The 4 DON’TS of Installing Floor Tiles

Installing new floor tiles in your home or office is exciting, but it can be difficult. This is especially true for those who have little to no experience installing ceramic or natural stone flooring. So, before you head off to act like Mr. Fix-It, be sure you’re NOT doing any of the following things.

DON’T #1: Don’t Install Your Floor Tiles on an Uneven Surface

This tip is #1 because it’s perhaps the most important. Uneven surfaces are not conducive with an attractive floor tile layout. Instead, you’ll have dips, divots, cracks, and spaces all over the place and there is little you can do to fix it besides start all over. To prevent this incredibly unfortunately mishap, check the level of your floor beforehand and even out or reinforce with sheets of plywood as needed.

DON’T #2: Don’t Cut Your Tiles Before You Measure

You know the old saying: Measure twice, cut once? Well, that wisdom certainly applies to floor tile installation. One wrong cut could have your entire surface off keel, not to mention it could wreck the measurements on the rest of your space. Don’t ever cut your floor tiles before measuring the room’s dimensions carefully. Check the dimensions of the individual tiles as well, then make sure you have more than enough to cover the whole floor. The small surplus will come in handy if you mess up.

DON’T #3: Don’t Use the Wrong Sealer

The wrong sealer choice may not render immediate consequences, but after a while you’ll be forced to face the ramifications of your hasty decision. There are three main types of sealer for floor tiles, each with its own pros and cons:

• Topical – Used primarily for a quick fix or fast boost to the floor’s appearance. Needs to be reapplied every few weeks.
• Penetrating – Used to protect tile floors in high traffic areas from damage and discoloration. Needs to be reapplied every 6-12 months.
• Impregnating – Used commonly as a low maintenance alternative to penetrating sealers, as it protects from damage and discoloration while needing reapplied only every 12-24 months.

DON’T #4: Don’t Forget the Spacers

While those little plastic pieces at the hardware store may seem insignificant, their importance cannot be overstated. Spacers ensure that each tile is evenly positioned in relation to the rest of the tiles and the floor its being installed on. Don’t forget to place your spacers or the final product may look terrible.

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