Tile Installation 101: A Norfolk County Homeowners Guide

Thinking of sprucing up your kitchen with a new backsplash? Or perhaps you want to swap out your old floors with something new? The best way to get ready for any Norfolk County tile installation service is with help from a local handyman.

Tile installations are a beautiful feature for any home in Norfolk County. Available in a range of colors, materials, textures, shapes, and sizes, what variety you choose can make or break your next renovation.

This blog will describe a few common varieties of material used for installation, explain a few different types of grout, and show you how to approach a Norfolk County tile installation project. If you're like most Norfolk County homeowners and DIY is not for you, we've also included a section outlining how the experts at Mr. Handyman of Central - Eastern Norfolk County & S.Shore can help!

Different Types of Tile

There is a wide selection of wall and floor options that Norfolk County homeowners and businesses can choose from. The most commonly used varieties for kitchen backsplash, entryway, or countertop installations include:

  • Ceramic: Available in a variety of colors, ceramic is durable and cost-effective. It is a man-made material.

  • Porcelain: Similar to ceramic, porcelain is very strong and available in many styles.

  • Slate: Incredibly strong, slate requires annual sealing to maintain its beauty.

  • Marble: Surprisingly soft, marble should be used for primarily decorative reasons.

  • Laminate: A synthetic material, laminate is able to closely resemble the look of tile.

  • Vinyl: A kind of plastic, vinyl is waterproof and mimics the appearance of real tile.

  • Glass: A luxury material, glass adds elegance to any space.

Different Varieties of Grout

There are a few different types of grout, and each variety has its own particular uses. It’s important to learn the basic differences between the different kinds of grout, and when it's best to use them for Norfolk County installation projects.

  • Unsanded: Sand-free and very smooth, this grout should be applied to vertical surfaces and used in joints that are less than 1/8” wide.

  • Finely sanded: Containing sand, this grout is thicker and more durable than unsanded varieties. Thus, it shouldn't be used on fine joints but rather joints that are 1/8” to 3/8” wide.

  • Quarry-type: Quarry-type grout incorporates a coarser grade of sand. It is best used for joints that are 3/8” to 1/2” wide.

  • Epoxy: Made out of an epoxy resin and hardener, epoxy grout is very strong and highly resistant to stains and chemicals. It's the ideal choice for countertops, backsplashes, and other areas that are likely to be affected by spills or splashes.

DIY Norfolk County Floor Tile Installation

Are you an avid DIYer? Or perhaps you're simply curious to know what flooring projects involve? Then read on to know the basic installation steps. If you’re unsure about whether you have the time, tools, or expertise to handle this DIY, don’t forget that help is available from our local Norfolk County pros.

Collect Your Tools

Be sure you have ready access to the following tools before you begin your installation project:

  • Line chalk

  • Chisel

  • Drill with bits

  • Floor scraper

  • Sponge

  • Cleaning cloths

  • Buckets

  • Utility knife

  • Rubber grout float

  • Tape measure

  • Hammer

  • Rubber mallet

  • Level

  • Notched trowel or spreader

  • Tile cutter or saw

  • Plastic tarp

  • Safety goggles

  • Rubber gloves

  • Knee pads

  • Safety mask

Gather the Necessary Materials

You’ll also want to be sure you have all your materials gathered, including:

  • Mortar adhesive

  • Silicone caulk

  • Silicone grout sealer

  • Membrane

  • Backer board

  • Spacers

  • Tile

  • Grout

Prepare for the Project

Your subfloor needs to be adequately prepared before beginning your tilling project. Whether you're working on your kitchen, foyer, or standard bathroom floor, it's very important to complete these steps:

  1. Remove furniture, toilets, and vanities.

  2. Prepare your room using a plastic tarp.

  3. Put on safety goggles and a mask at all times to protect yourself against dust.

  4. Use a hammer and chisel (or drill) to break up a section of old tile flooring and remove it.

  5. Remove any old adhesive mortar using a floor scraper.

  6. Make necessary repairs to your subfloor, such as fixing cracks and dents in concrete with concrete mortar or replacing planks in a wood sub-flooring.

  7. Install the membrane or backer board. Roll the membrane along your floor and cut it to shape. Be sure to mark where the membrane goes.

  8. Mix adhesive thinset mortar.

  9. Spread mortar on the subfloor using a trowel.

  10. Carefully roll the membrane or place the backer board onto the floor.

  11. Mark where your tile should go, starting in the room's middle.

  12. Lay it down loosely using spacers.

Prepare and Lay Thin-Set Mortar

After laying down your backer board, you’ll have to put down a second layer of mortar on top of it.

  1. Mix mortar according to the adhesive manufacturer instructions.

  2. Spread mortar using the flat side of your trowel, not the notched edge. Work from the center of the room out.

  3. Comb mortar with your notched trowel, combing in one direction.

  4. Clean the trowel and place it in a clean bucket.

Install Tiles

Now you’ve prepared your subfloor and added your top layer of mortar, it's time for the actual tile installation. You should work in sections.

  1. Place the first tile at the crossing of your reference lines.

  2. Add spacers to the first piece.

  3. Continue laying—working from the center point out—and adding spacers as you go.

  4. Level separate pieces by hammering with a rubber mallet.

  5. Clean as you go using a damp sponge.

  6. Spread a layer of thinset mortar to prep for a new section.

  7. Cut material as needed along the edges of your space.

  8. Let everything dry for at least 24 hours.

  9. Keep a ¼-inch gap between the wall and tile to allow for expansion.

Apply Grout

Once your tile installation is complete, you’ll need to apply grout as the final step.

  1. Remove spacers.

  2. Prepare the grout.

  3. Apply the grout to the tile joint using a rubber float.

  4. Let it dry for at least 20-minutes.

  5. Clean away the excess using a clean sponge.

  6. Let the grout set for 72 hours.

  7. Seal the grout.

Our Norfolk County Tile Installation Services

We hope our step-by-step, DIY installation guide helps those of you who are keen on home remodeling projects and have the confidence to try tile installation service by yourself. However, if you prefer this task to be handled by the professionals at Mr. Handyman of Central - Eastern Norfolk County & S.Shore, then your remodeling project is in the right hands.

We can work with a wide variety of materials, complete small repairs, and install everything from a small section to entire tile floors, backsplashes, or walls in Norfolk County. Laying each piece properly can be tricky—and even preparing the subfloor can be very difficult. (FYI, our team is equipped to make any necessary subfloor repairs.) When you hire our team of experts, you can breathe easy knowing the project is being handled by the best. We know how to install tile to properly prevent water damage and ensure your new floors last year after year in Norfolk County.

Our team of expert technicians will bring all the necessary tools to get the job done right the first time. We'll also take time to answer any questions you may have and provide expert advice if necessary.

Finally, as a sign of respect to you and your home, our team will be sure to clean up thoroughly before leaving. Not only is this safer for you and your family, but it also saves you a giant headache.

Get Top-Rate Norfolk County Tile Installation Service from Mr. Handyman of Central - Eastern Norfolk County & S.Shore!

Are you ready to get started on your Norfolk County tile installation project, or do you have questions about Norfolk County tile installation service? Either way, the pros at Mr. Handyman of Central - Eastern Norfolk County and S.Shore are happy to help. We have the skills to ensure a successful installation from start to finish. Additionally, we can help with other Norfolk County home improvements and even provide services such as drywall repair and installation as well.

Our team of pros has helped many homeowners throughout Norfolk County and nearby areas, including in Duxbury, Marshfield and other parts of the South Shore. Join our many happy customers by giving us a call today at 508-465-2092.