Successful DIY Tile Installation: A Weekend Guide for Homeowners

Introduction: DIY Tile Installation

DIY Tile Installation; should I do it? At The Tile Installations Specialists we like to create a sense of awe in everything we do and part of that is transforming spaces with the art of tile craftsmanship. Whether it’s a sleek subway tile for your backsplash or a durable 12×24 porcelain for your entrance, the right tile can elevate your home. But the question we often encounter is: Should you attempt tile-setting on your own? Let’s explore this together.

Table of Content

Know your project

Firstly, understanding the scope of your tiling project is crucial. A small backsplash area in your kitchen? Perhaps a manageable undertaking…. maybe… depending on the tile you choose. However, flooring an entire room or a complex pattern may require precision and expertise beyond casual DIY skills. Here is a blueprint for a major bathroom reno to help you on large projects. Consider the size, location, and purpose of the tiled area. These factors can influence the complexity of the job and the materials needed.

Tools & Materials

DIY tile-setting requires specific tools and materials such as tile cutters, trowels, spacers, mortar, and grout. At TTIS, we utilize professional-grade equipment for precision and longevity. Inadequate tools can lead to uneven cuts, poor adhesion, and ultimately, a less durable finish. For those without these tools, the initial investment can increase the overall cost and complexity of the project.

Skills & Experience

Tiling is an art form. It requires a steady hand, an eye for detail, and experience. As professionals, we’ve spent years perfecting our craft, from understanding how to properly lay out a room to mastering the intricacies of how tile behaves in different conditions (exterior, interior, hot, steam showers, humid areas, enclosed areas). While some homeowners may have a knack for precision work, the experience gap can be a deciding factor in whether a DIY project will have a professional-quality finish.

DIY Tile Installation Skills & Experience

Time Commitment

Consider the time you’re willing to dedicate to the project. Professional tilers like ourselves can tackle a job efficiently, thanks to our experience and focus. A weekend project for a DIYer can quickly turn into a multi-weekend saga with disruptions to your daily life and potentially unsatisfactory results if rushed.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

Cost is often a motivator for DIY, but it’s important to do a thorough cost-benefit analysis. The hidden costs of DIY include tool rental or purchase, material waste due to inexperience, and the potential need for future repairs. Conversely, hiring professionals like TTIS ensures the job is done right the first time, with workmanship guaranteed and even better we warranty all of our installations for as long as you own your home. 

When to hire a pro

So, when should you definitely call in a pro? Jobs that demand waterproofing expertise, such as showers and outdoor tiles, large areas, and complex patterns or materials, are best handled by professionals. Not only for the sake of quality but for ensuring the longevity of your investment. Imperfect tiling can lead to water damage, loose tiles, and costly repairs down the line.

FAQ

Q: Do you know how many inches of subfloor is required by code in Edmonton for a tiled system on your floors? A: A minimum of 1 1/4″ is required

Q: Do you know how to plan a layout? Small cuts on the edges is not acceptable. Watch for “U” cuts in certain sections because it isn’t always possible. Also for “L” cuts. Symmetry is a must. What are you willing to live with for the next 20-30 years of your life? A: If the answer is yes. Check pattern both ways. Check size tile (12×12 or 12×24 or hexagonal 8×9), pattern install (70×30, stacked, side to side or front to back), Grout size line, and measure the pattern on repeat until edge of area. Spend the extra time here to avoid problems after you’ve place tile with mortar and its drying.

Q: Are you going to be renting the tools? Buying the tools? A: Unless you’re planning on becoming a tilesetter after you finish your project, this will increase the cost of the project a lot and then tools will collect dust in storage.

Q: Do you know what mortar to use depending on the location of the tile application? Different size tiles require different mortars. A: This is pretty self explanatory. Depending on size of tile and location of application there are mortars to make your life easier and also a best project outcome.

Q: Application on different substrates? What do you do if you’re going on top of linoleum? Particle board? Top of tile? A: Mortar has moisture and particle board likes moisture. You do not want to install on particle board. Remove and install appropriate substrate prior to tile install. Do not install on top of linoleum, unless proper testing and priming of the substrate is done first.

Q: What material to use in a shower application? Drywall? Mold resistant drywall? Tile backboard? Cement board? A: As long as there is a waterproofing membrane installed after the boarding of the shower, you are 100% good. You could save money if you just use a waterproofing board and then just apply sealer on the joints.

Q: Are you confidently willing to put thousands of dollars in tile and material on the line to potentially save some money? And your own valuable time? A: It is up to each one of you.

Q: Have you ever had a quick and easy weekend DIY project turn into a month long nightmare? I know we have a fair share of our own. It can be really stressful on a marriage. A: How much do you value your time? How much do you value your marriage? These are really important before you jump into a DIY tile setting project.

