A tiny flaw in floor surface, wall, or bathroom tile can be an eyesore. One minutely misplaced tile, for example, can throw off the style and grout line, helping to make a mistake super noticeable. Worse, mending a botched tiling project is over-priced, disruptive and sloppy, most notably if water has leaked through the grout and ruined framing, ceilings and finished walls.
Poor quality is why choosing an experienced licensed contractor, and making sure the job receives performed the first time correctly are imperative. What’s more, certain installations might call for specialty tile, edging, grout, glues, and cementitious board. These are best sorted out by a contractor who knows what they’re handling.
Searching for A Tile Installation Company
Rather than getting prospects for licensed contractors from retail tile stores, go where the pros go by confirming at a tile-supply store that serves installers. These outlets are most likely to know who performs superior work. Consider hiring a commercial installer that does residential jobs; since a large percentage of tiling goes into commercial buildings, these are some of the most experienced pros. And politely decline any offers to perform tiling over the cheap from a handyman, laborer or other non-experts already performing work over your home.
After you have a few names, start the qualification of contractors by confirming for current insurance coverage as you would with any contractor. Search for tile installers in business at least three years– the minimum needed for them to attain an arsenal of specialized tools and a proven track record of premium work. Ask tile installers for a few work-related references. Pictures can lie. Demand to see at least one prior installation.
Spotting Premium quality
When checking out an installer’s past construction site, always remember that each ceramic or quarry tile is precisely the same dimension as the next. Search for even spacing between the joints. Stand back and visually look down grout lines to be sure they’re straight.
An excellent tile installation pro begins in the middle of a room so segmented tiles at opposite ends of the design end up the same size. Since custom-cutting tile is challenging, they’re a good indication of a tiler’s skill set. Look for snug-fitting tiles, and be mindful of huge voids with gobs of grout.
Finish your inspection by evaluating the wood and walls to make sure they’re completely free of splashed grout or water spatters. Ask the homeowner if the professional was precise and if bathroom sink and tub drains remained clear of cleanup debris; cleanup must take place outside. Find out whether the tile seeped or the grout fractured and if the tiler responded promptly and courteously– and without billing– to any complications.
Another way to certify tile installers: Ask if you can see a current project location. Once you’re there, receive a feeling of how organized the project looks. Because tilers must work quickly to take advantage of mortars and glues with short drying times, neatness counts. An experienced pro will have tile stacked nicely by type, custom cuts performed ahead of time, and a style map on hand. The tile installer shouldn’t be running back and forth to the truck for the layout design and materials. Experienced tilers also handle their tile trimming outside to decrease dust and messy backsplash from the wet saw. The installer should keep the saw over a plastic tarp to safeguard the patio or lawn and make certain the path between the trimming and work areas have runners on them.
While you’re in there, evaluate that the tile installation pro uses some plastic dust containment to enclose the surrounding work area from the rest of the home. See that the installer protects wood trim, a shower or a system with tape or a specialized covering if ongoing tile work butts against it.
What am I to bid?
To receive a precise estimate, however, you’ll need to supply a scale pattern map and tile samples for the design and tile types in mind. A draftsman or designer can convert your pattern ideas to a 1/4-in. The tiler then uses the scale blueprints to assess labor and wastage. Tile installers also warn you regarding potential pitfalls like pointing out four specialized accent tiles come only in a box of 50 tiles, leaving you with an overpriced 46-piece souvenir kit.
When the professional proposes bid, be sure he specifies 1/2-in — thick cementitious backerboard or an equivalent synthetic product, with the seams taped with tiling adhesive. Then establish clear lines of accountability by getting a written two-year installation guarantee against water leakage. If you’re having the shower retiled, you need to obtain the same assurance from your plumber. The guarantee should cover the shower pan installation (the lead, galvanized or rubberized basin that captures any water leaking through shower tile grout ). The pan must be fully tested before the tile installation pro arrives.
Receiving a great job
Most tile installation pros prefer producing the components. Don’t worry. With their pro discount, they can easily often make a profit and charge you the exact same or less than you ‘d pay for tiles at a home center. And with the many tile options, finishes, edge treatments and porosity ratings out there, the tile installer should handle the shopping. Plus, you want any tile failure to be his responsibility, not yours. Remember, you have a written warranty that the tile installation pro will stand behind his services. So it’s definitely in the interest of the installer to buy quality materials. Failure of the tiles themselves is rare.
You’ll end up paying two times the installation charge, as well as for the labor to get rid of whichever tiles have already set. Don’t walk on a newly grouted tile for at least 24 hours (wait 48 hours for work handled in a shower). If the grout tears as it dries – a common complication– call the tiler back promptly for repairs.
Demolition Costs More
Most tile replacement bids include a demolition fee. If you have a good back and a cost-effective way to dispose of garbage, you can save several hundred dollars by handling the demolition and removal yourself. It is a hard, dusty job that requires effective dust management. Dust masks and safety glasses are needed. Also, you’ll need a mason’s chisel, pry bar, large hammer and large buckets for taking out debris. If you do it, ask the tiler precisely what has to be taken care of, and how clean the stud and floor surfaces have to be for them to begin working.