How To Prepare Your Home For Tiling [Checklist Inside]
Even if you hire the pros to do your installation, there are a few steps you should take to get your home ready for your new floors, surrounds, or backsplashes.
You’re ready to tile your home… but is your home ready for tiling?
Tile is an amazing versatile material when it comes to home design. You can use it anywhere from floors to accent walls and everything in between. But even the most ambitious of homeowners will want to call out the experts to do the installation.
There are a number of things that go into making sure the project is done right, including proper cutting, measuring, leveling, and grouting, to name a few.
These steps will help the pros get right to work in the best conditions, saving everyone extra time and perhaps even a bit of hassle. Let’s take a closer look together and what you can do, and what you can expect, for your project.
Why you should call the pros in the first place
Tiling is not for the faint of heart, no matter how eager you might be to do the job yourself.
For one, it requires quite a lot of tools to do properly, many of which are specialised to the trade and would cost you quite a bit to procure for yourself. Tile cutting, for example, requires special cutters, grinders, and saws to get a perfect cut that isn’t jagged or rough.
Then there’s the underlayment. There needs to be proper preparation so that the tiles will adhere properly. This means that you need to have a stiff, level surface or be able to install one before getting started on the actual tile work.
Of course, then there is the laying of the tile itself. Depending on your design aspirations, there can be requirements for some pretty intricate measurements, angles, and cuts. The pros will be much more adept at knowing how to navigate these design elements as well as how to get started in a way that requires minimal waste.
Looking to find a local Sydney tiler? Be on the lookout for these 5 MASSIVE red flags
Preparing your home for tiling: A 6-step guide
Step #1: Get a proper estimate
It all starts with getting the right price from the right professional.
As you begin your search, make sure that you are getting estimates based on your exact space and dimensions. Many projects are priced out by the square metre, for both materials and labour, so you’ll want a real estimate based on your actual area. You will also want the contractor to confirm the subfloor or substructure for your project can accept the tile as is or confirm that additional work to level or prepare the surface is needed, since this will affect the price as well.
Step #2: Buying tile the right way
Many companies will help you choose the right tile for your project and can even provide the tiles as part of their materials cost in a quote.
However, if you have found and have your heart set on a particular tile somewhere, you can certainly purchase this on your own. When you do this, be sure to check the boxes and purchase the tiles all from the same dye lot. This will help ensure that the tiles will match as they are installed across your space. You may also want to purchase extra to cover for any miscalculations you might make when it comes to how much you need.
The general rule is to have 10% more than you expect to use. And check with the store you purchase from to see if you can return unused portions. Of course, if you purchase through a professional service, you will not need to worry about these issues.
Keen to go with the pros and unsure of price? Check out our Sydney Tiling Price Guide
Step #3: Clear the way
This is especially important for flooring projects.
Don’t wait until the morning of or when the contractors arrive to realise you need to remove the furniture from the rooms that will be worked on. Clear the way for the professionals by clearing out any rooms where there will be extensive work done. If you have a kitchen or bathroom on the list, you can take out as much as possible including items in cabinets that are in the surrounding spaces. You may also want to take artwork or mirrors off of the wall so that they are not damaged during any demolition work that is required to get started.
Step #4: Remove existing materials
If you really want to get involved and/or try to save a bit, you can try to remove existing materials on your own. That means, for example, ripping up carpeting or other flooring if you are having new tile floors put in. This can help the pros skip a time-consuming step and get to the heart of the job quicker.
If you have an existing backsplash in your kitchen that you are having replaced, you can try to remove the existing tiles yourself as long as you have the proper tools. Just be sure to properly dispose of all materials once you remove them.
Step #5: Check the temperature
You can’t control the Sydney weather, but you can control the climate within your home to a certain extent with your HVAC system.
Keep in mind that it is not good to lay tile in high humidity, so you will want to cool (or heat) the space to have between 30-70% humidity. If you are having work done in a bathroom, perhaps skip the hot steamy shower that morning so that the space is nice and dry for the contractors to work in once they arrive.
Step #6: Create a Path
As with most home improvement projects, you’ll have contractors and workers trampling through your home as they come and go with materials needed to do the job.
For example, if you are having your upstairs bathroom tiled, you’ll want to take steps to protect or at least clear the way between the bathroom and the access point to your home. Put down drop cloths to protect your existing flooring. Open doors or prop them open to avoid slamming. Move any valuables or breakables that are on the way so that vibrations or foot traffic don’t cause an accident with something that can’t be replaced.
Caring for your new tile
Generally, for flooring you will need to stay off the tiling for the first 24 hours to allow it to set and avoid the tiles shifting in the wet grout. The same timeframe is recommended for shower surrounds; always allow the mortar and grout to set and dry before subjecting it to the wet of your next bath.
Tile is pretty easy to maintain once it is in place. You should not need to use any special chemicals or cleaners to keep your tiles looking like new. Just stick to a basic vacuum or a damp rag that is only moistened with water. Clean up spills as they happen to avoid staining the grout. Be careful when it comes to impact. Dropping heavy items on tile floors can result in breakages of your items and, sometimes, cracks in your tiles.
Call NHK Tiling for your next tiling project
Most tiling projects require very little on behalf of the homeowner when it comes to getting ready. The more you do in advance to make the project easier on the professionals, the more seamless the experience will be.
At NHK Tiling, we go out of our way to make it stress free for our customers to have their new tile installed. With easy access to your floors, bathrooms, kitchen, or outdoor spaces, our experts will have everything needed to install flawless tile for you. We can handle any tiling job in Sydney that you have in mind.
All of our installers are licensed, insured, and accredited to take on any tiling project, and we back all of our work with 100% customer satisfaction and quality guarantees. Request a free quote for your project today by calling 0402 462 570.