Comment by The AQK Team on May 8, 2017
Laying a Tile Floor: DIY or DON’T?
Tile Flooring – DIY or Don’t Do It Yourself?
Tile floors are a classic choice for kitchens and bathrooms. In fact, you probably already have tile flooring in one or both of those rooms! Tile is durable, waterproof, beautiful, and long-lasting, so it’s perfect for those damp, high-traffic areas.
But because tile is so long-lasting, you might have tiling that’s just plain … ugly. It might have been beautiful and trendy when it was installed 15 years ago, but now it’s time for a change!
So the question is: tile flooring–DIY or DON’T?
Should you install your tile flooring on your own?
Like most questions, there’s no one answer to this. It totally depends on you. But we’ve made it easy for you to figure out if you should go ahead and DIY or if maybe it’s best to call a pro.
How to tile a floor
First, let’s layout how the process goes.
The first thing you do is rip up the existing tile or flooring until you get to the substrate. You don’t want to install tile over any linoleum flooring, so make sure everything is up and out.
When you get down to your subfloor, make sure everything is in good working order. It should be level without any spiderweb cracks or dings. If it’s not, then you need to fix that before you start laying tile. This might be where you need to call in a pro.
Next, you install a cement backer board or underlayment. This is what the tile will be adhered to, and it helps prevent cracks in the tile later on.
Then, you lay down the tile, mortar it, and grout it! When laying the tile, start in the center of the room and work out. Mark where the tile will be with chalk, and use spacers to keep things even.
Make sure to do your research on what type of mortar you need to use; different types of tiles need different mortar, so make sure you pick the right one.
Depending on the tile you chose, you may need to seal it.
Your DIY Tile Flooring Checklist
- Can you lift heavy objects (50 pounds or so?)
- Can you spend a long time on your knees?
- Are you not worried about back pain?
- Do you have zen-like patience?
- Are you good at following instructions and planning ahead?
- Is the pattern you want to tile simple and straight?
- Is your subfloor flat and in good condition? If it’s not, can you fix that?
- Did you choose a smaller tile that’s less likely to show imperfections?
- Do you have 3 days to devote to this project?
Did you answer yes to most or all of these questions? Then we say go ahead and DIY. It’s not an easy project, but it is a relatively straightforward one. And the pride that you’ll get from knowing you laid the tile in your own bathroom or kitchen will be pretty great!
Did you answer no to 3 or more? Or maybe just one crucial one? You might need to call in the professionals for this. Especially if you have a tricky subfloor or want a fancy pattern, it might just be best to leave the headaches to the professionals.
Not ready to DIY your tile? Not sure if you even can? Give us a call and we’ll work on your kitchen or bathroom remodel with you.