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Choose Tile for a Shower?
Tiles vs. Ceramic Tiles?
of Tile for Kitchen Countertops?
Cleaning Bathroom Tiles?
Choose Tile Colors?
Tiling Around the Tub?
Install Tile Around a Toilet?
Tile Over a Leveled Wood Floor?
How to Use
a Tile Cutter?
Tile Your Bathroom Floor?
1. How to Choose Tile for a Shower?
serve two functions: They add to a bathroom's decor, and they
protect the drywall underneath from moisture. There is no limit to
how you can use
shower murals. What you choose will depend on several factors,
including your color scheme, the material used for the tile and
maintenance in the future. Take a look below to learn how to
choose tile for a shower.
Choosing shower tile:
Select water-resistant tiles. Glazed tiles are ideal for showers
because, unlike quarry tiles, they will not absorb moisture, which
leads to mold. If you plan to tile the shower floor as well,
choose tiles that are also slip-resistant.
Select tiles based on the material. Shower tiles are available in
ceramic, glass, porcelain, metal and stone. Each has its own
appeal, and prices vary accordingly.
Choose your colors carefully. If you plan to maintain the same
bathroom decor for a long time, avoid trends. Instead, choose
colors that look timeless, such as earth tones. Neutral colors
will also allow you to redecorate the rest of the bathroom without
having to change your wall tiles.
Determine your design. You can choose between plain and patterned
tiles to fit any design you have in mind. Some tiles lend
themselves well to pictorial images on shower walls, while others
are best for borders.
Consider cost. Using certain tiles, such as glass and marble, to
shower walls may be cost-prohibitive. If you have a
strict budget but would still like to incorporate these tiles in
your design, use them as accents. Intersperse them with less
expensive tiles or use them as borders around the edges of the
Determine the number of tiles you need. Do you need enough to tile
the shower completely or just enough to cover one shower wall?
Figure out how many tiles you need before you begin.
Think about the size of your shower. If your shower is small, you
may not have enough space to create a repeating design with large
tiles; however, a design made of smaller tiles may be just right.
Imagine future maintenance. Small tiles require the application of
more grout, which will lead to more work during cleaning. Think
about the time and effort you'll be able to devote to future
maintenance before making any buying decisions.
Porcelain Tiles Vs. Ceramic Tiles?
Tile is a building material known for its durability, moisture
resistance and low maintenance requirements. Tile is often used in
kitchens and bathrooms but is fairly versatile and can be used in
a wide variety of applications, such as countertops, backsplashes
and decorative wall coverings. The most common types of tile are
porcelain and ceramic. Each offers distinct benefits and drawbacks
that should be considered before making a purchase decision.
Manufacturing. Ceramic tile is made from natural clay, sand and
water. These materials are molded to form square or rectangular
tiles and then baked in a kiln to remove most of the moisture.
Porcelain tile is also made from clay but tends to be made using
denser types of clay than ceramic. Porcelain tiles are baked at
very high temperatures for long periods of time so that almost all
the water is removed. This longer drying time makes porcelain tile
much harder and denser than ceramic.
Features. Ceramic and porcelain tend to have different overall
colorings and appearances. Ceramic tile is known for its natural
red terra-cotta finish, while porcelain is usually white or grey.
Although ceramic may be glazed to create different surface colors
or designs, porcelain is usually left unglazed. White chips in the
glaze can be highly visible on ceramic tiles, whereas chips in
porcelain are not as noticeable because these tiles are the same
Uses. Both porcelain and ceramic can be used to cover walls,
ceilings, countertops, showers and
backsplashes. Ceramic is
designed only for indoor use, while porcelain can safely be used
indoors or out. This designation is due to the higher moisture
content of ceramic tile, which makes it more susceptible to
freezing- and thawing-related cracks. Porcelain has a lower
moisture content and is less likely to crack due to freezing.
Cost. Porcelain generally costs more than ceramic tile. At the
same time, porcelain is more durable and longer lasting, so it may
be the cheaper of the two over the life of the installation.
Porcelain is also less porous, making it easier to clean and less
likely to stain. Stained ceramic may require replacement due to
the difficulty of removing stains from porous tiles.
