces per 100sq
Size Coverage % Pieces per 100sq
Size Coverage % Pieces per 100sq

Ceramic tiles have lots of patterns to choose from. Different patterns may compliment different areas of your home. Mixing materials, designs and colors can create unique patterns.

Choose the patterns you will use with care, so that your designs will last for years. Lightly patterned or solid tiles in neutral colors make it easy to decorate a room, while darker solid tiles may show more soil, so keep that in mind. Select the best in materials, and create beautiful tile patterns to enhance the beauty of your home

Always make sure to buy extra tile for cutting and waste, approx 10% when it is under 200 sq feet and a simple square room, and 5% on or above 200 sq feet for a simple square area.

When it comes to complicated patterns and/or many specialty cuts due to room size or layout of tile design , consult your tile installer before purchasing tile.

Also remember to purchase a few extra cartons for future damage replacement.

Copyright © 2010 FlooringSupplyShop.com & International Flooring Center, inc.

Step by Step How to Install Tile and more

January 23, 2010

Step by Step How to Install Tile

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Difficulty of Installation

When using the thinset method in residential areas, installing ceramic tile is rather simple. To put it in better perspective, it is easier to install than wood or vinyl sheet goods and slightly more difficult than vinyl tile.

Actually, the subfloor preparation, layout, and installation is very similar to that of vinyl tile.

The only major difference is grouting. With proper planning and a little common sense, practically anyone can install ceramic tile using the thinset method.

Steps of Installation

If you are installing a new underlayment, it’s recommended that you staple polyethylene plastic on top of the subfloor before you install the underlayment to ensure protection from water penetrating down to the subfloor.

Subfloor Preparation

This is the most important step in accomplishing
a satisfactory installation.

The subfloor must be structurally sound, rigid, smooth, flat, and free of curing compounds and waxy or oily films.

Floor Layout

In this step, the room is squared off and measured, and the chalk lines are snapped. Once the chalk lines are in place, the installer will verify the floor in both directions to balance the room.

Preparing the Tiles

Slight tone variations are to be expected from tile to tile. A good installer will prevent this from becoming a problem by mixing the tiles from several cartons before installation.  This blends the tiles together, and any shade variations add to the character of the floor.

Spreading the Thinset

Using the chalk lines as a guide, the installer will begin applying the thinset in one section at a time.

He will spread one coat using the flat side of the trowel and then immediately come back with a second coat, using the notched side of the trowel.

Laying the Tiles

The tiles are then placed one at a time in the thinset by twisting and pressing while allowing appropriate spacing for the grout.

A straight edge or spacers may be used to align the tile.

Grouting

The installer will generally begin grouting the following day. It is important to allow the thinset enough time to set up before applying the grout.

The grout is applied over one small section at a time and is spread by means of a rubber float or a squeegee.

Pulling the grout firmly over the surface will both push the grout into the joints and clean off most of the excess grout.

Then the tile is rinsed using a damp sponge. Very little water is applied.

After approximately ten minutes the surface of the tile is cleaned again with a damp sponge (even drier this time), or on some shiny tiles, just buff with a dry towel.

Step 1. – Use the grouting float diagonally across the tiles at an angle to prevent dragging grout from joints.

Step 2. – Clean float in clear water. Change water in pails often to keep clean.

Step 3. – Go back over grout holding float at a 90 degree angle.

Step 4. – Use damp (not wet) sponge to clean grout off tile surface. Clean sponge and keep repeating until section is clean. NOTE: Always use clean cool water.

Step 5.- Buff film off tile with a soft towel after grout dries to the touch.

Step 6. – Keep people off newly grouted floor for about 12-24 hours.

INSTALLATION METHODS

It is important for you and your customers to understand that the installation of ceramic tile is not a one-day job, like most carpet and vinyl installations.

Scheduling a time for the installation becomes much easier when everyone involved knows how long the job will take.

A. Estimated Timetable

The following guide is an approximate time table for completion of a job.

50 sq. ft. and under One Day
51-175 sq. ft Two Days
76-350 sq. ft Three Days
351-500 sq. ft Four Days
each additional 200 sq. ft Add one day

The installation of tile takes longer because the installer must wait 10-14 hours before grouting. If he tries to rush it, he will break the bond between the tile and mortar.

The moisture from the mortar may also wick into the grout, causing discoloration.

B. Substrate

Preparing a good substrate is the most important step to insure a beautiful installation. There are six general requirements.

