By Pierpont Salle. Ceramic Tile. Published at Friday, May 24th, 2019 - 23:54:37 PM.
For plywood subfloors, be sure that the wood is at least 1 and 1/8 inches thick and is supported by an equally strong underlayment. Otherwise, your ceramic tiles will dislodge easily, or worse, break and need replacing. Concrete floors are the most ideal subfloor surface to work with. But before you can start installing ceramic tile flooring over it, it must be cleaned thoroughly. For dust and other debris, sweep and then mop your concrete subfloor surface, and allow it to dry completely. Smooth concrete surfaces must be rough sanded just like vinyl floors to allow the tiling mortar some grip. You can begin window-shopping and canvassing for ceramic tiles once you have the space or area estimated. Ceramic floor tiles come in a variety of prices, shapes, textures and styles. Pick a tile type that's within your price range and ask to see it in what a palette of colors. The most common ceramic tile size is one square foot. But ceramic tiles may come in a wide array of sizes; from one inch, to two feet.
The kind of ornamentation of the ceramic tile is important too. For a ceramic countertop or tabletop, the tiles should be flat. For a backsplash the tiles can have low relief but high relief will be difficult to clean and is not generally advised. Fireplaces, murals, mosaics and facades can be either flat, have low relief or high relief and low fire glazes are OK in these applications. Be careful though with areas that will get much use, such as around a fireplace where logs will be placed or fireplace tools will be used. Low fire tiles and glazes can crack or chip much more easily than stoneware and high fire glazes. Also, if it is an area that will require frequent cleaning, high relief may prove troublesome.
Flooring presents other challenges, and opportunities. Clearly floor tiles must be durable so high fire stoneware is the best choice. Any kind of relief is not advised as uneven surfaces can be difficult to walk on, especially for the aged. An additional consideration with flooring tiles is slickness. A glossy glaze on a floor is not recommended. A heavily textured glaze or a matte glaze is best. Outdoor use in cold climates demands high fired tiles and dependable glazes, especially if on horizontal surfaces. Low fire and even porous tiles can be used outdoors in cold climates if on or in a vertical surface. But you are still better off with a frost proof tile in cold climates.
Keep Your Tools Ready – The first thing to do is to make sure that the tools you will use are ready at hand. These tools should include basic carpentry tools like an accurate measuring tape, a carpenter's square and a bubble level. You should also be prepared with the tiles and all you need to space them and put them together: tile spaces, a tile cutter, a trowel, and a putty knife. Then you must get your adhesives ready: tile bonding material, thin set mortar or tile adhesive, the sealant, the grout and a rubber grout float. Also you must make sure that you are wearing work clothes or overalls, glasses and heavy-duty gloves for safety.
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