Durability. Porcelain can be expected to last longer than ceramic
in almost any application. It can withstand high levels of traffic
and increased levels of wear and tear. Ceramic is likely to chip
or crack if objects are dropped on it, and the tiles are not
expected to hold up for as long as porcelain units. Ceramic should
not be used in most commercial applications, while porcelain can
be used in light- or medium-duty commercial projects in addition
Installation. Porcelain is very hard and durable, which can be a
problem during installation. Its dense nature makes it difficult
to cut, especially when special shapes or rounded edges are
needed. For do-it-yourself installers, ceramic is often the better
choice because it requires fewer special tools. It is also better
to use ceramic when working in an oddly shaped area that requires
a large number of special cuts.
Best Types of Tile for Kitchen Countertops?
kitchen countertops are an affordable alternative to
traditional solid stone units. Countertop tile can be made from
many of the most popular materials, such as granite or quartz, yet
costs just a fraction of the price. Tile countertops are also easy
to install and repair, making them the perfect project for the DIY
tile is made from natural clay that is baked to remove excess
moisture. It is available in a wide variety of colors and designs
that can be mixed and matched to any
kitchen. Ceramic tile is
affordable, easy to install and very low maintenance. It is also
waterproof and able to withstand high temperatures from hot
dishes. If you choose ceramic tile for your
you should be aware that ceramic tile can crack or chip if heavy
objects are dropped on it. To minimize grout stains, you can
choose a dark grout and use a grout sealer to protect the seams
Mosaic. Mosaic tile comes in tiny 1-inch square units. It is often
sold in large sheets that are attached to a mesh backer-board,
making for easy and fast installation. These tiles can be mixed to
create unique patterns and textures, and are very durable. One
advantage of mosaic tiles is that they are colored all the way
through, so a chip or crack will not be as visible as with ceramic
Granite. Granite tile is a natural stone product that is widely
kitchen decor. Tiles made from granite offer the beauty
of natural stone at a fraction of the cost. Granite tiles often
have a mottled surface that helps to hide dirt and fingerprints
and are incredibly strong and long-lasting. Like all granite
products, these tiles must be sealed after installation and at
least once a year for the duration of their use.
Quartz. Quartz tile is a manufactured product designed to look
similar to granite while offering superior performance. It is made
from crushed quartz crystals pressed together with resin. Quartz
tile has a smooth and uniform surface with a consistent grain. It
is slightly less expensive than granite and is much more durable
and long-lasting. Unlike granite, quartz tiles do not need to be
sealed. They are completely nonporous, which prevents bacteria
from becoming trapped in the surface. Quartz cannot be repaired as
easily as granite, however, and it offers none of the natural
beauty and color variation of real stone.
4. Tips on Cleaning
Bathroom tile is a classic, durable and practical choice for
bathroom flooring and wall coverings, but even the most
low-maintenance choices require some care and cleaning. If not
cared for properly and regularly, bathroom tile can begin to
accumulate soap deposits and even mildew, mold and bacteria. Clean
bathroom tile at least once per week with some high-quality
cleaning supplies, scrubbers and other cleaning equipment to
protect the tile and keep it looking clean and new.
Pre-clean with a spray cleaner. A basic all-in-one cleaning spray
designed for kitchens and bathrooms will prepare the tile for
cleaning. Scrub the tiles gently using circular motions with a
sponge or scrubbing brush. Rinse the tile with warm water.
Use a bleach solution to kill mold and mildew. A solution of equal
amounts of bleach and water can kill bacteria, mold and mildew
buildup on the tile. Spray this solution onto the surface of the
tile and scrub it away with a brush or sponge, using firm pressure
and scrubbing in a circular motion. Rinse the tile with hot water.
Use a vinegar solution to clean grout. Grout is the area between
the tile that typically accumulates most of the dirt, mildew and
stains from everyday bathroom use. You will need a more powerful
cleaning solution, such as 1/4 cup of vinegar, 1/3 cup of ammonia
and 1/2 cup of baking soda mixed with 7 cups of water, to scrub
this area clean.
Apply a soap scum remover. Soap scum can be difficult to remove
with the standard bathroom tile cleaner, so if you notice any
residue from hard water or soap on the tile, you can use a soap
scum remover made with powerful cleaning agents such as lactic
acid, alcohol, white vinegar or lemon oil.
Polish tiles with a soft towel. Buff the bathroom tile clean with
a soft towel so that it is shiny and free of any remaining debris
or dust. This final step will leave the tile gleaming and as good
How to Choose Tile Colors?