1. New concrete subfloors must be left to cure 28 days before tiling.

2. All floor and wall substrates must be rigid.
Excessive movement in the substrate may crack or loosen the tile and grout.

3. All substrates, particularly floors, must be structurally sound. Rotting or deteriorating subfloors must be corrected prior to installing
ceramic tile.

4. All substrates should be flat. The ceramic tile will contour to minor subfloor irregularities.

5. Any oil or wax on the substrate needs to be removed to assure strong adhesion.

6. The substrate must be free of curing compounds.

C. Suitable Subfloors

All subfloors that are structurally sound and free of excessive movement are suitable for tiling over.

They include:
1. Concrete
2. Terrazzo or natural stone
3. Fiber cement boards
4. Cement backer boards
5. Non-cushioned vinyl and linoleum
(Properly prepared)
6. Properly supported 1-1/4” plywood

D. Unsuitable Subfloors

These subfloors are not suitable because they tend to flex, expand and contract, or warp.

Any excessive movement will loosen the tile and pop the grout.

These subfloors must be replaced or covered with a suitable underlayment.

1. Perimeter installed or heavily cushioned vinyl and linoleum

2. Composite woods

    a. Particle board

    b. Flake board

    c. Chipboard

    d. OSB (Orient Strand Brand)

    e. Luan

    f. Strip wood

E. Selecting the Right Installation Method

Caution: Poorly prepared substrates and the use of improper setting materials are the cause of practically all major installation failures.

Certain types of substrates and job conditions require special treatment. These treatments are neither expensive, time consuming, nor complicated.

To ignore or deviate from them would be the equivalent of playing Russian roulette.

Installation materials described

• Floor set mortar is a promotionally priced thinset packaged in 50 lb. bags, in gray and white colors. It should be used only over clean, solid, unsealed concrete that is fully

• Fortified Thinset mortar is a special formula of thinset mortar enhanced by pre-blended latex additives to ensure the proper mixture for ceramic installations over concrete. This product comes in 50 lb. bags and covers approximately 50-65 sq. ft. per bag.

• Multi-Set is a specially formulated premium thinset that has a flexible acrylic additive. The acrylic gives the mortar flexibility and additional bonding strength. The flexibility is required when going over substrates that may experience minor movement. The additional adhesion is needed when setting tile over hard-to-bond surfaces, such as plywood and terazzo floors. Multi-Set is packaged in 50 lb. bags in gray and white colors. (When installing tile over a plywood substrate, we always recommend installing cement backer-board first for a more secure installation).

Coverage per bag is approximately 50 to 60 square feet per bag, depending on trowel size.

F. Special Preparation Requirements

• Wood subfloors – must be covered with one of the following overlays for additional support.

1. A cement backer board

2. 1-1/4”-inch plywood – acceptable when using MULTISET 917 Thinset.

3. Wire mesh and mortar system (mud job) – minimum thickness of 1-1/2” (mud only)

Note: We recommend the cement backer board. It is much easier and less costly to install than the wire mesh and mortar coat. It is also much more stable over plywood base floors.

• Non-porous – subfloors include sealed concrete, terrazzo, or any other non-absorptive surface. For extra bonding strength and a more successful installation, use Multi-Set Thinset.

• Vinyl over subfloors – require the use of a cement backer board and Multi-Set. Interflex or perimeter glued floors must be removed.

• Although the moisture in wet areas will not affect the tile itself, it will effect certain substrates. If drywall or plywood are used in wet areas, they will eventually buckle or deteriorate, causing the tile to fall off. To prevent this we recommend a cement backer board as a substrate. It was developed for wet areas.

• When going over floors, the backer board is adhered first with thinset and secured with nails or screws recommended by the manufacturer. It is necessary to cover the floor joints. The joints will be filled as the installer spreads the mortar and tapes with fiberglass mesh.

• Important: Nail or screw cement backer board using 1-1/4”-long (minimum) galvanized (to prevent rusting) ring-shanked nails or screws. Space fasteners every 6” on center.

Step 1 Apply Multi-Set Thinset to a fully adhered and structurally stable base floor with a 1/4” x 1/4” notched trowel.

Step 2 Cut panels by scoring and snapping like drywall. Use carbide tipped scoring tool.

Step 3 Place panels over thinset while it is wet. Stagger end joints and fasten on all marks for screws and on and between marks for nails.

Step 4 Fill joints with Multi-Set and cover all joints with Cement board Tape.