Q: Why is tile installation so expensive? A: Tile installation extends far beyond the simple act of laying tiles. It involves a thorough and detailed process in which the tilesetter meticulously covers the designated area a minimum of seven times from start to finish, ensuring that the installation meets the highest standards of quality. This degree of scrutiny is a bare minimum and does not even take into account the added complexity when opting for intricate designs like chevron, herringbone, or complex multi-size tile patterns. Moreover, it’s important to recognize that tile laying is not just a task but an art form that demands specialized skills, precision, and a keen eye for detail. The process is elaborate and demands significant time investment, with a focus not only on ensuring the structural integrity of the installation but also on achieving a level of aesthetic excellence that complements the overall design vision. Rest assured, our commitment to these principles ensures that your tile installation will not only last but will also be a visual delight.

Conclusion: DIY Tile Installation

To sum up, DIY tile-setting can be a rewarding project for those with the time, tools, and modest ambition. However, the assurance of quality, efficiency, and expertise often makes the investment in professional services worthwhile, particularly in complex projects or high-stake areas of your home. At TTIS, we believe in doing it right while delivering beautiful, lasting results. You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Youtube. Our website is full of resources for all of the DIY folks out there because we do want you to attempt it. BUT Remember… just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

Why Should I Tile My Kitchen Backsplash?

Your kitchen is one of the most important spaces in your home, where you prepare meals and spend time with family and friends. As Tilers ourselves, we agree! It’s important that your kitchen reflects your personal style and makes you feel comfortable and at ease. One way to enhance the appearance of your kitchen is by installing a tile backsplash.

A backsplash is a vertical extension of the countertop that protects the wall from splatters and spills. A tile backsplash not only adds a protective layer to your kitchen but also enhances the aesthetics of the space. Here are some reasons why you should consider tiling your kitchen backsplash:

Kitchen Backsplash designed in house

Protects your walls

Cooking can be a messy affair, with oil, sauce, and other ingredients splattering all over the place. A tile backsplash acts as a barrier that protects your walls from damage caused by splatters and spills. It’s much easier to wipe down and clean a tiled surface than a painted or wallpapered wall.

Adds style and character

A tile backsplash can add a lot of style and character to your kitchen. Tiles come in a wide range of colors, patterns, and textures, which can complement or contrast with your existing décor. You can choose a neutral color to create a subtle backdrop for your kitchen, or a bold pattern to make a statement.

Easy to clean

Cleaning a tiled backsplash is easy and hassle-free. Tiles are non-porous, which means they don’t absorb moisture or stain easily. All you need is a damp cloth or sponge to wipe down the surface and keep it looking clean and fresh.

Enhances the value of your home

If you’re planning to sell your home in the future, a tile backsplash can increase its resale value. A well-designed and installed backsplash can be a major selling point for potential buyers, especially if it complements the overall style of the kitchen.

Budget-friendly

Tiling your kitchen backsplash can be a cost-effective way to update the look of your kitchen without breaking the bank. Tiles are available at a range of price points, so you can choose a style and quality that fits your budget.

In conclusion, tiling your kitchen backsplash is a great way to protect your walls, add style and character to your kitchen, make cleaning easier, enhance the value of your home, and do it all within a reasonable budget. So, if you’re looking to update your kitchen, consider installing a tile backsplash – you won’t regret it! Find a Tiler near you and get your project started. Or if you are going to do it yourself keep looking on our Blog

Bathroom Reno with 4 O.A.K Construction

In this Bathroom Reno located in the Hollick Kenyon Area of Edmonton. We had to rebuild the client’s trust in contractors as the last one that left midway through did a number of things wrong. In collaboration with Dustin from 4 O.A.K. Construction we did just that. This is an ensuite bathroom with a wet area in which there is a self standing tub and a number of fixtures for the shower including jets, rainfall shower head, handheld and steam shower outlets.

We started by cleaning up the mess from the previous contractors. We removed the cabinets, demolished all the tile already laid, and ditra membrane. Removed the drain kit as well. We had a professional plumber, Marvin, from Beyer Plumbing check that all the rough in was properly installed.This is how the previous failure contractor left it:

After demo, we dropped the floor level of the shower so we could have a barrier less shower entry. Please see photo below

We’ve now waterproofed the entire Wet Area. There is going to be a self standing tub and a full shower with a bench, and many outlets including a steam shower. We build the bathroom floor up with wonder board so we could increase the starting height of the shower slope.

Next we tiled the bathroom floor and shower floor and back wall

One thing after another and the bathroom is now complete.

Here we show some before and after pictures hand in hand

Check out more showers in here