Your Questions About Tile Installations Answered

Tile is a feature in almost every home across the United States, and with good reason—it's beautiful and durable, it protects against water damage, and it comes in a wide variety of colors, shapes, sizes, textures, styles, and materials.

If you're planning to have new wall or floor tiles installed in your home or business, you probably have a lot of questions about planning your project design. This guide to frequently asked questions will help you plan a professional tile installation that will enhance the beauty and value of your property.

Which Type Should I Choose?

If you've started looking around at the selection available, you've probably noticed an incredible array of styles and materials that you can choose from. Picking actual materials that you want to put in your home can get overwhelming because there's just so many options.

To help narrow it down, first ask yourself some questions to get to the bottom of what you really want, such as:

  • Where will it be located? (Which room? Wall or floor?)

  • Does it need to perform a function? (For example, protect against moisture damage)

  • Is appearance or functionality more important to me?

  • How much maintenance am I willing to do?

  • What is my budget for materials?

  • Do I want to spend more for luxury material, or would a less expensive (but still attractive) option suffice?

Once you've got a clear idea of the purpose and your preferences, consider the pros and cons of these options:

Ceramic tiles: Durable, water-resistant, easy to clean, and relatively inexpensive, making them a very popular option for floors in high-traffic, moisture-prone rooms such as the bathroom or mud room.

Porcelain tiles: Similar to ceramic, with a different manufacturing process that makes it even more durable and water-resistant, but also more expensive.

Marble: A classic luxury option, this natural stone is stunning and definitely makes a statement, but it's easily stained and chipped so it's best for walls or low-traffic areas and will require diligent maintenance.

Slate: Another quality natural stone option that is strikingly beautiful, very strong, and can serve as the focal point of an entire room. However, it does need to be sealed regularly to keep it in good condition.

Glass: Known for its delicate, translucent beauty, glass comes in a vast selection of colors so you can find exactly the right hue to match your room—but, given that it's glass, it's not durable and is best used on wall areas such as kitchen backsplashes.

Quartz: This option is man-made from a mix of sand, color pigment, and chips of quartz stone with resin (this style is also known as engineered). It sometimes also contains crushed mirror fragments that give a dazzling sparkle effect. It's highly durable, doesn't require much maintenance, and is less expensive than natural stone.

What Size Do I Need?

The simplest way to choose the size is to approximately match the size of the area you're working with. Large-format tiles are best used in large rooms, while small rooms or smaller areas such as backsplashes can benefit from a small sized option. Tiny bathrooms, for example, often use tiny mosaic pieces that are only an inch or two in length on the floor, while small subway styles are common on backsplashes.

Large tiles can make a small room seem a bit larger, but only to a certain extent. If they're too large, they'll look out of place. On the other hand, small tiles can add depth or make an area seem too busy. But, if you roughly match the size of tile to the size of the space, the rest comes down to style and personal preference.

Can You Install Tile Without Grout Lines?

Basically, the answer is no. It is possible to do it, but it doesn't meet industry standards for a quality installation and you likely won't be happy with the results in the long run. There's three main reasons why grout-less installations are not a good idea:

  • Your house shifts and settles over time, and the grout provides "wiggle room." Without it, the tile joints can grind into each other and crack.

  • Tiles may look completely uniform in size, but they're not. The grout lines disguise tiny variations in size that will be more obvious without the grout and cause the installation to look awkward.

  • No matter how tightly they're placed together without grout, there will be gaps between the tiles that can trap dust and other debris, making cleaning a nightmare.

Can It Be Installed Over Existing Tile?

Sometimes it is possible to install new tile over an existing installation, but there are a couple of major caveats to be aware of:

  • The existing surface must be completely level, including grout, with no damage, mildew, warping, or other factors that will affect the new surface.

  • Heavy floors should not be covered with another heavy layer unless there's a solid concrete foundation underneath, because the weight could cause structural damage.

How Can I Keep the Installation Cost-Effective?

If you're looking for some ways to keep tile installation costs to a minimum, there are a couple ways to accomplish that. Obviously, the type of material you choose is going to have a huge impact on your budget and that's the first place you should look for ways to save. For example, you may have your heart set on marble, but then realize that quartz could work just as well at a fraction of the price. Taking a look at your options in person at a supplier showroom can help a lot, because you can see, touch, and compare the choices directly.

Also, consider the fact that the size and the pattern in which it is laid down can affect the labor costs, because smaller tiles or ones that are placed at an angle in a non-standard pattern (such as herringbone) require more work and will take longer to install.

Mr. Handyman is Your Top Choice for Tile Installation in Frisco!

Ready to get the ball rolling on your new tile flooring or walls? The team of professional tile installers at Mr. Handyman of Frisco has years of experience with all types of installations, including irregularly shaped rooms and hard-to-reach areas. We have come up with innovative design solutions for improvement projects in homes throughout Frisco and the surrounding areas.

Give us a call today at 972-439-1191 and chat with our friendly customer service staff about how we can help you enhance your home!