Posted over 7 years ago

The 411 On Do It Yourself Tile Projects

Thinking of a facelift for your kitchen or bathroom? One easy (and affordable) way to update these spaces is to consider adding or updating tile. The choices for tile are endless as are the color options and patterns. Tiling can be a great DIY home improvement project that doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

First off, if you speak with a tile expert, you will quickly learn that there is a lingo that goes along with the art of tiling. Here are a few of the most common terms found in the tiling world:

  • Cut- This is when a tile must be trimmed in order to fit securely against an object or wall.
  • Grout- Cement, sand and water create a mixture that seals all of the joints of the tile work.
  • Jolly Trim- An edge protection that also finishes off the outside corners of a tiled surface.
  • Screed- A flat wood or metal board that is used in leveling concrete or mortar in the tiling process.
  • Thinset- The mortar used to set tiles.

In the Kitchen

A great way to update the look of your kitchen is to add a tile backsplash. This is something that you can tackle on your own and only takes a day or two depending upon how large the space is to tile. Most of the backsplash options begin at $4.00 per square foot for different ceramic and glass tile choices. If you have a stove area that can support tile above then use that as a focal point. You can tile the rest of the kitchen backsplash in a complimentary tile.

If you have a solid color countertop then, it will work with a more colorful or complex designed backsplash. But most designers advise to not go bold with both the countertop and backsplash as the combination can be overwhelming to the eye. Therefore, if you have a bold countertop then use a more subdued color palette with fewer design elements for the backsplash.

Transforming the Bathroom Space

Whether you desire a luxurious spa-like atmosphere or are just interested in updating the outdated shower surround, you can let your imagination go wild when choosing tile for the bathroom. Among some of the hottest trends today are glass tiles used as accents. In addition, ceramic and natural stone are also sought after in the bathroom space and are easy to clean.

Other Items to Consider:

  • If the tile is patterned, then try to lay out your best guess as to where the pattern will fall. You don’t want part of the pattern to fall where a sink or hanging accessory may be placed.
  • Check to ensure that all surfaces (walls or floors) are flat and free of uneven surfaces.
  • If you are using glass tile be aware that it does have a tendency to expand and contract at a higher rate than other tiles.
  • Consider transitions. For example, any place that an outside corner may exist or the tile ends on the wall you will need to make a finished edge. Most tile designs have complimentary bullnose pieces that can aid in finishing the look and design.
  • Don’t grout before you let the thinset cure. The average curing time is a day, give or take.
  • Light colored grout can be sealed to make it easier to clean.

Like with most any home improvement project, it does help to put a budget and timeline in place then choose the color scheme and overall look that you are trying to accomplish. While tile may not be as easy as painting a space, it is still a relatively simple project to take on and one that will more than likely be part of the space for a longer period of time.


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