Step 5 Apply Multi-Set with 1/4” x 1/4” notched trowel to set tile

• Note: Thinset mortar must be given 12 to 24 hours to set up before grouting.

G. Substrate Repairs

• Stress cracks – Tile should never be installed directly over cracks.

Stress cracks are generally caused by seasonal movement and will continue to open and close. If the tile is installed over a crack, it will also crack as the substrate moves.

A crack subpression membrane (C-Cure Curelastic 949) may be used to bridge the stress crack.

• All minor cracks must be filled with thinset mortar prior to continuing with the installation. Back filling with the flat side of the trowel during the spreading process is the simplest way of correcting minor cracks.

• Irregular Substrates – Very few substrates are perfectly flat, level, or plumb. Generally, the installer will have to touch up the surface before and during tiling.

• Minor high and low spots are smoothed easily with thinset in very little time and at no extra cost.

• Deep depressions over 1/4” sometimes may be patched with a mixture of thinset and a latex additive. Additional floor preparation cost may apply.

• If the substrate’s surface is marked with mounds larger than 1/4”, get your manager involved so that he can consult with your tile contractor for pricing.

• Note: Ceramic tile will contour to the existing floor condition in the same way vinyl and carpet do. Do not over-promise floor corrections to your customers who are buying ceramic tile. Remember, ceramic tile does not level a customer’s floor.

H. Cement Backer Boards

• The cement backer board is an all-purpose underlayment that was originally developed for use on walls. It is a lightweight portable cement slab that requires no curing time and is used extensively in wet areas because it is not affected by moisture. It is also used to cover wood subfloors. Its strength and rigidity reduce the movement inherent in wood. Therefore, it helps protect the tile from damage.

• The backer board sheets look and handle like gypsum board. They are 1/4” or 1/2” thick and come in 4’ x 4’ or 3’ x 5’ panels. They are produced using reinforced fiber to prevent breakage or crumbling when handled. The backer boards also require no special skills to install. They score and snap as easily as gypsum board.

• When going over floors, the backer board is adhered first with thinset and secured with nails or screws recommended by the manufacturer. It is necessary to cover the floor joints.

The joints will be filled as the installer spreads the mortar and tapes with fiberglass mesh.

• Important: Nail or screw cement backer board using 1-1/4”-long (minimum) galvanized (to prevent rusting) ring-shanked nails or screws. Space fasteners every 6” on center.

Step 1. – Apply Thinset to a fully adhered and structurally stable base floor with a 1/4” x 1/4” notched trowel.

Step 2. – Cut panels by scoring and snapping like drywall. Use carbide tipped scoring tool.

Step 3. – Place panels over thinset while it is wet. Stagger end joints and fasten on all marks for screws and on and between marks for nails.

Step 4. – Fill joints with Thinset and cover all joints with Durock Tape.

Step 5. – Apply Thinset with 1/4” x 1/4” notched trowel to set tile.

• Note: Thinset mortar must be given 12 to 24 hours to set up before grouting.

I. Sound Reduction Systems Many multi-level buildings today require that a sound barrier be applied to the subfloor prior to tiling. This is particularly true with condominiums. You should always ask the customer to check the condominium association’s by-laws on sound reduction. Some customers may not be aware of these by-laws and risk having to replace a new job.

Four common sound reduction systems

1. With a combination of cement backer boards and mat, the mat is adhered to the subfloor and the cement backer board is adhered to the mat.

2. A mortar type system containing sound deadening materials is floated on the subfloor and left to cure overnight. Once cured, it serves as a base to spread your thinset

3. Cork is a thin, high density cork that is specially treated for use with ceramics. Although many contractors use it, because of its flexibility, the cork presents a higher risk for improper adhesion than the other systems.

4. Perlag Sound Reduction uses a mortar additive and does not raise the height of the installation as other sound reduction systems do.

Note: When using any sound reduction system, make sure the material you select has been tested and approved, and make sure you follow the manufacturer’s installation procedures.

J. Adhesives

There are two types of adhesives recommended for installing residential tiles: organic mastics and thinset mortars.

• Organic mastics are pastes similar to floor covering adhesives.

• Type I mastic is used for wet areas such as bath walls and countertops.

• Type II mastic is used on dry walls.

• Thinset mortar is a combination of sand and portland cement that is mixed with either water or latex. Thinset mortar is routinely used on floors when installing tile and concrete backer board.

• Note: Thinset mortar must be given 12 to 24 hours to set up before grouting

K. Grouts

Grout is a cement-based powder that is mixed with water to fill in the joints between the tiles. There are two basic types of grouts: unsanded and sanded.

