Toronto Tile Installation

Mario Martins - Custom Tile Installer 

Things to consider before you start a DIY tile project

A homeowner's DIY attempt at tiling his backsplash

If you're thinking of installing your own tiles, here are some questions to consider:

  • Do I have all the right tools? That includes a wet saw with cutting mitres
  • Do I know which glues and mortars to use? And which type of compound to put on which surface?
  • Are my floors and walls straight and level? Do I need to self-level the surface?
  • Do I know how to use spacers?
  • Do I know how to make tiles look level on uneven surfaces?
  • Do I know the "tricks of the trade" that will make this floor or wall look great?

I get a lot of calls from "Do-It-Yourself-ers" who decide to have a crack at installing tile. I can honestly tell you that even the best attempt by the keenest amateur usually falls short in some way:

  • grout lines end up looking crooked
  • floor tiles have excessive lippage (tiles of different heights)

I have had DIY-ers talk to me cursing the fact that they even contemplated such an undertaking on their own:

  • The cement is too hard to mix
  • They get fed up carrying heavy buckets of water - tiling is physically demanding!
  • They thought they had a level surface, but now the whole floor looks like it's on a slope

I have even inspected jobs done by 'professional' installers (usually a general contractor or carpenter), and the homeowner has been bitterly disappointed. Go to my blog to check out one particular tiling disaster.

However, there is a good reason why my clients are satisfied with my work. It's because tiling is all I do. I believe that taking your time with each tile, to make sure it's properly laid, level and even, is key to a beautiful looking job. Going too fast or not having enough patience are what will ultimately lead to an aweful job.

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