The color and texture of tile helps set the tone of a room. A
popular way to infuse color into kitchens, bathrooms and
entryways, tile offers solid and variegated color choices,
multiple patterns and diverse shapes. Use hand-painted tile for a
custom touch or rely on the natural variance in multicolored and
patterned tiles. Before deciding on a tile color for any surface,
take note of existing colors in the room, the mood you want for
the room and the amount of foot traffic the area receives. Here
are a few steps to help you decide on the perfect tile color for
your home improvement project.
Consider the size
of room before choosing a color. Floor tile colors in light hues,
such as cream and pastels, can make a small room look larger.
Light tile colors are good choices for a guest bathroom or narrow
hallway. Dark floor tile colors, in rich chocolates, burnt sienna
and variegated navy tones, look best in large areas like kitchens
with an open floor plan and plenty of light.
Decide on a tile type. Stain-resistant, glazed ceramic tiles work
well on countertops or on
kitchen walls that are
exposed to high humidity. Dense porcelain tile is
scratch-resistant and works well for flooring.
Consult a color wheel for combinations. Create a vibrant statement
by choosing colors that are opposite on the color wheel. For
example, in a room where you like to entertain, contrast a terra
cotta tile with a rich blue wall color to give the room energy. In
a room where you want to relax, choose colors that are next to
each other on the color wheel. The tone-on-tone colors will create
a more tranquil feeling.
Think of texture for different surfaces. Select floor tile with a
mottled pattern for high-traffic rooms. Dirt and scuff marks are
less likely to show on tile with variegated colors. Terrazzo tile
with embedded stone and marble chips creates a multicolored
effect. Choose terrazzo tile with a blend of brown, tan and cream
colors for a neutral option in high-traffic areas such as
entryways, kitchens and bathrooms. A combination of varying shades
of grey and white is another popular choice for busy areas of the
Let the color take center stage. In a
countertop tile, backsplash tile and wall tile will become a
central part of the decor. When you are using tile in a small
area, you can choose the tile color in the same way you would
choose a piece of art. Let it stand out.
Tips on Tiling Around the Tub?
Tile adds a touch of style in the
bathroom while providing a
water-resistant surface that is easy to clean. With many sizes and
colors of tile to choose from, your project can be as simple or as
elegant as you choose. Laying tile around the tub isn't a
difficult job, but it does require precision, planning and the
correct tools. When you're ready to tackle the job, a few tips
will help you get started and ensure you're happy with your bath
Preparation is key. Preparing the tile surface surrounding the tub
is important to ensure quality installation. Traditional drywall
and plywood are susceptible to deterioration from excessive
moisture, so installing moisture-resistant drywall or cement board
will help prevent water damage.
Protect your existing fixtures. Cover the tub, faucets and
surrounding floor with a heavy plastic drop cloth and tape it in
place along the edges. Grout,
tile and mortar can fall
into the tub and may scratch the surface.
Measuring and layout. If you are using a tile pattern, you will
want to center the pattern on the spaces being covering with tile.
This ensures an even pattern and you will only need to cut the
tiles that meet at a wall edge or corner. Measure the dimensions
of the exact area you're going to tile. Using tile spacers, lay
the tile pattern on the floor, starting in the center of the
pattern and building outward until you reach the measured size of
the area you wish to tile. The end tiles may be too long, and you
may need to cut each one with a tile saw to make them fit. Use
this pattern to install the tiles on the wall. Cut the edge tiles,
using a wet tile saw, before you begin laying the tile.
Understanding mortar and glue. Tiles may be installed with either
mortar or tile glue. Mortar comes as a powder, and you need to mix
it with water before spreading it on the wall with a wide putty
knife. Tile glue comes prepared in sealed buckets, and you will
spread it with a notched-tooth trowel. Apply the glue or grout
only to a small area at a time to prevent drying before the tiles
are set. Typically, grout is applied approximately 1/8-inch thick,
but tile glue may be applied in a thinner layer and still hold the
Use tile installation tools. Tile spacers and a carpenter's level
help make sure that your tile will lay straight and clean.
Installing the tile in order. Place one tile at a time, starting
with center of the bottom row. Press the tile firmly into the
mortar or glue and insert two spacers on each edge before placing
the next tile. Additional tiles should line up at the corners and
rest snugly against the spacers to ensure uniformity. Install the
entire bottom row and check several times with a carpenter's level
to make sure the tiles are level and straight. Once the bottom row
is correctly in place, repeat the process with the additional
rows, working your way upward.
