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Large gray tiles being laid overtop of grout during a new tile installation in Colorado Springs.

How to Choose the Perfect Material for Tile Installation in Colorado Springs

Most homes in Colorado Springs feature tile in multiple rooms, from tile flooring in kitchens, bathrooms and entryways to wall installations such as a backsplash. It's an incredibly popular finish for walls and floors due to its durable, protective, attractive qualities. In fact, tile has been popular for thousands of years, and there are ancient installations that have survived intact to this day. You can see the legacy of those traditional works any time you see the results of a new tile installation in Colorado Springs.

If you've already started looking around at the options, you've probably noticed there's an overwhelming array of sizes, shapes, colors, textures, patterns and materials to choose from when it comes to tile installation. Colorado Springs residents often ask for advice on how to narrow it down to the perfect choice for their home. This guide covers some tips that will make the planning process much easier with expert advice from your local Colorado Springs handyman team.

Are you considering replacing an old surface with a new tile installation? Do you want help from a Colorado Springs handyman? Homeowners and business owners can rely on the team of service professionals at Mr. Handyman of Colorado Springs to deliver the highest standards of quality workmanship and excellent customer service. We have years of experience with tile installation projects, and we can get your new wall or floor surface installed efficiently with beautiful results.

Repairs Vs. New Tile Installation

Before diving into a big project like tile installation, Colorado Springs homeowners often want to know if that's really necessary or if a few repairs would be sufficient. In our professional experience with tile replacement and repair services, it really comes down to how bad the damage is. If the problem is only with one or two individual pieces, it may be possible to repair the issue. Another important factor is whether you have (or are able to get) a matching piece to replace the damaged tile.

Widespread Issues

If you have noticed some minor problems such as chips, loose grout or a hairline crack in ceramic or porcelain tile, you can likely take care of those surface issues with ceramic tile repairs. That involves leaving the damaged piece in place, filling the crack or chip with epoxy, smoothing it out, and then painting over it and sealing it so the repair is invisible.

Or, the pieces themselves might be just fine, but the grout lines are crumbling or always look dirty, no matter how much you scrub away at them. In that case, it’s possible to use a grout saw or carbide-tipped scoring tool to remove the old grout, then replace the grout lines without moving the actual tiles.

But if the damage is widespread across a large number of pieces, you may be surprised to learn that a replacement installation is probably going to be more cost-effective than repair. It will also have much more attractive, long-lasting results. Numerous repairs would be very time-consuming, and the repaired areas would be weaker and prone to further damage, so they would need to be monitored carefully. That's why repair works best for a few smaller issues, while replacement is warranted for more serious, widespread damage.

Can't Get a Matching Piece

If you have one or two pieces that have been seriously damaged by something heavy being dropped on the floor or smashed into your wall, replacing just the damaged pieces could be a great solution—as long as you have a matching replacement available. Unfortunately, it might be really difficult to get your hands on the ideal replacement piece. Here's why:

  • You may not have had the opportunity to save extra pieces when it was originally installed.

  • You may not know the manufacturer or exact pattern name of what is currently installed in your house, which could make finding a match next to impossible.

  • Finishing materials are often discontinued by manufacturers, so the exact pieces might not even be manufactured any longer.

  • Even if you did save extras or manage to track down the exact same pattern from the manufacturer, it still might not match. That's because your tile installation will naturally suffer from wear and tear over time. It will fade or deteriorate and change color, so the new, unused piece won't match the old ones anymore.

If you can't find a perfect match, you may think you can just go with something that's “close enough.” Having just one or two pieces on a floor or wall that don't match the rest can be really glaring, and stick out in all the wrong ways. You will be more satisfied in the long run with a brand-new tile installation that is perfectly matched throughout.

Tile Installation Colorado Springs: Material and Grout Options

There's plenty of choices available for tile, but did you know there are also different varieties of grout? It also comes in a surprisingly wide variety of colors as well, though it is usually beige or grey to fade into the background. The most popular choice of material by far is ceramic tile installation. Colorado Springs homeowners should take the time to check out the pros and cons of various materials before deciding. Here are some of the materials our team of experienced professionals can install:

Types of Tile

  • Ceramic: This man-made material is very popular because it is so durable and low-maintenance. It also comes in a huge range of looks and styles, making it easy to find one that matches your design aesthetic.

  • Porcelain: While it's similar to ceramic, porcelain has a different fabrication process in which it is fired for longer at hotter temperatures, making it even more durable and giving it a smooth, dense texture.

  • Slate: This natural stone is striking and can serve as a conversation piece for the whole room. However, it does need to be sealed regularly to keep it in good condition.

  • Marble: This classic option is beautiful and very luxurious, but it's also surprisingly soft and can be easily chipped or stained. It's best used in a decorative tile installation.

  • Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT): A kind of plastic, LVT is a newer type of flooring that is extremely durable and long-lasting. It is usually made to mimic the look of natural stone or porcelain and can be very convincing.

