If you want professional-looking tile floors (regardless if you want to do it yourself or hire someone), you must read this article to find out what tiles to buy, how to avoid cracked tiles, and the risks of an unfinished tile floor that is less than professional-looking.
Let me tell you that you can lay your floor tiles yourself and get professional-looking results with a few tricks and tips. Let me share with you a little secret. I was convinced seven years ago that I needed to hire a tiler when our mudroom was tiled. I wish I had known then what I now know. I understand that you may still wish to hire a professional tiler to install your wall and floor tiling in Perth for many reasons such as:
- No time
- Don’t have the tools
- Physical disabilities (tile-setting is tough on the back and body)
- No desire to install tile
Are there any other reasons I missed?
Before I get into my tips, let me give you some information about tiles. Even if you have had issues in the past and assumed that it was your fault that the tile job wasn't done professionally. Your problems may be caused by poor or cheap tiles. You can't deny it! Say what?
How to spot poor quality (cheap) tiles:
Did you know that the tiles you're saving a lot of money on might not be high-quality tiles? Did you know that tiles of inferior quality can be found in your area? It's true. It was a few years ago that I hired a tiler to tile the bathrooms. The first time I met the installer, I was asked about the tiles that I had bought. He opened several boxes to inspect them, and I showed him the boxes. He was trying to find out if the tiles were inexpensive.
This is what he was looking for to determine if they were cheap tiles:
Pull tiles from several boxes (if possible) and check to see that the color is consistent for one color tiles. (Obviously, if they are supposed to vary in color and pattern that’s okay.) Regardless, you should always pull tiles randomly from several boxes when laying tile.
Pull random tiles from several boxes and stack them together. They should be identical. Poor quality tiles can vary up to 1/8″ in size. This will cause issues especially if you are using a small grout joint.
Many ceramic or porcelain tiles are printed to look like real stone today. Take a close look at the surface. Is the printing evident? Do you see small dots like a printed newspaper photo? If you can’t see them easily, the printing was well done.
In addition to the overall dimension of the tiles, you should check the consistency of thickness.
Are your tiles perfectly flat or do they bend? See below for a picture of two 4″ x 12″ tiles that show some bowing in the center of the tiles.
Typically you can expect good quality from tiles that are labeled as Standard or First Grade. Second-grade tiles will have more variations in appearance. Independent tile shops are the best place to purchase good-quality tiles.