• Unsanded grouts are used for wall tiles.

• Sanded grouts are used for floor tiles where the joints are 1/8” and larger.

• On wider joints, it is necessary that a sanded grout be used. The sand prevents the grout from shrinking and cracking during the drying process.

• Grouts come in a variety of colors with the standard size floor grout bag being 25 lbs.

• Grout joints in floor tiles should rarely be smaller than 3/16” because tiles vary slightly in size. The installer will not be able to keep a straight line if the grout is too narrow.

• The standard size grout joint for walls is 1/16″ wide

• Although all of our grouts are very dense and denser grouts resist staining, there is no such thing as a stain-proof grout. Do not oversell the product.

• Grouts in general are dense, polymer latex enhanced, and have a flexible formula. This customized mixture is clearly the best sanded grout available today.

L. Sealers

Sealers are used to protect some unglazed tiles from absorbing stains. There are several types of sealers; two of them are discussed below.

• Penetrating sealers are absorbed into the tile forming a stain-resistant shield just below the surface. Some penetrating sealers will darken or change the appearance of the tile. Resealing every 12-18 months is required with most penetrating sealers.

• Surface sealers are coated on the top of the tile forming a non-porous, stain-resistant barrier. The surface sealer will add a slight sheen. Resealing every 6-12 months is required with most surface sealers.

• Some unglazed tiles must be sealed with a penetrating sealer prior to grouting. This is particularly important when a dark-colored grout is being used with a light-colored tile. Naturally, this is to prevent the grout from staining the tile.

• Highly absorptive tiles such as handmade Mexican tiles need to be constantly sealed with either a penetrating, surface, or a permanent epoxy type finish. The permanent epoxy type finish is the best for this purpose,

• Note: None of the unglazed products in our line require a sealer, nor would they accept one. The porosity is so low that sealers would virtually peel off. They only require the damp mopping also used with glazed ceramic tile.

M. Floor Trim

The trim pieces serve two purposes. First, the beveled edge conceals the factory edge, thereby finishing off the job. Second, they protect the exposed edge of the tile from chipping. An example

of an area that requires a trim piece would be one where the tile meets a wood floor at a doorway. In this case some people use a marble threshold or vinyl cap.

• One of the most common types of trim used for residential floors is a marble threshold.

• Thresholds are used in doorways when making a transition from ceramic to another type of floor. Marble thresholds are common at bathroom doors.

• Bullnose (finished edge tile) is not produced by all manufacturers. When confronted with this situation, one of the following alternatives can be used:

Cut-tile base – The installer will cut the tile base from the field tile being used on the job. The tile’s factory edge, which is generally beveled, is always the exposed side.

Vinyl caps – These are vinyl trim pieces that come in a variety of colors made specifically for ceramic tile. They slip right over the exposed edge of the tile to give it a finished look.

Note: The vinyl caps may be used in many ways, including: To cap off the top of a cut-tile base. To cap off the edge of a floor tile next to carpet, wood and lower floor coverings like vinyl and vinyl tile

Large Vinyl Cap Use Large Vinyl Cap when installing ceramic tile over a wood subfloor or when using a cement backer board underlayment. It can be installed straight, on angles or used to contour to a free form.

Small Vinyl Cap Use Small Vinyl Cap when installing ceramic tile over concrete or on a wall as a baseboard. It can be installed straight, on angles, or used to contour to a free form.

Vinyl Stair Cap Use Nosing/Stair Vinyl Cap when a finished edge at step down or open stair is required. It may be used on both concrete and wood subfloors

Vinyl Reducer Use Reducer Vinyl Cap when a wider trim or more gradual reduction is needed. It can be used straight or on angles. It may be used with or without a cement backer board underlayment.

ESTIMATING

In this section we are going to cover the procedures for estimating the material needs and installation costs. Although some of the terminology and job requirements may be new to you, estimating for ceramic tile is no more difficult than for wood or vinyl. The key factors in figuring a job’s needs are the same, no matter what product you are installing. They are:

• taking proper measurements

• determining material and labor needs

• applying the costs

A. Facts About Estimating

1. Ceramic Tile is always ordered in full cartons.

When the square footage of the job is determined,

the salesperson must round it off to the next full

carton.

2. The square foot coverage per carton will vary from product to product. Once the tile is selected, the salesperson will refer to the specification area on the front of the board indicating square foot coverage per carton.