  • Glass: While glass is too delicate to be stepped on, it adds depth and shine to a wall with its translucent beauty.

Types of Grout

  • Unsanded: Sand-free and very smooth, this grout is best used on vertical wall surfaces with grout joints that are less than 1/8” wide.

  • Finely Sanded: This type does contain sand, so it's thicker and more durable than unsanded varieties. It's too coarse for very fine joints, and should be used for grout 1/8” to 3/8” wide on floors or walls.

  • Quarry-Type: This variety of grout is mixed with a coarse grade of sand. It is meant to be used for joints that are 3/8” to 1/2” wide, usually on floors with large-format tiles or outdoors.

  • Epoxy: Made out of an epoxy resin and hardener, epoxy grout is very strong and highly resistant to moisture, stains and chemicals. That makes it the best choice for countertops, backsplashes, and other areas that are likely to be affected by spills or splashes, as well as showers and other places that are frequently soaked with water.

Which Material is Best for Tile Installation in Colorado Springs?

Ready to start shopping? There's such a variety of tiles available that it can feel daunting at first. But because there are so many options, it means a new tile installation is a great opportunity to really infuse your home with your own personal sense of style. Is your installation part of a remodel project? Check out our Colorado Springs homeowners' guide to home remodeling. Plus, here are a few questions to ask yourself that can help lead you to the perfect choice.

What are the Key Qualities Your Tile Installation Must Have?

First, consider the location and purpose of your tile installation, because that will give an idea of what qualities you need to prioritize. For example, is it going to be somewhere like a kitchen, bathroom or mudroom that gets a lot of foot traffic and is prone to moisture exposure? If so, you should avoid materials that are less durable and vulnerable to water damage like natural stone, and look at long-lasting, water-resistance choices such as ceramic or luxury vinyl tile. On the other hand, maybe you're looking to make a bold design choice that will enhance the beauty of a less utilitarian part of your house, such as a study. In that case, choosing a less durable but gorgeous tile that is packed full of natural charm makes total sense.

How Much Maintenance Are You Willing to Do?

Your tile installation is made to be sturdy and last for a long time, but some materials are more durable and low-maintenance than others. Maybe you don't mind some additional maintenance work in exchange for an incredible luxury material, but it's a good idea to be honest with yourself about whether you're up to the task of caring for some types.

For instance, natural stone tile such as slate or marble is stunningly gorgeous and pretty much screams “luxury,” but it can be vulnerable to chipping and staining. It also needs to be sealed every few months to keep it looking and functioning at its very best. On the other hand, materials such as ceramic, porcelain tile or vinyl may not have the same design cachet as natural stone, but they are extremely durable, virtually maintenance-free and come in a wide variety of style choices.

What Size of Tile is Appropriate for the Space?

A general rule of thumb for choosing the size of individual pieces is to approximately match them to the size of the surface. For example, an installation on a relatively small surface area like a backsplash looks great with smaller options such as mosaic or subway sizes. And for the record, mosaics are also a good choice for a shower floor, because they are small enough to conform to a surface that is sloped toward a drain.

Do You Want to Include In-Floor Heating?

When getting a new tile installation, Colorado Springs homeowners often choose to include in-floor radiant heating. It's an excellent perk if you hate putting your bare feet on a chilly tile floor, but it actually does more than just warm the floor. The heat rises evenly from the whole floor surface, which heats the entire room a lot more evenly than conventional forced-air heater vents. Ceramic or porcelain are the best choices to pair with in-floor heating systems, because they are thin and porous enough to conduct heat easily and won't be damaged by the added warmth.

Is Your Choice Covered By a Warranty and an Installation Guarantee?

When you are purchasing material for a new installation, check to see if your purchase is covered by a decent warranty. You want to make sure it’s easily replaceable in the unlikely event you happen to get a defective product. Material damage could occur during installation, so it's also a good idea to hire a service professional who is experienced and guarantees their workmanship. At Mr. Handyman of Colorado Springs, we only hire the best service professionals, so we're confident our team will get your flooring or wall installation completed correctly and efficiently. That's why we guarantee our workmanship with the Done Right Promise—if it's not done right, we'll make it right. You're in good hands with our team of reliable handyman professionals.

Are You Looking for Expert Tile Installation, Colorado Springs? Call Your Local Handyman!

Whether you are in Colorado Springs or another community nearby such as Monument or Fountain, you can always depend on outstanding workmanship and five-star customer service from the team of professionals at Mr. Handyman of Colorado Springs. We can help with everything from putting in porcelain floors to drywall repair and door repair.

Our reliable handyman services aren't just for residential properties. We also offer commercial tile installation and dozens of other trusted services for your commercial space in Colorado Springs and the surrounding area, for businesses that range from huge fabrication or manufacturing plants to cozy little independent shops and cafés.

Get in contact with us today by calling 719-496-1970 to speak with our friendly customer service representatives and book a convenient appointment time, or to find out more about why we are considered the number-one choice for tile installation in Colorado Springs.