Grout. After allowing the installed tiles to set until firmly
attached, you will grout the joints with a mortar grout or a
silicone caulking. Grout is applied with a small putty knife to
the joints and smoothed into the cracks. You must apply sealer to
grout once it dries. Silicone caulking squeezes into the joints
from a tube and smoothes into place with a wet sponge. Silicone
seals the tile.
Uneven walls. Measure the angles of each corner in the areas where
you want to lay tile. If they are more or less than 90 degrees,
you will need to cut the first level of tiles at an angle to
correct the corner angle. This will help your tile pattern align
correctly on the wall. Typically, it's better for tile to be
parallel to the vertical lines on any wall.
Cover up your pattern edges. Tiling near the edge of a wall can be
hard, and edges often end up looking sloppy. You can cover these
edges or corners with molding, making all your edges look clean.
How to Install Tile Around a Toilet?
You can't tile a
without having to contend with the
toilet. To install tile properly around the toilet, you need to
affix it to the floor under the fixture. Because toilets sit on
top of tile, any rough cuts are hidden, making it easy to achieve
the appearance of tile that has been custom-cut for your
Take a look below to learn how to install tile around a toilet.
Shut off the water
supply. Turn off the toilet's water supply and flush the water in
Remove the toilet. Remove the toilet by taking off the retaining
bolts, disconnecting the supply line and lifting the toilet
straight up. The toilet should have a wax sealing ring that will
break when the toilet is lifted. It's common for some water to
continue leaking from the toilet after it has been lifted.
Remove the wax sealing ring. Remove the wax ring from the bottom
of the toilet and place the toilet in a safe location. The bathtub
is a good place to store the toilet while you work.
Clean the floor. Clean and dry the floor before you begin laying
tile. Depending on how much debris is on the floor, you may want
to consider covering the toilet's drainage pipe to make sure
nothing falls into it.
Lay the tile. Lay the tile up to the drainage pipe's retaining
ring. Use tile cutters to cut the pieces so that they closely
surround the retaining ring; the gap should be 1/4 inch or less.
Lay the tiles without adhesive to make sure the cuts are accurate.
Apply the tiles. Apply the tiles and allow the adhesive to dry
completely. Next, apply the grout. Don't grout the gap between the
tiles and the retaining ring.
Replace the wax ring. Replace the wax sealing ring with a new
Reinstall the toilet. Depending on the thickness of the tile, you
may need longer retaining bolts.
Reconnect the water supply. Reconnect the supply line and flush
the toilet to fill the bowl with water.
How to Tile Over a Leveled Wood Floor?
Once your wood sub-floor has been properly secured, sealed and
leveled, you are ready to begin the tiling process. Whether you
are using slate or ceramic, mosaic or hex tile flooring, this
article will guide you through the step-by-step process of how to
tile over a leveled wood floor.
wall. Use chalk to mark the center point of each wall. Extend a
chalk-line tool between the center points of each set of opposing
walls and snap the chalk-covered string to create a chalk line on
The tiles must be laid from the center of the room moving out
toward the walls. Place a vinyl tile spacer over the chalk "X" and
position four floor tiles at the very center of the room, arranged
around the tile separator.
Move the tile spacer and two of the tiles aside. Apply a thin
layer of fast-setting mortar to the floor using the toothed edge
of a trowel.
Press the two tiles into the mortar and put the spacer in place.
Use the other two tiles as a guide for the alignment, and then
apply mortar under the other two tiles and press them into place.
Tile the rest of the room by moving out toward the walls. The
tiles may need to be cut using a tile cutter in order to fit at
the very edges of the room.
Allow the mortar to fully set. Wait for 24 hours (or longer, if
indicated on the mortar packaging) and avoid walking on the tiles
during this time.
Mix water and grouting compound in a bucket. Use a trowel to apply
the grout to the spaces between the tiles by sweeping the trowel
diagonally across the tile.
Immediately wipe away excess grout with a wet rag. If necessary,
use a spray bottle with water to keep the grout moist while
cleaning off the tile.
Allow the grout to fully set. Wait for 24 hours (or longer, if
indicated on the grout packaging). After the grout has set, the
floor is ready for normal use.
How to Use a Tile Cutter?
Cutting tile is part of any tiling
project. Different types of tile cutters are available, allowing
you to perform small trims, straight cuts and hole cuts or
complete a large project. Using the right tile cutting saw in the
correct way will make your tiling project go more smoothly,
resulting in fewer mishaps and less expenditure.