3. It is necessary to increase the square footage of a job in order to compensate for breakage and tile cuts. Add 10% for waste laying tile on a straight line pattern. Add 13% waste when laying a pattern on diagonal installation. This percentage is mandatory on each job.

4. After a job is complete, it is customary to leave the customer with several pieces of tile to assure a perfect match in the event future repairs are needed.

5. The trim pieces such as vinyl cap are ordered by the piece. Each vinyl piece comes 4 l/f.

6. Normal floor prep such as minor patching is considered part of the job and is not billed as an extra charge.

7. Other leveling of a floor is a chargeable labor item. Your installation contractor may need to see the job conditions prior to establishing the customer’s cost.

8. Most ceramic installers do not carry the tools necessary to stretch carpet. If the ceramic meets carpet in an area, the restretch will be done by a carpet installer. This is called carpet finishing.

ESTIMATING DATA SHEET

A. Square Footage Formulations

Multiply the length by width to calculate the square footage (S/F) of area.

2. Add 10% for waste laying tile on a straight line pattern. Add 13% waste when laying a pattern on diagonal installation.

3. Divide net S/F by S/F in box to determine the full and partial number of cartons.

4. Round off to the next full box for exact number of full cartons required.

5. Multiply the number of full cartons by S/F per box to determine the total S/F.

Example: Facts: Area is 20’ long and 15’ wide. Tile is packed 16.0 S/F to a carton.

Answers:

1. 20’ x 15’ = 300 S/F of area.

2. 300 S/F x 1.10 = 330 S/F.

3. 330 divided by 16.0 S/F = 20.63 cartons.

4. Round off 20.63 cartons to 21 total cartons.

5. 21 cartons x 16.0 S/F = 336.0 total S/F.

B. Cut-tile Base Formulation

Length of wall divided by 2 = number of S/F

Example: 1 piece per standard 3 foot door.

C. Marble Thresholds Formulation

Measure linear feet of doorway and calculate in 3’-intervals. Each threshold comes 3’ (36”).

Note: Installer will take the larger size (36”) and cut to fit.

D. Measuring for Door Clearance Formulation

Door should clear height of two tiles. Lay one tile on top of another.

Example: Ceramic over concrete 1/2”, ceramic over wood 1”.

Note: Inform customers so that they may have the door cut prior to installation

E. Steps and Risers (Combined) Formulation

Multiply the width of steps x number of steps = linear feet

Example: 3 feet in width, 3 steps = 9 linear feet

F. Cement Backer Board & Seam Tape Formulation

Area S/F divided by 15 S/F or 16 S/F = number of sheets

Note: Sheet size is 3’ x 5’ x 1/2” = 15 S/F or 4’ x 4’ x 1/4” = 16 S/F

Use 1 bag of Multi-Set Thinset to adhere approximately 4 sheets of cement backer to plywood subfloor.

Use 1 roll of cement backer seam tape for 50 linear feet of cement backer board.

G. Thinset

1 bag of thinset will cover approximately 50 to 65 square feet of ceramic tile or cement backer board.

Example: 100 S/F ceramic tile installation, 2 bags needed.

Example 2: 100 S/F ceramic tile and cement backer board installation, 4 bags needed.

H. Grout

Check our Flooring Calculator

Coverage’s of grout will vary by size of tile. The coverage for a 25 lb. bag of either sanded or unsanded grout is:

Tile Size- Sanded Approx. Grout – Coverage Per Bag Tile Size- Unsanded Approx. Grout – Coverage Per Bag
2” x 2” 125 sq. ft. 4-1/4” x 4-1/4” 250 sq. ft.
4” x 8” (quarry) 50 sq. ft. 6” x 6” 300 sq. ft
6” x 6” (quarry) 55 sq. ft. 8” x 10 ” 525 sq. ft
8” x 8” (quarry) 60 sq. ft.
6” x 6” 65 sq. ft.
8” x 8” 80 sq. ft.
10” x 10” 90 sq. ft.
12” x 12” (Mexican) 30 sq. ft.
12” x 12” 125 sq. ft
13” x 13” 130 sq. ft
13” x 20” 170 sq. ft
16” x 16” 170 sq. ft
17” x 17” 190 sq. ft
18” x 18” 225 sq. ft

J. Floor/Wall Adhesive 1 – 3-1/2 gallon pail of adhesive will cover approximately 130 sq. ft. of ceramic tile.

For more information visit our web site at www.flooringsupplyshop.com

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