Glass cutters: Use a glass cutter to perform straight cuts on
ceramic or glass tiles. Mark the tile where you want to make your
cut and lay a straight edge along the mark. The glass cutter tool
is equipped with a small, sharp-toothed wheel on one end. Run the
wheel of the tool along the mark to score the surface. Use enough
pressure to break the glaze of the tile. Tape a dowel rod to a
flat surface. Place the tile on the dowel rod, lining up the score
with the dowel rod. Hold both ends of the tile and apply downward
pressure until the tile snaps.
Snap cutters: Use a snap cutter if you have a small number of
tiles to cut. A snap cutter is sometimes referred to as a rail
cutter. Mark your tile. Lay the tile onto the snap cutter, lining
up the mark with the cutting wheel. Run the cutting wheel along
the mark, using the rail to move the wheel. This breaks through
the glaze of the tile. Push the lever downward to break the tile.
Tile nippers: Use tile nippers to trim edges or shape a tile. Mark
the area you wish to trim. Hold the tile firmly, glaze side up.
The end of a tile nipper has "jaws" that clamp onto the edge of
the tile. Place the tile nipper so the jaws clamp onto the area to
be removed. Apply pressure, breaking through the glaze and
snapping off pieces from the tile. You may need to continue
nipping until the tile is the shape you desire.
Hole-cutters: Use a hole-cutter to make a circular cut or a hole
in the tile. Mark the tile and make a mark in the center of the
circle as well. Place the tip of a punch on the center mark, and
tap it lightly with a hammer to break the glaze and create a small
dimple on the surface. Insert the hole-cutter into a hammer drill.
Line up the hole-cutter with the mark, making sure the dimple is
centered. Use a slow speed to drill through the tile.
Wet saws: A wet saw is a power tool designed for large tile
cutting jobs. Place the wet saw on a stable surface. Each
manufacturer provides specific recommendations for use of their
power tools; read these carefully before proceeding. Fill the
reservoir with water. Check that the blade is secure and free of
obstacles. Plug in the wet saw and turn it on using the power
switch. Place the tile along the fence of the saw, and slowly feed
the tile into the blade. Once the tile is cut, turn the saw off
using the power switch.
10. How to Tile Your Bathroom Floor?
tile is a simple procedure that you can accomplish by following
specific steps. The result will be a beautiful floor and a sense
of accomplishment because you have done it yourself. Once you
understand the basic process, you can add borders or accent tiles
and make the design your own.
Note: These installation instructions begin with a clean subfloor.
If you have old linoleum or tiles, you will need to prep the floor
by removing the old material and installing new cement board over
the old subfloor. If you install board over old material and raise
the height of the floor, you may need to cut or plane the bottom
of the door.
Mark the starting
point. Measure the door opening and mark the halfway point
directly on the subfloor with a wax pencil.
Apply glue. Spread a layer of glue on the floor using the smooth
side of the trowel, covering an area that you think you can tile
in about a half an hour. Start small so that you don't waste glue.
Once the area is covered, use the notched side of the trowel to
groove the glue. Hold the trowel lightly at a 45 degree angle to
the floor and scrape towards the outside of the glue area, making
grooves in the glue.
Place the tiles. Start by placing a full tile on either side of
the halfway mark. Place a spacer flat on the floor at the inside
corner where the two tiles meet and press the tiles down and in --
towards the floor and towards each other to meet the spacer.
Continue to place spacers at each corner and lay down full tiles,
working your way outwards. Make sure to work your way around to
one side, so you don't tile yourself into a corner.
Cut the edge tiles. Measure the space and deduct twice the width
of your spacers (3/8 inch if you are using 3/16-inch spacers). Set
the fence of the tile saw to the desired measurement, lock the
fence and cut the tile. Set the tile and spacers; place a spacer
between the tile and the existing baseboard or wall to allow for a
Clean up. Wipe excess glue off of the set tiles with a damp
sponge. Allow glue to dry for 24 to 48 hours.
Grout. Mix sanded grout per the bag instructions. Apply with a
grout float, covering all joints. While holding the float at a 45
degree angle to the floor, scrape excess grout from the tiles with
the float edge. Allow grout to set for about 10 minutes and then
wipe the floor with a damp sponge to remove excess grout. There
should be a film left on the floor. Allow grout to dry for 24-48
Seal. Polish grout film from floor with soft cloth. Wipe the grout
lines with sealer per instructions on the sealant container. Apply
the sealer with a clean, damp sponge and wipe off excess. Allow
the sealer to dry.
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All our tiles are individually hand painted and fired, so each
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The web store offers
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